One of the cool things about Cactus is that they are constantly consulting photographers how to improve their flashes and remote triggers to make the photographer’s life easier. Most importantly, they listen and execute. Cactus has recently upgraded its V6 wireless transceiver system to allow flash sync speeds of up to 1/8000 sec. I have been waiting for the HSS (High Speed Sync) for my Fujifilm cameras for a long time. I’ve been using a pre-production Cactus V6II trigger since May. So I tested the Cactus RF60 flash with V6II trigger at one of my cycling races assignments couple weeks ago. As usual, it is not a technical review. I share with you how I set up the shoot, what works and what does not and feel free to browse the photos to see the result.

I first picked one corner that I like the most from this course. I wanted to shoot it beyond the fence but stopped by the volunteers who secured the race track even I was one of the media photographers and weard the media vest. I could understand their concern. As a sports photographer, I do know the risks when covering different sports. The bottom line was no time to argue as the race was going to start in 2 minutes. So I quickly to set up the Cactus RF60 flash with the battery pack on the fence with velcro. Velcro and super clamp are always your friends when you are on assignments. As I was shooting 8 frames per second, the extra juice from the EP-1 battery pack was needed to shorten the recycling time.

As you can see from the photo above, you might ask why I did not shoot with my Fujifilm X-T2 pre-production instead of the X-Pro 2. It is because Cactus is still working on the firmware in order to support the HSS with X-T2. So the X-T2 is working with V6II on normal sync speed only at this moment.

For this corner shoot, I set my camera to manual mode to deal with the triangle setting; Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. First, I knew that I need the shutter speed in between 1/1000 to 1/2000 to freeze the actions or you could play with slow shutter speed and have the flash to freeze the actions as well. Since I wanted to test the HSS so slow shutter speed was not an option for me. Second, at a high speed carving corner with late evening lighting, autofocus is not my option. I would prefer to use manual focus with the depth of field to keep the riders in focus at my desired area. I was shooting with 2 lenses (Fujifilm XF14mm & XF-10-24mm) so f8 should do the job. Third, I dial up the ISO to my liking with the available light. One of the benefit of shooting mirrorless is that you can see the result instantly through the EVF. Lastly, I just need to adjust the flash power output from the V6II trigger to get the right exposure for the riders. Please note that do not tighten the V6II with the secure lever too far to the right side. There will not be enough space to lift up the ISO dial.

The photos below are taken by Fujifilm X-Pro 2 with Cactus RF60 flash & V6II remote trigger. 

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