how to focus in darkness

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how to focus in darkness

Postby auxr8220 on Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:35 pm

i find at nighttime i get a better focus when i use auto focus, but sometimes it doesnt want to focus. i use a torch sometimes aswell and this helps but i want to know if there are any better ways to focus at night time.
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby Reschsmooth on Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:38 pm

For AF systems to work, they typically need good contrast - it is easier to focus on a black and white checkered flag than shades of grey. At night, contrast often goes way down, and your torch then increases it, making it easier to focus.
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby Willy wombat on Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:40 pm

Some higher end speed lights (flashes) also have built in focus assist function when used in the hot shoe of your camera
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby aim54x on Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:01 pm

I have done the torch thing as well...the focus assist on the better flashes work a treat though!
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby gstark on Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:08 am

A couple of points to note ....

If you have a lower end camera, then the AF system will also have some bells muted and some whistles damped.

If you're using kit glass, it will be optically slower. This means that it lets less light in, which means that there's less light available for the AF system - already nobbled in a low-end camera - to do its stuff.
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby aim54x on Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:20 am

gstark wrote:A couple of points to note ....

If you have a lower end camera, then the AF system will also have some bells muted and some whistles damped.

If you're using kit glass, it will be optically slower. This means that it lets less light in, which means that there's less light available for the AF system - already nobbled in a low-end camera - to do its stuff.


Very good points to note as well!! But the full power of a Wolfeyes Defender 260 should remedy both those problems if it is ONLY low light that is the problem (poor subject though...burnt eyes)
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby sirhc55 on Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:42 am

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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby Murray Foote on Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:55 am

If you're using a wide angle lens on a camera that allows manual focusing, there will be greater depth of focus and manually focusing off the lens barrel may do just fine.

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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:31 pm

Depending on subject, you could use a tape measure or laser range finder (just avoid eyes!) & set the distance manually. Those numbers are written on the barrel for a reason after all.
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby auxr8220 on Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:42 am

cheers ill just continue to use the torch to focus,

the tape measure i a good idea, if it was only for one or two shots it would be ok, but for a number of photos from different angles and distance it would be too time consuming.
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Re: how to focus in darkness

Postby photoaffinity on Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:20 am

If i know that i'll be shooting in a dark environment for an evening wedding or similar, i sometimes stick a small LED light to the barrel of my lens with some Velcro and elastic, that way i can touch the button for a quick focus assist light.
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