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02-25-2018, 11:04 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Cactus announces RQ250 bare-bulb monolight

Just saw this on the Cactus facebook page:

Cactus announced the RQ250, a 250Ws bare-bulb monolight with an integrated radio receiver that supports TTL/HSS.
It will work with Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma.

Availability is announced for Summer 2018 and no pricing information has been released yet.
The RQ250 will be shown at CP+ in Japan (1-4 March).

There is a press release PDF with further information.

Exciting news, AFAIC!

With 250Ws, the flash/strobe is a bit more powerful than the Godox AD200. It should be a bit more powerful as three RF60X combined, but not as powerful as four RF60X.

It has a built-in fan to support extended shooting at maximum power.

A single (Lithium Ion) battery charge delivers 400 full-power flashes.

There is a modelling light but I'm not getting my hopes up that it will be very powerful, as no Watt figure is provided. Most battery-powered strobes do not feature very powerful modelling lights, so I'm not expecting wonders. Let's see.

I like the bare-bulb design which is ideal for use in modifiers, including strip boxes which are notoriously difficult to use with speedlights or directional/reflector-disc designs like the Profoto strobes. The protective cap should make it easy to handle the flash/strobe, despite the bare-bulb design. Even better, the protective cap doubles as a reflector with a frosted disc at the front. So one can use the RQ250 either Profoto-style (with the cap on) or as a bare-bulb strobe. Nice!

Obviously both V6II and V6IIs (the Sony version) will be able to trigger and control the RQ250.

I haven't spotted any information regarding the modifier mount. I hope it will be Bowens compatible.

Can't wait to learn more about this!


Last edited by Class A; 05-21-2018 at 09:47 AM.
02-25-2018, 11:32 PM   #2
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Here is an image:

Name:  RQ250.png
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Size:  414.0 KB

This looks like a cut out view, i.e., the case and protector should go all around the bulb.

I hope the mounting mechanism for modifiers will allow the bare-bulb to reach deep enough into the modifier. It should result in rather glorious modifier fill in either case, though.

OK, I'll try to calm down now.
02-26-2018, 05:02 AM   #3
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Very very cool!
02-26-2018, 05:07 AM   #4
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Oh the excitement ! I’m really pleased that Cactus have come through with their strobe plans in such good time. It looks rather compact ...?

Perhaps the real significance here is that finally we have a sophisticated and modern radio trigger system, fully Pentax compatible, the includes both a hotshoe flash type and a strobe type light, within a single system and requiring only a single Transceiver device. And it seems likely that this will come with all the practical benefits of that ....eg common design/ interface/ terminology, shared modes and functionalities, common support.


For those investing in the system as a stand-alone entity then having no need for receiving triggers on either flashes or strobes is another big plus.


Coming on top of the recent Radio P-TTL upgrade, this is another big step forwards!

02-26-2018, 05:56 AM   #5
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Finally, Pentax's weakest Link (flash System) is about to be restored to order by Cactus System!!!
02-26-2018, 10:08 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
It looks rather compact ...?
I just visited Lighting rumours and noticed they published more RQ250 pictures and measurements.

194mm x 80mm x 80mm are very compact indeed.
02-26-2018, 11:24 PM   #7
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Do you ever feel that you wait for so long for something, that when it is finally leased you start thinking...Do I have money to buy this

---------- Post added 27-02-18 at 09:30 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
I just visited Lighting rumours and noticed they published more RQ250 pictures and measurements.

194mm x 80mm x 80mm are very compact indeed.
Thanks for the pictures. It does look compact. Now lets wait for the price.

I dont mean any bashing and I am thinking we will find a way around this.

I was really just hoping this will fit most lighting mounts. Like Bowens.

I dont think this will fit my bowens S-clamp.

---------- Post added 27-02-18 at 09:32 ----------

Edit...
QuoteQuote:
Apart from the standard reflector, the RQ250 — unlike the Witstro and BRiHT series — doesn’t have a range of light-shapers that fit directly. According to the manufacturer, initial accessories will include a set of clip-on colour gels, a honeycomb grid and a snoot, which attach to the reflector. For everything else, a Bowens S-mount adapter will be available.
I guess there is a workaround. Never mind.
02-27-2018, 03:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Do I have money to buy this
If only we knew!

