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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 1 Hour Ago  
Is My Cactus Faulty?
Posted By Class A
Replies: 11
Views: 293
A factory reset would just be the start.

You should then follow up with some tests to narrow down the cause of the issue.
I'll make some suggestions below but note that you could also try to use the multi-brand firmware variant on the V6II and the RF60X. If you don't experience any issues then, you could pretty much exclude any hardware faults.

By the way, stating you are running "the latest" firmware versions is not helpful. No one knows what you think the latest versions are. There is no "give me the latest version" function in the Cactus Firmware Updater. You have to specify the firmware version manually. So I'd always specify the firmware versions/variants explicitly; only then people can check whether your versions are indeed the latest ones and whether they are supposed to work together (there a number of combinations which aren't supposed to work with each other).


It's not normal at all, AFAIC. I've never experienced that and have never heard of it. I believe if it were a common problem, it would have been fixed by now. I'm saying this, because I believe there is hope for you to get rid of all the strange symptoms you are experiencing. In my experience, these are not limitations of the product one has to live with.


I wouldn't expect wonders from that. If you have physical contact issues, it is probably due to an alignment issue, not due to dirty contacts. It is possible that a replacement unit would behave better. IIRC, Cactus made a revision to the male hot-shoe connectors; you could ask them whether your unit (state its serial number) should be OK or whether it may have a problematic hot-shoe connector.


I don't think that means anything. I could be wrong, but I don't think the camera actually receives an explicit confirmation from the flash or trigger.


Just look at the second video you posted. It flashes green every time you press the shutter release button, confirming that the V6II registered that the camera wants to fire the flash.

If you don't see it flashing green, you have a camera<->trigger connection issue. You can probably address it by re-seating the trigger in the hot-shoe but if you encounter this issue frequently, I would suggest a replacement of the trigger.

N.B., you really should try different camera shutter speeds when you have the "no response" issue. It would be informative to learn whether anything changes if you go to a shutter speed below the sync-speed. Also, use the test button. That's part of the reason why it exists. If you don't take these steps, my prediction is that you'll continue to experience the same issues without any clue as to what the cause of them is. In this case, if I were you, I'd just end the ordeal.


It is the "CAMERA INFO" setting. After a factory reset, it will probably be turned on again.

I suggest to leave it on for troubleshooting purposes. While I 100% agree that it should be turned off for normal usage, with the kind of problems you are having, the "CAMERA INFO" screen could be very useful to indicate whether the camera is still communicating with the trigger. If you run into the issue again (flash not firing), change the ISO setting on the camera and see whether the "CAMERA INFO" screen comes up to show the change. If it doesn't, the camera and the trigger are not communicating properly and this means that the trigger will never know if the camera wants to fire a flash or not (definitely not for shutter speeds beyond the sync-speed).


I've never experienced any banding with my RF60 or my Metz 58 AF-2 on a V6II when using normal triggering or HSS. It is possible that it occurs with camera modes I don't use because they are generally less than ideal when using flash. There are quite a number of known issues and limitations when it comes to P-TTL in modes other than "M" and "X", so I wouldn't try to always find the issue in the Cactus corner.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 15 Hours Ago  
Is My Cactus Faulty?
Posted By Class A
Replies: 11
Views: 293
The only potential user error I noticed in your video is to turn on the camera and then have a long pause before you turn on the V6II.

The ordering is correct: First camera then trigger, but you should make sure that the camera is still "active" when you turn on the V6II. Otherwise the V6II may not be successful in communicating with the camera. You can establish a reliable communication by half-tapping the shutter release button on the camera while you turn on the V6II. Increasing the metering timeout period on the camera may help to reduce the need for tapping the shutter-release button.

The other potential problem is that the V6II is not sitting on the hot-shoe correctly. When the trigger becomes unresponsive, try to
  • reduce the shutter speed to be below the HSS-threshold (e.g., to 1/125s) and see whether that makes a difference. Potentially, you'd have to change the camera system to "Other" on the V6II.

