As you guys may already know, I love off-camera flash. Especially a nice portable system that does just about everything I need. So when the nice folks at Cactus contacted me about sending some of their new flashes and triggers, I was seriously stoked! I received two Cactus WIRELESS FLASH RF60’s and three Cactus WIRELESS FLASH TRANSCEIVER V6’s. To me this is a perfect editorial portrait kit. Two off-camera flashes and 3 triggers to allow for completely hands free, wireless control.
I was immediately impressed with Cactus’ packaging. The boxes look great. Very nice graphic design and labeling. I’m a sucker for graphic design and feel that packaging makes a strong impact. I opened the flash and the build quality is great. Very solid feeling, the seams are tight, the build materials overall solid. I popped in some batteries and really like the backlit LCD display. Big lettering and nice orange backlight make for easy to read controls. The buttons are very well laid out and easy to use. Its great that the flash comes with a PC sync port for either using a pc sync cable or a different radio trigger directly plugged in. I liked that the flash has a USB port for updating firmware and a threaded slot on the side for directly mounting to a stand. Some other nice features are the padded bag it came with and cold shot foot. Overall, it seems really nicely made and feature rich.
The flash goes from 1/128 to 1/1 power in 1/3 stop increments. Very nice. The flash head zooms from 24mm – 105mm, also a very nice touch. It has a flop over fresnel lens and pop up bounce card. All the kinda stuff you find in a high-end branded flash.
On to the flash transceivers. Again, very nice build quality. They come with a cold shoe foot, and are also threaded on the bottom for easy mounting. The buttons are laid out really well and it’s super straight-forward to configure. There are four buttons along the side for Groups A, B, C and D. Just press to activate and they glow orange. Sweet! You just dial in the power for each group on the back, so simple. And you can set the channel very simply as well.
Apparently, these flashes and triggers are compatible with most current camera manufacturers and I’d recommend getting the Cactus set that’s designed for your system. I also see that they are capable of performing HSS (High Speed Sync), that allows you to fire your flashes beyond your camera’s built-in sync speed. I love that feature and can’t wait to check it out!
I’m going to put these things thru their paces and provide a more detailed review with images, but for now, I wanted to share my first impressions from the unboxing and initial thoughts on their ease of use and build quality.
Check out all the detailed specs on Cactus’ site, http://www.cactus-image.com.
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