Hope someone can help with this.

I recently purchased some Cactus v5 Transceiver/Receiver set, having being told they would fire with many different types of flash units and camera's (including the Nissin that I have).

Most of my equipment is Nikon analogue. I have a D70 which I use for testing purposes.

I have a Nissin Di866 MKII which is a Canon fit.

The cacti are talking to each other, (green and orange lights) and the connection is definitely being fired from the camera side (with the natural connection as well as via a hotshoe extension).

But nothing seems to make the flash trigger. What mode does the flash have to be in? And is there a way to test this without firing the camera shutter?

I also tried with a sync cable between the cactus tx and the flash, but no joy.

I really hope someone can help.

(I did actually ask this question on the cactus community forums here: http://www.cactus-image.com/community/discussion/787/firing-nissin-di866-mkii-with-cactus-tx-rx#latest but I guess they are not as active as StackExchange).

Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


Your flash will need to be in M/Av (Manual or Aperture Value) mode in order to trigger correctly. Whether you choose to use the manual power level setting or the Av (we used to call it "auto thyristor") mode, in which the flash controls its own power level based on light reflected from the scene to its sensor, is up to you, but M/Av is the only mode that fires "dumb" from the flash's centre hot shoe contact. Other modes use different contacts.

You can use the test button on the V5 that's in TX (transmitter) mode to test fire the flash. (You can hand-hold the transmitter; the test button doesn't always work when mounted to the camera. I'm not sure why that is, but it does seem to be hit-and-miss on the D70.) The D70 should trigger the V5 TX at any shutter speed, but you might not get correct sync or full flash power above 1/1000 of a second - there's a bit of a delay in the radio circuit that prevents reliable sync over 1/1000 (which is still faster than most fire-only radio triggers), and the flash duration at high power means that the electronic shutter will close before the flash is finished firing if your shutter speed is too high.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks so much. I cannot test it for a little while, but this all sounds like very sage advice, so I am fairly confident I will be voting on it. Cheers. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Nov 26, 2015 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I finally got to test the rig properly today and I am absolutely sure you are correct but something is not working. It seems to be the connection from the cactus tx to the flash I cannot get it to fire under any circumstances. Everything else looks to be being triggered. So maybe I have to try out another flash. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Jan 2, 2016 at 10:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tried this too: cactus-image.com/community/discussion/comment/1552/… I assume the equipment must be faulty. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Jan 6, 2016 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well sad story, I took all my equipment to my local camera store and they couldn't figure out why it was not firing. So the upshot is I invested in a Nikon Speedlight in the shop and tested it there and then. My wife gets to keep the Nissin as she has a Canon digital camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Jan 25, 2016 at 11:13

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