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11-23-2021, 10:31 PM   #1
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Wireless flash trigger/receiver options for Pentax

I currently own a 540FGZ and 360FGZ (version I for both) as well as two older Quantaray/Promaster flashes that I used in my film days. Im aware - and regularly use, the 540/360 for wireless off camera use, being triggered by the pop up flash on my K-5. Recently the pop-up flash has been problematic/testy with recharging, and in many of my setups, I need/use two wireless flashes to provide the lighting for my shots. This has led me to look into radio triggers that are suitable for Pentax users.

From my research, it looks like our best option - Cactus - is no longer in production. While I can still find them being sold, I hesitate a bit investing into a system that may not function properly with future bodies/flashes that get released. It also looks like Godox (or Adorama/Flashpoint) doesnt make any receivers that utilize P-TTL and instead builds it into their own brand of flashes (which I dont need, nor wish to invest in). That leaves me with manual radio triggers...

Ive looked at getting some of the Flashpoint brand manual transceivers - https://www.adorama.com/fprrr2sptk.html? - but had a few additional questions before I make the plunge:

Are there any radio triggers/receivers on the market that utilize P-TTL (not an absolute must, but would be nice to have)?
If I go the route of the Flashpoint manual transceivers, is there any benefit to using the Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II transmitter (https://www.adorama.com/fprrr2propii.html) vs one of the manual transceivers on the camera as the wireless transmitter?

11-23-2021, 10:59 PM   #2
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If you can still find V6ii being sold, I would guess that may still be your best bet. You will give up possible forward compatibility, but it seems like any other option gives up on P-TTL. Cactus is gone yes, but the V6ii still works very well right now.

That was my conclusion, and I just got a good deal on ebay on some open box V6iis. It's especially nice that it's not a Pentax specific item, so much bigger market for finding NOS or hardly-used examples. I did find what everyone says about build quality (plasticky-mediocre) to be true, so I might be hesitant to buy used used.
Discontinued vintage items are not strange to me, and some of my favorite lenses aren't made or serviced any more. Likewise, I will be using my Metz and Cactus gear as long as it works for me. I'm not sure there's anything else on the market today I'd rather have, either.

Just one opinion, of course. I get the arguments against buying discontinued gear.
11-23-2021, 11:56 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
If I go the route of the Flashpoint manual transceivers, is there any benefit to using the Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II transmitter (https://www.adorama.com/fprrr2propii.html?) vs one of the manual transceivers on the camera as the wireless transmitter?
The single-point units are just that and will fire non-Godox product as dumb flash. The R2 Pro Mark II is a controller that is capable of emulating a P-TTL flash. As such, it is able to translate that emulation into Godox protocol for pre-flash TTL to control automated flash. The R2 Pro is capable of controlling non-TTL flash and will also fire single-point units as manual components in a larger setup,, but a single-point unit on-camera is a dead-end except to fire other single-point units.

I don't own the R2 Pro, though I do have the R2 Mark II TTL controller for Pentax (X2T-P). Which one is preferable depends on your work flow. If you have any interest in doing radio wireless TTL flash from your Pentax dSLR. Having a Flashpoint/Godox controller and a handful of their TTL flashes is probably the least costly option at present.

In regards to the Flashpoint/Godox single-pin transceivers, they are a bargain at their current price point given the easy interoperability with the Godox system. If not for that coincidence, I might suggest taking a hard look at the Yongnuo products if wireless control without TTL is acceptable. I own the YN560-TX II, a couple of YN560III wireless speedlights, and a bevy of RF603 II simple transceivers for single-pin units and remote camera shutter triggers and could not be happier with the kit.

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11-24-2021, 10:19 AM   #4
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The good news might be that some flashes are coming with radio triggers these days. You need something on the sending end, but the receiver is built into the flash. Flashpoint is one maker who is entering this field. This still precludes use with your existing flashes unless you come up with a separate radio trigger system.

https://www.adorama.com/fplfsmminip.html?

https://www.adorama.com/fprrr2propn.html

11-24-2021, 01:24 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
The good news might be that some flashes are coming with radio triggers these days. You need something on the sending end, but the receiver is built into the flash. Flashpoint is one maker who is entering this field. This still precludes use with your existing flashes unle
Support for radio trigger/control is pervasive with current product, even at the moderate price points for generic single point flash. I can remote control most features (output, zoom, optical slave, and multi) on my Yongnuo YN560III speedlights using a YN560-TX II controller on the camera hot shoe. Flashpoint/Godox provides similar support for their fully manual Zoom R2/TT600 product at a very attractive price point (~$60 USD).


