A99II + HVL F43M = Out Of Sync Flash (Fires Early)

Suspect this has to do with TTL system; tried switching flash to manual, Tx to manual flash, only TTL-based settings all around even fire flash. Regardless of HSS (<160) or not, and every single flash mode on the A99II (slow, fill, wireless), the flash always fires early. Running newest firmware on both Cactus units.

EDIT: With Range on "Short", both Cactus units set to HVLF43M flash, TTL enabled, on tansponder unit, set delay to 65ms for reliable flash coverage up to 1/200th of a second.

This figure is not fully final as it is a rough estimate by fine tuning versus banding. This should be easily remedied via. firmware fix once the reason for the flash pre-triggering by a roughly 65ms headstart (probably TTL features) is isolated.

Comments

  • Also tried disabling all HSS modes and TTL mode and none of these options work.
  • edited January 2017
    Setting Cactus Transmit to manual flash also does not work, does not trigger flash.
  • edited January 2017
    Update:


    With a delay of 80ms in transmit unit, flash appears in sync at shutter speed of 1/30th of a second. Falls out of sync as shutter speed increases.

    HVL-F43M does not appear to trigger in any mode but TTL mode, passthrough is disabled as per manual, but interestingly enough, the fire button on the remote always fires the flash.

    TTL mode is always out of sync, requiring a delay to have the flash appear in shots with slower shutter speeds.
  • Any chance of me getting two free RF-60X's in return for a proper YouTube demonstration of the A99 system and Cactus flashes, doing a tri-flash radio setup mixed with my Sony flash, and the entire thing filmed on 4k, gimbal stabilized?


    I promise it'd be good. I know what I'm doing.

  • You should not need to set any delay.

    What firmware version is installed on your V6 IIs units?
    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. 
  • Latest firmware; the one you released on June 10th. Even tried rolling back to the first firmware.

    I figured there should be no need for delay but literally the flash will not fire unless in TTL mode, and then I have to have the delay to keep it in sync :/


    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58936638

  • 67ms was where I seem to get the best performance (haven't pushed past 1/200th since that's good enough for me for now). I'm returning to B&H tomorrow so we can diagnose this with another unit maybe?

    I find it interesting that the units can fire if I trigger the Transmitter manually from the button, regardless of the settings on the flash. It's just the shutter in the camera only working when set to "Sony" and "F43M" and running a 67ms delay to sync it.
  • If you guys are in NYC I can bring my setup to you to have you analyze it!
  • Sorry I must have misread your original messages.

    The flash must be in TTL mode.

    The latest firmware version is 1.1.002. It was released in October not June :)


    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. 
  • Sorry Antonio, forgot you guys lay it out dd//mm/yyyy :)

    I am running 1.1.002 on both units, and yes that is actually the only mode the flash will fire in, but there is still that 67ms delay between the flash popping and the camera shutter triggering.


  • I downgraded the firmware, tried it in that mode. The receiving unit froze with the older firmware after a few photos (AF light stuck on) so reflashed newest one. Worked immediately as it should. 

    If anyone encounters flash delays, downgrading and upgrading the firmware fixes the problem.

    Thank you Antonio for an outstanding product, I'm excited to take them into the real world and see what they do :)
  • Sorry I must have misread your original messages.

    The flash must be in TTL mode.

    The latest firmware version is 1.1.002. It was released in October not June :)




    The problem has reappeared despite reflashing and now someone else is reporting problems using a Metz flash:

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/58938184

    The problem comes and goes, sometimes the 67ms delay works perfectly, moving in and out of HSS by moving your shutter speed past 1/250 and back seems to make them work funny.

