I find that whenever I press the depth of field preview button it performs the depth of field preview function and the AE-L icon is displayed in the viewfinder. I have confirmed that the depth of field button is assigned the DOF function and that DOF+Dial is none. If I assign AE-L to the DOF button then I lose the DOF functionality and the AE-L icon is displayed in the viewfinder. Assign DOF to the DOF button again and I get the DOF functionality back but the AE-L icon is still displayed in the viewfinder.
Would someone else with a D700 please try this and let me know what happens.
Other than this I am very impressed. Still trying my various lenses but so far only my Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 Di XR seems soft wide open. My manual focus lenses are producing sharp images and my AF 80-200 f/2.8 is superb (as always).
Yes, per Randy's request, I just did this on my new D700 and pressing the DOF button, does result in the AE-L button lighting in green in the viewfinder. It may be a default, have not gotten very far yet with it, Debra
Makes perfect sense to me. The camera has to lock the exposure in order to stop down for DOF preview since it can't very well continue to evaluate exposure with the aperture closed down. So the AE-L indicator is simply reporting what the camera is doing.