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Focus Technique when in subdued lighting

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by TaffyTim, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    I have just invested in a light stand and a reversible silver/white umbrella.

    I am trying to achieve a low light scene where my SB600 is being used with a snoot to selectively illuminate her to create a high contrast scene.

    With a 50mm 1.8 AIS lens on my D200 I have little light to help focus on her before I take the picture.

    I know its a bit stupid but is there a better way of doing this?


  2. some ppl use a torch, also if you use a ttl cord to connect camera to the flash you may be able to use the AF assist pattern from the flash

    thinking about it - is the AF assist lamp on the d200 not helping?
  3. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Don't shoot it in very low light. Using flash, it is quite simple to create the illusion of low light by selecting a combination of aperture and shutter speed that would greatly underexpose the ambient light. Then you adjust flash power on your subject until it is lit how you want it. You really need to be in all manual mode to achieve this. The example below was shot in the middle of the day using a single SB800 on a lightstand to camera left and fired with a Pocketwizard.

  4. I am using the SB600 wirelessly, no TTL cord, also the 50mm ais lens wont activate AF assist!

    so I am a bit confused now?:confused: 

  5. No, and even if it did, it can't autofocus.

    I'd need a lot of assistance to focus a manual focus lens in low light. A flashlight is a good idea.

    None that I can think of.
  6. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Still not sure whether you are shooting in very low light - or just want to get that 'look'.

  7. I am trying to get 'that look' via using my sb600 off camera, to be honest I didnt even think of altering aperture/speed to simulate low light.

  8. John,

    Just had a look on your website, wow some superb images on there, congratulations.

    If it helps the look I am trying to get is on one of your pics of rachelle, namely DSC8726-Edit-Edit.

    superb shot.


  9. aaephoto


    Jun 24, 2008
    New Zealand
    @john - can you give us the details on how you've achieve the shot above?

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