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04-21-2018, 09:56 PM   #1
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Cactus vii 645z HSS issue.

I have been racking my brains trying to figure this out, and have not yet been able to find a solution.

I recently bought a pair of Cactus Vii to work with my pentax 645z, and Godox ad600, and no matter what I seem to try, there seems to be a communication error.

I have tried-

Cactus V2 with Godox ad600, using the x1N. I know this setup has not been proven to work, so I purchased the Godox FT16/USB receiver setup as described here, and tested setup as reccomended.
HSS Pentax 645Z Godox 600 – Mark Kitaoka Photographs

In addition I have tried Profoto B1, with a Cactus Vii and Profoto remotes, both Canon and Nikon as described here:

also tried a cactus vii on camera, and another connected through sync port.

I must be missing something. With these settings.

(c) pentax
(f) manual or auto

I get nothing. The camera wonít fire over 1/125, and in fact sometimes becomes locked at 1/125. Wont allow me to drop the shutter even below that speed. 

Anyone see something I could be missing? I have updated the firmware on both cactus units.

04-21-2018, 11:26 PM   #2
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I've had success with the 645z as well as a K1 with the Cactus V6ii triggers with manual HSS, ( my preferred choice )


You do need the Pentax update for the triggers available from the Cactus web site as a download, make sure the trigger on the camera is set to transmitter mode ( TX ) and the one attached to the flash is in receive mode ( RX ) and the receiver is set to slave.


McgregNi has an excellent piece on Pentax Flash inc the Cactus triggers and how to set them up available here Comprehensive Pentax Flash Guide - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
04-22-2018, 01:39 AM   #3
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Cactus and Godox trigger stacking configurations are a bit beyond the scope of my Guide, but morenjavi has recently updated his very detailed thread, right near the top of this forum at present.

I think he was setting the V6II receiver to the Canon flash system profile.

What firmware version is installed on your V6II units?

Last edited by mcgregni; 04-22-2018 at 01:46 AM.
04-22-2018, 11:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cameradork Quote
Cactus V2 with Godox ad600, using the x1N.
I essentially have this set up but I use it on my K-1. Make sure the firmware is up to date on all lighting and trigger products. Then set the Cactus vII to manual flash and Pentax. Put it on your hot shoe. Stack the x1N. Set it to HSS. Set the ad600 to HSS. Make sure the Godox set is on the same channel and group, and you're off. That's what works for me.

04-22-2018, 11:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cameradork Quote
The camera won’t fire over 1/125, and in fact sometimes becomes locked at 1/125.
Do you really mean the "camera" wont't fire or did you mean to write the "flash" won't fire?

Personally, I haven't used trigger stacking ever but I know that many others got it to work (with the right hardware and settings). I encourage everyone (OP and those who want to help) to avoid using unspecific terms like "latest firmware version". The V6II supports two firmware variants: One multi-brand variant (V1.1.013 is the latest of this kind), and an "X-TTL" variant (PEN.A.001). Both support HSS, but will behave differently with respect to trigger stacking.
04-22-2018, 12:35 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I have the firmware all updated.

One thing that crossed my mind, is that i am trying to get this to work with a fully manual lens, and that hss requires lens communication to the body.

Iíll try an af lens and see if that gets me anywhere.
04-22-2018, 12:59 PM   #7
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HSS with the V6II is not compatible with a "manual aperture" lens. You need an A series type or an autofocus lens.

I'd take ClassA's advice and be specific about the firmware as it does affect the user inteface and set-up steps needed to get things working. Hopefully your issue was just the lens.
04-22-2018, 03:51 PM   #8
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Hi.

Although using different Godox lights, a different trigger (xt32n) and a different camer (K1)a have a look at my step by step instructions here:
Because I have included pictures it might make things easier for you.

I have also tested with a K1, Godox XproC trigger, Godox AD200 and a Cactus V6 II. The only difference in the settings was on the Cactus V6 II I changed the Flash system to Canon (from Manual) as I was using the XproC (Canon version of the trigger). Note: Exposure control is all manual using this setup for Pentax camera's.

