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09-13-2018, 01:53 AM   #1
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Need advice on remote triggers & speedlites please

Hi all,

I have a K3-II and now want to get myself a portable lighting setup for portrait and some wedding work.
However I'm getting myself bogged down in the choices and would love some input from those with some experience in this area.
I'm considering Yongnuo as I've read in a forum here that the YN560-TX II flash remote for Nikon also works with Pentax (this is in a thread from 2014). I was looking at pairing this with a couple of YN 560-III speedlites. I would need HSS functionality though and are unsure if this is possible or if there is a better choice from Yongnuo or others that I should consider.

looking forward to the enlightenment...

Cheers,
Pete

P.S. My main flash is a AF-540 FGZ

09-13-2018, 02:41 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete Prue Quote
Hi all,

I have a K3-II and now want to get myself a portable lighting setup for portrait and some wedding work.
However I'm getting myself bogged down in the choices and would love some input from those with some experience in this area.
I'm considering Yongnuo as I've read in a forum here that the YN560-TX II flash remote for Nikon also works with Pentax (this is in a thread from 2014). I was looking at pairing this with a couple of YN 560-III speedlites. I would need HSS functionality though and are unsure if this is possible or if there is a better choice from Yongnuo or others that I should consider.

looking forward to the enlightenment...

Cheers,
Pete

P.S. My main flash is a AF-540 FGZ
I believe that Yongnuo YN-560 III does not support HSS.
09-13-2018, 02:44 AM   #3
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The Yongnuo trigger doesn't support HSS on a Pentax camera.

Your choices are Cactus (V6 II + RF60X), Godox (XPro-P + one of their supported lights), or Phottix (Odin II for Pentax + Mitros flash).

Both Godox and Phottix would allow you to grow the sysytem by adding strobes but I only know of confirmed success with the Cactus system.

The Godox trigger can only be preordered at this stage and most lights will need firmware updates before they'll work with Pentax.

P.S.: You could also remote control your existing flash using both HSS and P-TTL with the Cactus trigger, but you'd have to buy two units then and use one as the receiver for the flash.
09-13-2018, 02:50 AM   #4
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Have a look at Cactus (HOME | CACTUS). It seems a complete system, compatible with Pentax camera's and Pentax flashes and is expandable with speedlites as well as studio strobes.

09-13-2018, 04:24 AM   #5
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Certainly recommend the Cactus V6ii with the RF60x
09-13-2018, 04:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrclSchprs Quote
...and is expandable with speedlites as well as studio strobes.
That would have been the case, if the RQ250 project had received sufficient funding during its Kickstarter campaign.

However, you may be right after all, as Aurora Lite Bank have just announced a Cactus trigger compatible studio strobe.

P.S.: Of course every studio strobe with a sync-port can technically work with the Cactus trigger system but such a connection would only support pure triggering. Remote power control, HSS, and P-TTL are only supported if the strobe has a built-in Cactus trigger.
09-13-2018, 11:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete Prue Quote
Hi all,

I have a K3-II and now want to get myself a portable lighting setup for portrait and some wedding work.
However I'm getting myself bogged down in the choices and would love some input from those with some experience in this area.
I'm considering Yongnuo as I've read in a forum here that the YN560-TX II flash remote for Nikon also works with Pentax (this is in a thread from 2014). I was looking at pairing this with a couple of YN 560-III speedlites. I would need HSS functionality though and are unsure if this is possible or if there is a better choice from Yongnuo or others that I should consider.

looking forward to the enlightenment...

Cheers,
Pete

P.S. My main flash is a AF-540 FGZ
No HSS or TTL with the YN560III's. But both the YN560 TX Remote / Trigger and RF603II Nikon versions work well. I'm of the opinion that you'll eventually find yourself using Manual mode but I could be completely wrong.


I have both a speed light kit (YN) and a monolight kit (Buff). Since your just starting, you might consider the Godox / Flashpoint 200 's. Wouldn't work for me in a dance studio lighting up a large area with light eating grids and 1200 exposures but okay for most portrait sessions. I'm a happy camper with my gear which includes a kit my favorite lights, a half dozen Mole Richardson Tungsten Fresnels - no TTL or HHS there either

Last edited by Brooke Meyer; 09-13-2018 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Correct spelling
09-13-2018, 02:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the awesome responses! Now have a couple of questions...

If I wanted to utilise my existing AF-540 FGZ in the system, would I need to have a Catus V6II on both the camera and another attached to the remote AF-540 FGZ as well?

And at this stage I'm not entertaining the use of studio strobes (however it would be good to have this option open for the future), but would want another one or two remotely controllable speedlites in the mix in addition to the AF-540 FGZ. Is this even possible? To use say two RF60X units in conjunction with my AF-540 FGZ. I assume I don't need separate controllers for the RF60Xs as these would be built into the units right?

Cheers

09-13-2018, 02:51 PM   #9
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disclaimer: not a Pentax shooter or pro wedding photog; just a hobbyist photographer/ex professional techwriter who spends waaay too much time on messageboards sussing out radio flash systems for the fun of it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Pete Prue Quote
If I wanted to utilise my existing AF-540 FGZ in the system, would I need to have a Catus V6II on both the camera and another attached to the remote AF-540 FGZ as well?
Yes. You'd need another transceiver to attach to the foot of the flash to act as a receiver. For the Cactus system, that would be another V6II; for Yongnuo's 560/60x system, that would be an RF-603 II or RF-605 (but. The YN-560-TX cannot control the power of a flash mounted on top of either; it can only fire and with the 605, do a group on/off).

