GH4 with V6ii and studio strobe not timed properly

I'm using a GH4 with a V6ii in the hotshoe as a transmitter. The camera type is set to "O".
My second V6ii is set to Rx with flash type set to manual. There is a 1/8" mono cable plugged in to the Rx V6ii and a studio strobe.

I am not using HSS.

It seems that there is a delay releasing the shutter which causes it to be out of sync with the strobe triggering. It is making this setup completely unusable. However, if I switch out the Tx to be a V6 instead of the V6ii and keep the Rx as a V6ii every single shot is properly timed with no delay with the shutter.

What is wrong with the V6ii that is making it so useless as a transmitter? Any suggestions how to fix this?

Comments

  • I'm bumping this to the top since I would still like an answer why my V6ii won't even perform its most basic functions properly. It really seems like this product was released prematurely. 
  • Have you tried updating the firmware of the V6II?
  • Of course. Firmware on all of my Cactus products is the most current versions
  • Sorry @Blair I missed your original post.

    Instead of manually setting the TX to "O", do a factory reset, and then use the default auto-detect and see if the transmitter is able to recognize the camera as "O" (Olympus / Panasonic).

    Thanks!
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "NIK.A.001", "v.103", or "A06".

    TTL or HSS not working on Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs? Be sure to check hot shoe connectivity by doing the <CAMERA INFO> check.

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • @Antonio - After doing a factory reset on both units the TX auto detects the camera as being "O" (which it was doing all along), and the RX still auto detects the flash as being "Manual"
    Firmware is version V1.1.010 on both units since that appears to be the most current version before the newer Sigma and Fuji versions.

    The problem still persists that it seems as though the strobe is firing just slightly before the shutter releases. There is definitely a delay between pressing the camera shutter button and anything firing which I have never experienced with the original V6. 
  • edited July 2017
    There is definitely a delay between pressing the camera shutter button and anything firing which I have never experienced with the original V6. 
    A very small delay is normal for the V6II as HSS is a TTL feature that is tied in with a pre-flash / auto-metering protocol (even if no pre-flash is occurring). It is an advantage of the V6 that it avoids this (very short, but noticeable) TTL preamble.

    However, this delay should not lead to the strobe firing prematurely. You are not using a remote radio trigger to release the shutter of the camera, are you? If you are simply pressing the shutter release button on the camera, the V6II should only fire the strobe after the camera has signalled that it is ready to release the shutter.

    Also make sure to not use any other light source for testing, for instance an additional speedlight. If the latter releases a pre-flash (it only will do that with a V6II on the camera, not with a V6) and your strobe has an optical slave cell then that would explain the premature firing as well.
  • Okay, so somehow I actually got somewhere with this. The entire time I have been testing this I have only been using my camera, releasing the shutter on the camera not remotely, and one strobe with the optical trigger turned off. That way it was the simplest setup with the least chance of some other link in the chain causing the problem. I swear I had gone through every possible combination of camera type, flash type, and flash mode before with no success.

    I have been trying to get it to work in normal sync mode with a shutter of 1/250 or less. Up until now it wasn't working at all but tonight it finally did.
    On the transmitter, the camera type is set to auto "O", HSS Mode set "OFF", and on the receiver the flash type is auto "Manual". With those settings it is getting the flash to fire on time but there is definite lag with the shutter release.
    However if the same settings are kept other than the transmitter camera type set to "other" I was able to get everything to fire with no lag.

    I then tried playing with using a HSS mode to see if I could succeed. I was able to get results by setting the transmitter to "Power Sync", camera type auto "O", receiver set to flash type "manual" and HSS turned "on" on the Interfit S1 strobe. With that I tested up to about 1/6500 shutter speed with no banding but there is some annoying lag which would definitely make shooting action nearly impossible to time properly since I would have to pre-press the shutter by probably between 1/4 to 1/2 a second.
    With the transmitter set to "HSS" all I could get was a black frame with about 10% of the top lit.

    I'm glad I finally got somewhere with this however with the amount of lag in Power Sync mode it is going to make it challenging to use that for any situation that I would need it (ie. sports), so I think I may still stick with using my original V6 as the transmitter for now since it is much easier to just turn it on and have it work without having to screw around with remembering what settings I had it on last.

    Next step is trying to make the V6ii work with my RF60's which it also didn't function at all before and I'm hoping it will magically work now too.



  • My recommendation is not to set the trigger into a specific camera mode, and ensure that it detects properly when you switch it on.  If you override it and it couldn't auto-detect, for instance because the pins aren't properly lined up, then the behaviour is going to be unpredictable.

    At least with auto-detect on the Tx trigger you know that it's properly talking to your camera, which means you should have successful results.
  • It usually does auto detect into the correct camera type. When it auto detects as "O" it causes the irritating shutter lag even when not in HSS or Power Sync which is why I was manually setting it to "Other" for using sub 1/250 shutter speeds.

    I'll continue experimenting some other time when I have a bit of time to kill.
  • But for the V6 II to correctly talk to the camera, it has to be in "O", best to be auto-detected.

    Could you confirm that, despite the delay you observed, does it work? Are you able to shoot HSS with no shadow banding?

    Now, about the irritating shutter lag, have you tried mounting a Panasonic system flash directly on your GH4 and taking a shot? 

    The experience should be similar.

    Then add in a little more delay time for the RF to work. 

    The original V6 just works immediately because it only waits for a trigger signal using the centre hot shoe pin. It is a simply trigger so you can do shoot away, bam bam bam, every shot is quick with no delay. 

    Unfortunately with HSS, there's a lot more going on between the camera (GH4) and the transmitter (V6 II). The communication simply takes more juices from the camera and more time has to be used for this process.

    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "NIK.A.001", "v.103", or "A06".

    TTL or HSS not working on Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs? Be sure to check hot shoe connectivity by doing the <CAMERA INFO> check.

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
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