Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

Started Jul 10, 2014 | Discussions
BarnabyJones New Member • Posts: 21
Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

For those of you who were eyeing these potentially awesome flash triggers, they do not as of currently work particularly well with the E-M1.

TTL pass-through does not work with the FL-600R or the Metz 58 AF-2 (for Olympus/Pana)

Flash profiling also is not available for these two flashes. I'm pretty sure if I stuck 2 Nikon sb-700 it would probably work (currently untested); however, what's the point if the ttl pass through is non-functional?

Additionally, attempting to trigger these 2 flashes wirelessly through the triggers does not work. Manual power adjustment is also non-functional. Flashes without profile or the inability to create a profile are incompatible with the system.

If any other owners have had better success, I'd be very much interested to hear from you, but from my own experience they do not work.

Damn shame. These would have been otherwise a fantastic wireless flash solution. Great ergonomics, simple menu system and a great deal of potential for use with older flashes.

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gdiver Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

I got a reply from cactus about olympus camera compatibility.

Thank you for your support to Cactus product.

There are number of request about Olympus profiles to the V6. Our engineering team is investigating the possibility. Known that there is huge demand from Olympus user especially there is no such flash trigger that allow to wirelessly control power of the Olympus flash. However, I’m afraid that we don’t have a schedule for Olympus profiles at this moment.

Alternatively, the V6 is able to wirelessly control power and zoom of Cactus RF60. It is another option for Olympus / M43 user because both V6 and RF60 are designed for any camera with standard hotshoe or PC sync.

Cactus V6, http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-wireless-flash-transceiver-v6.html

Cactus RF60, http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/cactus-rf60-wireless-flash.html

I hope the above is helpful. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,
Ray Chan
Marketing Specialist, Customer Service

Cactus® | Gadget Infinity
Harvest One Limited
9D On Shing Industrial Building
2-16 Wo Liu Hang Road
Fo Tan, Hong Kong

TEL: (852) 3525-0116
FAX: (852) 3525-0117
E-mail: raychan@harvest-one.com
Gadget Infinity: www.gadgetinfinity.com

Cactus: www.cactus-image.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/CactusImage

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atnbirdie New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)
3

Here's an update from Cactus as of Sep 24, 2014 in response to my question about Olympus support:

"The Cactus V6 doesn’t support Olympus flash for remote power control at this moment. It works as a wireless manual flash trigger , just like V4 and V5 does. In addition, the V6 has added many new features , such as group control (up to 4 groups) , optical slave, relay mode, delay mode, group sequence and more. We also planned to add more features soon.

One of the most important update is the support to Olympus flashes. Our engineering team has successfully decoded the Olympus flash. It is possible to support Olympus flash through firmware update. The release won’t be too long."

gdiver Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

As soon as they get it working with Olympus, I will be buying a set to try out. I'm sure since it will be the only game in town for Olympus flashes,they should sell very well. The big boys only care about supporting nikon and canon.

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Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,903
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

As soon as they get it working with Olympus, I will be buying a set to try out. I'm sure since it will be the only game in town for Olympus flashes,they should sell very well. The big boys only care about supporting nikon and canon.

As manual triggers they work great. I'm Using them with my E-M1 and FL50R in manual mode, bounced into an umbrella and they trigger consistently. -- "There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights
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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 30,682
Cactus is cactus?

Strange as it might seem "cactus" in Australia is slang for "had it" or "no good".

Not a good sell word here and apparently Cactus is "cactus".

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

gdiver Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Cactus is cactus?

I have the v5 units and they work 100% of the time, that's why I am really interested in the v6. I know it's not ttl, but being able to change the power remotely sounds very interesting. I like the fact that they are working on an Olympus solution. In my opinion, they don't look like cactus they aren't built like cactus and absolutely don't work like cactus.

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Gregm61 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,903
Re: Cactus is cactus?
1

It's Olympus, not Cactus, that needs to be coming up with a real wireless flash system, not this optical line of sight mess they use now, so the third-party companies can then tap into the technology and provide alternatives.

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 12,667
Re: Cactus is cactus?

Gregm61 wrote:

It's Olympus, not Cactus, that needs to be coming up with a real wireless flash system, not this optical line of sight mess they use now, so the third-party companies can then tap into the technology and provide alternatives.

-- hide signature --

"There's shadows in life, baby.." Jack Horner- Boogie Nights

I was really hoping the E-M1 would have true radio flash control instead of the optical remote flash control.  Maybe the E-M1 replacement will get this feature.