Note: You don't need to keep acquiring Cactus V6 II's for each flash. The Cactus V6 II acts as a HSS enabler only and the triggering is all from the Godox trigger. It seems Cactus like to advise to buy additional Cactus V6 II's when they are actually not required. Smart move by them but better to save your hard earnt $$$.

04-22-2018, 04:00 PM   #9
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Mcgregni looks like that is my issue. Iím using an adapted mamiya shift lens. Iíll try it again this week with an af.

---------- Post added 04-22-18 at 04:30 PM ----------

I am using PEN.A.001
04-22-2018, 06:19 PM   #10
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Did some quick tests. Tested ad600 with x1_ trigger with Cactus v6II and K-1 with a ton of different lenses. Tested with fully manual lenses (no contact points), m42 adapted lenses, lenses with AE contact points, and fully auto, modern lenses with all contact points.

Results:

The lens has to at least have AE contact points to do HSS with that setup. Without the contact points, the camera shutter speed will go no higher than it's max.
04-23-2018, 12:25 AM   #11
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Yes, in Pentax terms this means, in practice, an "A" type lens or an autofocus one. It is really a limitation of the camera system technology..... The V6II doesn't do anything to change this.
04-23-2018, 02:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
You don't need to keep acquiring Cactus V6 II's for each flash.
That's true if using a single V6II as an HSS enable works with the hardware available.

QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
The Cactus V6 II acts as a HSS enabler only and the triggering is all from the Godox trigger.
That's one approach and certainly the most cost-effective.

However, if the trigger one uses doesn't work on top of a V6II or one doesn't want two triggers on the camera at the same time then using a V6II receiver connected to the off-camera flash with a sync-cable is also a viable approach. I do this myself (using my old V5 triggers) because my Jinbei remote has a strange upside-down design for camera mounting and I'd have to move it manually from "power adjustment" to "triggering" mode and back again all the time. So I just use my V5's for triggering and still remote-control the strobe's power levels with the Jinbei remote (which I leave in a pocket or on a table nearby). In my case this clearly makes more sense then attempting trigger stacking.

QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
It seems Cactus like to advise to buy additional Cactus V6 II's when they are actually not required. Smart move by them but better to save your hard earnt $$$.
In my view you are misrepresenting and I'd say it wouldn't be "smart" at all by Cactus to do this. A company pushing their products when they are not needed would be exhibiting reprehensible behaviour, AFAIC. All I've seen Cactus do is to state that they don't support trigger stacking and that the only officially supported way of using otherwise incompatible third-party equipment is to use a Cactus receiver at each light.

One can construe "not supporting trigger stacking" as a scheme to foil attempts at using a single V6II as an "HSS adapter" in order to sell more receivers. However, in my view the far more economical explanation is that some third-party triggers don't do a great job of emulating a speedlight. Given that some third-party triggers work on the V6II, it seems obvious to me that at least part of the "blame" sits with the products that don't work on the V6II. Obviously Cactus could try and make their V6II compatible with triggers that don't manage to emulate a speedlight in a manner that is compatible with the V6II but I think that's a bit much to ask for. This would require development costs for no gain to Cactus as they are not selling the V6II as an "HSS adapter".

Given Cactus' history with numerous free improvements via firmware updates (this started with the V6, continued with the V6II, and culminated in upgrading the V6II into a full-blown "P-TTL via radio" device), I think it is strange to view Cactus as a company that attempts to unrighteously obtain money from unsuspecting customers.
04-23-2018, 03:11 AM   #13
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I think all the strobe makers whose products require trigger stacks to enable HSS must be working in cahoots with YouTube for commissions from the mass of videos needed to figure out how to get it all working !

