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D800 & sb900: can Not turn off red focus light

Andrea Langer , Oct 20, 2012; 08:02 p.m.

Hi, I have a problem with my d800 in combination with sb900 flash: I can not turn off the red focus light the flash makes when you focus. I tried a lot already, maybe one of u can help? I use the flash on TLL, cam on manual.



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Elliot Bernstein , Oct 20, 2012; 08:30 p.m.

Check to make sure you have the AF-S mode selected and not AF-C.

Shun Cheung , Oct 20, 2012; 08:37 p.m.

If you choose continuous AF (AF-C) instead of AF-S, the SB-900 AF assist LED will not come on. Not sure that is the solution you want, though.

Elliot Bernstein , Oct 20, 2012; 08:53 p.m.

Sorry, I misread your post. My answer is opposite of what you are looking for... it should have read "AF-C mode selected and not AF-S" as per Shun.

You can also use manual focus which will suppress the AF light. Or put a piece of take across the light. Live view also keeps the light off.

Elliot Bernstein , Oct 20, 2012; 09:04 p.m.

You can also turn the light off through the flash's menu, 9th option down - the icon shows the letters AF and an image of the flash. Select the 2nd option, OFF.

Mihai Ciuca , Oct 20, 2012; 09:19 p.m.

If your camera has "Built-in AF assist illuminator" OFF (I think a7 in menu) then the flash will not use its assist light.

Shun Cheung , Oct 20, 2012; 09:38 p.m.

If your camera has "Built-in AF assist illuminator" OFF (I think a7 in menu) then the flash will not use its assist light.

Mihai, it sounds like you have not actually tried that.

First of all, the Custom Setting for Built-in AF-assist illuminator on the D800 is a8, not a7, but that is besides the point. I also thought switching off the AF-assist illuminator would also switch off the AF-assist LED on the SB-900, but that is not the case. The LED remains on when I tried it a few minutes ago on the D800. (Mine is a D800E, but it works the same way.)

You need to switch it off from the flash as Elliot suggests.

Mihai Ciuca , Oct 20, 2012; 10:14 p.m.

Shun, I have not with me my D800 right now so I was using my recent memory :) I must be wrong but this is what I was remembering from a recent play with the settings on my D800... if this is not true I apologize for the wrong information. What I remember is that I was switching ON/OF that setting and the flash was following it as well... I need to check it again :)

Hector Javkin , Oct 20, 2012; 10:49 p.m.

Andrea, I'm curious. Does the light bother people you are photographing? Or make them squint? I seldom get complaints about it. The white focus assist light on some camera bodies, yes, it's very intrusive, but not the one on the SB800 or the SU800 flash commander.

Shun Cheung , Oct 20, 2012; 11:25 p.m.

Mihai, I don't mean to pick on you on something so trivial. As I said, I too thought that Custom Setting would control both the build-in AF assist light on the camera body as well as the red LED on the flash, but in fact, that setting has no effect on the AF-assist LED on the flash. I have checked that on the D600, D700, and D800E, with the SB-900 and SB-800; they all work the same way.

What I don't want is incorrect info for the OP, who apparently has spent plenty of time trying to figure this out.

I have captured wedding images where some other photographer's AF-assist LED casts some red light on my subjects. That can be very annoying. That red light essentially ruins my images.

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