problem with auto-focus in a dark situation


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Jul 25, 2007
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sidewaysphotographique.com
#1
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.
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#2
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
 

AJ23

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Jun 12, 2003
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Town of Queens doing PORT-9YOU
#4
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.
 

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Gengh

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May 6, 2007
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#5
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.
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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nixontang.multiply.com
#6
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
 

nixontkl

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nixontang.multiply.com
#7
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.
 

AhV

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Jun 10, 2004
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#8
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
 

Sunny815

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Jan 11, 2009
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#9
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..
 

Jul 25, 2007
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sidewaysphotographique.com
#11
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.
 

nixontkl

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nixontang.multiply.com
#12
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)
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
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rainy Singapore
#13
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.
 

Jul 5, 2007
1,199
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AMK
#14
I have noticed that certain light colors affects focusing like all green light. Focus on jewellery, watches etc as they reflect differently.
 

Jul 25, 2007
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sidewaysphotographique.com
#15
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.
 

soken

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Mar 5, 2009
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Biopolis
#16
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.
 

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