When you are shooting with a Nikon Speedlight flash unit mounted on your camera, sometimes you may not want to fire the flash. For example, you are using flash for fill in outdoor portrait shooting and you want to take a landscape photo. You don’t want to shoot landscape with flash firing. You could simply turn it off or remove it from camera. If you need the flash again, just turn it on or mount it back on the camera. This works, but it can get very tedious if you have to do this repeatedly. Here is a tip on how to avoid the hassle.

Nikon DSLR cameras have a FUNC. button that you can assign different roles to it. One of the roles you can assign is called “Flash off”. If you press and hold the FUNC. button while taking a photo, the flash will not fire. 

You can change the role assigned to the FUNC. button in the Custom Settings menu. On Nikon D200/D300, it is custom setting f4, while on the D90, it is custom setting f3. Unfortunately, the lower end D40/D40X/D60 does not allow you to assign flash off role to the FUNC (Fn) button. 

This trick works for the built-in flash too. If the camera is in Auto mode, the camera will decide when to fire the flash, you can disable the flash temporarily using this method. Typically camera with an Auto mode also has a Auto Flash Off mode. The difference is that it turns off flash for all shots.

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