Focus by wire - Up a mountain in the dark ??

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fireplace33
fireplace33 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Focus by wire - Up a mountain in the dark ??
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I wanted to get a shot of the moonlight on the misty village below our mountain hut. You can see how the moonlight catches the snow on the glacier opposite. The photo below is a "HDR" merged shot of 3 exposures. I think it is not focussed properly. please view at original size and see what you think.

The panasonic Leica lens 8-18 is very sharp, but it is the focus-by-wire type which begs the question on how to focus this lens in the dark. With a "normal" mechanical focussed lens I could focus it while it is still light and just note the setting and use that same setting later in the dark. Even a simple piece of masking tape would work for that.
Using the 8-18 at 2am was very fiddly. As I focussed manually the screen jumped to max magnification and the tiny light dots from the street lighting could hardly be seen, small adjustments of the focus seemed to have a large effects on the focus putting it right out, meaning I had to start over again

Any tips on how to focus "in the dark" with these focus-by-wire types?

The second shot here was taken later the next morning as the first sun rays appeared over the mountain range. same process , merged from 3 shots, and it looks sharper to me.

... and one more shot just for fun. After breakfast, the sun had come up more and started to melt away the mist.
Here's a more detailed shot with another pana-Leica lens, the 50-200

 fireplace33's gear list:fireplace33's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Tokina 11-20mm F2.8 Canon PowerShot G15 Nikon D90 +23 more
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