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03-13-2016, 09:14 PM   #1
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645z - Wireless Flash Setup

Okay, newbie question here. Need some help setting up a wireless flash system for my 645Z. I'd like to be able to have the flash being held by an assistant several feet away from the camera. Just need a transceiver and flash unit that will work well with each other.

Flash Unit: Either the 360FGZ II or 540FGZ II, haven't decided yet.
Transceiver on 645Z Body: Cactus V6 or PocketWizard III, whichever is most compatible with the Pentax flashes mentioned above.

I've read that with the Cactus V6, I would also need a V6 attached to my flash unit for them to communicate with each other. Is this the same with the PocketWizard? Any help is tremendously appreciated, thank you!

03-13-2016, 09:32 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by CPhoto Quote
I've read that with the Cactus V6, I would also need a V6 attached to my flash unit for them to communicate with each other. Is this the same with the PocketWizard?
Yes. Wireless flash of the radio frequency sort requires both a transmitter on the camera and a receiver on the flash. The Cactus units are actually transceivers, meaning they have both the transmitter and receiver in the same unit. You set one to 'transmit' and the other to 'receive'. Gives you a little more flexibility in some situations.

The Cactus v6 units also give you the ability to control flash power from the camera which I do not think the PocketWizards do. But in your situation that might not make any difference since you can just tell your assistant to adjust as you need.

Neither unit will be more 'compatible' with Pentax, they are just going to transmit the fire signal. The Cactus will likely be much cheaper, the PocketWizards are used in many studios so that might be a consideration if you use those facilities.

---------- Post added 03-13-16 at 09:35 PM ----------

Also if you go with the Cactus, consider the Cactus RF-60 flash which contains one transceiver unit and thus saves you the cost of a receiver on the flash.

Adorama is currently running a special with one V6 transceiver and one RF-60 flash for $169
03-13-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
The Cactus v6 units also give you the ability to control flash power from the camera which I do not think the PocketWizards do. But in your situation that might not make any difference since you can just tell your assistant to adjust as you need.

Adorama is currently running a special with one V6 transceiver and one RF-60 flash for $169
This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you so much for the helpful advice! I'll probably get on that V6 transceiver and flash deal, thanks for the heads up!

And I only need 1 flash for now. So if I want to add more flashes, I could just buy more V6s to control the flashes and the V6 on the camera body will control the whole lot of them, right?
03-13-2016, 10:53 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CPhoto Quote
and the V6 on the camera body will control the whole lot of them, right?
Yes, more or less. One v6 trigger can control 4 groups of flashes.

I'm not sure what the absolute maximum number of flashes you may be able to control from one v6 transceiver, but each transceiver does support 16 channels ...

You may want to have a look at this review of the Cactus v6 for the full Cactus v6 story:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...er-review.html

If you need a radio trigger that also supports P-TTL and HSS, there is also this option for USD$120 a pair:


acon-photo - wonderful photography

03-13-2016, 10:58 PM   #5
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If you buy additional cactus rf-60 flashes you only need the flash not the v6 as the flash has a v6 built in. But if you have or buy additional non-cactus flashes then you need a v6 for each of those.

You do need one v6 on the camera of course.
03-14-2016, 01:05 AM   #6
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I highly recommend the Cactus RF60s for 645D/Z users because they have a feature called Sympathetic HSS. Since the 645 series has a max sync speed of only 1/125th the ability to use HSS is much more important than on faster syncing cameras. You might still want to invest in an AF360 or 540 to sit on top of the camera, but there is a way to make HSS work even without a master/controller flash. Details are here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...ml#post3273245
03-14-2016, 09:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by CPhoto Quote
Okay, newbie question here. Need some help setting up a wireless flash system for my 645Z. I'd like to be able to have the flash being held by an assistant several feet away from the camera. Just need a transceiver and flash unit that will work well with each other.

Flash Unit: Either the 360FGZ II or 540FGZ II, haven't decided yet.
Transceiver on 645Z Body: Cactus V6 or PocketWizard III, whichever is most compatible with the Pentax flashes mentioned above.

I've read that with the Cactus V6, I would also need a V6 attached to my flash unit for them to communicate with each other. Is this the same with the PocketWizard? Any help is tremendously appreciated, thank you!
I have a complete Cactus system. My flashes are the Pentax 540, Metz 52 AF-1 and Cactus' own RF60 unit. It works fine for studio work. I like the Cactus flash units because they have the receiver built into the unit. For your Pentax 540, you will need a V6 receiver to make the unit talk to the V6 sender on the camera. Is the system bullet proof? no it is not. It does have the occasional misfire but given the cost of the total system, anything more robust will cost a lot more. I have also used the system on location with good results.

My system started out with one Cactus RF60 unit and I eventually added two more units. I find myself using the Pentax and the Metz less often. Cactus RF60 is a manual flash with no automation. For multi-flash manually controlled lighting system, the Cactus delivers. BTW, my camera is the K3.
03-14-2016, 01:27 PM   #8
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Hard not to add another positive voice to what seems to be a Cactus walkover! I have a mixed Pentax dedicated system flash and Cactus system, and find they complement each other very well, and even work together at the same time very well in fact. I often now use a manually controlled RF60 (controlled from the V6 on the camera) plus a P-TTL flash as fill from on top of the V6 ..... And this can even be triggering a third flash, another Pentax, in wireless P-TTL or manual.

The decision of which flash and which exposure mode to place into each specific scenario and role depends on the need, convenience and whether there is line of sight for the optical triggering or not. Usually I find I like manual control for the main light, but its not always necessary, and fill is always successful as an automatic exposure. But, my next extra flash will probably be a second RF60 to give me two fully manual controlled units. The RF60 /V6 combination offers the extra convenience of remote control of the flash head zoom as well as power.


I do a lot of on-camera bounce flash, and I need P-TTL for that, so the Pentax AF-540s are in regular service, and I also depend on them for HSS work, including as the trigger for the Cactus in HSS sympathy mode.

03-14-2016, 11:09 PM   #9
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Thank you all so much for the information! I think I'll start with the Cactus flash system for now, as my first flash and then move up to the Pentax flashes when my setups become more complicated.
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