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 30,682
Re: Cactus is cactus?

gdiver wrote:

I have the v5 units and they work 100% of the time, that's why I am really interested in the v6. I know it's not ttl, but being able to change the power remotely sounds very interesting. I like the fact that they are working on an Olympus solution. In my opinion, they don't look like cactus they aren't built like cactus and absolutely don't work like cactus.

It is just a humorous aside - I am sure that the product is good and works well.

But I was just wondering how well their brand name might sell into Australia at least as it is a very common slang word here for something that is broken beyond repair.  Useless, had-it, no-good, finished, finito.

I don't think it is such a pejorative term elsewhere, but in Australia no one might buy anything that "is cactus" apart from a scrap metal dealer.

Tip: don't market anything here that is cactus, unless it is "a cactus"

-- hide signature --

Tom Caldwell

Smopho Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

BarnabyJones wrote:

For those of you who were eyeing these potentially awesome flash triggers, they do not as of currently work particularly well with the E-M1.

TTL pass-through does not work with the FL-600R or the Metz 58 AF-2 (for Olympus/Pana)

Flash profiling also is not available for these two flashes. I'm pretty sure if I stuck 2 Nikon sb-700 it would probably work (currently untested); however, what's the point if the ttl pass through is non-functional?

Additionally, attempting to trigger these 2 flashes wirelessly through the triggers does not work. Manual power adjustment is also non-functional. Flashes without profile or the inability to create a profile are incompatible with the system.

If any other owners have had better success, I'd be very much interested to hear from you, but from my own experience they do not work.

Damn shame. These would have been otherwise a fantastic wireless flash solution. Great ergonomics, simple menu system and a great deal of potential for use with older flashes.

They work fine on my E-M1 with Canon 580EXII, 430EXII, and 589EX speedlights.  Have not tried TTL pass through, but I would not expect that to work at all since Canon's ETTL protocol is unique.

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gdiver Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

Another update from cactus.

"Thank you for the inquiry. I’m happy to let you know that the Cactus V6 is going to support Olympus flashes. We are preparing the firmware with high completion rate. It probably will release very soon. The proposed pre-installed flash profile for Olympus includes FL-36R FL-50R, Metz 44AF-1, 52AF-1 and 58AF-1."

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,052
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

gdiver wrote:

Another update from cactus.

"Thank you for the inquiry. I’m happy to let you know that the Cactus V6 is going to support Olympus flashes. We are preparing the firmware with high completion rate. It probably will release very soon. The proposed pre-installed flash profile for Olympus includes FL-36R FL-50R, Metz 44AF-1, 52AF-1 and 58AF-1."

I have just taken delivery of a V6 + RF60, knowing that there may be some problems working the FL600R off it.

As I needed the cactus set-up for a specific purpose I was willing to then do a bit of work to see if I could get something going with the FL600Rs and after pretty extensive testing have found the following

- It is not possible to use the RC mode when the 600R is attached via the V6 pass through hot shoe

- it is possible to fire the flashes when they are set to either A or M mode, with the one on the hot shoe in normal mode and the remote flash in matching slave mode

- working like this it is not possible to control the power settings remotely

- as a comparative test I used both of my fl600rs as slave flashes to the RF 60 as master and for me, that gives a much better option for flexibility ( as both fl600s are available for remote placement. The heads seemed to fire very reliably using the flash from the RF60 as master

- I have had frequent contact with the support in Cactus and they respond promptly and appear to be trying hard to help but unfortunately I get the impression they haven't got a solution to controlling the later Olympus flashes although they say that they will shortly be releasing the profiles to control the older style flashes (30R, 50R, Metz etc, the list is now on their site I believe)

Very disappointing on one level but I am pleased with the V6 + RF 60 as a combination for my use (remote flash for birding with power and mode control from the hide)

(If anyone else has found the trick of controlling the FL600R in RC mode off the V6 hot-shoe, please let us all know )

-- hide signature --

So much to learn, so little time left to do it!

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,052
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

I think I may have a work around, just need to get a suitable cable.

The V6 is supposed to work on camera without a hot-shoe, using a sync cord to connect the camera to the V6, if so I can put the v6 on my flash-grip, leaving the EM-1 hot-shoe free for the kit flash to fire both my fl600R in RC mode

It will be a bit more cumbersome for studio / location work but could be the ideal solution for controlling the 3 flashes from the hide, with the camera + flash grip on the tripod

I'll let you know how it works out

so much to learn, so little time left to do it!

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gdiver Regular Member • Posts: 365
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

I don't know if they will be supporting the fl600r flash, but I did get another update.

"Thank you for the inquiry. I’m happy to let you know that the Cactus V6 is going to support Olympus flashes. We are preparing the firmware with high completion rate. It probably will release very soon. The proposed pre-installed flash profile for Olympus includes FL-36R FL-50R, Metz 44AF-1, 52AF-1 and 58AF-1."

