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

4 Answers 4

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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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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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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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    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Feb 1, 2014 at 13:00

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