Cactus RF60 UK availability?


McGregNi

Link Posted 26/05/2014 - 17:04
Sorry Class-A, I have been distracted lately by all the loads of activity on this site! I was really talking about the versatility of the flashgun itself as a standalone unit - either hotshoe mounted or off camera with a cable, as it does not appear to offer any sort of auto-flash control. So I'm left assuming (after reading the instructions) that it would have to be fully manually operated (ie it is not going to tell you distance and / or power to set after inputing ISO & aperture) - the user is going to have to choose the power themselves initially and go from there?

This does not have to be a real limitation of course - it goes back to the days of flash tables, but it would take a rethink of a quick working method on Pentax DSLRs. I'm thinking of starting a topic to discuss this with some ideas about how to approach quick manual flash control. By the way, Class-A, thanks for your excellent evaluation on the other forum of this new cactus gun and the flash system.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 26/05/2014 - 17:05

Class_A

Link Posted 26/05/2014 - 20:01
McGregNi wrote:
So I'm left assuming (after reading the instructions) that it would have to be fully manually operated (ie it is not going to tell you distance and / or power to set after inputing ISO & aperture) - the user is going to have to choose the power themselves initially and go from there?

Yes, that's the normal mode and the one strobists prefer.

P-TTL-driven automatic exposure has its virtues but can be too inconsistent for some. Some professional wedding photographers shoot their camera in manual mode because it gives them more consistency and apparently does not slow them down sufficiently to not consider this approach. In the same vein, I'd say manual flash control can work even in dynamic situations if you trained yourself to work that way.

The only way to get automatic exposure support in combination with the V6 would be to use flashes with an "(A)uto" mode and just fire them remotely. But I'm sceptical of how well this would work with multiple flashes.

McGregNi wrote:
I'm thinking of starting a topic to discuss this with some ideas about how to approach quick manual flash control.

Would be nice if you could post a pointer to that discussion here, once you have started it. I'm starting to develop patterns, like matching the exposure steps on the camera (say 1/2 stop) and on the V6, and then just matching click counts on both aperture dial and V6 flash power dial whenever I change the aperture and want to keep the same flash exposure.

McGregNi wrote:

By the way, Class-A, thanks for your excellent evaluation on the other forum of this new cactus gun and the flash system.

Thanks a lot for the kind words. I'm glad it is helping someone.
Last Edited by Class_A on 26/05/2014 - 20:02

Fletcher8

Link Posted 28/05/2014 - 08:11
Nigel , Class_A has written an in depth review of the RF60, but I thought I provide my initial findings.

My RF60 arrived yesterday from HK, I paid normal delivery and the process took 5 days and we have just had a Bank Holiday, so I was very happy with the delivery service.

OK, despite only a few hours of playing, this flash is just so versatile. I can control power settings and zoom setting wirelessly with the Cactus V6 Trigger, which makes off camera flash use and set up a dream.

Putting the RF60 in slave mode and using a Metz AF 50 on the camera I can shoot above the flash sync speed of 180th, the flash fired at 1/1000 no problem. Linking a set of these together would open up so much potential of how flash could be used.

In Multi mode, I could also set the flash to create stroboscopic effects controlling the number of flashes and the HZ from 0, 1,2,3,4,5 etc.

The build quality of the RF60 is very good, I would say as good as or better than Metz.

The user manual is simple and easy to understand, as is operating the flash, Cactus have done a great job.

I am so impressed with the RF60 I am ordering another two today. If you are into flash, I can't think of any other product as versatile.
Fletcher8.
Last Edited by Fletcher8 on 28/05/2014 - 08:12

gfurm

Link Posted 10/06/2014 - 21:30
Fletcher8: I'd be grateful if you could answer few questions.

Where did you buy it from and what was the total cost?. Did you have to pay customs and VAT?

I'm just wondering if the difference in cost between this one and Youngno is justified for me. To fully use RF60 features I'd have to buy 2 V6 triggers (one for camera and one for Metz flash) and I'd still have to manually adjust Youngno flash I got, is that correct?

That would set me back 160 quid from Gadgetinfinity without customs cost vs. 40 quid for 1 Youngno.