  • remove the V6II from the camera and remount it again.

The reason why the first option may make a difference is because for standard firing only the centre contact is needed and there shouldn't be any contact issues with this one. The pins for digital communication are more difficult to align with the contacts on the hot-shoe -- this may be owed to the multi-brand design of the V6II's male hot-shoe connector.

N.B., I'm not suggesting that you should do the above every time you run into this issue. I'm just trying to help you identify the source of the issue.

As Dericali suggested, trying to see whether the test button on the V6II still manages to fire the flash would be very helpful for troubleshooting. If that still works, you could rule out issues like the flash having inadvertently moved to a different group or other similar potential trigger<->flash communication issues.

You can also check if the LED on the V6II lights up in green when you fire a shot on the camera. If it doesn't then there is a communication issue between camera and trigger.


Well that sucks.

Unfortunately, I have very little experience with the X-TTL variant. I tested it a long time ago and did not encounter this phenomenon back then.
As I'm using manual flash power control all the time, I'm using the V1.1.013 multi-brand firmware variant and experience no issues with it.

It is possible that you are seeing a firmware bug, but even though I've spent some time on the Cactus community forum, I've never heard of this phenomenon before. Have you tried a factory reset on the V6II (and potentially the flash as well)?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 1 Day Ago  
Pro flash pack for outdoor photography and events
Posted By Class A
Replies: 5
Views: 311
For outdoor photography, I'd recommend having the option to use HSS (High Speed Sync).
Otherwise, you'll be limited to shutter speeds not exceeding 1/180s (or 1/200s, in case of the K-1). Instead of an HSS-capable light, you can use neutral density filters, but they are a bit of a pain in several ways and I wouldn't recommend this for (fast-paced) event photography.

I don't think any of your options with the exception of the Metz 50 AF-1 is HSS-capable. The Godox lights may acquire HSS-capabilities, if Godox will release respective firmware updates. You may want to consider the Godox AD200 as well, but again, it needs a as of yet non-existent firmware update to work with the XPro-P trigger for Pentax. Both Godox AD400 PRO and AD600 PRO are also options you may want to consider and for these a Pentax-compatible firmware version already exists. The XPro-P itself, however, is still only available for pre-order. I don't think anyone knows when it will become available for real.

You can already achieve HSS with some Godox lights by using trigger stacking, i.e., using a Cactus V6II on the camera and then placing a regular Godox trigger on top of it. You'd have to be careful, though, which devices will work with each other.

Two more questions that may help us answer your question better:
  1. Do you get enough power out of the Metz 50 AF-1? Is it mainly the recycle time that you'd wish were shorter? More modern flashes like the Cactus RF60X recycle in 1.9s instead of 3.5s while delivering more power. If you use two flashes in conjunction, you can halve their output (to achieve the same overall output as before) in order to halve the recycle time.

  2. Are you after automatic exposure control? Personally, I prefer manual flash power control but for event photography, it can be useful to have access to P-TTL. Both Cactus and Godox triggers are capable of that. There is also a HSS/P-TTL capable trigger by Phottix but you'd be limited to the Phottix Indra strobes (battery-powered) and the Phottix Mitros flash.

Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 5 Days Ago  
K-3 II and AF 540 FGZ - Manual HSS / Manual not working - or am I doing it wrong?
Posted By Class A
Replies: 3
Views: 360
If you are desperate to use HSS and manual flash power control in combination, you could get two Cactus V6II triggers and remotely control the flash power from the camera. The flash would remain in P-TTL mode, thus would keep supporting HSS, while the V6II trigger on your camera would give you manual control, or P-TTL as you desire.
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-17-2018, 07:31 PM  
K-1 MK2 - Unhappy with results at moderate ISO settings
Posted By Class A
Replies: 560
Views: 27,395
While I do not approve of Ricoh's mandatory RAW manipulation (they should have made it optional and thus could have avoided the DPReview drama and give photographers the choice they deserve), you haven't presented anything that corroborates your statements.

