I'm thinking about getting an AA-mode capable speedlight for use with my D1h due to the extended aperture range available over my SB-25's regular A mode and the exposure compensation option. It is my understanding that AA mode will work with any aperture setting and either manual or aperture priority modes. But will AA mode work with manual focus AI and AIS lenses? If not, this will be a deal-breaker. I want to use it with a manual telephoto zoom at f/2.8 and f/4.
I see - I was thinking of A (Non-TTL Auto mode). Given the camera requirements for AA mode, it looks like any camera capable of AA mode is also capable of TTL mode. Why would you want to use AA mode instead of TTL mode?
>AA mode requires the Distance information only a D, G, Dx >lens can provide see page 38 of SB 800 manual. (that is if >you understand Greek or geek talk)
It does pre-flash in AA mode, although the delay between pre-flash and main flash is somewhat shorter (the A mode does not). You can see the double lighting bolt icon on the flash that indicates pre-flash, and it's also somewhere in the manual.
The way I read page 38, you only need a CPU lens, which still excludes most MF lenses, but it's not limited to D/G lenses, I don't see anything about required distance information (it may use it if available, just like TTL mode).
The main advantage of A/AA mode versus TTL I see is with off-camera flash, since the flash won't see the same as the lens. The obvious example is lighting a background with a wireless slave. Since you just want the background correctly exposed, AA mode can work better in this case.