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Back Button Focus

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by EightBitTony, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I work back to front it seems. I've got my little button set up to lock exposure. I can then meter anywhere in the scene and hold it, while I use the shutter release to focus on another part of the scene. The bit I want in focus, is very rarely the bit I want to meter from, so it's good to separate the two sometimes.
    beatnik69 and peterba like this.
  2. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    PeteRob has summed it up perfectly, in post #20. It's just more dependable - removing the possibility of unwelcome minor AF adjustments/hunting, when shooting in the conditions in the birds/reeds example. The half-press function can be, IME, a rather hit-and-miss affair.

    The big surprise, for me, was that once I'd become accustomed (and that's the important part) to using BBF, I found it very much preferable for general use, too. :)
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It is more convenient with a dedicated AF button. My latest camera has an AE hold setting which is push to AE lock and push again to release. This is useful.
    peterba likes this.
  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Yes, I tried this method when I first decided to separate shutter and focus. It works perfectly well, but I found the BBF 'version' suited me more. To each, his own... and all that. :)
  5. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I configure my back button to lock on press ard release on the second press. So I am never havng to press two buttons at once. I do the same with the AEL buton
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  6. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Hello - I'm new here so please bear with me.

    I use back button focus because it 'uncouples' the focusing and exposure lock on the shutter button.

    I use a nikon camera (small 'n' as I want to keep it quiet) and the advantage of using bbf is that the focus mode is on 'continuous' as long as the button is pressed - then it locks when the button is released. (This of course has to be selected in the menus while setting it up)

    I do a lot of concert work - this system lets me follow the action, pressing the AF-ON button as desired (or keeping the button pressed) to capture the focus, and the shutter button acts as an AE-Lock - I can press and hold the shutter button to let the exposure change, or simply press and take the photograph when I'm happy with the composition.

    This gives me the best of both focusing modes - continuous with the button pressed, or static with the button released.
    peterba likes this.
  7. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum, Ian - good to have another advocate of BBF on the thread! ;)
  8. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Thank you - the funny thing is that now I can't function without bbf - this is amusing when you visit a camera dealer who picks up your camera and tells you "yes there's a problem here - it doesn't autofocus" ;-)
  9. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    I must admit that it's not something I've ever tried - principally because I've never come across the need for it. If a situation arises where I think it'll be beneficial then I'll happily wade in and start pressing the appropriate buttons.

    Cheers, Jeff
  10. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Yes - I've had exactly that situation when taking a camera in for p/ex... :rolleyes:
  11. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I had a similar problem when I accidentally set my camera to Manual Focus and wondered why all my pictures were coming out blurred... :oops:
  12. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    I also have experience of this situation - in our family it's called the 'Lagavulin Effect' and I generally find I get fantastic colours, the more I consume...

    But I digress....
    SXH likes this.
  13. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Its not worth arguing about and I do not see any point in trying to convince a person to change from a method of working that they are happy about.
    It is sensible to be consistant. Choose one method and keep all your cameras set up to use that method. I do use a variant of BBF so my cameras are permanently set to CF and the AF-ON button enabled to select and start 25 point dynamic area. The PV button (which his easily reached by the second finger while the 1st finger is on the release button) is set to AF ON which engages the preset focus mode which is normally 3D tracking. Thus one can instantly start focussing in either 25 point dynamic area or 3 D tracking.
  14. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    I'd like to thank you again - and use this as a pretext to question the reply from @Learning - my original post was in no way aimed at convincing anyone, just a way to explain why I find the bbf useful for my photography - frankly couldn't give a monkeys that other people disagree, I'm too old for all that nonsense, but I do believe in sharing information - surely the 'raison d'être' of a forum?
    peterba likes this.
  15. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. I've not got any particular bias against back button focus - I just don't happen to use it. I know that if I ever decide to give it a try, threads like this will contain the information that I need in order to do so.

    Cheers, Jeff
    peterba likes this.
  16. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Firstly, I don't see any arguments, and secondly, I disagree anyway. There's no better way to understand your own position debating it with someone else. I asked because I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.

    I don't see any of that in the thread.
    PhotoEcosse and peterba like this.
  17. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Welcome Ian! Don't be put off by the odd post, you need a thick skin at times on this forum as with most other forums.
    peterba likes this.
  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    [QUOTE="EightBitTony, post: 1451055, member: 5149............
    So, people talk about Back Button Focus, and are often quite evangelical about it.

    The OP referers to evangelical. I responded to that.
    Since then the contributors to the thread have been careful not to evangelise. And that is good.
  19. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    Don't worry - I'm pretty thick...
    peterba likes this.
  20. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Quite. There was absolutely no 'argument' taking place - simply a discussion about focus preferences. :rolleyes:;)
    PhotoEcosse likes this.

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