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Thread: Focusing landscape at night

  1. #1

    Default Focusing landscape at night

    Hi

    I was doing a 10-20s exposure at night on landscape. There were some dim light source at the background some 50-100m away. My chosen focus point (subject) was much nearer, probably at the 1/3 point (prob 15-30m). How do you auto focus in such scenario? Do note the subject after 10-15s exposure will be "pretty well lighted".

  2. #2

    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    There is no way you could acheive a smooth transition of exposure here.
    The best you could minimise is to use a soft ND filter,stops depending on your exposure.
    It'll at least help to minimise the exposure differences

  3. #3

    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgio View Post
    There is no way you could acheive a smooth transition of exposure here.
    The best you could minimise is to use a soft ND filter,stops depending on your exposure.
    It'll at least help to minimise the exposure differences
    original question was on focusing, not exposure

    to answer the question "How do you auto focus in such scenario?" - autofocus in low light scenes is usually unreliable. manual focus and live view (if available) are your best friends

    though if your lens has a reliable distance scale, you could probably pre-focus and ignore AF altogether
    eyes | head | feet | flickr | APAD: straight from camera

  4. #4

    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    Hi

    By manual focus, i dun think we can make use of any metering (or for the red light to blink in nikon camera). Because it is rather dark, it is not easy to do a pure manual focus. Due to the long exposure, the picture may be a bit brighter than we see with our eyes.

    The distance scale of my lens have no marking beyond 1.5 (or is it 3m) to infinity.

    Looks like the only cure is to take pictures just after sunset when there is still a bit of light.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    if you have a powerful enough torch, shine it on your focus point.

    then af, and then turn off your torch. if you must use af, anyways. frankly speaking, i always use manual focusing.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    The other option is too keep Hyperfocal Distance in mind. If you can guess the distance roughly than that's pretty enough at f/8 and above. Your subject will be in focus.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Focusing landscape at night

    Quote Originally Posted by varf View Post
    original question was on focusing, not exposure

    to answer the question "How do you auto focus in such scenario?" - autofocus in low light scenes is usually unreliable. manual focus and live view (if available) are your best friends
    Seconded. I made the mistake of using autofocus because the camera indicated that it could focus (it did but not on the subject). For night shots you are better off using manual focus. Us a torch or headlights on your subjects and focus on them before shooting.

    I'm not sure what goes on with a 10-20, I hear that ultra-wide angle lens do not always keep everything within its range in focus, mostly the central part.
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