Pentax K3 / K3 II - Metz 52 AF-1 - flash does not fire randomly

2

Comments

  • Thanks for the update @chriswilson. Do keep us posted on your findings. 

    Thank you and have fun too!

    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. 
  • edited April 2018
    I've set up flash and camera on tripods, used an ir trigger to minimize vibration and waited for the flash to fully recycle each time. PEN.A.001 is installed. Camera system is on auto detect, flash is manually set to Pentax system and profile to Metz 50AF-1.

    3/10 images are lit, 7/10 are pitch black while v6ii being set to manual control and without changing the flash power. TTL about the same result. Each time +/- ~1-2.

    I cannot see any improvement in consistency with the new pair of v6ii, although these ones detect the camera system and therefore seem to make proper contact.

    I'm getting really frustrated and disappointed.
  • edited April 2018
    @chriswilson
    At this point I believe you should try to get your units exchanged.

    I'm somewhat sceptical that it will help because you said you had the camera on a tripod and used a remote so if the camera communicated with with V6II transmitter (by displaying a changing ISO setting) then a working connection should have stayed stable.

    On the other hand you made observations like --

    "Meanwhile I have "downgraded" to the latest multi brand firmware (1.1.013). That leads to another issue: the two v6ii don't connect properly. Power changes at the transceiver are not displayed on the display of the receiver, flash does not fire."

    -- which should not occur at all with working units.

    Are you perhaps testing near a cordless phone or another potential source for radio interference?

    Perhaps Cactus have another tip for you and potentially there is some issue with the support for the particular flash model you have, but the behaviours you have been describing are just not normal.


  • Hi @chriswilson,

    I am sorry it's still not working well.

    To be sure we are on the same page, could you show us your exact setup? If possible, show in pictures so we know exactly how your gear are contacted.

    Thank you very much.
    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. 
  • @ Class A: I'm already using new units.

    @ Antonio: Sure, no problem. Are there any special images you'd like to see or just the general setup including mounting of the v6ii?
  • Are you saying you are already using "replacement units"?

    Did you go through the same issues with other units before?

    BTW, when you state "flash is manually set to Pentax system and profile to Metz 50AF-1." you are talking about the receiver settings, right?
  • @chriswilson, just the general setup, camera, Cactus devices, cabling, etc. Anything that you think would help us grasp so we could try and replicate. 

    Thank you.

    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. 
  • @ Class A: I've bought two new/replacement units from an online retailer. Those bad boys arrived on April 9. Please be so kind to go through the thread history, I don't want to recap everything. All units have the same settings, so I could use them either as receiver or transmitter - and yes, I missed the right wording ;)

    @ Antonio: I couldn't find the time today. I'll deliver those images asap.
  • edited April 2018
    Hello Antonio,

    you may find my setup here:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/46wy2lj7ov5b9n4/chriswilson_cactusv6ii_setup.rar?dl=0

    I will leave the setup as is. Feel free to come back to me if you need any certain images.

    As you can see, I have attached a bunch of test images. This time 5/10 are lit (TTL).
  • Thanks for the images, @chriswilson.

    You mentioned "cabling" but I don't see any?

    So you are using the JJC remote to release camera shutter?

    In the meantime I will forward your images to our R&D team to check. Perhaps they will spot something.

    Thank you.
    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. 
  • edited April 2018
    You're welcome.

    I did not mention "cabling" afaik.

    Right, I used the IR remote to release the shutter.
  • You're welcome.

    I did not mention "cabling" afaik.

    Right, I used the IR remote to release the shutter.

    Got it. After I hear back from R&D I will report back.

    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. 
  • @chriswilson

    The configuration looks fine to me.

    The only detail I didn't spot you share is the firmware version of the flash. Perhaps the firmware version your flash is running is older or newer than the one Cactus were using during testing.
  • edited April 2018
    @ Antonio: Thanks for your effort once again.

    @ Class A: Thanks for your hint.
  • edited April 2018
    I've checked the firmware version (Metz). It was outdated (1.0), but updating the firmware (1.4) did not improve the consistency.
  • I've checked the firmware version (Metz). It was outdated (1.0), but updating the firmware (1.4) did not improve the consistency.

    Got it. Thanks for the update. I have advised R&D.
    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. 
  • I have a bit more than one week to send the replacement units back. Hopefully R&D will be this quick :)
  • I have a bit more than one week to send the replacement units back. Hopefully R&D will be this quick :)

    I wonder if you take the shots directly by releasing camera shutter by depressing camera shutter button, do you still get the same number of misfires?

    Just want to single out any potential external issue, in your case, the IR remote.

    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. 
  • edited April 2018
    Same results. I've used the remote for last series only.

