Autofocus assist light


[Aki]‘s Nikon D2H did not come with an autofocus assist light.  His other cameras have them, and he likes the feature, so he decided to hack one into his D2H. He wired into the AF system, so that his LED gets voltage when the shutter release is pressed half way. The circuit needs refinement though, he found that the light was staying on during shutter release and affecting his light metering. You can see the hack in action after the break.


  1. Dennis says:

    Might have to do this myself. Looks good.

  2. chrisChris says:

    sorry.. grammar alert “…release and AFFECTING his light…”

    Effect is something you can do (sound effect)
    Affect is something that can be done to you (sound affected my hearing)

  3. Tim says:

    *affected*. They’re not even pronounced the same…

  4. daryl says:

    i like the project. it looks like a good start, but yes, it should only activate the light on half-down. when the shutter release is pressed the rest of the way, the light needs to shut off so it doesn’t mess up anything in the foreground (say a bug flying by at night). very nice work all around. I could use one of these also.

    oh, and can something be done about the trolls? e-mail the editor, don’t spam the comments… (plz don’t flame me).

  5. Caleb Kraft says:

    Thanks for the heads up guys. Grammar error has been fixed.

  6. Haku says:

    Does the light from the LED when the autofocus is activated alter the camera’s auto-whitebalance and/or shutter speed to compensate for the extra light (which goes when the photo is finally taken)?
    Or does the camera do it’s light level checking after the autofocus stage?

  7. Lambda_drive says:

    Wouldn’t the light be more useful on the right side of the camera? That way when you’re focusing the lens or zooming your hand isn’t blocking the light.

  8. Aki Korhonen says:

    Thanks for featuring.

    haku: whitebalance issue doesn’t bother me as I shoot and use only raw, I fix the WB always in post.

    The light does trick the camera a bit with exposure calculations as it is on all the time when the button is pushed down and that is why I’ll put the led simply behind a separate push button on the side of the light on the next version (takes the power from the camera anyway) so I can turn it on with left hand’s thumb only when needed.

  9. BiOzZ says:

    im not a fan of autofocus but on my d40 if i deside to use it i use a pen light if the built in one is not enugh

  10. fartface says:

    How about buying a promaster flash with autofocus assist light.

    I got one for that same camera for less than $39.00 on ebay. got a better flash and a autofocus assist that works correctly.

  11. Aki Korhonen says:

    I already have an SB-600 that has an autofocus light and I needed another solution when the flash can’t be on top of the camera for a reason or another.

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