26 Jul The Number One Focus Tip When Using a Rangefinder in Low Light

Source: Fujifilm X Blog

Creating beautiful scenes at night can be difficult and sometimes frustrating if you don’t have the experience needed to master your camera settings.

Knowing the correct focus settings, shutter speed, aperture and ISO does take the time to master, so hopefully this article provides you some clear insight into photographing at night or in low light.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR – ISO 320 – 1/55 second at F2.8

To start with you need to understand what type of camera you are using because all cameras perform differently when capturing the same scene. For instance, is the camera a heavy digital SLR, premium compact camera or lightweight rangefinder?

Based on what type of camera you are using many of the same settings apply, however, there will be variances in shooting technique due to the way the camera performs. An example of this can be found between a digital SLR and a rangefinder like the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF10-24mmF4 R OIS – ISO 3200 – 1/210 second at F4

At the Vivid Festival in Sydney, Australia the light instalments attract large crowds and there are plenty of opportunities to photograph in low light. The problem is when there is little light falling on a subject, focusing can become a struggle. This wasn’t the case for the new X-Pro2 rangefinder though. Using one of the advanced features on the X-Pro2 it was easy to overcome the out of focus hurdles that many Digital SLR might have struggled with.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 with XF56mmF1.2 R APD – ISO 320 – 1/250 second at F1.2

The Challenge

Photograph a low light scene from the festival with a shallow depth of field.

To achieve the shallow depth of field in low light shown in this photo above there were a few settings that needed to be set on the camera. The first was changing the camera to aperture priority and selecting F1.2 as the aperture. This would give a shallow depth of field. The second step was to select manual focus on the front of the X-Pro2.

Now that manual focus was selected the attention turned to the rear of the camera to change the manual focus mode. To select the correct mode simply hold down the rear dial and ensure ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ is selected. If you don’t see this mode when you first hold down the rear dial, continue the process to cycle through the other modes until Focus Peak Highlight appears.

Next, select your desired ISO setting based on the amount of light in the scene. Don’t be afraid to use high ISO likes ISO 2000 through to ISO 5000 or even higher as Fujifilm cameras are famous for their low noise at high ISO’s when photographing in low light scenes.

At this stage make sure you are using the electronic viewfinder on the X-Pro2 as this will provide the huge advantage of being able to see in low light. If you are looking

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