I actually mentioned astrophotography as one of the applications that could suffer from the mandatory noise reduction of the K-1 II but referred to stacking of noisy images. Whereas a stacking of K-1 RAW files should yield great detail, a stacking of K-1 II images (taken with an ISO setting >=640) should be less detailed as the stacking has to work with images that have already been tampered with and lost some detail.

However, again, while the above is a valid concern, you have not demonstrated any of that. Your blur could come from many sources and your comparison to another camera is not valid unless you can confirm that exactly the same settings and a very similar lens were used on the same day, showing the same part of the sky. EDIT: Just noticed that the comparison is not valid. BTW, at the specified ISO 400 setting for the other camera, the K-1 II should yield the same or better results as the "accelerator" won't have kicked in yet.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-17-2018, 12:03 AM  
Cactus compatible studio strobe "Aurora Dante 400 TTL" announced
Posted By Class A
Replies: 6
Views: 468
I'm not arguing that a diffusion disc design cannot be nice for certain applications. It surely has its place.

However, I don't think the comparison pictures posted to the article you cited are very helpful unless you are trying to create specific smooth gradients on a wall.

In the comparison, the bare-bulb looks worse than the round head but
  1. note that they used a reflector on the bare-bulb design which is not helping (unless one wants to make the diffusion disc look good),

  2. even without a reflector, the bare-bulb would look worse as it wouldn't use any diffusion that's actually better for illuminating light modifiers. For an application in a good modifier you want an omnidirectional point source, not disc that only fires in one direction and less to the sides than on-axis. In particular in a parabolic light modifier, the more the light source approaches a point-source, the better.

Of course light modifier design can somewhat account for the light source characteristics, but you get the best options with bare-bulb designs.


Yes, that's exactly why I think that every strobe should give one a bare-bulb option in one way or another.
The Profoto designs look slick and seem to support easy mounting/unmounting, but they are less than ideal for many types of light modifiers.


Yes, of course, but such a diffuser will also eat some light (not diffuse it but turn it into heat). You can attach dome diffusers or other diffusion gadgets to speedlights as well but that's just a workaround with disadvantages, not an ideal solution.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-15-2018, 06:21 PM  
Cactus compatible studio strobe "Aurora Dante 400 TTL" announced
Posted By Class A
Replies: 6
Views: 468
Yes, definitely.

Sadly, the Dante 400 TTL doesn't seem ideal in that regard, unless it has tricks up its sleeve that we don't know yet.

Profoto restricts users to a diffusion disc approach as well, but at least they allow their heads to be pushed into a light modifier.


I often use this approach (with a three-way bracket, but mostly only using two flashes at the time).

I find that the best softbox type for this kind of setup are backfiring designs, where the speedlights fire into the back of the box first and the light then gets reflected to the front baffle.


Hopefully the Dante 400 TTL won't be too expensive.

If you are prepared to change the trigger system (and Godox ever starts delivering units; they still can only be pre-ordered) then the Godox system has some nice and affordable strobes.
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-14-2018, 02:29 AM  
K1 II Red color cast in flash photos
Posted By Class A
Replies: 19
Views: 714
I'd also suspect the camera profile as the main culprit.

Try to see if you can obtain/select different camera profiles. You can also use Lightroom to tweak the basic RAW development parameters (hue and intensity shifts for the three primaries), but you'll gain the most by using a good camera profile.

FWIW, I never found the standard camera profiles from Adobe or Phase One (for Capture One) to be satisfactory for the K-1.
In Capture One you can even apply profiles that were made for other cameras and some of them yield much more pleasing results.
Heck, even a profile that was made for a Sony camera to emulate Fuji colours (Provia) gives me more pleasing results than the standard K-1 profile.

