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09-24-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
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Cactus V6II - can't get my Sigma EF-610 sorted...

Hi all,
I have just received my three V6II triggers and are super excited to get using them. I have two flashes, a Pentax AF-540 FGZ and a Sigma EF-610 DG Super.
The AF-540 works perfectly but I am having issues with the EF-610. I have selected the Sigma 610 profile in the V6II but although the flash was firing I was not getting any exposure from the flash, i.e. it and the camera were out of sync (or so I believe). I then went into the delay settings of the V6II attached to the Sigma flash (RX) and set the delay to 100ms. Now I have exposure but, no matter what EV I set on the on camera V6II (TX), they are all the same - very overexposed, plus there does not appear to be any difference between the set EV values.
Appreciate your time in reading this and hope you may be able to help....
Cheers,
Pete

09-24-2018, 10:22 PM   #2
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Commenting primarily to see what comments come in.

What are you intending the Sigma EF-610 DG Super to do? X-TTL? Remote power control?

FWIW, the EF-610 DG Super is not explicitly supported for Pentax, according to the Cactus compatibility matrix (LINK) though it may auto-detect as Pentax-system.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-24-2018 at 10:34 PM.
09-24-2018, 10:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
What are you intending the Sigma EF-610 DG Super to do? X-TTL? Remote power control?
The V6II has a profile installed for the Sigma EF-610 and is noted in the compatibility chart although it does state - Support up to X-sync shutter speed.

I wish to use TTL metering if at all possible but would be happy with being able to manually control the flash output via the V6II (TX)
09-24-2018, 11:49 PM   #4
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A delay suggests the Sigma might be firing triggered by an optical signal (the pre-flash from the Pentax) .... Check there is no optical slave mode activated on the Sigma and that it is set to P-TTL mode.

Also you should confirm the exact firmwares you are using and the sync mode on the Tx.....

09-25-2018, 02:14 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
A delay suggests the Sigma might be firing triggered by an optical signal (the pre-flash from the Pentax) .... Check there is no optical slave mode activated on the Sigma and that it is set to P-TTL mode.

Also you should confirm the exact firmwares you are using and the sync mode on the Tx.....
There is no flash on the camera, just one V6II set to TX, so no optical signal. Plus the Sigma is set to P-TTL

The firmware of the V6II units is Pen.A.003, firmware of the K3II is Ver 1.10

I am now able to get the flash syncing - by that I mean the camera now captures the flash firing, by setting the delay to 108ms and above. Note that the slower I go, 108ms+, the brighter the resulting exposure from the flash, plus irrespective of whether the RX (flash) and TX are set to TTL or to a manual output. I've now managed to get the manual output working, or at least the output fractions on the TX and RX are matching - but the output is always the same.
09-25-2018, 06:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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A delay setting should not be any part of this ....a delay is not for normal radio operations, so there should not be any delay set.

Can you confirm that the power switch on the V6II on the flash (the receiving trigger) is set to RX mode ....
Also we'd better see the exact profiles you have set for Camera system and Flash system (Tx) and Flash system plus flash model (Rx).

Your V6IIs do not seem to be having correct control over the flash, so it seems likely to be an issue with compatabilities, profiles or connections. You should work through troubleshooting each of these three main areas to narrow it down

Regarding connections, I find I do have to turn the locking lever on the V6II quite firmly to fully secure it. Regarding compatability you may need to address a question on the Cactus Community Forum to get confirmation if your flash is tested as compatible, and if so what profiles should be used.

Last edited by mcgregni; 09-25-2018 at 06:58 AM.
09-25-2018, 09:51 AM   #7
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If I were you, I'd try an older firmware version, e.g. PEN.A.001. You could even try the multi-brand variant, e.g., V1.1.013.

If any of these work with your Sigma flash then you pretty much know that the fault has been introduced with a firmware update.

I see no harm in trying that while you are waiting for a response from Cactus.

P.S.: I concur with mcgregni. The fact that you need to use a delay in order to achieve correct synchronisation suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong.
09-25-2018, 10:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pete Prue Quote
The V6II has a profile installed for the Sigma EF-610 and is noted in the compatibility chart although it does state - Support up to X-sync shutter speed.

I wish to use TTL metering if at all possible but would be happy with being able to manually control the flash output via the V6II (TX)
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
P.S.: I concur with mcgregni. The fact that you need to use a delay in order to achieve correct synchronisation suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong.
This ^^^

I should keep my mouth shut, not being a V6II owner, but will add my 2-cents anyway. The EF-610 DG Super is officially supported for Nikon and Sigma versions of the flash only. That does not mean it can't be used. The proof of the pudding is whether the V6II will auto detect the Pentax version of the flash as Pentax-compatible (per the user guide for RX mode flash setup).* It may also be possible to manually select Pentax in the manner suggested for Metz flashes.

It appears that you may have set the RX up for Sigma protocol, hence the mismatch.


Steve

* I do own the EF-610 DG Super (Pentax version) and can confirm its high degree of Pentax P-TTL and dedicated feature compatibility. As a result, it may well auto-detect just fine.


