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12-10-2017, 09:57 AM   #1
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Question about the use of Wireless Triggers for Pentax Flashes

Hello,
I'm struggling to learn how to properly use multiple flashes for these holiday parties. I'll keep at it though. One of my biggest gripes is having to reset the flashes after they've got to sleep. So I have a few questions the Cactus Triggers before I pull the trigger on ordering several v6II triggers (sorry for the pun)...
1. Will the triggers wake the flashes up and put the flashes back into the power setting that's set on the trigger? I think I'm over thinking this - won't the triggers just wake the flashes and set the power setting based on the group I've activated?
2. For HSS, to minimize my out of pocket cost, can I get 2 v6II and 2 v6 (I have 3 Pentax flashes). I keep hearing that the V6 will eventually support HSS. I've never worked with Cactus as a company so I'm not really sure what I should expect with firmware updates.

Thanks!

12-10-2017, 10:59 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lazarustx Quote
I keep hearing that the V6 will eventually support HSS.
I have not heard that, in fact I thought they said the opposite. I could be wrong but I have a V6 and thought it not ever be HSS capable.

I have not specifically tried to see if the Cactus trigger will wake up the flash. But I have shot for quite long sessions and had no issues. Maybe I was just lucky? I'll set mine up and give it a try and see what happens.

---------- Post added 12-10-17 at 10:59 AM ----------

Ok, so I set the flash and trigger up and tested for functionality. Then walked away for 1 hour, well 55 minutes. Both flash and trigger have gone to sleep. Take a test shot and the flash does NOT wake up. Not sure if the 'go to sleep' has a length setting on it, that might be something to look into. It was longer than 15 minutes on mine.
12-10-2017, 12:16 PM   #3
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Pentax flash has a setting to disable sleep. I am pretty sure the cactus unit has settings too, probably one of those will disable the sleep too.

So far cactus have been very proactive in delivering new features for their triggers, the most recent being the P-TTL functionality.
12-10-2017, 12:36 PM   #4
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I just checked and the RF-60 has a selectable sleep timer. From 5 minutes to 60 minutes.

12-10-2017, 02:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
My solution would be multiple YN560III Flashes with built-in Wi-Fi receivers for $58ea at B&H plus a $38 YN560TX Remote / Trigger
Can this do HSS?
12-10-2017, 03:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Can this do HSS?
Nup.
12-10-2017, 04:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Nup.
....
12-10-2017, 10:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
somehow, HSS has embedded itself in conventional photography wisdom as a must have feature.
Not to me, no idea what to use it for or why. But the OP specified they wanted a flash that could do HSS. Not for me to wonder why.............

12-11-2017, 07:38 AM   #9
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Just to clarify one point .. The original V6 will not ever be able to act as a Rx for HSS in combination with the V6II. This is a physical limitation due to it being a single pin device.

Cactus have promised that a future firmware update for the V6 that will allow it to function as a Rx for Manual mode in combination with the new X-TTL software in the Tx V6II .... In other words to combine TTL and manual flashes in the same setup if wanted.

Regarding the wider choices we face, let's be practical and remember that we mostly don't start from a zero position ..... We usually are looking to build on the features and increase the versatility of equipment we already have. By this way we aim to get new value our of that existing gear. So new trigger technology that brings P-TTL flashes into the Radio P-TTL / HSS fold is understandably desirable, given that there is no expense for the flashes themselves. In my case I decided to build on my Cactus system and add an additional RF60x flash, giving me a 2-flash Radio P-TTL setup.

So the OPs idea of building on the existing Pentax flash system is logical. There are cheaper ways of course, but each approach still has it's learning stages to go through and potential pitfalls.

Last edited by mcgregni; 12-11-2017 at 08:09 AM.
12-11-2017, 07:53 AM   #10
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@Jatrax - Thanks for checking this for me! I had assumed this would resolve one of my issues.

@Brook Meyer, Haha, don't give up...Your feedback as much as everyone else's was useful here.... I always appreciate a different way out especially if it can save me money. Although, the last time I looked at some filters they weren't that cheap.

So a bit of clarification:
- I have multiple Pentax flashes since I've found them at discounted rates in local shops or while traveling. No special need for all this lighting except that I've been asked to take some photos for buddies at their poorly lit homes. Time to put them to use...

- So I understand that the use of triggers won't save batteries on the flash since they won't wake up the flashes. OK Time to disable sleep mode and see if I can live with that..

- HSS point...This is only relevant for summer party pictures, and because my mentor insists that I look into it. However, he's not shooting Pentax and his flashes don't require extra hardware.

Great feedback over all. So thank you!
Regards,
Rodney
12-11-2017, 09:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
You have no idea what to use HSS for or why. I explain how he can use a No. 2 pencil which is a lot less than a Space Pen but he specified a Space Pen so I got multiple comments pointing out the fact that my solution isn't HSS. I surrender
@Brooke Meyer, thank you for your contribution and explanation. If my comment after yours was interpreted as a dig at you my apologizes, it was not. The OP specifically asked about the Cactus brand and HSS. Your reply struck me as funny since you suggested the Yongnuo which is a strong competitor of the Cactus equipment and I just wanted to clarify for the OP (if HSS was really important to him) that the Yongnuo does not do HSS. Your suggestion of using an ND filter as a work around solves that issue and allows use of most any flash gear in that situation. As I already noted I do not use HSS so can not have any opinion on what other methods would work to achieve the same effect.
12-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lazarustx Quote
- I have multiple Pentax flashes since I've found them at discounted rates in local shops or while traveling. No special need for all this lighting except that I've been asked to take some photos for buddies at their poorly lit homes. Time to put them to use...
The cheapest and easiest way to trigger the flashes would be to use the popup camera flash as a trigger. You then set your flashes in slave mode, which also solve the sleep problem since in this mode the flashes don't go to sleep for something like 60 minutes... If your camera doesn't support wireless mode from the popup flash, you can use one of your flashes in control mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by lazarustx Quote
- HSS point...This is only relevant for summer party pictures, and because my mentor insists that I look into it. However, he's not shooting Pentax and his flashes don't require extra hardware.
As above, you can use one of your actual flashes as a trigger. This will work in HSS supposing all the flashes, including the controller, support this mode. However this tends to be somewhat unreliable outside on the sunny day since the sunlight can "blind" the flashes from seeing the light from the trigger. YMMV, but you don't need to buy any additional gear and can be good enough for casual shots or experimenting with HSS. Just be sure to keep the flashes in shade of the sun.
12-11-2017, 11:52 AM   #13
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Note that you can never shoot above 1/180s ( on the K-3) or 1/200s (K-1) with a conventonal flash and an ND filter.
12-11-2017, 09:09 PM   #14
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I know I complicated my initial post with very different needs, but that's where I think I'm at...
I have the K1 so I'd have to either use one of my flashes as a trigger (as master or control)....

I'm looking to experiment with HSS since I do some outdoor entertaining (socials) and I think this would be beneficial.
I've had hell of a time setting up the flashes as triggers outdoors. I've spent more time trying to correct the trigger issues due to sunlight, which is why I'm considering the Cactus triggers.

Perhaps I need to do some reading up on ND filters, but I can't see how I might use this at a party event when the dynamics of the shot might change from click to click.

Thanks for all the feedback.
12-11-2017, 09:12 PM   #15
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Radio's the way to go, Lazarus.

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