How to focus in extreme low lighting?

bobaab

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For example of a situation: shots during the night away from a city when light pollution isn't putting a spotlight on us.

It's sometimes very hard to see, and even harder to see through a viewfinder. What are some techniques you guys use to focus in really low lighting when AF isn't exactly working?
 

BadRotation

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A simple laser pointer does the job wonderfully.


Will lock on extremely quick, and even quicker if you have one with a grid pattern.


Just shine it on what you want to focus on. :thumbup:
 

ksmattfish

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A lens with a DOF scale is a wonderful thing. It seems to me that with today's computerized cameras they could include a DOF calculator in the software, and show the focus point and DOF in one of the displays.
 

Rob

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bobaab said:
For example of a situation: shots during the night away from a city when light pollution isn't putting a spotlight on us.

It's sometimes very hard to see, and even harder to see through a viewfinder. What are some techniques you guys use to focus in really low lighting when AF isn't exactly working?

Set aperture at f11 - f22, turn the focus manually to infinity and nudge it back a bit. Well, that's always worked for me!

Rob
 

keller

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I dont get the AF thing. Why can't it lock onto certain objects? If it emits an IR beam, doesn't that beam just bounce back from the object it aims at?
 

clarinetJWD

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keller said:
I dont get the AF thing. Why can't it lock onto certain objects? If it emits an IR beam, doesn't that beam just bounce back from the object it aims at?
:hertz: I've never heard of that...My D70 has a white AF assist bulb. If it could be done with invisiable light, I think it would be, but the Canon cameras especially (like the one in question here) are not very IR sensitive, and I can't see how that would do anything...
 

thebeginning

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ksmattfish said:
A lens with a DOF scale is a wonderful thing. It seems to me that with today's computerized cameras they could include a DOF calculator in the software, and show the focus point and DOF in one of the displays.

i thought the same thing. i've used that method before, it works well as long as you have enough light to work with and a relatively small aperture.

a flashlight also does it for me.
 

JonathanM

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Wide angle lens, small aperture. If its that dark that you can't see through the viewfinder then surely illuminate your centre of focus with a torch beam, and use manula focus if the AF can't hack it?
 

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