Low light action shots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Martik, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. Martik

    Martik Guest

    Is there a method to capture low light action shots when the auto focus
    (Canon A60) is either too slow or requires several attempts to get a lock?
    Manual focus takes too long to set up and most pics are within 10ft.
    Martik, Dec 23, 2003
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  2. Some cameras have low light focus assist. Methods include a small lamp,
    an IR laser diode, and continuously firing the flash at low power. If
    your camera doesn't have low light assist then the only option is to add
    more light.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Dec 23, 2003
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  3. Not easy as you are limited by what the camera will do, some are better
    than others, I don't know about yours.

    After a number of years of doing weddings, dance competitions and sports
    before the days of auto-focus, I can say you can learn to pre-focus. Decide
    ahead of time what the distance will be. Set that distance and place
    yourself so the action will be that far away. Don't attempt to re-focus the
    camera. When needed, you move to keep the distance to the previously set

    It sounds difficult and awkward, but after some practice, it becomes
    second nature and works well. I often use it today even with a fast
    operating auto focus as it works better.
    Joseph Meehan, Dec 23, 2003
  4. Martik

    Charlie Self Guest

    Pre-focus is a great solution, if...I used it for many years, shooting off-road
    and other motorcycling events. But AFAIK, it is dead worthless on a camera with
    auto focus that won't turn off. The camera will continue to hunt, regardless.
    The OP needs a camera that offers a decent manual focus.

    Another point: unless you're working with DSLRs, there will be no distance
    markings on the lens barrel to even give an approximation of the correct spot,
    so it becomes essential to be able to focus on some unmoving object much of the
    time. Then hold position and object in focus and all should be well.

    Charlie Self

    "Man is a reasoning rather than a reasonable animal."
    Alexander Hamilton

    Charlie Self, Dec 23, 2003
  5. Martik

    gr Guest

    Sure. Put your camera into aperature priority and use F8 as the setting.
    Manually set focus to 3 feet or so, and then simply fire away using the
    flash. The huge depth of field at that f stop will mean all your pictures
    will be in focus, and since the action is close your flash should be strong
    enough to light it up.
    gr, Dec 23, 2003
  6. Martik

    Skee Guest

    Learn to live without all the auto crap, it's mainly intended for
    grandmothers who need a camera that will "always get the job done."
    For action sports shots I'm fond of an old Nikkor 200mm f/2 that is
    used wide open and with the D100 etc. it's like a 300. Some of these
    big Nikkors have preset focus adjustments (detents) that were used to
    set focus on specific targets (like first base, etc.) and you can do
    the same thing by learning to calibrate your wrist--hell, if a
    trombone player can do it, so can you.
    Skee, Dec 23, 2003
  7. Martik

    Lionel Guest

    When I'm using my little S30, I set focus on something that is at the
    right distance, but with more contrast than my real subject. Then I turn
    around & take my real shot. This works fairly well when there isn't
    enough light to get a good focus on the subject.
    Lionel, Dec 23, 2003
  8. And how does one use manual focus with large apertures for action shots
    within 10 feet? The Canon A60 doesn't have a focusing ring the size of
    a steering wheel. It uses electronic up/down buttons for manual
    Kevin McMurtrie, Dec 24, 2003
  9. Martik

    Mark Johnson Guest

    It's the A60, not the d60, right?

    I've got a C5050 that fires off low light illumination for focusing.
    Doesn't the A60?
    Mark Johnson, Dec 24, 2003
  10. Martik

    stan Guest

    If you can anticipate your shots, then focus manually a few seconds before
    you intend to shoot a picture. For example, if you're shooting a basketball
    game, then focus on a spot on the court where the players are heading a
    few seconds before they get to that spot, then shoot.
    stan, Dec 27, 2003
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