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Tips on Panny 20mm F1.7 in dim lighting birthday party

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by rossi46, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Hi All,

    I will be having a birthday party for my soon to be one year old son.
    The venue is a restaurant with quite a dim lighting.

    I am intending to use the Panny 20mm F1.7 as the main lens for most of the shots due to ease of use in terms of the focal length and perspective, though it is a challenge to focus accurately in dim lighting.

    I can't reduce aperture size, as the shutter speed probably will be too slow.

    So whats the tip of focusing with aperture wide open in such conditions to ensure I don't miss out on most of the actions?
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    you can always try zone focusing.

    meaning. put your camera to your eye if it has a viewfinder and extend your arm and hand and focus the tip of your finger. then go into menu and turn the auto-focus into manual focus mode, that will leave the lens focused to the tip of your finger arm extended that means, anything within arm reach (i know mine is a bit shorter than 80cm or so) will be in focus and just snap away without having to focus.

    hope that helps.
  3. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Might wanto try a flash, if you don't have a focus assist light on our body.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    What camera will you be using? I suggest elevating the ISO to 1600 or 3200 when not using flash. If possible shoot at f/2.8 (if possible don't shoot at f/1.7 or f/2). This will increase the sharpness of your lens. With a flash, ISO 400 to 800 to allow the ambient light to help as much as possible.

    I'd use center focus only, find a contrasty edge to focus, hold the focus, frame the shot and release the shutter. The candle will produce enough light to get a proper exposure at ISO 1600 - 3200. Get the candle close to your son, turn off flash and take some available candle light images, they'll look great. (Don't burn your son with the candle, while the results images will be full of drama, I don't think your son will appreciate the pain.) When using flash, bounce the light off the ceiling. Test the bounce and available light candle shooting before the event to dial in some experience for yourself and your camera settings. After-all, he only turns one once.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Thanks for all the tips, I got a couple of weeks to experiment and practise honing my skills in focusing before the party....

    I am using Panasonic GX1.
  6. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I usually frame first for exposure then lock the exposure (AEL), then IF the lens starts to hunt for focusing I try to find a better lit and more contrasty subject to focus to (it has to be at the same distance as your main subject) when focus is locked I re-frame and shoot. It also helps to pre-focus at a certain distance if you know approximately at what distance your next subject will be. It helps a lot if the image is almost in focus before you try to AF for the shot. I always shoot wide open when in dim light. P20 & E-P1.
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