Capture One is really, really nice but I don't believe for a second that they spend a lot of time on engineering camera profiles for Pentax cameras (contrary to their general marketing claims). This market just doesn't seem to warrant a lot of investment. Much the same for Adobe.

P.S.: I find it odd that the redness is so pronounced in the faces but necks look a lot less "hot" in a number of cases. Perhaps some make up / foundation is at fault? Anyhow, my best bet is still to find a more suitable camera profile.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-13-2018, 12:09 PM  
Cactus compatible studio strobe "Aurora Dante 400 TTL" announced
Posted By Class A
Replies: 6
Views: 468
Nice!

I was able to attend Photokina in 2014 and found it really worthwhile back then.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 09-13-2018, 04:58 AM  
Kiwi Pentaxians
Posted By Class A
Replies: 15,374
Views: 901,753
Only if you are not looking too closely at the outermost edges (the shorter ones). Using a square crop, it may work without too much compromise, but despite many people having advocated both the 70mm and 40mm APS-C lenses by Pentax to work well on full-frame, there are plenty of examples showing the optical limitations of these optics when used on a full-frame camera.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-13-2018, 04:53 AM  
Need advice on remote triggers & speedlites please
Posted By Class A
Replies: 11
Views: 397
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.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-13-2018, 04:27 AM  
Cactus compatible studio strobe "Aurora Dante 400 TTL" announced
Posted By Class A
Replies: 6
Views: 468
Following the sad failure of the Cactus RQ250 kickstarter campaign -- with the predominant feedback being that the unit was too expensive, while Profoto's B10 has just launched with worse specifications (some are better, but the crucial ones are not) for over twice the price :confused: -- Aurora Lite Bank have announced the "Dante 400 TTL" which is HSS-capable and compatible with the Cactus trigger system.

The specs are not as good as the ones for the Godox AD400PRO, but this might be a really good extension of the Cactus ecosystem. Pricing hasn't been announced yet.

P.S.: I can't understand why the diffusion disc is so recessed with respect to the mount. This isn't ideal at all for evenly illuminating light modifiers. The RQ250's design that supports both bare-bulb and diffusion disc approaches at the same time was so good, why isn't anyone else using that?
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-13-2018, 02:44 AM  
Need advice on remote triggers & speedlites please
Posted By Class A
Replies: 11
Views: 397
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.
Forum: Pentax K-1 09-12-2018, 07:57 PM  
Mark's K-1 II discovery thread
Posted By Class A
Replies: 29
Views: 1,230
I recommend to read the manual.

Some of the functionality needs to be accessed by preasing a button and turning a dial at the same time. You may not find these ways of interacting with the camera by pure experimentation.

I'm glad you seem to be experiencing the same kind of intangible enjoyment from the K-1 II that I did and still do from my K-1.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-10-2018, 06:26 PM  
Xpro-P TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Pentax
Posted By Class A
Replies: 82
Views: 3,321
Thanks for your input as usual, but I'm not sure about the "No need" bit.

I guess you mean there is no need to check that the TT600 supports TTL as it is clear that it does not.
This, however, means that jolepo's assumption about the TT600 supporting P-TTL was wrong.



OK, so that's even worse if it means that the non-Pentax specific versions won't be able to operate as a P-TTL flash after a firmware update when used as off-camera flashes. I'd find it surprising, though, if that were the case.

I just went with which flash models are specified by Godox to be compatible with the XPro-P.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-10-2018, 03:27 PM  
Xpro-P TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Pentax
Posted By Class A
Replies: 82
Views: 3,321
To be fair, when using HSS outdoors it is not unusual to be at full power with a speedlight anyhow.

However, HyperSync does not provide even illumination across the frame and one has to manage it manually. I'm not sure whether using HyperSync would work by triggering off the pre-flash of another HSS-operated flash. I'd be sceptical about that unless there is a way to control the HyperSync timing.