    And there seem to be no other interferences at my home, I've tested outside as well.
  • @chriswilson

    Any chance you could test with another flash model from someone else?

    If another flash model worked, you'd know the source of the problem and, I believe, you could trust that Cactus would be able to fix the support for your particular model.
  • I was already workin' on it and sent out the compatibility list to some friends of mine. Still waiting for feedback.
  • edited April 2018
    Yesterday, I have visited a friend of mine who is a professional photographer and could help out with Metz AF44 and Canon 430.

    We tried to fire...

    1) ...my flash with my camera and his flash triggers. That worked perfectly fine.

    2) ...his flashes with my camera and v6ii. No consistency.

    3) ...whatever flash we had in hand with his Olympus / Canon cameras and all v6ii (I had switched to 1.1.013). Same result.

    We tried all possible transmitter/receiver combinations with the four v6ii I have in hand at the moment. The whole afternoon was gone.

    Disappointing.
  • edited April 2018
    Someone else had continued issues that Cactus could not replicate. It turned out that fresh batteries did the trick.

    I guess it's not that in your case, but perhaps worth double-checking.
  • edited April 2018
    I'd love the problem to be that easy to solve, but I primarily use black eneloops, have tried normal batteries (1.2 volts vs 1.5 volts) by myself and we used a bunch of white eneloops yesterday as well.
  • It is so damn strange...

    Now I've switched back to Pentax firmware and the pair I have in use right now does not produce pitch black images anymore. Instead the output differs, although I do not change any settings - happens in manual and TTL likewise.

    I am going to test all v6ii once again and swap receiver/transmitter settings...

    It does all feel like fishing in the gloomy.
  • Have you tried a radio channel other than "1"?

    Say "8", or so?

    I'm running out of ideas what may be causing your issues. Cordless phones and WiFi routers can use the same 2.4GHz frequency band so changing the channel may help.

  • Yeah, I've tried that already.

    I'm running out of ideas as well.

    I really don't want to go for any yongnuo or something... I like the v6 features very much.
  • Yesterday, I have visited a friend of mine who is a professional photographer and could help out with Metz AF44 and Canon 430.

    We tried to fire...

    1) ...my flash with my camera and his flash triggers. That worked perfectly fine.

    2) ...his flashes with my camera and v6ii. No consistency.

    3) ...whatever flash we had in hand with his Olympus / Canon cameras and all v6ii (I had switched to 1.1.013). Same result.

    We tried all possible transmitter/receiver combinations with the four v6ii I have in hand at the moment. The whole afternoon was gone.

    Disappointing.

    Were all V6 ii units running on firmware version 1.1.013?

    When you setup the off-camera flash units, the Canon 430EX and Metz 44 AF-1, did you first switch on the flash, set to E-TTL / TTL flash mode, and then finally switching on the V6 II to RX mode? Did the V6 II auto-detect both flash systems and apply an AUTO flash profile?

    Same sort of question for the camera side, did the V6 II auto-detect the camera system? What letter did you see appearing in the camera icon?

    The results you reported above definitely does not sound right.

    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. 
  • All 1.1.013

    Both flashes (all Canon) have been detected perfectly fine.

    Olympus Em-1 and Canon 1D as well.

    Same radio channel, procedure as mentioned above...
  • Hi there @chriswilson

    When you said this:



    3) ...whatever flash we had in hand with his Olympus / Canon cameras and all v6ii (I had switched to 1.1.013). Same result.

    What were the results?
    1. Flash fired but did not synchronize with image?
    2. Flash fired but shadow banding (dark horizontal shadow)?
    3. Flash fired but not consistently?
    4. Flash did not fire at all?
    Also...what do you mean why you said:


    Now I've switched back to Pentax firmware and the pair I have in use right now does not produce pitch black images anymore. Instead the output differs, although I do not change any settings - happens in manual and TTL likewise.

    What is the reference point of how the flash power was "different"? But in these serious of shots, flash firing was normal?
    1. Any misfires?
    2. Black images? (flash did not sync)
    3. Shadow banding?
    4. What was your camera settings: ISO / shutter speed / aperture?
    Also, are there any HSS issues? Did you try say 1/60s and compared another shot at 1/500s?

    In summary, after using PEN.A.xxx, what are the problem you are still encountering with your setup?


    FYI today we tested Pentax K-3 II triggering a Metz 50 AF-1 (as we could not find the 52 AF-1) and no problem whatsoever. The only thing you have to mind is to manually selecting a Metz flash profile - in fact choosing anyone of them will be fine.

    If you continue to experience problems on your setup, you may want to send it back to us for a check up just to be sure.

    Thank you.
    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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