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AF Assist tool v2.0 log

I recently attended a 5 day music festival (Kinetik Festival) in montreal, Canada where I was asked to photograph the 35 bands playing. A month before the festival I had a chance to try out my first AF Assist tool. After seeing the results I knew I wanted to take such a helpful tool with me to the music festival to help in the making of images. This is the second incarnation of my AF Assist tool. 

The new tool fits on the hotshoe of the camera.  The laser is enables by the 1/2 push of the shutter button or the AF-ON (auto focus enable button) on the camera body. The switch on the side cuts power to the circuit (on-off button) and the potentiometer next to it varies the power to the laser LED.

The tool helped me tremendously in capturing these shots at Kinetik Festival 4.0 in Montreal, but it’s not without faults.

First off, the laser is too strong, and very visible and may be visually distracting to the other concert goers to see a red laser patch on the side of the artists face as I try to focus. I was talking to another photographer at the festival and he showed me some photos he took where my red laser was on the artists’ face. Not cool.
I tried my best to keep the intensity to a bear minimum after that, and was still cautious.

Even thought the design “should” turn the laser off during the time of exposure, it doesn’t quite do it. (details here)

Because the signal to turn on comes from one of the hot shoe pins, that pin remains on for 4 seconds after the image is taken. Ideally I would want the laser to turn off right after the image is taken. No solution to this has been found yet.

The de-focused laser pointer works great, but I would like to find another solution for a light source. Maybe try to find a broken flash from which I can salvage its AF assist light, which is designed specifically for this. The light is less visible, and works very well to help the camera acquire focus.

For details on the build log along with more details, visit these posts:


Below is a set of photos of the unit. (Click for larger view)

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  1. November 1st, 2011 at 07:22 | #1


    Great post here Adrian. Do you have an email I can grab you on? I have a few questions to ask.



  2. January 5th, 2013 at 17:30 | #2

    Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My website goes over a lot of the same topics as yours and
    I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to
    shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog
    by the way!

  3. March 14th, 2015 at 06:13 | #3

    Have you / are you planing on sharing the schematics for this somewhere? 😀

  4. March 14th, 2015 at 06:15 | #4

    So sorry, just noticed the links you gave. Awesome work!

  1. June 2nd, 2011 at 18:02 | #1
  2. June 2nd, 2011 at 18:02 | #2
  3. June 2nd, 2011 at 18:23 | #3
  4. June 3rd, 2011 at 04:53 | #4
  5. June 3rd, 2011 at 10:30 | #5
  6. November 20th, 2011 at 23:12 | #6