Smells Like Burning


I purchased an RF60 in July from Adorama.

When I was using it last week it started smelling just like
plastic parts burning.

I never used it hard like continuous exposure with 1/1 power.

I was using only 1/32 power and 1 shutter per 7 seconds and only around
15 shutters.

I immediately stopped using, inspected the flash and found that
the top panel turned black as a sign of burn. I contacted Adorama and was told to contact you first to open a return

I'm still loving the combination of V6 & RF60 and don't need a
refund, just need a replacement. Please advise replacement procedure at your earliest



  • Hello Leonsroar,

    I'm sorry hear that. Don't worry! We are responsible for Cactus product. At the same time, we are checking with Adorama for customer service. I have replied to your email about your case, please have a look.

    All the best.
    Ray Chan

    Senior Product Specialist
    Harvest One Limited
  • edited April 2016 PM

    I had the same problem two nights ago, but I have to say that I was "using it hard" because I needed so. Just like in this video:
    I hadn't put it in that configuration before and after around 15 shots (with minutes between some of them) I saw the smoke and the black spot in the outer glass. Of course I stopped there (until the moment I filmed the video).
    The German retailer where I bought the RF60  ( also recommends in its web page to go first with the manufacturer. I ordered the flash on the February 15th of this year.  As the fellow Leonsroar said, I "don't need a refund, just need a replacement" (or a fast repair, if that is the case) because this flash  (with my 2 V5 and my 2 V6) works exceptionally good.
    Since I live in Germany I want to know how I have to proceed, please.  

  • Hello @felacer,

    I am sorry to hear about your RF60. Don't worry, despite it's over the standard 30-day from Adorama, it is still within our 1-year warranty period. You may return it directly to us and we will have it repaired.  Kindly send us an email with your info, copy of Adorama's invoice we will go from there.

    Thank you.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • edited April 2016 PM
    Hi Antonio,

    note that felacer got his flash from Foto Koch in Germany, not from Adorama. His real message was hidden by the quotation of lensroar's message (the forum still has a quotation problem that can cause original text to be hidden by a quotation of another post).

    I'm wondering whether Foto Koch should not be replacing the RF60. Is that not the idea of dealing with a dealer rather than buying from the manufacturer directly? I'm just curious, please correct me if I'm wrong or am making the wrong assumptions in this case.
  • edited April 2016 PM
    You hit the aim @Class A. The flash is clearly faulty, but now, not only I have  to wait for the repair (I don't think they replace it after around two months) but also to pay the shipment because I didn't use it full-power the first week after the delivery and saw the defect.
    You wrote "I'm wondering whether Foto Koch should not be replacing the RF60", they should but they won't and will send the flash to Cactus. Since they recommend bypassing them in their web (here , if you speak German :)) ) that's what I am doing. Perhaps this way I will win me some time... and posting the issue here could help somebody else in my situation.
    And thank you both for the quick answers.
  • I have the same problem.
    After shooting some products shots last night I noticed that the front plastic and the flip up both have burn marks in them. I thought I had smelled a little bit of plastic burning, but wasn't sure where the smell came from until I removed the flashes from the stands. My other RF-60 seems fine.

  • Hello @Robin,

    Ouch! Approximately how many shots were taken and were they fired in short period of time? Say one shot every other second or so? And at what power level?

    I am interested to look at how burnt it is on the lens and on the diffuser panel. Send quick snaps of them to

    Thank you!
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • Thanks! I sent a mail.
  • Hi @Robin, thanks we got your images and I have t already forwarded them to our R&D team to study.

    In the meantime if you need further assistance with the replacement procedure with fotomeyer please let us know.

    Thank you for your understanding during this time.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • Hey @Robin, after I forwarded your case to our R&D team they conducted a test to try and replicate your burning case, however without success.

    Here's our setup:

    Set 1:
    - freshly charged eneloops
    - 1/1 full power
    - zoom set to 24mm
    - number of flashes: 50
    - frequency: as soon as flash recycles

    Set 2:
    - freshly charged eneloops
    - 1/1 full power
    - zoom set to 105mm
    - number of flashes: 50
    - frequency: as soon as flash recycles

    So we fired 100 shots almost non stop at the two difference zoom settings, and all shots was fired at full power.  And after the intense 100 shots there were no signs of burning on frensel lens nor the reflector panel. Neither did we note any scent of burning smell.

    1. Were any modifiers used such as gels?
    • If modifiers are placed very close to the frensel lens or the reflector
      panel, it may trap up the heat and over time causes burning
    Was an eternal battery pack used?Did the RF60 temperature warning came on during your shoot?
    Thank you!
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • Sorry it took me awhile to reply.
    I had the flash inside a softbox and used an external battery pack. No gels.

  • Thanks Robin.
    Are you still noticing burning smells lately? Let me know!
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • Count me in as another user with the same problem; I purchased an RF-60 from B&H in September 2016, and it was used relatively lightly in a a RapidBox, without gels.

    Last weekend it started making a VERY loud popping sound when firing at any power level ( especially compared to my other two RF-60's ), and there's now a large burned spot in the middle of the lens, and a strong smell of burning plastic.

    I contacted B&H, and they indicated that since it's past their 30 day return window, I need to go to Cactus. So I presume I need to get an RMA/etc?

       - Rich

  • Hi Rich

    Yes you may send it back for repair. If it's still within the one-year warranty there is no repair fees. Please email us at quoting this thread.

    Kindly also include an e-copy of your B&H invoice.

    Thank you.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
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