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08-21-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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Manual Focusing Light Aid?



Has this been done before? My idea is that the DSLR lights up its green focusing light to be a sorts of focusing aid when manual focusing. I'm usually getting 70% accuracy during daytime, 30% accuracy during low-light, and you can just forget accuracy during no light. I know there's such thing as a distance scale, but I'm not good at it.

I doubt Pentax would have any troubles putting a trigger to turn the light on: It has the DoF preview, Raw/FX, green button, and even better, the AF button.

Now for turning the light off: you could hold the trigger until it is in focus, then you let it go. You could do a toggle. Or it could automatically turn off during a half press. (Or delay the shutter by a millisecond)

Actually, now that I mentioned that, why not turn it on during a half-press and then off when the shutter button's fully pressed? Kinda like what happens when you autofocus, but you're the AI.

Also, since there's a better contrast between the foreground and background, I guess the AF confirm will work even better?

I'm saying this because I buy manual lenses (tight budget but awesome lenses), and it would be nice if I could manually focus better. And since Pentaxians love old manual lenses, I think this would be a great contribution to the love.

08-21-2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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I idea has definitely been brought up before, and I don't think it would be hard to implement at all, but I don't think Pentax is going to invest any time in developing features specifically for manual lens users. If they wanted to, they could make it so that manual lenses automatically stop-down to meter before shooting, yet they haven't made any changes to the manual shooting process since the ist D came out.

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08-21-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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Just an idea.... There are those little disposable LED lights that are meant for a key ring. Why not attach one to your camera with a bit of Velcro? These little lights are even brighter than the built-in AF aid. Use it only while manual focusing.
08-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Just an idea.... There are those little disposable LED lights that are meant for a key ring. Why not attach one to your camera with a bit of Velcro? These little lights are even brighter than the built-in AF aid. Use it only while manual focusing.
It actually wouldn't be hard to rig something up that would turn it on when half pressing the shutter, you could just use the data line on the hotshoe, whenever the meter is active it is sending data. Use this data signal to charge up a capacitor that gives a steady voltage to trigger an NPN transistor that turns on the LED.

08-21-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
It actually wouldn't be hard to rig something up that would turn it on when half pressing the shutter, you could just use the data line on the hotshoe, whenever the meter is active it is sending data. Use this data signal to charge up a capacitor that gives a steady voltage to trigger an NPN transistor that turns on the LED.
Good idea, this may be worth trying...
08-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Good idea, this may be worth trying...
I just did actually, it works.

EDIT: Well, I just realized the fatal flaw in the plan, if it comes on with the meter, it is affecting the meter readings. I'll have to think on this some more.

Last edited by elliott; 08-21-2012 at 09:27 PM.
08-22-2012, 03:56 AM   #7
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Keep in mind that the OP only needs the lighting boost when manually focusing. As noted, any supplemental lighting will throw off available light metering - and if you have a flash mounted in the shoe (very possible if the light is that dim), you can't easily power your additional lighting circuit.

And then there is always the KISS factor....
08-22-2012, 04:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
I just did actually, it works.

EDIT: Well, I just realized the fatal flaw in the plan, if it comes on with the meter, it is affecting the meter readings. I'll have to think on this some more.
I'm willing to DIY this! I do full manual exposure settings, so... can I?

08-22-2012, 04:33 AM   #9
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One of these might do the trick:

$30 LED interview lights comparison | Lighting Rumours

or these:

Led Video Light | Buy.com

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
08-22-2012, 05:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
One of these might do the trick:

$30 LED interview lights comparison | Lighting Rumours

or these:

Led Video Light | Buy.com

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)
How do I turn that off.
08-22-2012, 05:33 AM   #11
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....dont be mental, just carry a small led torch if you cant see what you are focusing on.
08-22-2012, 05:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Keep in mind that the OP only needs the lighting boost when manually focusing. As noted, any supplemental lighting will throw off available light metering - and if you have a flash mounted in the shoe (very possible if the light is that dim), you can't easily power your additional lighting circuit.
Yeah, using a P-TTL flash with my hotshoe triggered assist light idea would be out of the question even with some kind of pass-through, since the data connection would be disrupted.

Maybe just a conveniently placed momentary switch would be a more elegant solution, like something that attaches to the tripod mount and is turned on and off with your little finger.


QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
....dont be mental, just carry a small led torch if you cant see what you are focusing on.
It does get awkward trying to hold a flashlight in your teeth.
08-22-2012, 05:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vicboy Quote
How do I turn that off.
With the off/on switch on the lower left corner.

08-22-2012, 04:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
It does get awkward trying to hold a flashlight in your teeth.
ke?


How many hands does it take you to hold a camera?

Hold the camera and light in one hand, and focus with the other

One of these bastards is all you need
http://www.mcollection.net.au/upload/products/8842003_seite.jpg

I mean, hek, once you get what ever is in focus, you can drop the torch and wrap all four limbs back around the camera if you like..



"shakes head at the kids these days"
08-22-2012, 08:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
How many hands does it take you to hold a camera?

Hold the camera and light in one hand, and focus with the other
I'd like to see a demonstration of this technique actually, I just tried it, is actually less awkward if you use your teeth.
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