Cactus totally failed on me during photoshoot


sebas77

Link Posted 09/07/2017 - 23:54
Let's be frank Im always terrorized to use triggers in a photoshoot as they very often fail on me. Tbh the first time I used the cactus outside they worked well but this time damn, I was so angry I couldn't use them as they decided to not work. The manual test was working but with the camera the flash wasn't firing!! The strangest thing is that it was recharging every time even if not firing. The flash was beeping to tell me that it fired but it didn't.. Then back home same lens and settings worked first time. Any clue what happened?
Last Edited by sebas77 on 09/07/2017 - 23:55

JAK

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 14:59
Surely it must have fired or it wouldn't be able to recharge the capacitor.
John K

McGregNi

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 15:06
That's frustrating for sure! Seb, we need full details of the entire flash / trigger setup, including technical approaches, modes, exposure settings etc ...everything! Only with full details could it be possible to look at possible issues.

One quick question though ... What "Range" setting are the triggers on? Short or long?
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 10/07/2017 - 15:08

sebas77

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 21:39
it was set to short, which I agree may not have been the best choice, but I spent 15 minutes to make it work again, and even when they were very close it wasn't working.

I am not 100% if the capacitor was recharing, but the flash was beeping like it fired. The light modifier wasn't the cause either, as I tried again without it. It was initially set in TAV, but in P and auto didn't work either!

The back home everything worked as normal, I didn't change any settings neither on the camera nor on the triggers/flash

The only thing I didn't pay attention to was the quality of the connection. I should have tried to change channel at least, but I didn't think about it.
Last Edited by sebas77 on 10/07/2017 - 21:40

McGregNi

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 22:12
The short range setting is intended for very close distances, but it can save some power indoors in small rooms. Outside generally you'll want to use the long range setting.

None of the modes you listed is suitable for flash photography with radio systems in my opinion ..... There's just not a firm enough grip on the key exposure settings. You might have been jumping the shutter speed beyond the max sync without realising .....M mode ensures that you have total control over all the essential exposure settings.

The final thing to check is that your hotshoe connections were all tight enough ..... The lever on the V6 needs to go around a long way to fully tighten.

Again, full equipment details, and the shooting settings and flash/ trigger mode settings might throw up another possible issue. I wish the solution was more obvious!
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

sebas77

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 22:30
OK, so I think the short range may be the only thing i can agree you with. I can't understand your point about the exposure as I was using HSS, also if you were right the flash wouldn't have "beeped" (Also I use TAV, but nvm). However about the short range issue, I tried with the camera in one hand and the flash in the other hand, would have it worked?

I triple checked the hot shoe connections. I don't think the configuration was a problem, as I said it worked back home just switching everything on without changing a thing, first try!
Last Edited by sebas77 on 10/07/2017 - 22:35

McGregNi

Link Posted 10/07/2017 - 22:53
It's one of those things that just needs a totally methodical, step by step approach. Hopefully you can set it all up from scratch again and he able to replicate the exact configuration that was working.

It does seem strange that you heard the flash recharging and it beeped. What is the beep for? Is it to indicate that it's ready to fire again. On the surface it seems to suggest that the flash DID fire ...... How do you know for sure that it didn't?
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 10/07/2017 - 22:59

sebas77

Link Posted 11/07/2017 - 09:41
Because I was looking at it . Also I don't know if you remember but the flash actually fired if I used the cactus test button, so we can exclude the contact issues.
Last Edited by sebas77 on 11/07/2017 - 09:49

McGregNi

Link Posted 11/07/2017 - 09:55
The contacts between the Tx unit and the camera ....?
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

sebas77

Link Posted 12/07/2017 - 09:36
yeah, although at this point the only thing I can think of is the use of the short range option which probably doesn't work outdoor. My mistake, I will try again soon.

McGregNi

Link Posted 12/07/2017 - 12:13
It's very easy when in the heat and buzz of a real off site shooting situation, to lose the method and careful approach that we use at home and when testing things. Frustration kicks in and we might not notice something .... It's happened to every wireless/radio flash user!

I know the Cactus triggers can lose their communication with the camera and flash, and this also occurs if the shutter speed jumps below and above the max sync speed ..... The system needs to be "told" again to change it's sync mode signal. The way to do this is to half press the shutter button, even if not focusing, to reactivate the circuits before taking the picture. ...

If when using P or Auto modes (not recommended) then it's possible the shutter speed moved around without you noticing, perhaps causing the loss of communication, and needing the half press on the shutter again each time. It's something to be aware of and try out.
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

sebas77

Link Posted 14/07/2017 - 08:17
I still don't understand what you are saying as it shouldn't apply with the hss mode on right?

McGregNi

Link Posted 14/07/2017 - 10:27
It's just exploring possibilities, some things to focus on and try and see if they solve the problem. As I understand it the switching into HSS and out again is automatic with the Cactus triggers, but the communication can still be lost if there's a time out between shots. The half press of the shutter us just a way of being sure that the circuits are active again before taking a shot.

You might do better asking on the Cactus Community Forum ....but you will get the same questions about very detailed info on your set up and and modes and everything. Anything that's unsure will prevent any real conclusive diagnosis. But good luck, let's hope it works better next time.

By the way, that XTTL firmware is getting closer for Pentax I think .....
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
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