Photo tricks. Part 10.

Anniversary, tenth article about photo tricks.

Photo tricks. Part 10

Photo tricks. Part 10

This time I offer again a trick for working with flash. Almost all CZKs have one interesting AE-L / AF-L button, which very often misses the camera body, since few people press it.

First trick is that the AE-L / AF-L button can be programmed for different functions on some cameras. Ask your camera manual what this button can do. For Nikon hobby cameras, the AE-L / AF-L button usually performs the standard AE lock or AF lock function. AE-L / AF-L from English 'Auto Exposure Lock / Auto Focus Lock' - auto Exposition locked / auto focus locked. In the menu, you can configure how the lock will occur. Also, in viewing mode, the AE-L / AF-L button on amateur cameras performs delete protection function snapshots. On more advanced cameras, the AE-L / AF-L button can be programmed for any interesting functions, for example, on my Nikon D700 This button enables Live View.

Second trick lies in the fact that the AE-L / AF-L button can be set to very useful flash lock mode. This is an indispensable opportunity not to turn off the external flash during the picture and not lower the built-in. Let me explain: when dressed and turned on external flash, or when the built-in flash on the camera is raised, it always fires in P, A, S, M modes. To turn off the flash, you need to either turn it off, remove it from the camera, or lower the built-in flash. In dynamic shooting conditions, no option is acceptable. By the way, even if you turn off the flash on the camera, then when you turn on the flash again, many external flashes go through the activation stage, adjust the zoom, etc. Personally mine SB-900 quite a lot of noise (squeals) when turned on, which very much interferes, for example, when wedding photography... Setting the AE-L / AF-L button to turn off the flash is very handy.

Image difference with and without flash

The difference of the picture with and without flash. Everyone will like their option.

There are many cases where you don’t know how the camera will transfer the picture with or without flash, so I often duplicate the picture with or without flash, and then leave the best one. Here is an example of such work.

Third trick associated with the convenience of managing automatic focus on a single point.

When there are a lot of focus points, for example, like Nikon D300, D700 etc. and in the one-point focusing mode, you need to scroll for a very long time with the joystick from one end of the viewfinder to the other. On the one hand, the loopback function will help. But turning over still takes a lot of time. To do this, you can configure one trick: when setting up, set up the central button to return the focus point to the center. Such a maneuver helps to instantly switch to the central focus point, compose frames faster and really makes life easier.


Disconnecting external flash Using the programmable button can serve as an excellent function during shooting in difficult conditions. Switching the joystick to the center focus point greatly accelerates the work in autofocus mode at one point.

Help to the project. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 37, on the topic: Photo tricks. Part 10.

  • Lera pavlov

    Thanks for the article, I liked it very much. I wanted to ask what kind of light diffuser you use on the external flash Arkady. I tried everything different. I settled on the option of reflecting the ceiling of the wall in the room if white and my native business card was necessarily put out if dark or a street in my forehead but wearing native cap (sb700) because all the bells and whistles are especially self-made bulky and it is not convenient to report with them. If you can give practical advice, thank you in advance.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      I use it exactly as you described. Only I have SB-900, SB-910 and almost always on the road I have an assistant with a crane and an umbrella in the light - this is really a panacea.

  • Lera pavlov

    Thanks understood.

  • alenfeeling

    Good afternoon, Arkady!
    I have two questions:
    On the Nikon D700, is there no Live View power button?
    on d90 can also be configured this way or does it only have Fn configured?

    • Arkady Shapoval

      There is no Live View button on the D700, there is only a ring of modes with Live View, which is very inconvenient to use. The same method in the Nikon D300. On the D90, as far as I remember, the FN button can be configured to turn off the flash, and for Live View there is a separate button.

  • alenfeeling

    Thank you.
    probably you need to re-read the instructions on the camera every 3 months for 3 years)

    • Max

      That's right!

  • Michael

    Hello Arkady! To begin with, I would like to thank you for your work. I found "Radozhiva" quite recently, and I read all the articles literally avidly. Very interesting and informative.
    Unfortunately, at the moment I am not the owner of a SLR camera, I am filming for an old Fujikovsky superzoom. Soon I plan to purchase a D7000.
    In your article, you mentioned the following -

    “When there are a lot of focus points, like on Nikon D300, D700, etc. and in focusing mode, one point at a time requires a very long time to turn the joystick from one end of the viewfinder to the other. On the one hand, the loopback function will help. But flipping still takes a lot of time. To do this, you can configure one trick: when sighting, set the center button to return the focus point to the center. This maneuver helps you instantly switch to the center focus point, frame your shots faster, and really makes life easier. ”

    The question is - why can't you use only the central focus point at all in normal shooting? It is clear that 3D focus works with all points, but it is not always needed. Aim at the desired subject, focus, half-press the shutter button and compose the frame - that's how I've always shot. Is it convenient if it focuses somewhere on the left, right, or above?)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      When focusing on the center point, and then when rearranging the frame to a fast or long telephoto lens, the depth of field zone is shifted and the object is not sharp. Due to the large depth of field, such a maneuver can be carried out on a soap dish.

      • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

        I suffered because of this

  • Vladimir

    Good day to all.
    An acquaintance of mine used to shoot like this all the time: he would then recompose the frame along the central one. So he had most of the frames not in sharpness about the main subject of shooting. I stopped doing the same for a long time, on the central one with the subsequent composition of the frame. Even when you look through the peephole, you can see how the picture changes slightly when you compose the frame. So my opinion is only first the layout, then moving the focus point to the desired place and then ... press from the camera start

  • Vladimir

    By the way, in modern cameras there is a function not only for blocking the flash, but also the equally interesting function BLOCKING THE PULSE PULSE of the flash. Who uses it, how and in what cases, it will be interesting to read ...
    Respectfully to Arkady, Vladimir S.

