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Old Oct 28, 2009, 7:34 AM   #1
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Default night pictures

We were at the beach this past weekend, and I could not get my XSi to focus to take night shots. I mean really night, was very cloudy and I was trying to take pics of the water from a hotel room balcony. The waves were kicked up because of the weather. I looked back in my manual, and all I could find were instructions for taking night potraits. I guess with pretty much no light,(just a little from the hotel lights), its not going to focus? (I know on the point and shot cameras we have had, there was a selection for "night shots".) Anyone know what I should have done, or was that just not possible?

Suzie
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 7:44 AM   #2
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Switch to manual focus (if it's a kit lens, it probably has switch on it marked AF/MF) and turn your focus ring to somewhere near the infinity position (I'd back off just a little from the longest focus distance, since some lenses will focus past where they're sharp at infinity).
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 7:53 AM   #3
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You do realize you'll need a tripod (or set the camera on a steady platform of some type) for slower shutter speeds needed for light so dim you can't lock focus using Autofocus, right?

Just use manual focus if your AF can't lock. I'd keep your ISO speed set to a lower setting for less noise, and experiment with different exposures (either use Exposure Compensation for lighter and darker exposures if shooting in something like Aperture Priority or Programmed Exposure modes, or use manual exposure instead). You may also want to experiment with your Camera's Exposure Bracketing Features (where it takes more than one photo at different exposures, both brighter and darker than how the camera meters the scene)
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 8:54 AM   #4
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Thanks Jim, It didn't even dawn on me to try manual focus!! This will be another tidbit I will write down on my index cards I keep in my case.

Thanks,

Suzie
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Old Oct 28, 2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
Switch to manual focus (if it's a kit lens, it probably has switch on it marked AF/MF) and turn your focus ring to somewhere near the infinity position (I'd back off just a little from the longest focus distance, since some lenses will focus past where they're sharp at infinity).
would definitely back off just a little from the longest distance as Jim said on all canon lenses.
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