QuoteQuote:
And at this stage I'm not entertaining the use of studio strobes (however it would be good to have this option open for the future), but would want another one or two remotely controllable speedlites in the mix in addition to the AF-540 FGZ. Is this even possible? To use say two RF60X units in conjunction with my AF-540 FGZ. I assume I don't need separate controllers for the RF60Xs as these would be built into the units right?
Correct. You can just add the RF60X flashes as off-camera radio slaves. The other main distinction between them and your AF-540 FGZ, however, is that you cannot use them on-camera as a TTL flash. They're only TTL/HSS as radio slaves, because they are single-pin flashes. On-camera they're manual-only.

If you are contemplating shooting weddings professionally (not sure from your original post), there may be something you haven't considered, which is backup gear (see also how Jeff Ascough preps to shoot a wedding). Professional event shooting tends to require it, because nobody's going to reschedule an event because the photographer's camera/cards/flash/lens got broken/had an error/got corrupted/doesn't work/has a flat battery. So you are going to have to think in terms of redundancy with camera bodies, lenses, and flash gear. (Why you are happy to have dual card slots in your K-3). Keep in mind a Cactus RF60X cannot be an on-camera TTL/bounce backup to your Pentax speedlight.

If you're just a hobbyist, though, then no big.

Also, consider if you want to use on-camera and off-camera at the same time. This is actually a pretty common scenario for some pro wedding shooters, where they place off-camera lights around the floor to supplement usually less-than-stellar lighting, but still have an on-camera TTL speedlight for run'n'gun bouncing. With the Cactus system, you'll have to sandwich a V6II between the camera and your AF-540 FGZ to accomplish this with off-camera lights. And the size of the venue often determines the size of the light you need. Hence the consideration for larger lights coming into it.

If it turns out you're wrong and you do need larger lights, the Cactus triggers can be cabled to studio strobes, but they then become manual-only triggers.

This is why everyone's waiting for Cactus to have bigger lights in the system, and to see what Godox is going to put out. At this time, when the ($70) Xpro-P is released, we know that the AD600 series studio strobes have firmware updates to be TTL/HSS compatible with it, and if there aren't any bugs, then the $65 TT-600 and $140 V850II manual-only speedlights should have HSS and power control as radio slaves. If Godox releases TTL TT685-P and V860II-P models, they're likely to be $110 and $180, respectively (the price for the other flavor versions). And the V860II uses a li-on battery pack (~$40), which has the capacity of roughly three sets of 4xAA. So, if you cover an all-day event, like a wedding, that means changing batteries 1/3 as often, and recharging 1/12 the number of batteries you normally would with AAs. If you're using two or three flashes, this can be a not-inconsiderable simplification of battery handling.

Cactus doesn't make li-on flashes. Yongnuo does (see: YN-720 and newly announced YN-560Li), but they'd be manual-only to a Pentax shooter.

Only firmware updates are required to get the AD200, AD360II, and other-flavor TT685/V860II models to work as TTL/HSS slaves from an Xpro-P. But, of course, at this time, those firmware updates don't yet exist, so if you need something now, Cactus is your best solution. Right now, I believe that Pentax folks with Godox lights are currently having to stack Godox and Cactus triggers to use them as non-TTL HSS off-camera lights.
09-15-2018, 02:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by inkista Quote

If you are contemplating shooting weddings professionally (not sure from your original post), there may be something you haven't considered, which is backup gear (see also how Jeff Ascough preps to shoot a wedding). Professional event shooting tends to require it, because nobody's going to reschedule an event because the photographer's camera/cards/flash/lens got broken/had an error/got corrupted/doesn't work/has a flat battery. So you are going to have to think in terms of redundancy with camera bodies, lenses, and flash gear. (Why you are happy to have dual card slots in your K-3). Keep in mind a Cactus RF60X cannot be an on-camera TTL/bounce backup to your Pentax speedlight.
Thanks for those confirmations inkista, very helpful.

I do have backup gear, body & lenses, but you make a very good point re the RF60X not being able to be used on the camera. Having given this some thought I am now considering purchasing an additional AF-540 or 360 FGZ rather than the RF60X to provide redundancy in this area as well. It will mean purchasing another trigger but the extra redundancy may be worth it.
09-15-2018, 08:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete Prue Quote
Thanks for those confirmations inkista, very helpful.

I do have backup gear, body & lenses, but you make a very good point re the RF60X not being able to be used on the camera. Having given this some thought I am now considering purchasing an additional AF-540 or 360 FGZ rather than the RF60X to provide redundancy in this area as well. It will mean purchasing another trigger but the extra redundancy may be worth it.
Rental is another option. I love the lensrentals FWIGTEW post.
09-16-2018, 01:29 AM   #12
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I believe I have just realised something that will negate the need for me to purchase the RF60X unit. I had forgotten that I already have a Sigma EF-610 Dg Super (Pentax shoe) languishing in a dark corner. Looking into the cross-brand capabilities of the Cactus V6II I believe that I would be able to utilise this flash simply by hooking it up to a V6II - too easy!
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