What I most like about equipment that supports HSS well is that I don't have to concern myself with it. It transitions into using HSS versus not using it depending on shutter speed without requiring me to do anything. I've used hacks to use HSS with the V6 and it worked and got me results, but I always had to concern myself with the technology for a while before I could turn my mind to the model, composition, etc.

AFAIC, the advantages of gear that seamlessly supports special modes goes beyond convenience.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-10-2018, 03:06 PM  
Xpro-P TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Pentax
Posted By Class A
Replies: 82
Views: 3,321
When the TT600 was announced, it only supported HSS but no TTL. If you want TTL make sure that the current TT600 version supports P-TTL in conjunction with the XPro-P.

You may have to go for a TT685 and this model hasn't received a firmware update yet to make it Pentax compatible.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-09-2018, 04:40 PM  
Back to School, Back to 3 Lights
Posted By Class A
Replies: 6
Views: 395
Nicely lit photos. :)

I used to use old plastic milk bottles with some aluminum foil added (beauty dish style) as diffusers. Cheaper than Gary Fong gadgets. :)

Now I prefer softboxes with a backfiring configuration.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-07-2018, 12:09 PM  
I'm buying a couple Godox AD200 strobes....which trigger do you recommend?
Posted By Class A
Replies: 19
Views: 1,251
Not just you, I also think that's the better comparison.

However, sadly, the Kickstarter campaign for the RQ250 wasn't successful and Cactus suspended the RQ250 project. :(
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-05-2018, 02:57 PM  
Cactus RQ250 on Kickstarter
Posted By Class A
Replies: 53
Views: 2,159
In a Facebook post Cactus announced that due to the unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign the RQ250 will not be produced. :(

This is really sad news.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-05-2018, 06:15 AM  
Cactus RQ250 on Kickstarter
Posted By Class A
Replies: 53
Views: 2,159
About 30 backers missing with two hours to go...

So sad! :(
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 09-03-2018, 12:08 AM  
Kiwi Pentaxians
Posted By Class A
Replies: 15,374
Views: 901,753
Congratulations, Mark!
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-02-2018, 11:02 AM  
Studio lighting choices for Pentax K1, what do you recommend?
Posted By Class A
Replies: 17
Views: 617
I'm sure it is a nice flash and the Odin II trigger is very nice as well (and exists in a Pentax-dedicated version).
The problem with Phottix is that they don't offer a lot of lights that are compatible with the Odin II trigger for Pentax.



Just recently Godox released the XPro-P trigger which would allow you to control the AD600PRO directly from your Pentax camera (including P-TTL and HSS).

I'd say in terms of value for money, Godox is unbeatable. The one problem I've got with the brand is that you wont' get any support from Godox if the hardware fails. None. Therefore, it is very important that you buy from a reputable dealer such as Adorama (they rebrand the Godox bear as "Flashpoint" gear, but it is 100% compatible with the original Godox gear). If you have a reputable dealer, you at least get support during the warranty period. After that, I'm afraid, you'll be left to your own devices again.

Cactus planned to release a nice RQ250 portable strobe, but it looks like the respective Kickstarter campaign will fail. :(
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 09-01-2018, 10:37 PM  
Xpro-P TTL Wireless Flash Trigger for Pentax
Posted By Class A
Replies: 82
Views: 3,321
Cool.

I'm a bit surprised that firmware updates are necessary at all since the XPro-P could have potentially converted all "P-TTL"-speak into Godox-speak, but perhaps there are new timing requirements that mandated an upgrade of the Godox protocol.

I'm wondering how one could integrate an existing radio system (e.g. from Cactus) without using trigger stacking. The XPro-P does not seem to be compatible with any receiver which one could connect to a trigger of another radio system via a sync-cable. Is trigger stacking really the only option if one wants the XPro-P on the camera?
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 09-01-2018, 10:06 PM  
ImageSync 2.0 released
Posted By Class A
Replies: 18
Views: 1,022
Huawei P9 running Android 7.0 (Nougat).
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