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06-04-2008, 06:06 AM   #1
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Using MF in Low Light

Hi, everyone!! It's me again...

I asked a question yesterday and thank everyone for their speedy responses. I figured out that if I used MF, I can take pix in low light. I feel like I should have known that already - - oh well!

Now that I got that taken care of, I'm not sure how to do a good focus (manually) in low light. I have a *ist DL and the viewfinder is pretty dark, especially in low light. Any tips?

Thanks again!

Terri

06-04-2008, 06:28 AM   #2
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Not what you want to hear, but here it goes: I'm starting to take more and more nightclub/bars pictures and the less light available the more I tend to "pre-focus" to a certain distance, increase a bit DOF and pray for the best!


I was surprised that last friday I used three lenses in this nightclub, trying to figure out which lens I should be carrying around in these situations (kit lens, 28mm manual and 50mm manual).


Out of the three, the 28mm gave me the best shots, and I had to prefocus on MOST of them. I havent yet finished PP them, but I think about 3/4 of the prefocused shots came out good...
06-04-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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I'm interested in taking low light pics in jazz/blues clubs. Jazz and Blues music has been something I have been interested in for a long time and even before getting my camera I felt that it would be amazing to capture the creative and soulful spirt of a musician as they are immersed in their craft. So my question to you phtogs that do this type of photography is what tips do you have for this sort of thing?
06-04-2008, 09:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
I'm interested in taking low light pics in jazz/blues clubs. Jazz and Blues music has been something I have been interested in for a long time and even before getting my camera I felt that it would be amazing to capture the creative and soulful spirt of a musician as they are immersed in their craft. So my question to you phtogs that do this type of photography is what tips do you have for this sort of thing?

Very first tip would be to get a wide & fast lens for the job. I see you have a 50mm f/2 and, at least for me, the 50mm it's too narrow (though the f/1.4 and even the f/2.0 does wonders in low light).


Now, which lens to get, thats the question! I am still trying to decide that... but i think i'll try to stick to a zoom f/2.8 or another primer at least 2.8.



I also use the 360 flash but in MANUAL mode, dialed down to 1/8, 1/16 or even 1/32 of the power. I do this because I try to get the ambient light more than the subject itself. In your case it may be the opposite, because there may not be neons, lighting effects, decor, etc to be grabbed.

06-04-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. May I ask why a wide lens is more helpful in your case?
06-04-2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Thanks for the input. May I ask why a wide lens is more helpful in your case?
Probably because of deeper depth-of-field.

Steve
06-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Probably because of deeper depth-of-field.

Steve
QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Thanks for the input. May I ask why a wide lens is more helpful in your case?

1) SPACE Limitations = clubs are crowded and most of the times I can't take a step back to frame what I want.

2) DOF = because I try to pre set focus, then the more DOF the more chances of sharp pics
06-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #8
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Interesting. I'll see if I can find a cheap manual 28mm locally to get some hands on with what you guys are saying here. However that will have to wait until I get my camera back from the shop.

06-05-2008, 04:40 AM   #9
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I saw some really cool pictures of the dance floor seen from above taken during a night club cruise (Monday Bar) that were taken with a fisheye lens. Now I wouldn't buy a fisheye myself because the use for it is quite limited but for you people that have one and do club photography it might be a good idea.
06-05-2008, 09:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by StarDust Quote
I saw some really cool pictures of the dance floor seen from above taken during a night club cruise (Monday Bar) that were taken with a fisheye lens. Now I wouldn't buy a fisheye myself because the use for it is quite limited but for you people that have one and do club photography it might be a good idea.

When I said wideangle I meant something from 16-30mm and not necessarily a fisheye lens...

I am saying this because I bought a 50mm f/1.4 thinking it would be helpful in this situation but unfortunately it was too short...

now coming back to the fisheye, I have a different opnion than yours: I would totally buy one IF I could afford. I've also seen PR pics of clubs with them, and I loved it! Unfortunately, they cost a $$$$
06-05-2008, 11:36 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormdore Quote
Hi, everyone!! It's me again...

I asked a question yesterday and thank everyone for their speedy responses. I figured out that if I used MF, I can take pix in low light. I feel like I should have known that already - - oh well!

Now that I got that taken care of, I'm not sure how to do a good focus (manually) in low light. I have a *ist DL and the viewfinder is pretty dark, especially in low light. Any tips?

Thanks again!

Terri
This probably won't help you but I use an Olympus 5050 when the light is really low or when shooting street scenes at night. Autofocus works fine even then (features focus illuminator too), the widest aperture is f/1.8 (at the shortest focal length - equivalent to 35mm) and the depth of field is huge even wide open. That probably covers any focus errors. Ok, it's a little noisy at the highest ISO (400) but it does feature RAW, though that's a bit slow. Shutter lag isn't bad, especially if you pre-focus. Not in the same league as my K10D, of course, but ok for a compact and quite inconspicuous. It's my "take everywhere" camera.

Manual focus doesn't really work for me in low light with the K10D or any other DSLR I've ever handled. No problem with my Nikon FM3a with its really big and bright viewfinder but that's film and I'll never shoot film again.

Richard
06-09-2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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Here is a simple(but not easy) solution: take your favorite prime, prefocus it to infinite and then manual focus from that in good light xxx times untill you learn how much to turn the ring to focus at any distance you want.
06-09-2008, 02:27 PM   #13
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Good thing that the 31mm Limited reaches infinite around 2,3m then...
I like using liveview on the K20D for low-light manual focusing with 31mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.2, but it seems like I'm the only one. :P
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