Last edited by stevebrot; 09-25-2018 at 10:13 AM.
09-25-2018, 10:46 AM   #9
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That could be it yes .... The "Flash System" in this case is Pentax, not Sigma. The flash model is Sigma, but if it is not specifically listed within the Pentax system profiles then, as Steve said, an auto profile may work.
09-27-2018, 02:30 AM   #10
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I'm getting closer to having this sorted now thanks to the advice and suggestions I've received to date. Thanks Class A, stevebot & mcgregni.

Perhaps my biggest mistake was in setting the 'Flash System' as Sigma and then assigning the Sigma EF-610 DG profile thinking this is what was required. What I should have done, and have now done, is set the 'Flash System' to Pentax and then assign the 'Pentax Auto' profile. However even with this done it took changing the V6II firmware from PEN.A.003 to PEN.A.002 to be able to both sync the flash and alter the power output.

So... now I can change the power output on the Sigma EF-610 DG Super just as I can on the AF-540 FGZ. It will even work with TTL...

BUT the resulting exposures are all about three to four stops overexposed across the different exposure values!?

TTL is obviously working, it's affecting the output in a uniform way across the EV - but the calibration between the K3II and the V6II+Sigma EF-610 DG Super is out. So I believe I now will have to customize a profile via the Cactus Profile Editor to recalibrate the V6II to somehow reduce the difference in EV.

I'll update with the results of this in the next day or two

---------- Post added 09-27-18 at 09:49 PM ----------

Ok, so I tried creating a custom profile in the 'Cactus Profile Editor' for the V6II (RX) but this only seems to reduce the output of the flash when using it in manual mode, and makes no difference the overexposure problem when using TTL.

Is there anything else I can try?
09-27-2018, 03:27 AM   #11
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Have you checked whether you have set a positive flash exposure compensation on the Sigma EF-610 DG Super?
It should be neutral. If there is no positive flash exposure compensation set, check if you can perhaps dial in a negative one.

In any event, using a negative exposure on the V6II transmitter on the group the Sigma is assigned to, should fix your problem as well.
The idea of power settings in TTL mode is that they are relative "modifiers", equivalent to flash compensation values one would set on the flash itself or per-flash settings on the camera (for systems, like Canon's, that support this).
09-27-2018, 03:52 AM   #12
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Yes, but the interesting thing I have found is the psychology of it ....people seem to expect and want "0.0" to equate to the flash exposure value they prefer for each shot, every time!

I do agree that mostly it is very likely to equate, I do find that, but of course it should not be expected in every situation. What makes for efficient P-TTL working is to gain a sense of how the flash metering responds to a range of circumstances (light distribution in the scene, subject framing for example) and anticipate the needed compensation before taking a first shot. (which may be test shot anyway, but successful anticipation turns it into a good capture).

I know in this case, where it's quite a big variation, it's disconcerting and annoying to feel that there is something not right, a calibration issue .... But we ClassA says, it's ok to apply a standard permanent adjustment to "bring it back" . The main thing is to have consistent and accurate control in all situations.
09-27-2018, 04:34 PM   #13
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Thank for your continued interest guys, it gives me hope!

QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Have you checked whether you have set a positive flash exposure compensation on the Sigma EF-610 DG Super?
It should be neutral. If there is no positive flash exposure compensation set, check if you can perhaps dial in a negative one.
In any event, using a negative exposure on the V6II transmitter on the group the Sigma is assigned to, should fix your problem as well.
The idea of power settings in TTL mode is that they are relative "modifiers", equivalent to flash compensation values one would set on the flash itself or per-flash settings on the camera (for systems, like Canon's, that support this).
Yes, there's no exposure compensation set on the Sigma EF-610 DG Super. If I do dial in some negative EV (max -3.0) on the Sigma plus have the V6II set at -5.0 EV, I can obtain an exposure that is 'averagely' exposed when using TTL; so I was under rating the difference when I said it was 3-4 stops out. If I then also add -2.0 stops EV on the K3 flash metering then I can at last achieve an underexposed image. Of course the problem here is that the K3 flash EV would also be applied to my other flash/es as well wish is less than ideal.

The problem seems to be that the V6II's starting point - the 'Pentax Auto Profile' is for a flash with a much lower guide number; the EF-610 DG Super's is 61 @ 105mm.

Note that using a custom profile only makes a change to the manually set flash output, it makes no difference when using TTL.
09-27-2018, 09:37 PM   #14
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So to achieve the lighting ratio you wish, why not just put them in manual and adjust the power on each? Since you have to make exposure compensation changes anyway, at least it will be predictable and consistent without introducing more variables. Read this thread and it appears to me the recommended solutions require eating a cracker (biscuit) and whistling, simultaneously.

Establish your ambient exposure, set your key (main light) position and exposure, then adjust. You're going to adjust position anyway, direction is essential. Then add fill and adjust power.
09-27-2018, 10:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
So to achieve the lighting ratio you wish, why not just put them in manual and adjust the power on each? Since you have to make exposure compensation changes anyway, at least it will be predictable and consistent without introducing more variables. Read this thread and it appears to me the recommended solutions require eating a cracker (biscuit) and whistling, simultaneously.

Establish your ambient exposure, set your key (main light) position and exposure, then adjust. You're going to adjust position anyway, direction is essential. Then add fill and adjust power.
Totally agree Brooke. I expect even with TTL working on the Sigma I would be using manual in most situations. I just expected (hoped) the V6II to work, rightly or wrongly, with the EF-610
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