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?

  • 4
    Have you inadvertently activated the red eye reduction? Oct 10, 2013 at 19:54
  • 1
    Also sounds like the CLS commander mode which I use quite a lot. What are your flash settings on the camera? Oct 10, 2013 at 20:32
  • I did a reset on the camera and now the flash seems to be working properly. Thanks
    – Don Lee
    Oct 11, 2013 at 1:47
  • I did a reset of the camera and it worked! Thanks :)
    – Andy
    Nov 15, 2016 at 2:43

4 Answers 4


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


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.


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.


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.

  • 2
    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, 2014 at 13:00

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