Inexpensive Flash Triggers Gain Features, Sturdiness

Review by Erik Vlietinck

We all know Cactus flash triggers as cheap alternatives for more expensive professional products. The V6 II and V6 IIs (Sony) aren’t just cheap anymore, and pros should really try them. The V6 II is made to last, powered by two AA-batteries or a 5V mini-USB power source.

The V6 IIs (that I tested with my Sony A700 and a Sony hot-shoe adapter) is specifically designed for Sony cameras and flashes with the Multi-Interface hot shoe. If you then position a Cactus V6 II remotely—which I also had at my disposal—the V6 IIs allows you to command different brands of flashes off-camera below or above x-sync speed. Wireless performance was great. I could work up to 15 yards away without interference or intermittent radio troubles.

Loaded with the latest firmware, you get cross-brand remote TTL power and (on some flashes) zoom control of third-party speedlights when mounted on a Cactus V6 II. The Cactus V6 II works with practically every major camera brand in TTL mode. To trigger Sony flashes, you’ll need another V6 IIs.

Each model has Multi-Master support for up to 20 photographers firing the same set of flashes at their own power setting, an AF-assist light, flash profile customization capabilities, and features such as low power, absolute power, TTL pass-through, group sequence, sports shutter, remote shutter, relay mode, and delay mode.

The last version of the Cactus trigger I reviewed was the V5. That one was rather flimsy, but the V6 II certainly isn’t. During the weeks I was trying them out, I did something very stupid that required me to wrench a flash off the hot shoe. Much to my relief, the unit withstood the force of a plastic wedge driven between its hot shoe and the flash’s. Afterwards, it worked just as before. ■