Pentax with Metz and Elinchrom flash units ...

I was just lucky enough to receive a V6ii as a Christmas gift , and with my birthday approaching in around two weeks , hope to receive a couple more ( otherwise I'll buy them myself ! ) .

The main camera I use just now is my Pentax K-3 ; I also have a K-01 and the older *istD , besides some earlier film bodies including the MZ-S and the LX ( but I seldom use these anymore ) . Perhaps later this year I will get a K-1 ...

Regarding flash units , I have a number of Metz flashes :

two of the 45 CT5 , with the older SCA 370 units for TTL with the older film cameras ( and the *istD )

four 45 CL4 Digital , with the SCA 3702 M2 adaptors for Pentax digital

three 54 MZ4 , again with the SCA 3702 M2

one 54 MZ3 with SCA 3702

one 70 MZ5 with SCA 3702

I also have three Elinchrom 500 studio flash heads and two Elinchrom 250 flash heads with various modifiers .

The above units all have varying levels of functionality with my digital cameras : the 45 Digital flashes are fully compatible with P-TTL and HSS ; the 54 MZ4 run P-TTL ; the 70 MZ5 is hit and miss but generally seems to work quite well ( even though it shouldn't ) .

I already have a set of inexpensive 'dumb' radio triggers which allow manual remote triggering , with the flashes either in manual mode or auto mode using their own exposure control , and the camera run on manual aperture and X sync . Likewise the Elinchrom studio flashes .

I just wonder whether anyone else has used any of these Metz models with the V6ii and Pentax , and how they got on ?

Also using one of the V6ii with the X sync connector to fire Elinchroms ? ( I can still use my 'dumb' triggers for these if need be since there is no automation with the lights ) 

I haven't yet updated firmware on my one V6ii , was waiting until I get more , although given it was only bought a couple of weeks ago it may already be up to date ?

I look forward to participating in the forum , and in any case will report back how I get on with the above equipment .

Comments

  • What a nice Christmas gift you've got. Congrats!

    No problem with your K-3, but not sure about the older bodies if they would work on the Cactus V6 II.

    About your Metz flashes with your SCA adapters, we have very limited experiences with them but most of the ones we have tried are old ones that runs only on analogue TTL protocol. In others words, they are not compatible with the Cactus V6 II, which runs solely on digital TTL protocol.

    FYI only the original V6 supports analogue TTL flash protocol.

    If the Metz 54 MZ4 truly supports (digital) P-TTL then there's a chance it would work. But if not, then I am afraid that most if not all of your existing Metz flashes will not work with the V6 II. 


    What you can do to test...


    You can use the default firmware version - we pre-install the Multi-brand HSS firmware from the factory, e.g. version 1.1.013.  

    Mount the V6 II on your Pentax K-3, then mount your the Metz flashes you wish to test on V6 II's top hot shoe. Next, switch on the flash and set it to P-TTL mode, then turn on the camera, and finally the V6 II (to TX mode). As you switches the V6 II to TX mode, half press the shutter button of your K-3 a couple times to make sure the camera is not asleep and can be detected by the V6 II. 

    The default setting on V6 II will run an auto-detect process, identifying both the camera and any on-camera flash mounted.  If you have previously manually set any camera or flash system, first run a Factory Reset (Menu > Preference > Factory Reset). 

    Upon detection, there should a letter "P" inside the camera icon and the flash icon.

    On V6 II's LCD there will be a quick confirmation screen appear on screen of the camera and flash system detected.  If you missed it, don't worry, you can pull up the Status Screen anytime by holding down the Menu button and scrolling the Selection Dial. 

    So if you see a letter "P" inside the flash icon, that's good news. 

    Now, turn on TTL PASS THROUGH by holding down the Menu button for 2 seconds. See if the flash functions normally as if the V6 II isn't sandwiched in between. Take a few shots and see if the exposure correct. 

    If that particular Metz flash functions normally then, congrats!

    But if the flash failed to fire a flash or over / under exposure even after you turned on TTL Pass Through, or the letter "P" does not appear inside the flash icon, then it means that particular Metz flashes do not work on the V6 II.

    If you are looking for dedicated off-camera flash units, you may consider getting the Cactus RF60X.  It has a radio receiver built-in, so you do not need additional V6 II units. Just one (1) V6 II mounted on camera hot shoe, and the rest can be the RF60X. 


