The AE-L/AF-L button on my Nikon D7200 is set to focus the camera. I like this setting, but then I don't have a quick way to lock the exposure settings. The only way I know how to do it is to switch the camera to manual mode, turn off Auto ISO, then adjust the ISO to get the exposure I want. Is there a quicker way to lock the exposure and still use back button focusing? I also don't want to use half-pressing the shutter button to lock the exposure. Can I set that "L" on the back that locks to focusing point to lock the exposure instead?

  • What does your user's manual say about the options for exposure and focus lock with the AE-L/AF-L button and for the shutter half-press?
    – Michael C
    Mar 29, 2018 at 6:34

2 Answers 2


Engaging depth-of-field preview (usually mapped to the Pv button on the front of the camera) will also engage AE lock as long as the button is held down. Of course, you can also set the Pv button to perform AE lock only, and by doing so you can also set AE lock to stay engaged until the button is pressed a second time. But I like to leave the Pv button mapped to DoF preview and take advantage of the AE lock side effect as a bonus.


According to page 107 of The Nikon D7200 User's Manual, the default action of the AE-L/AF-L is to lock both focus and exposure when the button is pressed.

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Custom settings a4 (page 277), c1 (p. 279), and f4 (p. 285) affect which buttons do and do not affect AE lock and AF lock. If you are using the MB-D15 battery pack (battery grip), you can assign the function of the AE-L/AF-L button on the grip using custom function f10 (p. 286).

  • The battery pack function is a great idea, but unfortunately, I don't have one. It turns out the preview button does exactly what I'm looking for.
    – jss367
    Mar 30, 2018 at 6:59
  • @jss367 Depending on what exposure mode you are using, how does locking the aperture only also lock exposure? It seems that would only be the case if you are using shutter priority mode.
    – Michael C
    Mar 30, 2018 at 13:08
  • I checked it in M,S, and A modes and in all cases using the Pv button, which in option f3 is set to "Preview", completely locks the exposure (holds aperture, shutter speed, and ISO constant).
    – jss367
    Mar 31, 2018 at 6:17
  • @jss367 Even if you move the camera from pointing at something very dark to something very light?
    – Michael C
    Mar 31, 2018 at 11:01
  • Yep, that's the test I did. I tested at extreme conditions so it resulted in some completely over- and underexposed images, but it demonstrated that it works.
    – jss367
    Apr 1, 2018 at 8:01

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