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Back Button Focus

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

  1. lemmy

    lemmy Member

    You are photographing a football match. From a melee a shot is made at goal. You let the camera focus on the goalie and press the button. No matter how many players run across your field of view, you retain focus on the goalkeeper. Action over, release the button and resume normal AF.

    The main Olympus lenses have a button that falls right to the thumb for just this purpose. With Panasonic, try using half press shutter release with BBF. It's like a hair trigger on a rifle and makes the camera super responsive.
  2. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    If you're focusing with a button, you're doing it wrong. For the vast majority of the best lenses for small formats there's a collar around the lens for focusing with.


  3. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    Now that's another can of worms opened ;)
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Something to do with the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence?
    SqueamishOssifrage likes this.
  5. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    Oh, is that something up with which you shall not put?

  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    It is definitely somewhere to which we shall not boldly go. ;)
  7. beatnik69

    beatnik69 Well-Known Member

    "Correct my grammar you shall not" - Yoda
  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    B0ll0X says Oi
  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Roger's English is excellent and certainly better than mine. I suspect that he was just being mischievous.
  10. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    The 12-40 PRO certainly does, plus the slide forward ring for easy manual, but none of the primes for OMD/Pen as far as I can see have either.
  11. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    This is all ok I suppose, but the fundamental problem for me is that I don't like football.

    Would this approach work with other sports? Chess?
    peterba likes this.
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. But I'd set it up the other way so that the AF activates when the button is pressed. AF on rather than AF off.
  13. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    It's only a 'sport', if played with the windows open... :)
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Those who photograph real sport, such as rugby, as a way to make a living, seem to use AF. They also seem to use back button focus. They also seem to know what they are doing.
    The only problem I have found with back button focus is forgetting that a camera is set up for it.
    I would think that chess could be treated as still life. Focus manually and critically in enlarged live view.
    Chose the most appropriate method for the situation.
  15. IanG1957

    IanG1957 Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry - in my head it seemed funny at the time. The allusion to chess was simply my way of trying to get away from what was fast becoming too serious for me. My apologies.

    In any event, I use back button focusing (set, as previously mentioned, to activate when the button is pushed) as I photograph a lot of concerts and circus events which require fast reactions to what's happening in front of me. If the subject remains in the plane of my (very shallow) depth of field, I can just lift my thumb and the continuous focus stops - when it moves again, I just press, sometimes leaving the button pressed while the subject moves.

    I have to say the AF system on my camera bodies is far and away more accurate than I am...
    peterba likes this.
  16. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    No need for an apology - the chess comment raised a smile, when I read it.
  17. tasherlock

    tasherlock New Member

    I have been using BBF for some time now and love it. Using the shutter button to take photos only is a bonus. You set the foccussing to a button on the rear of the camera. On a nikon it is the AEL/AEF button. On full frame cameras there is a AF-ON button the camera. There are many articles on the net how to set up the camera especially good is Backcountry Gallery by Steve Perry..
    peterba likes this.
  18. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    When not using manual focus (obviously:rolleyes:) I always use BBF, and I certainly would not wish to revert to shutter button focus.

    Welcome to the forum, by the way! :)
  19. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
    RogerMac and peterba like this.
  20. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Well, I hereby decree that everyone must use BBF from here on... ;)
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.

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