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12-08-2021, 02:02 PM   #6
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I have a couple of Cactus Triggers including the V6ii (and flashes) and am pleased with the performance and compatibility with Pentax. So disappointing to see they have ceased operation.
12-11-2021, 11:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
Are there any radio triggers/receivers on the market that utilize P-TTL (not an absolute must, but would be nice to have)?
How goes your search? As always I am curious as to what fits people's needs.


Steve

12-12-2021, 07:25 AM   #8
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While not a trigger per se, the Yongnuo YN585EX Speedlite for Pentax (about $90.00) can be used off camera in P-TTL mode when triggered optically by a 540FGZ or 360FGZ Pentax flash on the hot shoe. Unlike those Pentax flashes, it doesn't have high speed sync, nor can it be used as the Master/Controller for the Pentax flashes,
12-14-2021, 07:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
How goes your search? As always I am curious as to what fits people's needs.


Steve

Still ongoing at the moment. There isnt a solution that checks all of the boxes of things Im looking for, so I havent made a decision or investment yet.
12-18-2021, 02:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxScott Quote
From my research, it looks like our best option - Cactus - is no longer in production. While I can still find them being sold, I hesitate a bit investing into a system that may not function properly with future bodies/flashes that get released. It also looks like Godox (or Adorama/Flashpoint) doesn't make any receivers that utilize P-TTL and instead builds it into their own brand of flashes (which I dont need, nor wish to invest in). That leaves me with manual radio triggers...
Pretty much the scenario as I see it. While Cactus wasn't the only game in town for P-TTL radio triggering, it was the best system that survived up until recently. Triggers like the Aokatec AK-TTL and Acon R930 disappeared long before the V6iis.

QuoteQuote:
...Are there any radio triggers/receivers on the market that utilize P-TTL (not an absolute must, but would be nice to have)?
Aside from Godox's X system, Phottix Odin II, and Elinchrom's Transmitter PRO transmitters? Not that I know of. And the problem with those, (as you've figured out) is no matching P-TTL speedlight receivers in the systems; they're meant for same-brand strobes, not so much legacy OEM speedlight use.

QuoteQuote:
If I go the route of the Flashpoint manual transceivers, is there any benefit to using the Flashpoint R2 Pro Mark II transmitter (https://www.adorama.com/fprrr2propii.html?) vs one of the manual transceivers on the camera as the wireless transmitter?
Not really, other than the UI being nicer (bigger screen shows five groups at a time) and maaaybe? having bluetooth/app control to the transmitter to turn groups on/off remotely from your phone.

However. I will point out a Godox TT600 speedlight is only $65. It is not TTL-capable. But the built-in transceiver will give you, with an R2 Pro II, remote M power control by group, group on/off, and (unlike a YN-560 IV and YN-560-TX) HSS control over the flash. So you're not stuck with only remote firing and the cost isn't that much higher than an add-on radio trigger.

A Godox TT685-C (for Canon; and weirdly only the Canon version) speedlight is $110. It cannot be used in TTL/HSS on a Pentax hotshoe, but properly firmware updated, it can be used off-camera over radio with TTL/M remote power control by group, group on/off, HSS, and remote zoom control. If you have a Pro transmitter, it will do TCM [TTL Convert to Manual; TTL locking]. (All the "flavors" of the V860 II ($180) can also be firmware updated this way as well, but same limitations of the foot not matching the Pentax hotshoe).

Using the Godox system more or less requires you to use their speedlights. But their speedlights can be really affordable. I get the reluctance to go there. But I honestly think it may be your best option at this point if you want P-TTL over radio. And the convenience of a built-in transceiver, rather than one you have to remember to pack (with additional batteries), and then sandwich between the flash and a lightstand is possibly worth the additional cost. Built-in triggers make for simpler/faster/more robust off-camera flash setups.
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