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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:09 AM   #1
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Hi I am hoping you can help me get a answer to settle a debate I have going on. I was wanting to know what you think of the ability of a autofocus camera being able to focus at night on a dark or very dimly lit subject.The camera we are using has no manual focus on it so autofocus is all we have. I have been told that the Half press of the autofocus will help focus at night. How could it focus on something it cant see? Now also I called and spoke with a technician at the cameras manufacturer and was told it couldnt help in this situation?

Thanks in advance for any help TT
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Old Dec 6, 2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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it deepends how dark it is, i have taken quite a few at night and sometimes i can hear the camera struggling to find something to lock onto, so ill pop it onto manual focus and do it that way.

u can focus on something brighter , using half press then reframing the shot, but it will have the wrong exposure as it will have got that from where you focused

so i suppose there isnt a correct answer, as deppends on the situation

Gary
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Old Dec 6, 2007, 3:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Gary Not sure if I get this right but then what you are saying is the autofocus could not lock in on a subject in the dark I have read where you could shine a flashlight on it and then do the half oress for autofocus that that could work. Thanks again and any other opinions or ideas are welcome TT
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Old Dec 6, 2007, 4:04 PM   #4
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if u think about it logicaly, it cannot focus on black in the dark as there is nothing, shining a light may work but could affect the exposure of the shot because of the light. 1/2 press will try to focus, u may hear lens try and keep retrying, the 1/2 press is nothing secret, u can use it to focus on something more visible, keep it held 1/2 way then move the camera to shot what it wouldnt focus on .....and see what u get.

what are you trying to shoot by the way.

Gary
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Old Dec 10, 2007, 7:43 PM   #5
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doesn't the red light help? If it doesn't you can use a light sorce on cheaper cameras I don't know what one you have. For example my older camera the panasonic lz3. I can shine a light on the person take the pic and it works. On my more expensive panasonic fz18. If I do that the entire pic is out of color and contrast. So it depends on the camera I suppose. As they said there is no right answer to focus at night. If you have the af assist lamp maybe you can get it a few feet away. What are you trying to take a picture of?
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 1:30 AM   #6
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I've heard that some people have had better luck getting an autofocus lock in very dim light by lighting the subject with a laser pointer equipped with one of those shape heads (like an arrow) rather than just the little dot. If you know someone who has such a pointer, give it a try.

Grant
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Old Dec 11, 2007, 1:58 AM   #7
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out of curiosity how well does an IR lens work at night?
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Old Dec 17, 2007, 6:46 PM   #8
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A trick I use when shooting night shots and don't want to use flash is to utilize a flash that has the IR focus beam, lock on to the subject with the beam by pressing the shutter button half way, then shut off the flash and take the shot. It works every time with this kind of set up.

If you want to take several shots and set the focal distance once then, once you've locked on your subject with the IR beam, turn off the flash and set the lens to manual focus all the while still having the shutter button pressed half way down. The lens focus is locked and if you don't touch the focus ring on the lens, it won't move.

Cheers!
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Old Dec 17, 2007, 7:34 PM   #9
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the fz18 has autofocus lock. So shine a lock on it an lock on. While holding the button half way with the light on it use the auto lock feature. Then take the light off and do as you please. High iso or flash
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