d700 question

Dec 9, 2008
Dallas, TX
Ok - shooting an event setup in a hotel ballroom with d700 and sb700. DO you recommend S or C focus mode? CenterWeight or Matrix?
Sorry very new with flash, doing my wife a favor...
Feb 4, 2006
On a Big Island Down Under...
Others with more experience with flash will pipe in, but I use C focus mode (especially if the subjects are moving) and spot metering, plus I only use manual mode when using flash...
Nov 10, 2008
C and program it to use the rear AF button and shutter to release priority. That way you can focus and recompose by letting go of button and the lens stays where you put it.

You can also set it to focus on nearest object which probably would work well for a wedding. LooK at the dynamic area focus modes for better understanding.

Frankly the whole thing confused me. I just set the camera to manual exposure and manual focus. Same with the D3. Why can they not make a plain simple camera leica or Nikon F2. They worked fine.
Sep 15, 2008
Depends on how dark it is. If there is enough light that the D700 can accurately auto-focus without using the AF-assist light of the SB-700, then maybe Continuous-servo would work for you.

However, the AF-assist light of the Nikon speedlights will only work when using Single-servo, so I almost always use S for flash indoors. When using flash, I try to use an aperture that ensures I'll get good DOF if the AF gets close to a lock. I find that indoors, the AF-assist light of the speedlight aids camera AF accuracy significantly compared to shooting without it.

I set my Single-servo AF menu setting to fire whether it has an AF lock or not, to ensure that it will fire when I want, even if it is having a hard time locking focus. This is important for some occasional "grab shots", I do try to allow the camera time to get an AF lock for as many shots as possible.

I use Manual metering with Auto-ISO enabled. My minimum ISO is 400 and maximum is 6400. I set my shutter to 1/250 to block out the effects of ambient light. I will adjust shutter speed down as needed, to bring in ambient background light depending on the shot and mood I want to convey. Almost always use iTTL-BL and center-weighted metering.

If you haven't used Auto-ISO and bounce flash indoors, here is a thread where I explain with examples why I use it.
Last edited by a moderator:
Jan 8, 2009
San Jose, CA
If I'm doing still portraits (family portraits, or shots of the bride/groom getting ready, etc.) I use S focus mode. I want to be able to lock things in and know it'll stay there. Once the ceremony and reception start, it gets flicked to C mode.

As for metering, I spot meter everything. I ONLY use spot metering unless EVERYTHING I'm shooting (subjects, background, foreground, etc.) are ALL in the sun. Otherwise, I spot meter off of faces or clothing. You learn quickly that if you spot meter off of a black jacket, to up the exposure 1/3 or 2/3 stops, and if you focus on a bright white shirt, you can take it down 1/3 of a stop.

I shoot in RAW anyway, so if I blow exposure by 1/3 or 2/3 stops, it's no biggy. It can always be fixed in post.


Spot focus in S mode on the individual's face. That ALWAYS gives me an accurate reading, even if it's a fair skinned European, or a dark-skinned African American.

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