by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

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I have a Nikon D200 and I'm using the SB 800 flash. I've been using this flash for a year and now when I take a shot the flash pops 3 short flashes and then the shutter engages and the full flash goes off. The batteries are OK. Does anybody have any ideas what the issue is?

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Have you inadvertently activated the red eye reduction? – Edgar Bonet Oct 10 '13 at 19:54
Also sounds like the CLS commander mode which I use quite a lot. What are your flash settings on the camera? – James Snell Oct 10 '13 at 20:32
I did a reset on the camera and now the flash seems to be working properly. Thanks – Don Lee Oct 11 '13 at 1:47

If the ambient light is too low for the focus sensor to determine the focus, it will perform one or more low level flashes to get enough signal to test/adjust the focus. This would not happen if there is enough light, even if the flash is used for filler.

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It sounds like you may have inadvertently set the flash to either CLS commander mode or i-TTL Balanced Fill Flash. For Commander mode, check custom setting e3.

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I had the same problem with my D750. It took me ages to realise the red eye flash option was selected.

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On the D610, there is a flash "Modeling" option (on by default) that fires pre-flashes so you can supposedly see where flash shadows will fall - and make changes if needed. I've turned it off as it seems very impractical when taking hand-held photos. Guess it'd be useful with tripod and in studios.

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The modeling option is usually a fast pulsing in order to simulate continuous light, but on separate command, not directly when you take a photo. I think it's unrelated to that. – mattdm Feb 1 '14 at 13:00

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