    • Max

      “… .Flash PULSE LOCK function” is a very useful piece!
      It makes sense to use it in conditions where for all frames at any given time you need a flash pulse of the same (well, or almost the same) power! For example, when shooting indoors from one angle and at the same distance. In this case, the camera does not make pre-tests to determine the necessary pulse power, but immediately gives out a working pulse of a given power. T.O. we save time for creating a frame (albeit not a lot of time, but still!) and significantly save battery power.
      Why is this feature better than just a manual flash control? The fact that you do not need to manually select the required power, it is calculated automatically when you turn on this mode. You can quickly turn off this mode and turn it back on quickly for changing conditions and the required power will be automatically set again. And when the pulse power blocking mode is on, manual adjustment of the flash power to + or to - is also available.
      In general, the function is very convenient and often used by me!

  • Yuri D3000

    Recently I am reading your reviews and articles - thanks, on top! Now I want to share my experience in how to return the focus point from an arbitrary position to the center - as I do on my Nikon d3000. On my camera on the navipad, there is an “ok” button in the center, and so, this button serves both to confirm actions in the camera menu, and, as it turned out, to return the focus point to the center. But what is the trick: to return the point to the center, you first need to press the release halfway to transfer the return function to the “ok” button, and then press the “ok” button - the point moves to the center. I tried it only on d3000 - unfortunately, I had no experience with other cameras.

    • Serge

      good advice, I tried on d3100, it turns out even without pressing the shutter button halfway! I will use this technique)))

    • Sergei

      I have 7100. Does not work. I am looking in the internet for how to put a central point and I can't find anything ...

  • Yu

    In d90, we also activate the exposure meter, press the OK button

  • Dmitriy

    Regarding trick number 2, does this apply to all cameras or only advanced ones? specifically D5100 interests

    • Sergei

      In D7000 and D7100 it works in the same way as __ Yuri D3000___ wrote, I think that in D5100 it will work

    • Benjamin

      And the Nikon D5100, too.

  • Igor

    Good afternoon, Arkady. Please tell me how to set the central button during sighting to return the focus point to the center. On the Nikon D5300

  • Sergei


  • tatianaput

    Hello. Thank you very much for the huge amount of information, it helps a lot in my work. I often use your site, and I know professional photographers who often drop in here and with great benefit. I want to write about this: I have a Nikon D7000. I used 2 zoom lenses and a macro prime. The zoom, of course, is a bit dark, but with the macro everything is in order. In general, I hate the autofocus mode, I use it very rarely. Recently I became the proud owner of a dream lens, a fix - a Nikkor 180mm f / 2,8 telephoto lens. I am no stranger to manual aiming, but it turned out that the lens, which is in excellent condition, smears 10cm in the back from a distance of 4 meters. I adjusted for some time, out of 20 - 30 takes 1-2 are of such high quality. which is not only 100% but also 200% very good. True, they still need to be fished out of the sea of ​​pictures. I have been digging on the Internet for a long time what to do when the camera works fine with a new lens, the telephoto camera worked perfectly for the previous owner, what is wrong? It turned out that what was wrong: on the camera, I set the lever to AF a long time ago, I always switched the mode on the lens. It turns out that in this mode, when working with old lenses (everything is in order with the new one), a sufficiently large back focus appears. After switching to M, the focus fell into place, i.e. to 0. Does anyone know why this is so. It is clear that you need to read the manual more often. Somewhere the information slipped that the manufacturer is fighting against old lenses, maybe this back is sewn into the program, but only works in AF mode? Does anyone have any ideas?

    • Max

      What BEC or FRONT focus can be discussed when focusing manually? Or do you aim manually, but judge the correct aiming solely by the green focus confirmation point?

  • Benjamin

    Good evening, Arkady!
    Is it possible to implement the second photo trick - set the AE-L / AF-L button to flash lock mode - in Nikon D5100? If so, how?

    • BB

      You do not.

  • Alexey

    On Nikon D600, I could not configure AE-L / AF-L to disable the built-in flash, only the Aperture Repeater button can be assigned, and only while the button is pressed - the flash does not work.

  • Jury

    Good day! Great photo blog! I came across recently and absorb with delight!
    Please tell me about the second photo trick. I configured the button, pressed it, and the flash as it worked, and it works. It turns out that the flash lock is not activated.
    Please tell me where to look.
    Nikon D 7100

    • Michael

      press and hold it while releasing the shutter

    • NE

      when the button that you set to block the flash is pressed, the lightning icon should disappear in the viewfinder

  • Sergei

    Much has been said about setting focus to a center point. And not a single explanation of how to do it. I am looking for an answer to this question on an Internet ... but it simply does not exist. The rest is with a bang. Everything is clear and very useful information. thanks

    • Valery A.

      “AF-area mode”: single-point AF or dynamic AF, and select the center (or other) point with the joystick, they blink when you point at them.

    • NE

      Why not read the instructions (user manual)? This article is essentially a methodological recommendation, i.e. it says that this or that can be done in principle, but the implementation (and its availability) depends on the equipment, i.e. you still can't do without instructions. It is useful to read the instructions before purchasing ...

  • Andrew

    How I got used to focusing one point at a time plus reflow:
    1) focus
    2) recompose
    3) move the camera back a little by moving the neck
    4) take pictures

    • Specialist

      On point 3: of course, it's good that you have such a flexible neck, but will the focusing zone go forward?

      • Andrew

        Here either pan or disappear, you can get there

      • Andrew

        It will go forward if the camera is moved forward

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