Digital Cameras: What Range is the AF Assist Lamp Most Effective

AF assist is a mode on newer digital cameras that allows the photographer to zoom in on the detail they are trying to capture. The AF assist lamp will illuminate a line for the cameraman to focus on. There are some situations when using the AF assist lamp mode won't do a lot for you. 

Close Up Shots

The AF assist mode isn't going to help a lot for close up shots. Since the subject is already close, the mode isn't necessary. The lamp mode with AF assist can create a bright light, which can cause red eye or wash outs. 

Candid Photos

The point of a candid shot is to capture a moment without alerting the subject to the photo being taken. With auto focus assist that uses a lamp, this can ruin the candid shot by letting the subject know his photo is about to be taken.

Concerts and Events

The AF assist mode won't capture the focus if you are at a concert or sporting event. Generally, the seats are too far away from the action for the assist mode to really help much. In these types of settings, turning off the AF assist will allow you to capture better photos.

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