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06-27-2008, 09:26 AM   #1
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Low Light photography

My main problem with DSLR's in general has been night or low light photography. With AF the camera keeps hunting or just shuts down. Would MF help this? Would a Katzeye help the focusing? Any thoughts?

06-27-2008, 09:32 AM   #2
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yes MF will help, or pop up your on board flash also will help, but u want to focus fast in low light? MF is the way to go.

Also get yourself fast lens will help greatly. Any lens with smaller aparture with f2.8 will give u a hard time at night..
06-27-2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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Even though I am new to low light photography as well I will go out on a limb and say that MF would be the best way to go. The fastest AF lens I have is the kit lens and it could not lock focus by itself because of the low light levels. There simply wasn't enough contrast for the sensor to lock onto in most cases. In any case I gave up using the kit lens and used my A50 1:2 lens and manually focused. Since I am new to this as well I didn't have many keepers but at least I was able to take some pictures.
06-27-2008, 09:53 AM   #4
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Not to stir the pot, but my Canon 40D fitted with either my Canon 85mm f/1.8 or Sigma 30mm f/1.4 had no problems locking focus (using the extra sensitive center AF point) in a dimly lit room. As to how dim it was (going by memory here), I was at f/1.4-1.8, ISO3200 and getting ~1/30s.

So I wouldn't say it's a problem with "DSLR's in general"

06-27-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Not to stir the pot, but my Canon 40D fitted with either my Canon 85mm f/1.8 or Sigma 30mm f/1.4 had no problems locking focus (using the extra sensitive center AF point) in a dimly lit room. As to how dim it was (going by memory here), I was at f/1.4-1.8, ISO3200 and getting ~1/30s.

So I wouldn't say it's a problem with "DSLR's in general"
I would be willing to say that your example is bright compared to some people doing 5-10 second exposures.

I also do low light work, but generally do manual focus when I do, because it gives better control.

For those who ask about split image, NO they will probably not work because they will go dark at those light levels.

Also as an after thought, autofocus works on contrast. If there is a lot of black in your image, then AF won'r work, and I don't care who's AF we are talking about because there is no contrast between 2 black objects.
06-27-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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Agree with you Lowell in that anything requiring a 5-10 second exposure is really dark (no light vs. low light)

But if you're about to do a 10 second exposure, you surely have time to manually focus the shot. My comments were in the context of trying to shoot my moving toddler in a dimly lit room at night. BTW, those shots came out very nice (albeit noisy, as 3200 gets ugly on the 40D, 1600 is MUCH better)
06-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #7
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The f1.4 appetture provides twice as much light on the sensor as f2.0. We don't want to start a war, while comparing apples to oranges, do we? The state of the art is about the same for all manufactures. I think that it just come down to the cost of the product.

Dave

QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Not to stir the pot, but my Canon 40D fitted with either my Canon 85mm f/1.8 or Sigma 30mm f/1.4 had no problems locking focus (using the extra sensitive center AF point) in a dimly lit room. As to how dim it was (going by memory here), I was at f/1.4-1.8, ISO3200 and getting ~1/30s.

So I wouldn't say it's a problem with "DSLR's in general"
06-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Agree with you Lowell in that anything requiring a 5-10 second exposure is really dark (no light vs. low light)

But if you're about to do a 10 second exposure, you surely have time to manually focus the shot. My comments were in the context of trying to shoot my moving toddler in a dimly lit room at night. BTW, those shots came out very nice (albeit noisy, as 3200 gets ugly on the 40D, 1600 is MUCH better)
its funny but I never had any problem under those conditions with any pentax AF (PZ-1,*istD or K10D) and I have shot at 1/30 and 3200ISO with an F2.8 lens no problem.

06-27-2008, 11:03 AM   #9
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Just to clear this up in my head:

AF = Enough contrast for lock
Fast Lens = More light to the sensor

A fast lens does not equate to AF lock correct? Dark subject in front of a dark background in low light will still cause a fast (say FA 50 1.4) lens to hunt because of lack of contrast right? Please bear with me here since I am still learning
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