I hope the price will be reasonable. I'd love to use three of these in a mobile kit.

QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
I dont think this will fit my bowens S-clamp.
No, I can't see how.

Luckily, the Lighting Rumours article mentioned the S-mount adapter.

I think ideally S-mount would have been supported directly and an integrated umbrella holder would have been nice as well. However, if the native mount supports quick and secure mounting and removal of accessories using a small form factor this could be quite nice. The S-mount itself is a bit bulky and does not provide a very tight fit, at least with the equipment I have. Its main drawing card is its ubiquity.

03-02-2018, 05:23 AM   #9
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More Details From CP+ 2018 Live Presentation

Cactus gave a live presentation about the RQ250 at CP+ 2018.

The presentation runs for ~25min but progresses rather slowly as it is held in English and Japanese (interleaved translation). It starts at the 3min 56sec mark and the RQ250 can be first seen live in 3D at 6min 22sec. It makes a very compact impression indeed!

Here's my summary of the additional details that were conveyed during the presentation:

The 250 Ws correspond to the power of ~3.5 x GN60 speedlights.
The RQ250 will have a full power recycle time of ~2s.

They designed their TubeOne flash tube so that it fills light modifiers as evenly as possible.
Here's a screenshot from the presentation that shows the difference between the illumination achieved by a bare bulb (left) vs a standard speedlight (right):

Name:  bare-vs-speed.png
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The difference is, as expected, significant and results in the bare-bulb flash creating a much bigger, and hence softer, light source.

The reflector was also designed to provide as even as possible light output. That's excellent news, AFAIC, because such a high quality light source will be far more useful in practice than a device with a Fresnel lens that has been optimised to produce a hot spot in the middle in order to manufacture a high GN number for marketing purposes.

Due to the fan-cooling, the tube will manage 50 consecutive full power shots without overheating.

The reflector part screws on. I think I would have preferred a click on approach, but perhaps it wouldn't have been secure enough, as one can attach accessories to the reflector. Colour gels, a honeycomb grid, and a snoot will be able to attach magnetically. So at least accessory changes will be very quick.

I was excited to hear that a swivel with an integrated umbrella holder will be included and that they are apparently trying to make the swivel double as a grip for hand-holding.

Both modelling light (demonstrated during the presentation at 18min 35sec) and AF-assist are realised through four LEDs.

The back-LCD is a 1.7" OLED display.

There is an optical slave and and a 3.5mm sync jack.
Firmware updates will be possible via a micro-SD card slot.

No information was provided on flash durations, colour stability, and pricing.

Overall, the RQ250 looks extremely promising to me!
03-02-2018, 06:14 AM   #10
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Thanks. This was nice to watch.
For sure it is going to be more expensive than the AD200.
08-06-2018, 12:44 PM   #11
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Whoa, this is interesting!

Cactus launched a Kickstarter campaign for the RQ250!
08-09-2018, 01:54 AM   #12
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Working back from the discounted prices make the RQ250 HK$ 5484. That's about $700 at current exchange rates. There's 5 slots left at the introductory price of around $525 as I post this. Certainly looks like a nicely put together flash - but definitely not cheap!
08-09-2018, 06:56 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by phoebus Quote
Certainly looks like a nicely put together flash - but definitely not cheap!
Yeah, definitely not cheap.

However, it is comparable in price to 3.5 x RF60X which it replaces, and also comparable in price to the Godox AD400 with which it shares some of its attributes. Compared to alternatives like the Indra 500 or Priolite MBX500-HS, it is much cheaper and while its not as powerful as these, it has some some tricks up its sleeves which the latter don't.

A two-year warranty sounds like Cactus are expecting to be able to deliver a quality product.

I wonder what will happen if the Kickstarter campaign doesn't reach its goal.
08-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #14
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Only one more left for Super Early Bird for $557 to the US.
08-09-2018, 09:47 PM   #15
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But that is so expensive.
At this moment I am going with AD200.
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