I'm getting my triggers on friday and cactus sent me a link to the new beta firmware.

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,052
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

gdiver wrote:

I don't know if they will be supporting the fl600r flash, but I did get another update.

"Thank you for the inquiry. I’m happy to let you know that the Cactus V6 is going to support Olympus flashes. We are preparing the firmware with high completion rate. It probably will release very soon. The proposed pre-installed flash profile for Olympus includes FL-36R FL-50R, Metz 44AF-1, 52AF-1 and 58AF-1."

I'm getting my triggers on friday and cactus sent me a link to the new beta firmware.

They told me they will not be supporting the FL600R as its pin use is different from that of the older guns

I've also just heard back from them with their firmware download to enable the use of the older style Olympus compatible flash guns (FL 36R / 56R etc) which they tell me is now available "we already developed the latest V6 firmware for Olympus flash system. Please give it a try. When you use TTL pass-thought in V6 Tx , select flash profile to Olympus, preferable 36R / 50R. See if it can improve the RC problem.

Please click below link to download.

http://www.cactus-image.com/download/Cactus_updater_setup23102014.zip"

They are not sure if it will work with the fl600R but I have said I will give it a go

As I said, I'm going ahead with my simple work around and hope to have a go at that as soon as I can pick up a screw lock sync cable

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So much to learn, so little time left to do it!

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,052
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

gdiver wrote:

I don't know if they will be supporting the fl600r flash, but I did get another update.

"Thank you for the inquiry. I’m happy to let you know that the Cactus V6 is going to support Olympus flashes. We are preparing the firmware with high completion rate. It probably will release very soon. The proposed pre-installed flash profile for Olympus includes FL-36R FL-50R, Metz 44AF-1, 52AF-1 and 58AF-1."

I'm getting my triggers on friday and cactus sent me a link to the new beta firmware.

I've downloaded the firmware and updated my V6 and the new profiles are there for the stated cameras

Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) they are not compatible with the FL600R so it still will not fire in RC mode when attached to the pass-though hot-shoe of the V6 (still fires in Manual and auto mode in non-RC setting though)

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So much to learn, so little time left to do it!

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uRebel Rob Senior Member • Posts: 1,293
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

Brian Wadie wrote:

They told me they will not be supporting the FL600R as its pin use is different from that of the older guns

Real'y? I though it was the same throughout. I guess not. Any idea what changed?

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Brian Wadie
Brian Wadie Veteran Member • Posts: 8,052
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)

uRebel Rob wrote:

Brian Wadie wrote:

They told me they will not be supporting the FL600R as its pin use is different from that of the older guns

Real'y? I though it was the same throughout. I guess not. Any idea what changed?

I'm no expert (in fact I am completely dim on the subject ) but from what I have read the way in which the control signal is handled is different between the latest Olympus flashes and the earlier versions (the Metz flashes are like the older FL36R etc)

As I understand it, its one of the reasons that the FL600R can act as master control a slaved 36R but the 36R cannot control a 600R

Maybe there is an expert out there somewhere who can confirm all this?

All I have is my experimental results and some odd references I have seen relating to the differences (I'll have a look and see if I can find them again)

This is what Cactus support told me about this (and why their firmware upgrade works with the FL36R/ 50R etc but not the FL600R)

"We have the same thinking about the change of the FL600R’s center pin functionality. We didn’t recognize the problem when using FL600R in RC mode. Our engineer comments that it is hardware issue, it is not possible to solve it through the firmware update"

and this

" From our study of FL600R, we found that the use of the connection pin in FL600R works differently than other Olympus flashes"

it seems to be something to do with a "Quench Pin" (don't ask me what that is, like I said - I'm dim on this subject )

from another source

"Most of the remote power control radio solutions (RadioPopper RPCube, etc.) do so by manipulating the quench pin signal, and that requires a TTL-capable flash with a quench pin signal to mess with; or using built-in capabilities in the flash to be power controlled remotely either through the hotshoe communication protocol, or something built internally into the lights (PocketWizard AC9, CyberCommander). Not sure either path would work with an LP180, given that it has no quench pin (just the sync pin), and has no built-in path for remote control."

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uRebel Rob Senior Member • Posts: 1,293
Re: Cactus V6 Triggers (Non-Compatible)
1

Thanks for the info!

It makes sense the optical RC master control would need some changes, but I'm surprised it's enough to confuse the Cactus flash. It does raise the question: does the FL600R work on older cameras, such as 4/3 bodies? Not that you're likely to know, but hopefully someone with more knowledge than either of us could chime in....

m4/3 needs a radio TTL system, third party or first.

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