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When I shoot pictures of badgers I recently found that the Nikon D500 + 200mm F/2.0 is a great combination. Badgers often come out very late when its quite dark but they cant see too well so you can get relatively close to their den. I used to shoot the 200-400mm F/4.0 but the 200mm F/2.0 gives me two stops more light which gives me almost an hour of extra time when the sun sets.

The only problem is: Focusing can get tough sometimes.

My question is: Could an infrared torch be used to assist the focusing of the camera? I guess that it wont work with mirrorless cameras like the Z7 (or in live view with the D500) since they should have an infrared filter and the focusing gets done at the sensor plane but the D500 has a dedicated autofocus sensor bay.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's a related question which may explain some things regarding IR focusing... photo.stackexchange.com/questions/30973/… \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Nov 25, 2020 at 15:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ "since they should have an infrared filter". A DSC-R1 camera of mine has an eye sensor for the electronic viewfinder. It blinks invisibly while active. That is, invisibly to the human eye. All digital cameras I have tried on it see it. The color is more of a pale blue if I remember correctly but I guess that's the out-of-band reaction of the Bayer filter in connection with demosaicing: UV would not make a lot of sense. But whether UV or IR: clearly something intended to mimick human color vision (and purportedly having blocking filters) does see what the human eye itself doesn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – user95069
    Nov 25, 2020 at 21:20

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One possible useful answer is that Nikon speedlights add an infrared focusing assist LED, which gives several times greater useful range than the white LED on the camera. I don't know the maximum range, but I know 50 feet will work fine on a SB-800 to allow focus in the dark. The camera focus indicator must be moved to the center position on the screen for the Assist to operate. The LED is red in the dark, but really hard to see in indoor light.

If you don't want the hot shoe flash to fire then, those flash models with Commander can operate as Master, but with Master Off (group M mode set to --- is Off), and it will still assist focus with infrared.

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