    It is now almost certain the A99II is experiencing issues with these triggers.
  • Could SONY have changed something so deep?
    I have been testing and using intensively the V6IIS with four different SONY cameras: ILCA-77M2, DSC-RX1, DSC-HX50V and SLT-A37 and I never had a similar issue. Trust me I have tried all different options available.
    My flash is the SONY HVL-F60M. The HVL-F43M is newer but I guess that uses same plataform.
    I also use the Cactus RF-60 and an old Minolta Auto 220X (paired with a Cactus V6II).
    The new ILCA-99M2 is on pre-sale on my country, so I have not yet the opportunity to test it.
    Can you tell me which flash profile are you using on your receiver unit with the HVL-F43M?
    Also, can you tell me more about your camera settings?
    I will try to figure it out and help you at same time with Cactus.
  • Meanwhile I want point your attention to few things:
    First: This units -Cactus V6IIS and V6II are not TTL capable. The units are not transmitting any TTL info. You must set manually your flash power and head zoom according to your desire exposure.
    The off-camera flash must be digital TTL capable to remotely adjust the power and the zoom head.
    Second: the "Wireless" mode on the SONY camera is not your best bet to use the Cactus V6IIS.
    That mode uses the SONY proprietary IR TTL transmission to control the SONY off-camera flashes. The SONY "Wireless" system only works with proprietary SONY flashes or their new TTL wireless triggers. Because the ILCA-99M2 have not an integrated pop-up flash you will need a SONY flash mounted on the camera to be the Master and other SONY flashes off the camera to be the Slaves.
    Same way with the "Slow" option. Due to the Cactus V6IIS are not transmitting any TTL info, the flash is going to pops at the beginning of the exposure and not at the end.
    The appropriate Flash Mode to use with any radio remote trigger is "Fill Flash".
    Of course, you can set a "delay" to simulate the "Slow" sync.
    The "Rear" sync works fine.
    I recommend to turn off the Electronic First Curtain if your shutter speed is over the max. sync speed (1/250 to the ILCA-99M2) to avoid the "banding" or "zebra stripes" on the clear areas of the image. If you are shooting on or under the max. sync speed you can use the Electronic First Curtain.
  • Thanks @CapturedSociety for the update and @lansa301 for sharing your Sony FAQ and tips.

    It's probably the new Sony A99 II that we need to investigate on more.

    Or it could also be the Sony flash? As I read on DPREVIEW that a Metz 64 AF-1 works with the A99II.
    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. 
  • Could SONY have changed something so deep?
    I have been testing and using intensively the V6IIS with four different SONY cameras: ILCA-77M2, DSC-RX1, DSC-HX50V and SLT-A37 and I never had a similar issue. Trust me I have tried all different options available.
    My flash is the SONY HVL-F60M. The HVL-F43M is newer but I guess that uses same plataform.
    I also use the Cactus RF-60 and an old Minolta Auto 220X (paired with a Cactus V6II).
    The new ILCA-99M2 is on pre-sale on my country, so I have not yet the opportunity to test it.
    Can you tell me which flash profile are you using on your receiver unit with the HVL-F43M?
    Also, can you tell me more about your camera settings?
    I will try to figure it out and help you at same time with Cactus.
    The flash only fires in TTL mode; that is the only mode available really. I can remotely change all settings but it does not seem to want to sync. I find it odd 67ms is a specific time period for a delay and it consistently chooses that time period. HSS also seems to jam up the units.
  • Meanwhile I want point your attention to few things:
    First: This units -Cactus V6IIS and V6II are not TTL capable. The units are not transmitting any TTL info. You must set manually your flash power and head zoom according to your desire exposure.
    The off-camera flash must be digital TTL capable to remotely adjust the power and the zoom head.
    Second: the "Wireless" mode on the SONY camera is not your best bet to use the Cactus V6IIS.
    That mode uses the SONY proprietary IR TTL transmission to control the SONY off-camera flashes. The SONY "Wireless" system only works with proprietary SONY flashes or their new TTL wireless triggers. Because the ILCA-99M2 have not an integrated pop-up flash you will need a SONY flash mounted on the camera to be the Master and other SONY flashes off the camera to be the Slaves.
    Same way with the "Slow" option. Due to the Cactus V6IIS are not transmitting any TTL info, the flash is going to pops at the beginning of the exposure and not at the end.
    The appropriate Flash Mode to use with any radio remote trigger is "Fill Flash".
    Of course, you can set a "delay" to simulate the "Slow" sync.
    The "Rear" sync works fine.
    I recommend to turn off the Electronic First Curtain if your shutter speed is over the max. sync speed (1/250 to the ILCA-99M2) to avoid the "banding" or "zebra stripes" on the clear areas of the image. If you are shooting on or under the max. sync speed you can use the Electronic First Curtain.
    None of this works, still require a delay.


  • None of this works, still require a delay.

