Low Light AF Questions for Sony Users

Started May 28, 2019 | Discussions thread
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weisman
weisman Junior Member • Posts: 29
Low Light AF Questions for Sony Users

Hi, I have a couple of questions for Sony users:

1. The Sony HVL-F60RM Flash does not emit a red or green focus assist beam like many Nikon, Canon, Godox, etc. flash units. Rather, it can emit white light from the LEDs on the front for focus assist. I think the Sony camera bodies also have a lamp for focus assist. Both options seem like they would be very distracting to subjects in a dark environment (reception hall, bar, etc.).
So for those of you who use the HVL-F60RM do you use either of these lights for focus assist in dark places, OR is the Sony AF so good you don't need to?

2. I'm a long-time Nikon user, and one thing I've found is the Nikons I've used struggle with focus in what I call "dirty light" - that is dim lighting conditions that are also very orange (e.g. 2000˚K) or also very blue (e.g. 9000˚K). I was photographing an event in a very dim restaurant recently where exposures were 1/50 @ ƒ1.8 @ ISO 8000, and the light was about 2000˚K. I was using two D810s, Nikon 24mm ƒ1.8, Nikon 50mm ƒ1.4, Nikon 85mm ƒ1.8, and Sigma ART 135mm ƒ1.8. Sometimes I popped a little flash into the scene (which had a full CTO gel on it to get me close to the ambient light) and I think the AF assist beam from the flash helped to achieve good focus, but when not using the flash, the cameras gave me a lot of fuzzy photos. Placing the AF point on a contrasty part of a person's attire - like a white shirt collar - helps, but trying to focus on an eye was really a crap shoot often enough to be frustrating.
So for those of you who use Sony, how does Sony AF do in dirty light with fast primes shot wide open?

Thanks for any input you have!
Tom

 weisman's gear list:weisman's gear list
Nikon D810 Olympus E-M1 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +10 more
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