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04-02-2018, 09:09 PM   #16
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The only advantage is simplicity, the point of cactus is largely to let you make multiple brands behave. But slight difference in illumination may be annoying to you. Also setup is easier with only one brand. The cactus flash seems very well made.

04-02-2018, 09:13 PM   #17
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@Photodana

BTW, since you are using a K-1 and are based in Copenhagen, could you perhaps visit Phase One and keep banging on their door until they release a better Capture One camera profile for the K-1?

I like Capture One a lot but the standard Capture One profile for the K-1 is not very good in my eyes. Phase One claim they develop a dedicated profile for each camera but there have been cases in which they have just reused profiles from other models or just used a badly tweaked version for a another camera. I believe in case of the K-1 they just adopted the Pentax colour profile which isn't very good either in my eyes. It doesn't look like Phase One developed a profile of their own.

Sorry for the off-topic post, but I thought I'd have to give it a try with someone using a K-1 and being that close to Phase One. If you aren't using C1 yourself, I'd say give an evaluation copy a try. You may like it. I find it to be superior to Lightroom.
04-03-2018, 02:11 PM   #18
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V6ii compatibilliy

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
@mcgregni
Have you tried using the AF-540FGZ II on top of the V6II (with the settings you posted) without activating TTL pass-through? What happens then?
I have read somewhere that the II versions of the Pentax AF540FGZ and the AF360FGZ is not supported by the V6ii firmware, only the old versions.

---------- Post added 04-03-2018 at 11:29 PM ----------

I am trying to use the on camera on top of a V6ii as fill light. My Elinchrom Quadra was made to give 1/3 of the key light as fill light (not adjustable). So my fill light flash should probably be a GNm 36 (AF360FGZ) or GN24 or similar. GNm 36 is half the Ws of AF540FGZ.
I am shooting soccer players this summer. Groups of 3 rows of young lads. The back row standing on stools. Middle row standing on the ground, front row sitting on stools.The faces of the back row will be a bit above my hight. So, I'll use a light stik to get the light comming from a little above (how nature wanted it). This i why I need fill light to soften the shadows. It's actually very simple. Only, camera flash systems don't seem to be made for photographers, but rather for snapshooters :-) It is a riddle to me that Key light/Fill light was NOT concept incorporated in off camera flash technology. But, I believe, that I can "out power" a small flash, so it won't over do the fill light, even though it is set to P-TTL measuring. Bottom line is - I'll try to go for a AF360FGZ as I don't think there is a AF240FGZ :-) All I need then, is TTL pass through on the tranceiver.

Last edited by Photodana; 04-03-2018 at 02:30 PM.
04-03-2018, 10:05 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
I have read somewhere that the II versions of the Pentax AF540FGZ and the AF360FGZ is not supported by the V6ii firmware, only the old versions.
That is not true, though.

Just check for yourself at the V6II compatibility information.

QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
It is a riddle to me that Key light/Fill light was NOT concept incorporated in off camera flash technology.
Perhaps @mcgregni, who wrote the book on P-TTL, can tell you otherwise. It seems to me that Pentax's incredibly simple contrast mode may do what you want. Personally, though, I wouldn't want to rely on such a fixed approach.

BTW, if you are shooting outdoors and groups, your flashes cannot be too powerful. Instead of going for a small fill light flash, I'd rather use a GN56 or better flash on-camera and at least two GN56 or better flashes off-camera. To be precise, I'd never use an on-camera flash. An on-axis fill flash, yes sometimes, but not on the camera.

04-03-2018, 11:16 PM - 1 Like   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
This i why I need fill light to soften the shadows. It's actually very simple. Only, camera flash systems don't seem to be made for photographers, but rather for snapshooters :-) It is a riddle to me that Key light/Fill light was NOT concept incorporated in off camera flash technology.
You can adjust an individual off camera flash up to -2eV below or +1 above the entire scene very easily, Photodana.

For even more variation to fill levels (with an entire football team you could use one or even better two umbrellas for eveness) use Manual mode.



04-04-2018, 02:12 AM   #21
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I was thinking:
The easiest way to obtain fill flash, is to use the fill flash unit in manual (or A-mode, utilizing the built-in sensor in the flash unit - no TTL mode).
This flash can be set to lower output than the Key light flash. If I shoot at f/11, I could set the fill flash for let's say f/8 or f/5.6.
My question is then: Will the Cactus V6ii be able to fire this fill flash, if placed on top of the tranceiver?
04-04-2018, 02:38 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
I was thinking:
The easiest way to obtain fill flash, is to use the fill flash unit in manual (or A-mode, utilizing the built-in sensor in the flash unit - no TTL mode).
But that won't work inside a diffuser, and once off camera is exposing for its view, not the sensor's.