    Due to this issue is with a very new camera, I have another questions for you.
    Is the "Reduce red-eye" option activated on your camera?
    Personally
    I never use that option because most of the time I use my flashes off
    the camera or during daylight. So is a power juice waste.
    Second, by
    any chance do you have another set of simple radio triggers? Those that
    only use the center pin sync. Could be interesting to see if the flash
    is off-time with another radio trigger.
    Also, do you have a PC-sync
    cable or the remote cable? to connect the V6IIS (Tx) to the camera via
    the mini-jack instead of the Multi-Interface hot shoe.
    Thanks,


  • None of this works, still require a delay.

    Due to this issue is with a very new camera, I have another questions for you.
    Is the "Reduce red-eye" option activated on your camera?
    Personally
    I never use that option because most of the time I use my flashes off
    the camera or during daylight. So is a power juice waste.
    Second, by
    any chance do you have another set of simple radio triggers? Those that
    only use the center pin sync. Could be interesting to see if the flash
    is off-time with another radio trigger.
    Also, do you have a PC-sync
    cable or the remote cable? to connect the V6IIS (Tx) to the camera via
    the mini-jack instead of the Multi-Interface hot shoe.
    Thanks,
    Hello! Sorry about the delay, been busy :(

    That option has always been disabled, I do have that port and I'll have to go get a cable then...

    Thank you for the option :D


  • Hello! Sorry about the delay, been busy :(

    That option has always been disabled, I do have that port and I'll have to go get a cable then...

    Thank you for the option :D
    It is fine.
    The ILCA-99M2 have both ports (PC-Sync and Remote) same as the ILCA-77M2 but the cables are different. I own only the Remote cable.
    Any chance to use a center-pin sync remotes?
  • edited February 2017
    Good news, the SONY ILCA99M2 is now available in my country. They are going to let me test the Cactus V6IIS and my SONY HVL-F60M at the SONY Store.
    I will let you know when I can conduct the tests.
  • Good news, the SONY ILCA99M2 is now available in my country. They are going to let me test the Cactus V6IIS and my SONY HVL-F60M at the SONY Store.
    I will let you know when I can conduct the tests.
    Fantastic!

    Please keep us posted :)

    Thanks so much @lansa301
    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 February 2017
    Please keep us posted :)

    You can bet on it!
  • Hi,
    Today I had the opportunity to test the Cactus V6IIS with the ILCA-99M2 (Exhibition) at my local SONY Live store.
    I have reset the camera to the factory defaults.
    The camera had the Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
    On the manual mode I used the shutter speed on 1/250, aperture on f/8 and the ISO on 100.
    I have used my HVL-F60M as the Off-Camera Flash.
    Every single time the flash have worked flawless.
    So I begun to rise the shutter speed until reach 1/8000. The flash syncs and expose correctly the image. I adjusted the flash power to compensate the shutter speed.
    Later I returned to the sync speed (1/250) and I tested different apertures, again compensating the flash power.
    Every single image was properly exposed and illuminated by the OCF.
    Later I have changed the Cactus V6IIS (Tx) to my DSC-RX1 and I took couple of test shots. Worked perfectly.
    So I have connected the V6IIS on the ILCA-99M2 again and I took other few images. Again all have worked as expected, no problems.
    Sorry but I cannot reproduce your error.
  • Wow!  Thanks a lot for your report, @lansa301.  HUGS!~~

    This is useful information and we are relieved to hear.

    So after testing the A99M2, will you consider getting one? :)
    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. 


  • So after testing the A99M2, will you consider getting one? :)
    Thank you,
    I was considering to get one since the announcement at Photokina. The camera have features that I find very interesting. Like the AF point linked to the Single Point Exposure, the dual AF system, the dual SD card slots, etc.
    But I need to make another tests with the camera before. Next time I will ask if I can use my own SD card on the camera to keep the images. I want to use more than one OCF using the V6IIS.
    Also I want to test my intervalometer. And my remote control that is an Android app that uses an USB-OTG cable.
    Fortunately SONY cameras are completely compatibles with my editing software (Capture One Pro) thanks to the SONY-PhaseOne alliance. That and the compatibility with your Cactus products are my deal breakers to upgrade my ILCA-77M2.
  • I forgot to mention that I also have tested the TTL-pass through option.
    I left the V6IIS attached to the camera and over it I have mounted the HVL-F60M flash.
    Again, everything looked fine.
  • @lansa301 thanks again for reporting your findfings.  It's great to hear that V6 IIs is working nicely with the A99 Mark II.


    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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