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Thread: Shooting in the dark

  1. #1
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    Shooting in the dark

    I've tried shooting photos in the dark many time and its pretty challenging trying to get the image in focus when its completely dark. Ive tried lighting up with a flash light and having the camera automatically focus but that doesn't always work well. Does anybody have any suggestions or techniques for getting photos in focus in the dark?

  2. #2
    Terry Tedor's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting in the dark

    Does your camera or lens have a manual focus mode? If so, have you tried using it?

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    Re: Shooting in the dark

    Quote Originally Posted by tdang View Post
    I've tried shooting photos in the dark many time and its pretty challenging trying to get the image in focus when its completely dark. Ive tried lighting up with a flash light and having the camera automatically focus but that doesn't always work well. Does anybody have any suggestions or techniques for getting photos in focus in the dark?
    Hi "tdang",

    Probably the easiest way - if you have a camera that also has a manual focusing mode - is to simply illuminate the subject - use AF - switch the lans to manual focus - lights out & take the shot. With an SLR type camera the lens will "remember" the last auto-focus when you switch to manual focus mode.

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    John C's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting in the dark

    It will depend on the type of camera. As stated above, if the camera has manual focus, you can try to use that to estimate where the focus should be. To hedge your bet some, you can use a wide-angle lens and set the manual focus at the hyper-focal distance with a fairly small f-stop, say f/16. This should put everything in focus from 3 or 4 feet all the way to infinity.

    My Sony DSLR sends out a pulse of light from the popup flash so that autofocus can function in dim light. This works well within a few feet of the camera. Maybe your camera has a similar function.

    Other cameras may have other options. My old F828 could take photos in complete darkness using nightvision or nightshot. This would use in infrared beam to focus. It also could project a red laser light grid (Hologram AF) that would allow it to focus in complete darkness. Generally, you would use a flash with this setting. Again, it worked only at close range.

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    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting in the dark

    Quote Originally Posted by tdang View Post
    I've tried shooting photos in the dark many time and its pretty challenging trying to get the image in focus when its completely dark. Ive tried lighting up with a flash light and having the camera automatically focus but that doesn't always work well. Does anybody have any suggestions or techniques for getting photos in focus in the dark?
    There are a few options - some already mentioned.

    "AF Flash Assist" is a function avaialble on some DSLR cameras (like the "Nightvison",John C mentioned) - maybe you have that at your disposal but just do not know how to engage it.

    It would help for a precise answer, if we knew exacly what gear you have.

    WW

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