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Noob looking for a laser for a DIY project

saurongt

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Hello everyone,

I'm an amateur photographer and am starting on a project to design an auto-focus assist lamp. The idea is to put together a device that be effective at aiding the camera to focus in dark conditions and which would also not be blinding and annoying to subjects. One idea was to use a regular flashlight with a near-IR pass filter in front of it. The other is the projection of a laser pattern, which seems very effective.

So, my question to you is which laser pointer I should get. I'd like it to be cheap, preferably small, have the ability to make a grid type of pattern, and most importantly safe to shine into people's faces. Now, I've shallowly researched and found out that in order to be safe for eyes, the laser should be at most class II and have 1mW power output, although i do need some expert advice.

I've never had a laser, so I really don't know what to look for and which dealers are reputable. So any information will be appreciated.

Thank you!

P.S. I didn't talk about the wavelength. It would be great to have something just below 700nm, i.e. on the very edge of visible. The camera's auto-focus sensors are sensitive to IR, but will focus inaccurately with anything too far beyond visible because diffraction is different for longer wavelengths.
 

MarioMaster

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saurongt said:
Hello everyone,

I'm an amateur photographer and am starting on a project to design an auto-focus assist lamp. The idea is to put together a device that be effective at aiding the camera to focus in dark conditions and which would also not be blinding and annoying to subjects. One idea was to use a regular flashlight with a near-IR pass filter in front of it. The other is the projection of a laser pattern, which seems very effective.

So, my question to you is which laser pointer I should get. I'd like it to be cheap, preferably small, have the ability to make a grid type of pattern, and most importantly safe to shine into people's faces. Now, I've shallowly researched and found out that in order to be safe for eyes, the laser should be at most class II and have 1mW power output, although i do need some expert advice.

I've never had a laser, so I really don't know what to look for and which dealers are reputable. So any information will be appreciated.

Thank you!

P.S. I didn't talk about the wavelength. It would be great to have something just below 700nm, i.e. on the very edge of visible. The camera's auto-focus sensors are sensitive to IR, but will focus inaccurately with anything too far beyond visible because diffraction is different for longer wavelengths.
pretty much 5mw is the max for eye safe, but i don't think a laser would be good for your project - anything that would be bright enough to allow for autofocus would probably be too high powered to be eye safe
 

saurongt

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Thanks! I'll walk around a hobby store and see if they have any Class II lasers. The reason I thought of this in the first place is that Sony had a few models using a laser to guide the focusing. It was extremely effective and I really don't know why they abandoned it.
 




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