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02-18-2018, 02:05 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
However, a V6II trigger controlling V6II receivers will always imply a pre-flash, even in the case of pure manual control.
There is a way to avoid the pre-flash and that is to set the flashes (Pentax AF540/360) themselves to manual mode. I know this relegates the V6II units to "triggers" only, and you lose the ability to control power output from the TX unit itself, but is useful if you are using a flashmeter which would otherwise be fooled by the preflash. This means of course that you have to set power on each individual flash unit.

02-18-2018, 02:13 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The V6 could remote control the power level of a AF-500FTZ in principle, but sadly the latter is not compatible with the V6. As kaseki stated, the AF-500FTZ appears to support a pure digital TTL protocol (which is not the same as "P-TTL"), whereas the V6 requires the presence of the analogue TTL protocol.
The easiest way to categorize the "analog" TTL protocol is to think in turns of the four contact dedicated flash shoe used on non-AF cameras. That shoe lacked a digital signal contact and signaled TTL flash duration through the state (low/high) of the "mode" contact. The V6 is able to control flash duration on analog TTL flashes through that contact, but has no way to do the same for flash that are limited to control through the digital contact.

Beyond the number of contacts on the shoe, a good way to tell if a flash supports analog TTL is to look at the body compatibility chart in the user guide. If the LX and/or Super Program/A is listed for TTL, the flash supports the analog protocol.


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02-18-2018, 04:55 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
There is a way to avoid the pre-flash and that is to set the flashes (Pentax AF540/360) themselves to manual mode.
Yes, good point.

I typically discard that option as it forgoes remote power level control and thus relegates a relatively pricey V6II to something a very cheap trigger could do. However, you are right, in case a pre-flash would be very undesirable operating the flashes in manual mode is of course an option.
02-18-2018, 05:13 AM   #19
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With the recent P-TTL upgrade to the V6II we have a number of options available to us. I am really glad i went with the Cactus triggers.

02-18-2018, 06:31 AM   #20
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The cables are still available, and the hub is more of a hot shoe with two connectors. 1 cable goes in, flash sits on top, the the second cable connects the next hot shoe etc. I don't recall if there's a distance limitation.
02-18-2018, 06:33 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
"The K-mount Page" has a good description...

Flash Systems Evolution, Features and Operation | The K-Mount Page

It is not 100% accurate in a couple of areas related to flash/body compatibility*, but does explain the contacts and what they do.

Steve

* The FGZ (non "II") are broadly dedication compatible back to the M-series bodies and support both analogue and digital TTL as well as P-TTL and auto modes (exposure automation using a flash mounted sensor)...the "Swiss Army Knife" of Pentax flashes.
Thanks, a very helpful link I likely wouldn't have come across because my small format film camera is a N**** F4S.

---------- Post added 18th Feb 2018 at 08:44 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The easiest way to categorize the "analog" TTL protocol is to think in turns of the four contact dedicated flash shoe used on non-AF cameras. That shoe lacked a digital signal contact and signaled TTL flash duration through the state (low/high) of the "mode" contact. The V6 is able to control flash duration on analog TTL flashes through that contact, but has no way to do the same for flash that are limited to control through the digital contact.

Beyond the number of contacts on the shoe, a good way to tell if a flash supports analog TTL is to look at the body compatibility chart in the user guide. If the LX and/or Super Program/A is listed for TTL, the flash supports the analog protocol.

Steve
For the record: The AF-500FTZ Operating Manual was apparently published before the 645N was available, and does not mention it as a compatible body. Only the 645N Operating Manual refers to the AF-500FTZ as one of the compatible flashes.

Also, the AF-500FTZ has a five-contact hot shoe.

---------- Post added 18th Feb 2018 at 08:55 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The cables are still available, and the hub is more of a hot shoe with two connectors. 1 cable goes in, flash sits on top, the the second cable connects the next hot shoe etc. I don't recall if there's a distance limitation.
So, to the best of your knowledge, do multiple flashes connected in this manner do old-style (non-P) TTL together? (!!!!) I'm certainly willing to buy (and even extend) cables for testing if there is any hope. [$ << 645Z ]
02-18-2018, 07:03 AM   #22
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I have no idea if multiple flashes can coordinate TTL over cable. I wish I knew.
02-18-2018, 07:58 AM - 1 Like   #23
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In the manual for the AF-540FGZ (the older one that supports TTL), there is a table indicating that the AF500FTZ will default to TTL mode with the 645N when the flash is used in the Contrast Control Sync mode. This mode is for ratio balancing of 2 slaves (or 2 slaves plus pop-up) connected with the Pentax cables and adaptors ....

Therefore this appears to indicate that indeed TTL mode will work with the cables and adaptors and AF500FTZ flashes with the 645N. The accessories concerned are known as "Off Camera Shoe Adaptor F" "Hot Shoe Adaptor F", and "Extension Cord F5P". There is a full section in the Supplement part of my Guide detailing these and their use. They are commonly known as "P-TTL" cables, but this is apparently a limiting description as the technology must pre-date P-TTL.

