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by evan-pak

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Why does my D40 have a shutter lag when using the pop-up flash in full manual mode? There isn't a lag when shooting in any of the auto modes.

I'm shooting in single shot mode. It is a constant lag between shots.

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Just what is your exposure set to when in M mode? Do you use high ISO, large aperture, slow shutter speed to let available light do most of the heavy lifting so the flash only has to add a dash of light to round it all off, or is your exposure set so that the flash has to provide all the illumination so that it has to fire at full oomph every time? If so, that is your answer right there. – Staale S Jan 31 '11 at 23:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

This is highly likely due to the charging time of the flash. Depending on the camera, one of the following happens in manual (M) mode:

  1. The camera always fires the flash at full-intensity.
  2. The flash power is automatically set by the camera.
  3. Flash power is manually set between 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, etc of full power.

For #1, you will get the full recharge cycle of your flash every time. If you were in any Automatic mode, then the camera may not need to fully charge the flash and you would get a shorter lag.

For #2, the flash recharge cycle will be depending on the aperture and ISO you set. Try the highest ISO and widest aperture you have and then the opposite, to see if this is the case.

For #3, see the Custom Setting Menu on the D40, the lag will be depend on the manually chosen power setting. Try different power settings and you should see the lag change, particularly if you choose 1/32.

On some cameras, there is a setting in the setup menu which lets the camera take a shot even if the flash is not sufficiently charged. From memory, I do not recall the D40 having this.

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You are using your flash on 'red eye removal' Icon: thunder+eye, put it on normal flash Icon: just the thunder.

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Why would this cause the lag described? – mattdm May 11 '13 at 18:33
Because it sends out preflashes to dilate the subjects pupils. These are perceptible and probably delay the shutter by a second or more. I would guess it's not the answer here, because the preflashes are quite noticeable – MikeW May 11 '13 at 19:52

You did not mention if it is a constant behaviour, or if it happens on continuous shooting. If the latter, then the flash's capacitor needs time to recharge before you can shoot again. This is true for manual, as well as automatic modes.

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It's likely that in TTL mode, your flash isn't firing at full power, which decreases the recycle time mentioned by ysap. – Evan Krall Jan 31 '11 at 22:26

I suspect you're firing in rear-curtain sync mode, which means the flash is fired at the end of the exposure. Switch your flash mode to "auto" and I bet you'll see the delay disappear.

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