Manual mode gives you fine-grained, reproducible results.



04-04-2018, 04:16 AM   #23
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YeeHaw! I just realized that both the Pentax AF540FGZ and the AF360FGZ has A-mode (built in sensor). This is great news. The AF360FGZ even has both P-TTL and TTL (preflash turned off, still auto use). I don't know of any other flash that can do this :-) Perhaps it even does TTL on Film cameras and *istD (before P-TTL).
Anyway - The Cactus forum is VERY HELPFUL. The supporters DO ACTUALLY READ the forums - and will answer, whenever they can help (I wish Ricoh had this kind of service). The Cactus guy Antonio told me, that any flash mounted on the tranceiver WILL actually FIRE as well as flashes on receivers. My problems are solved! I CAN add a AF360FGZ for fill light, mounted on my tranceiver. I believe I can even cheat it, to believe I'm shooting at higher ISO with this ONE flash. So I can perhaps just dial in what ever level I need for FIll Flash. Thank you Pentax. Thank you Cactus.


Last edited by Photodana; 04-04-2018 at 04:30 AM.
04-04-2018, 04:35 AM   #24
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Hi, both the older and newer Pentax flash models are supported by the Cactus V6II.

Just hold fire a bit though ... My tests have not been working with TTL passthrough and the X-TTL firmware. This needs more checking with different cameras and I will report this to Cactus. The multi-flash firmware has been proven to work for TTL passthrough, but this will give you manual flash control only, not TTL.

I would caution a little bit about using auto flash mode for your fill in though ..... Only because it adds to the worklow complexities significantly. I feel it would be more efficient to work with either an all manual or all TTL approach. Ratios and balancing will be much easier with a single approach for all flashes.

Last edited by mcgregni; 04-04-2018 at 04:58 AM.
04-04-2018, 08:34 AM - 1 Like   #25
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Photodana :
"It is a riddle to me that Key light/Fill light was NOT concept incorporated in off camera flash technology"

ClassA :
"Perhaps @mcgregni, who wrote the book on P-TTL, can tell you otherwise. It seems to me that Pentax's incredibly simple contrast mode may do what you want. Personally, though, I wouldn't want to rely on such a fixed approach"


Yes indeed, the Pentax Wireless system includes a Ratio setting control, which can function with up to two off camera P-TTL slaves and the On-Camera 'Master' unit. As ClassA says, this is simple, giving a 1:2 / 1:3 / 2:3 set of ratio possibilities.


In the absence of any meaningful label (and description) of this functionality in the Pentax Flash Manuals, for my Guides I have created the term "Wireless Lighting Ratios". This is all detailed on Pages 70-72 of the Guide, within the "Wireless (Off-Camera) Operations section. (Download from the link below my Signature under my post, should this be of interest).


As Clackers has already said (and Class A has also referred to in the past), it is a fairly simple matter to reproduce exact "ratios" via either flash compensations or Manual power level settings (depending on the chosen flash operating mode).


Bear in mind also that the Pentax "Wireless Lighting Ratios" do not apply to, and are not implemented by, the Cactus X-TTL radio system. There also is no Ratio control built into the Pentax version of this firmware. To use the feature fully you need two Pentax "FGZ" flashes and a Built-In camera flash that includes the Wireless 'Master' capability. You can also create a simpler two flash ratio (eg 1:3 / 2:3) with a combination of one on camera 'master' flash and one slave. Finally, I do not believe that the Metz flashes include these Ratio settings for wireless working.


Also, one further word of caution ..... the use of Auto ("A") mode with the flash on top of a Cactus V6II may be unproven also . Bear in mind that the communication protocol for "TTL Passthrough" is P-TTL ..... Auto-Thyristor mode on the Pentax flashes shuts off any data communications through the hotshoe (the flash becomes isolated completely from the camera in terms of settings and flash metering). So I don't think it is yet known for sure whether TTL Passthrough will actually work with a flash set to Auto Thyristor mode .....


If the V6II sends a trigger signal through to the top shoe regardless then all may be well, but I'm not sure about this as I have only operated before using TTL Passthrough and a flash set to P-TTL mode.


QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
@mcgregni
Have you tried using the AF-540FGZ II on top of the V6II (with the settings you posted) without activating TTL pass-through? What happens then?

I've now tried this also, with TTL Passthrough off (both via the Menu setting and using a long press of the Menu button), and it makes no difference to the behaviour of the flash on top of the V6II ..... even with TTL Passthrough off, the flash zoom still responds to lens zooming movements, but it will not fire.


I would have expected the zooming to have stopped surely, because this is part of the TTL communications that should be activated by TTL Passthrough mode. This suggests to me that there is something wrong with this aspect of the PEN.A.001 firmware.

Last edited by mcgregni; 04-04-2018 at 09:21 AM.
04-04-2018, 08:17 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Bear in mind also that the Pentax "Wireless Lighting Ratios" do not apply to, and are not implemented by, the Cactus X-TTL radio system.
It is correct that the X-TTL variant does not implement ratios (in the Pentax variant; it does for other cameras), however, I'd say this practically irrelevant.

By supporting individual flash exposure compensation for each group, the V6II not only provides the functionality of "Wireless Lighting Ratios" but goes far beyond that by supporting arbitrary ratios (as opposed to fixed ones like 1 : 3). To achieve a 1:2 ratio, one simply uses a -1 one compensation on the flash that is supposed to be weaker. For a 1:3 ratio, one uses a -1.6 compensation, etc. So the only difference is a different notation and much more flexibility.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I've now tried this also, with TTL Passthrough off (both via the Menu setting and using a long press of the Menu button), and it makes no difference to the behaviour of the flash on top of the V6II ..... even with TTL Passthrough off, the flash zoom still responds to lens zooming movements, but it will not fire.
Ah, it's a bug then. Cactus have been very good with bug fixes in the past, so I'm optimistic they'll respond to a bug report.
04-08-2018, 11:12 PM   #27
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Alternating flash brands - and Virus Alert

Can I use more than one flash brand, e.i. Pentax and Metz on the receiver, without having to change firmware?
I want to be able to alternate between Pentax AF540FGZ and Metz 58 AF-1.
Do I need two V6ii receivers to do this?
Regards
Jens

BTW:
There's a virus at stake at HOME | CACTUS
So the website is not available at the moment!
04-08-2018, 11:56 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
Can I use more than one flash brand, e.i. Pentax and Metz on the receiver, without having to change firmware?
Yes, sure.

In general, both firmware variants (multi-brand and X-TTL) support multiple flash brands. The X-TTL variant only supports P-TTL capable flash models whereas the multi-brand variant supports a wider range of flash systems. I'm pretty both variants support both of your flashes, but with the respect to the Metz 58 AF-1, it would be better to make sure in advance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
Do I need two V6ii receivers to do this?
You'll need one V6II receiver per flash and one for the camera. So for using two flashes simultaneously, you'd need three receivers. If you only ever want to use one off-camera flash, two V6II units in total would suffice.

QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
here's a virus at stake at HOME | CACTUS
That doesn't sound good.
Have you received any indication what "virus"?

The home page seemed alright but when I tried to go to the community forum, strange redirections appeared to happen. I aborted the attempt before anything bad could happen.
04-09-2018, 05:02 AM   #29
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Thanks a lot Class A.
The virus is a "JS: Agent-DZP (Trj)" says my anti virus software.
I want to use one flash (Pentax or Metz) off camera (mounted on a Cactus receiver),
and one Pentax flash on top of the camera/ on top of the tranciever - TTL pass over (I suppose).
Can I change between the Metz and the Pentax for the key light on the receiver, without updating/changing firmware for the receiver?
If YES, I'll buy a Metz back-up flash, for which I have already bought a power pack. I was hoping NOT having to buy a third receiver.

Regards
Jens
04-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
Can I change between the Metz and the Pentax for the key light on the receiver, without updating/changing firmware for the receiver?
Yes, you can. Again, it may be worth double checking that the Metz 58 AF-1 is fully supported, but I'm pretty sure it is (even though you have to use the profile for the Metz 58 AF-2, or similar, as the 58 AF-1 is not supported with its own profile).

QuoteOriginally posted by Photodana Quote
I want to use one flash (Pentax or Metz) off camera (mounted on a Cactus receiver),
and one Pentax flash on top of the camera/ on top of the tranciever - TTL pass over (I suppose).
In that case, you only need two V6II units.
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