Very low-light Focus

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Clawed, May 15, 2009.

  1. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    I have a question:

    I typically use AutoFocus to focus a shot, but I have been doing a lot more night photography recently.

    I now use LiveView a lot more so I can optically zoom and manual focus (which is great if you have enough ambient light). However, I am trying to shoot scenes which require long exposures in darkness and in LiveView, everything is just black.

    I need to know: what solutions are there for me, in order to be able to focus my subject in darkness? I have never used an AF-assist beam, but I am pretty sure its only good for maybe 10-15 feet. I thought about using a high f-stop, but I would not know how to properly expose a 30 sec+ shutterspeed shot in "bulb." Any suggestions?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I assume your lens doens't have a distance scale?

    You could use a flash light or video light or even a laser pointer...just something to put some light on the subject so you can focus on it.

    Also, I believe you can access the 'flash focus assist' by pressing the DOF preview button (check your manual). This causes the flash to strobe on and off, allowing the AF to see the subject.
     
  3. Clawed

    Clawed TPF Noob!

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    The (crappy) lenses I own do not have a distance scale but if its a big help I will remember that when I make my next lens purchase. With that, I would probably just need to be able to estimate the distance from my subject and manually turn the focus ring to that distance on the lens, right (you can tell I am not familiar with a distance scale, but I am sure it's just what it sounds like :)

    Using a high powered flashlight would probably work for me, which is a great idea... might be about the same as using AF-assist beam in terms of distance.
     
  4. marcpro

    marcpro TPF Noob!

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    My 450D (that's the Rebel Xsi, isn't it?) strobes the flash to assist in autofocus. Works great, but freaks the heck out of people. And if you're shooting skylines or things far away like that, it won't really help...
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In a nutshell, your answer, methinks.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2009

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