    Elinchrom


    You can connect a V6 II to them using a sync cord. It can be triggered by another V6 II.  The V6 II will not work with any other flash triggers.

    Once you plug a V6 II to an Elinchrom,or any other studio strobe via a sync cable, the V6 II auto-detect the strobe as a Manual flash. Power settings has to be done directly on the strobe. 


    Good luck, and keep us posted!



    Have a try and let us know how you get on.

    Cheers!


    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. 
  • Hi Antonio , thanks for your information .

    The Metz 54 MZ4 ( and one of them is the MZ4i ) do indeed support P-TTL and work with my K-3 , my *istD and even my older film MZ-S body which also does P-TTL as well as the older analogue TTL - all these cameras generate a pre flash and expose correctly . Incidentally , the *istD also supports both P-TTL and standard TTL - it is the only DSLR I'm aware of which does this - hence it works with my old 45 CT5 analogue flashes - because it has the OTF metering sensor in the bottom of the light box , which measures light reflected off the imaging sensor , just as the LX and MZ-S did with light reflected off the film during exposure and shut the flash down when correct exposure had been achieved .

    For some reason my mirrorless K-01 never has worked correctly with external flashes , but that's a side issue and not relevant here .

    Moreover the Metz 45 CL4 Digital supports both P-TTL and HSS , and works with the three cameras as with the 54 MZ4 flashes .

    The 70 MZ5 isn't supposed to support P-TTL ( that's why Metz brought out the 76 model to replace it ) but nevertheless it does pre flash and seems to work well , most of the time .

    I have tried my Cactus V6ii mounted on my K-3 , with the 54 MZ4 mounted on top : it correctly detects the camera without problem , but didn't detect the flash - however I set the flash to Pentax Auto in the Cactus menu , and enabled TTL passthrough . I turned on the camera and flash first , then set the Cactus to Tx mode whilst half pressing the shutter . Anyway - it works just as it should , with pre flash and correct exposure achieved , with exposure adjusting correctly when shooting things near and far from the camera .

    I also tried it with my 70 MZ5 in passthrough mode and that worked too . I have yet to try it with my 45 CL4 Digital .

    Since these flashes work correctly in TTL passthrough mode , would you say that is a fair indication they are likely to work wirelessly with a second V6ii ? Or would I be better buying the earlier V6 to use as either a Tx or Rx unit ? I believe there is some compatibility between these units ?
  • I should have added , for P-TTL you need the SCA 3702 M2 adaptor ; the earlier SCA 3702 is , I believe , analogue only .

    Similarly , with Nikon kit at work , we use the SCA 3402 M6 adaptors ; easier ones being analogue .

    I think certain later SCA units were designed for digital , but not all , so you have to be careful .

    Kind regards ,

    Derek .
  • Hi Derek,

    Good news that some of your Metz flashes with the newer SCA adpater works fine on the V6 II in TX mode.  

    FYI the TTL "pass through" on the V6 II is actually virtual and not hardwired. This applies both to the Multi-brand HSS and X-TTL firmware. So your Metz flash working well on a TX means it will also work on an RX - hence the test I recommended earlier.

    Test the rest of your Metz collection and you can get additional V6 II units accordingly.  Should you need more off-camera flash units, get the RF60X.

    Have fun!! :)

    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. 
  • Just received some money ahead of my birthday , so have ordered another three V6ii , which should come in a few days .
  • Great news!  And happy birthday in advance, @derekheeps :)
    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. 
  • Just to update this further , I received the further three V6ii and configured them as receivers , assigned to channels A , B and C . Initially, they didn’t work , but then I ran the firmware updater on all four units and tried again - now they work , with P-TTL preflashing and giving good exposures , and adjustment of each individual flash possible from the transmitter on the body . I now just have to practice lighting technique with the off camera flashes , to get the best from them . Initially, I’ve been using my Metz 54 MZ4 flashes , but will try the others in due course .

    So far , this has been with my Pentax K-3 , but just yesterday I ordered a K-1 , which should be here on Monday , so I’ll see how it goes with that too .
  • Thanks for the update, @derekheeps.

    Glad to hear it's working nicely. 

    Have fun with your new K-1 :)
    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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