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Thread: Urgent help

  1. #1

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    Urgent help

    Right, I'm using a 550d a 18-55 lens, sat on a half frozen lake with a chance of some good misty pics and I can't seem to get any settings right, the thing just will not focus and the light is going fast !!!

  2. #2

    Re: Urgent help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffy View Post
    Right, I'm using a 550d a 18-55 lens, sat on a half frozen lake with a chance of some good misty pics and I can't seem to get any settings right, the thing just will not focus and the light is going fast !!!
    Paul

    May I suggest that as you are sitting on a half-frozen lake the only 'chance' you have is of the ice breaking, and you falling through. As CiC values all members, and needs to hang on to them, I'd suggest you move!

    Failing that, and given your sense of gung-ho bravado in the face of adversity - I'd switch to manual focus. Of course, I'm not there with you, but in a funny kind of way, I'm glad about that. I'm off for a beer.

    Cheers

  3. #3

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    Re: Urgent help

    Thanks but i think the moment has passed, i am gutted ! It seemed like the perfect picture, I was not sat ON the lake, just by the side but half was frozen in a nice bright white while the othe half looked like it was steaming like a hot bath all capped off with a lovely mist laying a few feet above !!!

    For some reason i could not get anything to focus, it was too dark to use manual by the time i had calmed myself down and stopped myself from throwing either equipment or myself in the frozen lake...guess i will have to try tomorrow during the day, just thought that dusk would have been better ??

  4. #4
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Urgent help

    I think it's very, very hard to capture misty landscapes. On my way to work, I pass a beautiful vista that is sometimes quite misty, and I've been frustrated in my attempts to capture what I'm seeing. I wish you luck tomorrow (or is it today by now?).

  5. #5

    Re: Urgent help

    Auto focus can be tricky with water, glass, mist, cloud etc. It needs something with a bit of 'bite' to get it's sweaty little mitts on (mixed metaphor paradise there). If you have good eyesight, as I do now I've had my cataracts removed, manual focus is often the way to go.

  6. #6

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    Re: Urgent help

    thanks for the info.

  7. #7

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    Re: Urgent help

    Hi Paul,

    Autofocus needs contrast to work properly; low light and low contrast are AF "killers" - but - the solution is easy ...

    ... just use manual focus. "But it's too dark" I hear you cry! Doesn't matter ... if you're shooting from a tripod (which you should be), just dial in F16 and set the focus to infinity and you'll be "good to go".

    As an alternative, turn on live view - zoom in on any distant point of light - and manually focus until the light becomes as small as possible.

    If you need to also focus on something one or two metres away in these circumstances then personally I use a BBT* (every photographer should have one of these).

    * Bloody Big Torch (I use a 6x D cell Maglite with a custom high-power 3x LED head) (kinda like having a headlight on the end of a stick!).

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Urgent help

    With the temperatures around here hovering around 25 Fahrenheit and a wind chill of making it feel like 10 F, I can only fire off about three or four shots before I am putting the camera away and warming up my hands. I know part of my problem, with getting in focus images, was camera shake which was mostly from my haste to both get the camera back to a warm environment and also to save my fingers. I think this is the part of the thread where our experts on shooting in cold conditions should jump in with suggestions.

  9. #9

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    Re: Urgent help

    Thier has some been some great tips offered but guys remember im only a newbe

    Colin, you say to set the focus to infinity and dial in F16 !! The F16 bit is ok and i know how to set to manual however i am not sure on the infinity bit, sorry to be a pain but i am trying too learn sir also, what about ISO ? should this be set to auto or should i try too keep it as low as poss, god i sound like i know what i am talking about for a second then !! oh and the BBT...I had one of them with me, needed it to watch out for henry the 3rds on the way back through the woods in the pitch black

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Urgent help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffy View Post
    There have some been some great tips offered but guys remember im only a newbe

    Colin, you say to set the focus to infinity and dial in F16 !! The F16 bit is ok and I know how to set to manual however I am not sure on the infinity bit, sorry to be a pain but I am trying too learn sir

    Also, what about ISO ? Should this be set to auto or should I try too keep it as low as poss.
    Infinity is just the sideways figure eight symbol at the far end of the focus scale, it's just a name used for 'faraway'.

    ISO, yes keep as low as you can if on tripod, at f16, thet'll probably result in a shutter 'speed' of tens of seconds to minutes.

    You may need to raise ISO if the exposure is deemed to low, that just means it needs to be longer than the camera's maximum, which (I'm guessing) might be say 30 seconds.

    If you use a BBT to see the camera, and know how far away the subject is, you can just use the focus scale to set the distance if between say 1 and 10m, after that I'd set infinity, or just a little closer and use a large f/number to give adequate depth of field.

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