In practical use, the TTL sensor in the camera will cut off the flashes once the total (global) exposure has reached the sufficient level .... The distribution of the flash lighting in the scene will be dictated by the user-set ratios set on the slave flashes when set to their Contrast Control Sync mode.


Last edited by mcgregni; 02-18-2018 at 08:04 AM.
02-18-2018, 09:20 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
In the manual for the AF-540FGZ (the older one that supports TTL), there is a table indicating that the AF500FTZ will default to TTL mode with the 645N when the flash is used in the Contrast Control Sync mode. This mode is for ratio balancing of 2 slaves (or 2 slaves plus pop-up) connected with the Pentax cables and adaptors ....

Therefore this appears to indicate that indeed TTL mode will work with the cables and adaptors and AF500FTZ flashes with the 645N. The accessories concerned are known as "Off Camera Shoe Adaptor F" "Hot Shoe Adaptor F", and "Extension Cord F5P". There is a full section in the Supplement part of my Guide detailing these and their use. They are commonly known as "P-TTL" cables, but this is apparently a limiting description as the technology must pre-date P-TTL.

In practical use, the TTL sensor in the camera will cut off the flashes once the total (global) exposure has reached the sufficient level .... The distribution of the flash lighting in the scene will be dictated by the user-set ratios set on the slave flashes when set to their Contrast Control Sync mode.
Thanks for the clue about the 540 manual. It has a wealth of information I hadn't expected relative to the 500 manual. I have ordered a "kit" of the parts you list from eBay and in the fullness of time should be able to determine if TTL functionality is extended to a second flash.
02-18-2018, 12:05 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I have no idea if multiple flashes can coordinate TTL over cable. I wish I knew.
It depends on the cable and what is meant by coordination. The 4P family of Pentax dedicated cords are able to share analog protocol hot shoe signaling. The 5P family of cords will do the same for both analog and digital protocols. Contribution from each flash in the group still requires setting output on the flash itself. I am not sure if P-TTL can be done on multiple flash through a cable.


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02-18-2018, 12:22 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
In the manual for the AF-540FGZ (the older one that supports TTL), there is a table
I discovered yesterday that the "FGZ-non II" manuals contain compatibility notes for other flash including the AF500FTZ. The user guides for those two flash are so very extensive. As for digital TTL on the 645n with the AF500FTZ, the 645n manual has a nice paragraph specific to that flash and the compatibility matrix lists full dedication and TTL support.


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02-18-2018, 01:06 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I discovered yesterday that the "FGZ-non II" manuals contain compatibility notes for other flash including the AF500FTZ. The user guides for those two flash are so very extensive. As for digital TTL on the 645n with the AF500FTZ, the 645n manual has a nice paragraph specific to that flash and the compatibility matrix lists full dedication and TTL support.

Steve
One reason I have so far bought five of them was not for an insane level of backup in case the one for the 645N failed, but because they could be optically slaved to the primary flash itself and then be used as "wireless" room fill, background fill and even rim lights. But operated as slaves, they are effectively modest power studio lights emitting whatever level radiant intensity they are set to. TTL control over several would be nice.

And they are relatively inexpensive, as low as $50 plus shipping.

And they can be powered from Quantum Turbo Batteries (as can the -540s) and recharged in 2 seconds from full discharge, making (at least in theory because I haven't tested it yet) 645N auto-bracketing feasible at reduced flash power.

Last edited by kaseki; 02-18-2018 at 02:33 PM.
02-18-2018, 01:35 PM   #28
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The thing I don't like about the AF500FTZ is that it only has manual power control down to 1/32nd power. I found that limiting.
02-18-2018, 02:30 PM   #29
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I have found reports of successful use of at least two flash units together in TTL mode. Combining more than two units will need to be tested. Pentax doesn't build a hub like device, so a stack of Hot Shoe Adapter F's may be needed. Some reduction may be possible by considering that the 5-pin connector on the flash side seems to be wired directly to the flash hot shoe contacts. The wiring diagram using the terminology of the K-mount flash page, linked earlier in this thread, is as sketched below. Note that this is looking at the flash. It would appear that daisy-chaining using both the hot shoe and the 5-pin connector may be feasible.

Pentax 5-pin flash connector wiring - Pentax User Photo Gallery
02-18-2018, 04:17 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
It would appear that daisy-chaining using both the hot shoe and the 5-pin connector may be feasible.
Yes, very feasible using a Hot Shoe Adapter F chaining through Off-Camera Adapter F with 5P cords. Managing the contribution for each flash in a TTL arrangement might be a challenge however.

I was recently looking at setting up a wireless solution with Yongnou YN560III speedlights managed through a YN560-TX II transmitter. The speedlights (GN 53 @ 80mm) have an on-board RX and are $58 USD. The transmitter is $37 USD and supports 16 channels and five groups for both trigger and control. TTL participation can be adding a second 5-contact shoe per above. (Pity the YN560-TX II does not support PC.) I suspect the speedlights with option to add TTL/P-TTL are a more workable solution than trying to hack something with straight TTL.


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