I thought it was cool the way the guy in the video above put things .... He said it was Profoto who made if difficult for him, by not fully supporting Pentax ..... It's normally put the other way around here!
04-23-2018, 03:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
That's true if using a single V6II as an HSS enable works with the hardware available.


That's one approach and certainly the most cost-effective.

However, if the trigger one uses doesn't work on top of a V6II or one doesn't want two triggers on the camera at the same time then using a V6II receiver connected to the off-camera flash with a sync-cable is also a viable approach. I do this myself (using my old V5 triggers) because my Jinbei remote has a strange upside-down design for camera mounting and I'd have to move it manually from "power adjustment" to "triggering" mode and back again all the time. So I just use my V5's for triggering and still remote-control the strobe's power levels with the Jinbei remote (which I leave in a pocket or on a table nearby). In my case this clearly makes more sense then attempting trigger stacking.


In my view you are misrepresenting and I'd say it wouldn't be "smart" at all by Cactus to do this. A company pushing their products when they are not needed would be exhibiting reprehensible behaviour, AFAIC. All I've seen Cactus do is to state that they don't support trigger stacking and that the only officially supported way of using otherwise incompatible third-party equipment is to use a Cactus receiver at each light.

One can construe "not supporting trigger stacking" as a scheme to foil attempts at using a single V6II as an "HSS adapter" in order to sell more receivers. However, in my view the far more economical explanation is that some third-party triggers don't do a great job of emulating a speedlight. Given that some third-party triggers work on the V6II, it seems obvious to me that at least part of the "blame" sits with the products that don't work on the V6II. Obviously Cactus could try and make their V6II compatible with triggers that don't manage to emulate a speedlight in a manner that is compatible with the V6II but I think that's a bit much to ask for. This would require development costs for no gain to Cactus as they are not selling the V6II as an "HSS adapter".

Given Cactus' history with numerous free improvements via firmware updates (this started with the V6, continued with the V6II, and culminated in upgrading the V6II into a full-blown "P-TTL via radio" device), I think it is strange to view Cactus as a company that attempts to unrighteously obtain money from unsuspecting customers.
Don't get me wrong, I like Cactus because it's enabled me to get HSS with my Godox lights. I've bought three Cactus triggers after all. Note: If I'm using only Godox lights, I only use my one Cactus V6 II. I have two other V6 Mk I's.

However, I have read multiple posts by Cactus recommending users to buy additional V6 II's that weren't required by the user. You could say the buyer should be more aware but why should someone buy an additional trigger at some expense when it's not required. At approx. $150 Australian dollars these things aren't cheap if they are not required. If you wasted $150 AUD, I think you'd appreciate me calling out on not spending money on something I didn't need.

Howie Be
04-23-2018, 11:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
Don't get me wrong, I like Cactus because it's enabled me to get HSS with my Godox lights.
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that Cactus products aren't perfect.
I have a laundry list of things I would have done differently with the V6II and I have no problem at all with people levelling criticism at Cactus, if it is justified.

QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
However, I have read multiple posts by Cactus recommending users to buy additional V6 II's that weren't required by the user.
Can you point to such posts?

As I said, I never came across incorrect advice on behalf of Cactus. It could well be that they are recommending to avoid trigger stacking, but that is not the same as making someone believe that using multiple Cactus receivers are absolutely necessary.

QuoteOriginally posted by howieb101 Quote
At approx. $150 Australian dollars these things aren't cheap if they are not required. If you wasted $150 AUD, I think you'd appreciate me calling out on not spending money on something I didn't need.
I would always support you or anyone else on calling out on unnecessary expenditure. We just disagree whether Cactus actually advised someone against their better knowledge.

BTW, AUD 150 is ~143% of the V6II price from the US or Hong Kong. Even if you incorporate 10% customs then this price is still 130% of the cheapest price. I would hope that shipping costs would be below the 30% markup but I don't actually know. However, in principle there is no argument: Unless there is a good reason to spend the money on one or more V6II units, the price point makes it hard to justify a "just in case I'll ever need it" argument.
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