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Thread: Focusing in dark places?

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    Focusing in dark places?

    I recently bought a DSLR (EOS T1i), and ive took a class in my community college, but my professor never taught us how to focus at night or in very dark places. Recently my friend asked me to be his photographer for his birthday party, when it came to me to start taking pictures i had trouble manually focusing because when i looked through the viewfinder it was pitch dark. So is their any method/trick to help me focus at night or at dark places, or is it recommend to buy a new flash?

    Thank you for your time



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    Prefocus and use an aperture that will render everything in focus (Google hyperfocal).
    I see dead pixels!
    Go forth and actuate!



    Lens Across America, ROUND 3!!!!


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    I always keep a small pen light in my bag. Comes in handy every now and then, focus assitance in dark places is one of the uses.

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    If it is that dark it's not worth taking a photo unless you are using studio flash and then you have modelling lights

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aye-non Oh-non Imus View Post
    I always keep a small pen light in my bag. Comes in handy every now and then, focus assitance in dark places is one of the uses.
    Nice trick!
    James
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    I just look for any highlights and use that. The small pen light is a nice idea.

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    Read your camera user's manual so you can learn how to use the low light auto focus assist feature of the pop up flash unit.

    EDIT: I was just looking through the T1i user's manual online, and like most Canon users's manual it sucks, badly. I don't see that the T1i has a low light auto focus assist feature.

    Another reason I can't recommend Canon gear.
    Last edited by KmH; 06-13-2011 at 03:52 PM.
    . . . . . . Keith . . . . . . .How Do I Use My Digital SLR?...
    Photography is at its core an attempt to represent the reality of light in a media that canít faithfully reproduce it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    Prefocus and use an aperture that will render everything in focus (Google hyperfocal).
    Quote Originally Posted by Aye-non Oh-non Imus View Post
    I always keep a small pen light in my bag. Comes in handy every now and then, focus assitance in dark places is one of the uses.
    Thank you both, i'll google hyperfocal and i'll carry a small light

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    You can't use an aperture that will render everything in focus in dark conditions unless you are on a steady tripod and nothing in the frame is moving. Hyperfocal distance and a small aperture are generally applicable to landscape photography. Not indoor low light photography. I hope that suggestion was a joke.

    If you need a flash light for your focus module to lock on, you are pretty much beyond your camera's capabilities, at least without flash.

    Now, if you are willing to purchase a flash, most speedlights have a focus assist beam on them that will aid your camera. It is kind of a red grid that it projects so it gives your focus system something to lock on to.

    Digital photography and technology are getting better everyday, but you still can't take pictures in the dark. Sometimes, if there isn't enough light, you don't have a choice but to add it.
    Last edited by Kerbouchard; 06-13-2011 at 09:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    You can't use an aperture that will render everything in focus in dark conditions unless you are on a steady tripod and nothing in the frame is moving. Hyperfocal distance and a small aperture are generally applicable to landscape photography. Not indoor low light photography. I hope that suggestion was a joke.

    If you need a flash light for your focus module to lock on, you are pretty much beyond your camera's capabilities, at least without flash.

    Now, if you are willing to purchase a flash, most speedlights have a focus assist beam on them that will aid your camera. It is kind of a red grid that it projects so it gives your focus system something to lock on to.

    Digital photography and technology are getting better everyday, but you still can't pictures in the dark. Sometimes, if there isn't enough light, you don't have a choice
    but to add it.
    Ive been considering of buying a new flash. Any recommendations?

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    I would recommend an SB800 or SB900, but then you would have to buy a Nikon for everything to work right. I don't know much about the Canon line up of flashes, but in general, you get what you pay for. Make sure it can swivel, tilt, and has an AF assist. It looks like the 580 EX II is the top of the line for Canon flashes at around $500. It looks like the 430 EX II is about the cheapest of the Canon line that will actually do what you need a flash to do at around $280.
    Creative likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    I would recommend an SB800 or SB900, but then you would have to buy a Nikon for everything to work right. I don't know much about the Canon line up of flashes, but in general, you get what you pay for. Make sure it can swivel, tilt, and has an AF assist. It looks like the 580 EX II is the top of the line for Canon flashes at around $500. It looks like the 430 EX II is about the cheapest of the Canon line that will actually do what you need a flash to do at around $280.
    Thanks, i'll look at both flashes more deeply. Thank you for all the help

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    ......... Not indoor low light photography. I hope that suggestion was a joke................
    Don't knock until you try it. I'm not saying try to get EVERYTHING from 0.001" to infinity in focus.... just the normal distances your subjects are. 5-10 feet is not an impossible feat, even at f/5.6 or f/8.
    I see dead pixels!
    Go forth and actuate!



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    Quote Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    ......... Not indoor low light photography. I hope that suggestion was a joke................
    Don't knock until you try it. I'm not saying try to get EVERYTHING from 0.001" to infinity in focus.... just the normal distances your subjects are. 5-10 feet is not an impossible feat, even at f/5.6 or f/8.
    Okay, let me know the next time you are shooting handheld, indoor, low light, no flash photography where you need a flash light just to give the focus system something to lock into and are shooting at f/8. Sounds a bit far from optimal to me. Just sayin'.

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    I carry a small LED light for both seeing in my bag in the dark and focusing.

 

 
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