I'm considering another Youngno beceuse despite all bad I read about them mine is still OK after 1 year of use.
Pentax K-3 II, DA 50/1.8, Sigma 18-35/1.8, DA* 300/4, 1.4x HD DA Converter

Fletcher8

Link Posted 10/06/2014 - 21:50
Hi Greg

I will try to answer your questions. OK, I have placed three orders with Gadget Infinity, when I ordered two V5 triggers and a RF60 flash the customs and duty I had to pay came to 42. When I ordered two triggers I paid nothing, perhaps the bill is in the post? One RF60, I was charged 23 customs and duty.

If you had one RF60 you would only need one trigger, for the camera. The RF60 has a RX/TX mode, the flash is superb in terms of features and build quality, It can even mimic HSS off camera , which is a really cool feature, the RF60 is just so versatile . I have been using flash off camera for well over a year now and the V6 trigger and the RF60 enable you to do everything you can think of.

Regards Fletcher.
Fletcher8.

McGregNi

Link Posted 10/06/2014 - 22:20
Fletcher, thanks for you earlier post answering my earlier question! I'm sorry, I missed it originally but appreciate the positive view on the Cactus flashgun.

My interest now is in considering good rule-of-thumb techniques for manual flash exposure on Pentax cameras - Class A above there has mentioned some he is developing already.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Fletcher8

Link Posted 11/06/2014 - 07:10
Nigel, in relation to rule-of-thumb techniques for manual flash exposures it really depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Without teaching you to suck eggs let me be a little more helpful. The problem with flash and using it outside is sync speed and overpowering the sun. If you want to shoot portraits with wide f/ stops, you will encounter flash sync speed problems, you can get around this by using an variable Fader ND, so you can shoot wide open and keep your flash within its sync speed. I usually mix ambient and flash to get the look I like, 70% ambient to 30% flash and it works really well, but this ratio would not work for strong natural back light situations.

As a general rule of thumb, a good starting point for flash power is 1/4 power, 1/125th at f/8, the advantage of the Cactus V6 is its ability to dial the power up and down from the camera, and in groups, this makes the whole process a lot faster and easier than before and you then get constant results unlike shooting in P-TTL or any other brand of TTL

At a very basic starting point, all you have to remember is that camera settings wise, the aperture will control the amount of flash power and the shutter speed will control the ambient light. Obviously things get more complex when you start using other lights and modifiers, but the same basic principles apply.

If you start learning with just one speedlight you will pick up basic foundations fairly quickly and you can get some very effective looks with just one light and a shoot through brolly or a reflector.

If you are really interested in learning and developing flash techniques, i would really consider buying a lightmeter, it will make things simple to work out and understand. you will then gain a better understanding of flash and be able to set things up and then just use the lightmeter to double check things are right. Yes you can chimp on the back of the camera, but personally I have found a lightmeter really helpful in learning about light.

Manual flash is just like everything else photography wise, you just have to play around and experiment with it.

Not sure if I have answered your questions, but i hope the above is of some use.

Regards

Fletcher8
Fletcher8.

McGregNi

Link Posted 12/06/2014 - 10:47
Thanks Fletcher, thats very helpful of course. I think we should talk more about Pentax flash, both the auto types and full manual. I always find its beneficial to revisit things and consider them again. For me manual has always provided the most consistency. However, most books on the subject now tend to use examples from the most modern auto-TTL type of guns that provide distance / power information on the back, following user input of ISO / aperture (or the gun getting that info from the camera).

I'm interested in looking at quick and reliable methods to set up Pentax DSLRs with a manual unit, or P-TTL unit set to manual, along with a rule-of-thumb checklist-type guide to quickly set power output, or judge the best working distance, so that the initial test shots are nearly-spot on reliably in all situations. I'll start a thread soon about this, my own ideas first and then everyone else can pile on board!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 12/06/2014 - 10:48

Fletcher8

Link Posted 12/06/2014 - 11:18
Nigel, that's a great idea , I for one would be happy to contribute, share and swop ideas in relation to using flash with Pentax cameras.
Fletcher8.
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