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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 31 Aug 2006 (Thursday) 13:07
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How to focus

 
Stump
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Aug 31, 2006 13:07 |  #1

How can I focus on the stars at night. I've tried various things, a/f doesnt work. I can't see the stars in the viewfinder either. I tried focusing to infinity but the pictures are still blurry, completly out of focus. Thanks for the help.


6D - 50 1.8 - 50 1.4 - 70-200F4L

  
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phylet
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Aug 31, 2006 13:35 |  #2

you would have to go outside the city to get a good shot of the stars, because they are so dim, ambient light is much faster to expose, so you dont see them at all.

get out into the country side, use a lens hood (a sheet of black card will do the trick) and remember that the stars are relativly mooving *really* quick, so a shutter speed over a second will start to show movement.


Canon EOS 1D MkII, Sigma 10-20 F4-5.6, Sigma 24-70 F2.8, Sigma 105mm Macro F2.8, Sigma Super 500 Flash

  
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Raphael ­ Emond
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Aug 31, 2006 13:48 |  #3

For infinity focus, it's near impossible with the kit lens. Since modern autofocus lens can focus past infinity, it's hard to find the point. Since on the kit lens you don't have a little focus range window, it's near impossible. The only trick you can do, is put it in AF mode, and prefocus on a big light the farter you can. It will bring the lens real close to infinity. Then, switch to MF and hope it will bring sharp pictures. If you can, try to focus on the moon.


Canon Rebel XT, BG-E3, Sigma 12-24 EX DG HSM, 28/2.8, 50/1.8, 24-105L IS USM, Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX DG HSM
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xft.y
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Aug 31, 2006 16:03 |  #4

what, exactly, is past infinity??? :|

if you can't see them in the viewfinder, you probably have a slow max aperture lens.

are you using stable tripod + mirror lock up + remote shutter release/autotimer?


350D, kit lens, 50mm 1.8, 28-105 3.5-4.6. Yeah. Thats it. You people with long lists just make me feel inadequate. :neutral:

  
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Wilt
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Aug 31, 2006 16:12 |  #5

'Past infinity' theoretically allows you to bring the optics closer to the sensor/film than is the actual focal length of the lens. The reason that is provided is that some lenses, after they have been sitting in the hot sun, expand so that they cannot focus AT infinity distance because the mechanics of the barrel has lengthened due to thermal expansion, so the optics are not at the focal length distance, but farther away! -- unless it is possible to bring the optics past the infinity position and closer to the sensor/film.


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Raphael ­ Emond
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Sep 01, 2006 04:39 |  #6

and also that the AF system knows when they have pass the infinity point.


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Lightstream
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Sep 01, 2006 05:19 |  #7

For the kit lens, do as above (focus on furthest light source). You can also do it during the daytime, focus very very far away, and then if you're not afraid to 'damage' your kit lens, draw a line on the rotating front part of the barrel and on the lens body with a white marker or something like that. Then you can manually focus to infinity in the dark, or at least, reasonably close. No worse than having the distance scale, at the very least.




  
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bluej511
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Sep 01, 2006 05:51 |  #8

Ive done night shots and like Raphael said before focus on the moon then move the camera to where there are the most stars and shoot a shutter speed of no less then 30sec.


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bluej511
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Sep 01, 2006 05:53 |  #9

Heres 2..the 1st one is slightly blurry (tried to focus) and the 2nd one moved i guess but its cool lol

http://i11.photobucket​.com …197/bluej511/IM​G_2699.jpg (external link)

http://i11.photobucket​.com …197/bluej511/IM​G_2698.jpg (external link)


My Gear
Minolta Maxxum STsi w/ 28-80mm kit lens & Tamron 80-210 f/4.5-5.6.
"The beautiful thing about photography is what kind of work people do full time, could be anything from a garbage man to a scientist."-Vicken B
"No matter what happens in the world, a photographer will always be there."-Vicken B

  
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rhys
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Sep 01, 2006 08:18 |  #10

I had to focus the kit lens at night and found the best way was to fit the 420EX on and allow the IR beam to be used. It focussed on infinity quite well.

To be honest, I can't fathom why they went so cheap on AF lenses. MF lenses always stopped at infinity at all lengths.


Rhys

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How to focus
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