Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

  1. #1

    Default problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    hi all,

    as per thread title, i've faced with this problem in a recent shoot in a dark resturant/bar.
    when i was trying to auto-focus at the subject, the camera couldn't seem to "locate" the subject as it was too dark. therefore, my camera didn't go off to shoot.

    just wanna find out how do i counter such problem in the future?

    please advise, thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    you can't, if there is no contrast perceived by the camera, then it won't focus

    some cameras can use the popup flash as af assist lamp or something, throw out a burst of light then lock focus before taking picture, but i think will have flash

  3. #3
    Senior Member darrrrrrrrrr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    3,208

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    you could try manual focusing in super dark conditions

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Town of Queens doing PORT-9YOU
    Posts
    12,716

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liangerism View Post
    hi all,

    as per thread title, i've faced with this problem in a recent shoot in a dark resturant/bar.
    when i was trying to auto-focus at the subject, the camera couldn't seem to "locate" the subject as it was too dark. therefore, my camera didn't go off to shoot.

    just wanna find out how do i counter such problem in the future?

    please advise, thanks in advance.
    Switch on the AF-assist light on ur camera body if you have. Else, either you get a to a brighter place of the restaurant/bar, manual focus, or upgrade to a better body/faster lense.
    Last edited by AJ23; 23rd May 2009 at 01:48 AM.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    If you're trying to shoot candids in a bar/restaurant, there's nothing much you can do about it. Otherwise you can use a torch to throw some light on your subject, or get someone to hold a bright handphone screen beside it so you can lock focus, then take it away before you shoot.

  6. #6

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    I am a nikon user, not sure about other brands but on my D80 there are 2 function button on the right side of the lens mount, 1 for DOF preview and the other i use it as a kill flash switch.

    by holding onto that button i prevent my camera flash from firing off. so in dim condition where i need to focus but dont want flash. simple use the ext flash focus assist lamp to aid focusing liao i hold onto that button and snap. as the camera body focus assist lamp is a bright orange light, in dim condition it can be very distracting and glaring to eyes, ext flash focusing assist lamp is red LED light with a pattern which is more tactical and easier on eyes
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  7. #7

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    maybe u can DIY a small red LED light to attach onto your camera hot shoe which u can on it to aid focusing in dim condition just like ext flash focus assist lamp.
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northland
    Posts
    2,141

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    his NIKON D80 has


    i quote

    AF Assist

    Like past Nikon DSLRs with built-in flashes, the D80's AF-assist light is a bright incandescent bulb that emits from the body near the handgrip. We thought to call particular attention to it, because some competing cameras (notably the Canon Digital Rebel series) use the flash as an AF-assist light. This would be fine, but they also require that the flash be used in the exposure, so there's no way to have AF assist for available-light shots. The D80 doesn't have this limitation.

    unquote

  9. #9

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    or try to focus other place near ur target.. half press the shuttle and bring back to ur target lor.. i sometime do tat.. but high chance to oof lar..
    Sony αlpha A550, DT16-105mm f/3.5-5.6, M50mm f/1.7, HVL-58AM Flash
    http://sunny815.smugmug.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    Quote Originally Posted by darrrrrrrrrr View Post
    you could try manual focusing in super dark conditions
    Difficult if you cannot see clearly wor.

  11. #11

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    i did turned on my AF-assist light, but then somehow it still couldn't focus the subject.
    maybe it was out of the range.

    and btw, i'm using a D80 too. but i dunno which 2 function buttons nixontkl is refering to.
    sorry for my ignorance, can u all tell me more abt ext flash focusing assist lamp?

    thanks once again.

  12. #12

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Liangerism View Post
    i did turned on my AF-assist light, but then somehow it still couldn't focus the subject.
    maybe it was out of the range.

    and btw, i'm using a D80 too. but i dunno which 2 function buttons nixontkl is refering to.
    sorry for my ignorance, can u all tell me more abt ext flash focusing assist lamp?

    thanks once again.
    D80 at the lens mount there, there are total of 3 button. beside the hand grip got 2 function button and the other side is the lens release button. the 2 function button can be assign to perform different function. (pls read your manual on how to use and set them) I have set the top button near the hand grip as a 'no flash' function, so when ever i dont want the flash to fire, i simply press and hold that button while i press the shutter and snap.

    ext flash like SB600/800/900 all have a red transparent plastic facing the front (this is the focus assist lamp) the ext flash can assist the camera in focusing in dim condition with its focus assist lamp which uses red LEDs to project a red grid pattern which your camera use to focus itself. (the red grid is more effective than the camera in build AF lamp)
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  13. #13
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    rainy Singapore
    Posts
    9,523

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    i'm pretty sure that the D80 has only 1 function button, which is the one at the 9 o'clock position of the lens mount (when viewed from the front). The one at the 7 o'clock position is solely for the DOF preview. I can't program it at all.
    The other one is obviously for the lens release.
    Exploring! :)

  14. #14

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    I have noticed that certain light colors affects focusing like all green light. Focus on jewellery, watches etc as they reflect differently.

  15. #15

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    Quote Originally Posted by nixontkl View Post
    D80 at the lens mount there, there are total of 3 button. beside the hand grip got 2 function button and the other side is the lens release button. the 2 function button can be assign to perform different function. (pls read your manual on how to use and set them) I have set the top button near the hand grip as a 'no flash' function, so when ever i dont want the flash to fire, i simply press and hold that button while i press the shutter and snap.

    ext flash like SB600/800/900 all have a red transparent plastic facing the front (this is the focus assist lamp) the ext flash can assist the camera in focusing in dim condition with its focus assist lamp which uses red LEDs to project a red grid pattern which your camera use to focus itself. (the red grid is more effective than the camera in build AF lamp)
    thanks dude, i'll check it out. to be frank, i didn't know abt all these until u mentioned it.

  16. #16
    Member soken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Biopolis
    Posts
    803

    Default Re: problem with auto-focus in a dark situation

    Me 2. I had the same problems with my minolta lenses. I think u can select the af area as "spot", and focus on some place with more light, which may help a bit.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •