Nikon Commander Mode

Instead of creating another post, I updated the “How to get the best out of your pop-up flash” article to include plenty of information and a new video on Nikon’s Commander Mode on semi-pro and pro-level Nikon camera bodies. Information on how to set up the built-in pop-up camera flash to be a commander, as well as configuring Nikon speedlights (SB-600, SB-700, SB-800 and SB-900) is also included.

Here is the video on how to use the commander mode + flash communication basics:

Our next upcoming article + video is going to be about Nikon speedlights and how to use them in various configurations indoors. Stay tuned!

Avatar of Nasim Mansurov About Nasim Mansurov

is a professional photographer based out of Denver, Colorado. He is the author and founder of Photography Life, along with a number of other online resources. Read more about Nasim here.


  1. 1
    ) Brad Hawley

    I am enjoying your articles and videos on flash photography. Do you have any hints on how to best photograph Christmas trees with lights to be able to retain the light effect and yet illuminate the tree and ornaments?


    • Brad, that’s coming up in our new videos! Our next one is for using speedlights and then the one after that will be for taking pictures indoors :)

  2. 2
    ) Eduardo Siqueira

    Hi Nasim, your tutorial on flash photography is amazing. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Changing subject, I’d like to know whether it is possible to use an Infrared Filter on Nikon D5000. How would the image look like? Do you have any exemplo. I’m very curious about this filter.
    Regards, Eduardo.

    • Thank you Eduardo!

      To be honest, I don’t know much about infrared filters, since I have never tried infrared photography…

  3. 5
    ) Igor

    hi Nasim
    thank you for sharing your knowledge
    your articles are very useful
    i always read then any time
    hope you keep it

  4. 7
    ) SVRK

    Hi Nasim, is there any way I can download your videos through a podcast client? Thanks, Prabhakar

  5. Hello Nasim,

    I have an aggravating problem with my Nikon Commander Mode. I have been using the system for almost 2 years now, and there are occasions when I use the off camera flash in commander mode in which my photos come out blurry. I have checked shutters speed and it is quick enough it should not be a problem. I am frustrated beyond belief, especially with this new set of photos I shot of a bride and a groom. They are gorgeous, but not in focus. Any suggestions? I am happy to send a photo as an example.

  6. Nasim,

    Sorry, I hit enter before I signed my name!

    Thank you!

  7. 10
    ) Barry R. Boyd


    I just got my SB-700 in and it will fire in slave mode with my D3100 pop up flash. I have read here and elsewhere that this would not work.

    • 11
      ) Naftoli

      it will fire in su4 slave mode but u will not be able to use ttl and control the power of it remotly via ur camera

  8. 12
    ) shahed

    Can i use off camera flash with D5200.. i have sb 700

  9. 13
    ) mac

    hii… thank you lots for the video… i wanna use more than one off camera speed light along with pop up flash and i prefer to use flashes in manual mode… i have D3100 and as u told before that there doesn’t have commander mode… so will speed lights fire ?? and it depends on speed light?? i wanna buy Yongnuo Speedlite as its price r cheap….

  10. 14
    ) chris

    Thanks for the tutorial, one question I can’t figure out when I set the my D610 or D800E to commander mode and my SB-910 and SB-800 to remote the flashes fire fine but when I go back to my camera menu and power the flashes up or down it does nothing and flash exposures are the same, why is that thanks

    • 15
      ) chris

      Never mind figured it out;)

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