1/2 second delay on flash firing

I'm using:

-Sony A7rii
-Cactus VIIs tranciever mounted to the hotshoe of the camera (using it as a transmitter of course)
-Cactus RF60X flash

Everything works well and syncs but frustratingly there is a 1/2 second delay between pressing the shutter and the flash firing. Of course this renders it unusable for action/sports photography.

All firmware has been updated and I have tried it with HSS on and off.

Any suggestions for get this to fire the moment I release the shutter?

Thanks! Jake.

Comments

  • The delay is dictated by the camera. If the flash were to fire any earlier, the camera would miss it, wouldn't it?

    There is an inevitable delay involved with all TTL systems due to the need to fire a pre-flash, the camera to meter the result and calculate a "correct" main flash power level, and then, eventually, fire the main flash.

    You can only avoid the respective delay by forgoing automatic metering, HSS, and remote power level control. You'd be limited to the camera's native sync-speed and would have to find a way to configure the camera so that it doesn't initiate a TTL-palaver but just releases the shutter while triggering the flash in a simple, old-fashioned manner.

    The V6IIs supports this simplified but less lag-ridden (there's always shutter lag) way of flash photography by setting the camera system to "OTHER".

    I'm talking from experience with the V6II here. It may not 100% transfer to the V6IIs so the suggested solution may not work, but I'm confident that my problem analysis is accurate.
  • edited April 2018
    Well said, thanks Class A.

    @Jake_Eley, it's a Sony thing, that it is just more apparent on a Sony camera, for you to really notice the delay. 

    Unless you do not be need HSS nor TTL for your off-camera flash, you can get away with this. But even if you only need HSS but not TTL, you are still bounded by the pre-flash limitations because HSS is tied to the TTL system. 

    You can follow suggestions by Class A above, setting camera system to "OTHERS" for quicker shots taken with flash. 

    PS: I see that you've also emailed us and have been speaking to Ray as well as our UK distributor, Swains. Thanks!   o:)
    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. 

  • Thanks for the replies and you patience. I'm new to this. Yes it seems to make sense that it's the communication between the camera and the transceiver.

    I'm fine with using it totally manually in order to get it fire without latency, however I did try turning the HSS off on the tranciever and setting the camera system to 'other', but I'm still experiencing the same delay.

    If it's a Sony issue then I'll switch cameras (I'm pretty much only taking action shots so instatant flash is of most importance). Do you know if the delayed flash issue will disappear if I use the regular VII tranciever with a Canon and cactus flashes?


    Class A said:
    The delay is dictated by the camera. If the flash were to fire any earlier, the camera would miss it, wouldn't it? There is an inevitable delay involved with all TTL systems due to the need to fire a pre-flash, the camera to meter the result and calculate a "correct" main flash power level, and then, eventually, fire the main flash. You can only avoid the respective delay by forgoing automatic metering, HSS, and remote power level control. You'd be limited to the camera's native sync-speed and would have to find a way to configure the camera so that it doesn't initiate a TTL-palaver but just releases the shutter while triggering the flash in a simple, old-fashioned manner. The V6IIs supports this simplified but less lag-ridden (there's always shutter lag) way of flash photography by setting the camera system to "OTHER". I'm talking from experience with the V6II here. It may not 100% transfer to the V6IIs so the suggested solution may not work, but I'm confident that my problem analysis is accurate.

    Antonio said:
    Well said, thanks Class A.

    @Jake_Eley, it's a Sony thing, that it is just more apparent on a Sony camera, for you to really notice the delay. 

    Unless you do not be need HSS nor TTL for your off-camera flash, you can get away with this. But even if you only need HSS but not TTL, you are still bounded by the pre-flash limitations because HSS is tied to the TTL system. 

    You can follow suggestions by Class A above, setting camera system to "OTHERS" for quicker shots taken with flash. 

    PS: I see that you've also emailed us and have been speaking to Ray as well as our UK distributor, Swains. Thanks!   o:)

  • Hi @Jake_Eley

    Perhaps it boils down to relativity?

    Just now, I have 3 transmitters:
    1)  V6 IIs:  SON.1.002
    2)  V6 II:  SIG.1.001, OTHER camera system
    3)  V6:  2.1.001

    All triggering a Cactus RF60 running on firmware version 205. 

    I used each of them on a Sony A7 II, take a couple shots on each, and I don't notice any differences in timing of the shots being taken with flash fired in sync. They all seem relatively quick to me - almost instant I would say.

    What I did, half press on shutter button to lock down on focus (I had AF on), and all I did to "feel" if there's any significant delay was to with the finger in the half-press position, I then full-press the shutter button.  The flash fired almost instantly. I certainly did not experience the 1/2 (0.5) second you mentioned...

    I also used the stopwatch on my smartphone to check the very approximate delay, which is around 0.2 second.

    I did another test:
    (A) mount a RF60X directly on A7 II hot shoe, Local mode
    (B) mount a Sony HVL-F60M directly on A7 II hot shoe, TTL mode.

    In Scenario (A) the flash firing was instant.  But in (B) there was an apparent delay and I notices the pre-flash(es). Our R&D guy said he saw multiple, but I only saw a blurb of longer flash.


    Another factor of me not feeling much delay could be that the past weekend I have been using a Sigma sd Quattro. Even without a flash, the shutter lag is quite apparent by comparison. To that note, besides the Sony, do you shoot on any other camera systems?

    FYI, I think Ray has mentioned this to you already via your email conversations, there will be a shutter lag time to take into account, and when you add in an external flash, be it directly mounted on camera hot shoe or via a flash trigger like the Cactus, you will have to account for additional delay. 

    So your best best is to use V6 II, set it to camera OTHERS. Despite you said you don't feel any differences.  If you have a Sony flash, mount it on camera hot shoe and you will :wink: 
    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 - 

    It's not so much a case of trying to judge if there is any lag - its a very obvious delay that simply could not be used for action / sports photography.

    It's interesting that the slave flash fires instantly when pressing the test button on the tranmitter (suggesting the connection between transmitter and flash is fine)...

    ...but if you mount a flash directly onto the hotshoe of the Sony camera it also fires instantly (suggesting the communication between the camera and the transmitter is fine.

    So really difficult to determine at what point the lag is happening.

    I'm only shooting on the Sony yes.  :-)
  • Maybe Sony cameras is not meant for sports if you need any kind of external flash?

    As quick as their AF system is in A7 or A9 models does not mean they can deal with the speed when a flash comes into play. 

    Maybe borrow one of your mates Canon or NIkon and see if these DSLR has better speed performance with flash?

    All I can tell you that it's not an issue with Cactus or its wireless system / protocol. It's a native thing to Sony flash system. 

    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. 
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