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-   -   Using a laser pointer with digicams to aid focus (

voxmagna Oct 26, 2002 6:02 PM

Using a laser pointer with digicams to aid focus
Thanks to Jerchrist, I thought this was such a god tip it deserved to be here!

sever Oct 29, 2002 7:28 AM

This is a wonderful tip--I will definitely go get a laser pointer!


jjgncmg Nov 11, 2002 3:20 PM

Great tip.

kkayser Nov 20, 2002 4:56 PM

Hi all,

I am curious about the type of laser pointers you are refering to. I have one that I use for highlighting presentations but it produces a very small dot on the subject. I have tried using this with my new Fuji 3800 and the camera doesn't seem to "see" it. I have read some posts that describe pointers with different tips. This seems to be a different type of unit than I have. What are the typical uses of these and where can you get them?



voxmagna Nov 26, 2002 6:49 AM

The type we are talking about are sold in shops as a children's toy. They output a shape outline not a spot, usually selectable patterns. Kids buy them and pretend to be Batman or Robin, or some more recent cult character.

In UK there was concern about kids zapping peoples eyes out, so they brought the power down. I've seen them in holiday resorts in Spain.

jacalvo Nov 28, 2002 2:50 AM

I've used one of thouse to highlighting presentations at home with no light at all and it works perfectly. I supose at a distance greater than a few meters it will need a "bigger point"


Fujifilm Finepix 2800

kkayser Dec 10, 2002 7:38 AM

Thanks for the information. I suppose the procedure is to point the laser, presee the shutter half way when the laser point or image is in the AF Box in the viewfinder, shut the laser and snap the picture. Does the AF warning disappear when the camera "sees" the laser?


steve Dec 10, 2002 11:43 PM

Just be careful WHERE you use those laser pointers. In today's world where everybody is ready for a terrorist attack you could be mistaken for a sniper, especially if you have a BIG lens :shock:


Guisela Feb 8, 2005 8:58 PM

I wasn't able to access the link. Error reported is:

phpBB : Critical Error

Could not connect to the database

sever Feb 8, 2005 10:15 PM

Basically, the tip is to get a laser pointer with some custom tips. You can get tips that convert the pointer from just a small dot to a line--the farther away the subject that gets lasered, the longer the line. It's bright enough in nearly all cases to provide autofocus within 50 or 75 feet (provided you have a nice bright laser pointer).

Remember to use the line tip so that (1) it's large enough to focus on, (2) you can orient it horizontally or vertically depending on the focus point you're using. In point (2), there's a lot of dSLRs that have multiple focusing points, and usually the points off to the sides are especially good at detecting vertical lines and the high and low ones are good at detecting horizontal lines.

TC3 Feb 14, 2005 3:53 PM

i have a lazer pointer with different i can not open the link can someone who has seen the link briefly tell me how it helps with the auto focus in low light?


sever Feb 19, 2005 3:54 AM

Well, it helps in low or even no light because it provides a sharp line on which the camera can focus. Once it's focused, you turn off the laser pointer and take the picture. Obviously, in a low light situation you could use a time exposure or a flash, and in a no light situation you'd have to have flash.

This just provides you the capability to AF where you otherwise wouldn't be able to (and in some cases, couldn't reasonably focus manually either).

Deep Blue Mar 11, 2005 5:32 PM

Guisela wrote:

I wasn't able to access the link. Error reported is:

phpBB : Critical Error

Could not connect to the database

here is the link

just replaced "phpBB2" with "forums"

"viewtopic" with "view_topic"


"?t=" with "?id="

so simple :-)

normc Mar 13, 2005 9:10 PM

I was thinking of using a laser that provides a read for distance to help with the manual focus of a range finder camera. Have not tried it out yet, but would like to know if anyone else has done this?

mgmidget72 Apr 6, 2005 11:40 AM

Reading this got me thinking...

I wonder how hard it would be to replace the AF assist lamp with the internals of a laser pointer? Considering the low power reqs of a laser, I don't think there would be a power problem. Anyone here ever worked with the interals of their digicam?

Idealy, I think the best situation would be to add the laser as an additional light in parellel w/the AF lamp and an on/off switch. Many cameras use the AF assist lamp as the red-eye reduction also, so you wouldn't want the laser flashing for each picture. Of course, this would mean drilling an additional hole in the body.

What do you think of this? Am I asking for trouble w/my camera?



Redwingsfan Apr 24, 2005 9:51 AM

I am not a camera expert, in fact, I am not even more than just beyond Point and Shoot, but I do solve many problems like this as part of my job. Before, I try to drill through what is most probably a very dense case, I would evaluate what connections are available outside of the camera. For instance, does the external flash connection get a prime signal when the shutter button is half-pressed? If, so I would piggy back off of that connector, otherwise, I would keep hunting that direction first.

sandie Apr 25, 2005 8:27 PM

Can you please post again how to use the laser pointer for taking picutres. The site posted in first post does not connect, for me at least. Thanks


moryoav Apr 27, 2005 1:17 PM

Not working for me either...? Anyone has an alternate link?



My website:

VP Apr 27, 2005 3:48 PM

Here is the link again.

CCWKen Apr 27, 2005 11:01 PM

I don't know about the other cameras but the Fuji S5100/S5500 FA light uses a four square pattern to create a contrasting image for the AF. Theres also a couple of dots and lines in the pattern. It's not enough to just shoot a dot or circle; there needs to be a contrast (light/dark) pattern for the AF.

If you get a laser, get one that has patterns like a star or rings with "crosshair". There needs to be close contrasting light/dark areas close together.

mgmidget72 Apr 28, 2005 11:05 AM


Thanks for your response.

I forgot to mention in my post that my camera is a Canon SD500. This means I have no external flash connector. I definitely agree that tapping into something like that would be a good place to start. I'm sure I probably won't try it (at least not on my current camera, maybe if someone gives me one for free), but it's always interesting to think about alternatives like this, and if they're even the slightest bit possible. Maybe someone else has actually tried it!


PTB Stalker Apr 28, 2005 11:44 PM

I know awhile ago someone in the panasonic sectionfound a small battery poweredLEDdevice, that screwed right into tripod mounting screw hole, that acted as a focus assist lamp. You might want to inquire there.

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