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Thread: Back button focusing?

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Back button focusing?

    Do you use it or not, and why?
    Is it more useful for certain subjects, like birds compared to landscapes?

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    Just keep plodding away... Mat's Avatar
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    I always use the back button focus. It removes the accidental focus change that could happen when you press the shutter. Also by removing the focus from the shutter button you have one less task for the camera to do so the time for the shutter to release is shortened albeit it is a small time but it is there.
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    Well, report me to the RSPCA then!!!!

    I have tried to use the back button focus but I just can't get a grip on it. It feels awkward. I know old habits are hard to die and I think maybe if I spent a bit of time on practicing, it may work out. Maybe that will be another way of me expanding my photographic skills!!

    So to answer your question.....I only use shutter focus.
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    I tried it but I put my left eye up to the camera to see. My right eye is worse than the left. This means I am looking over my glasses with my nose pushing up against the right side of the camera back. There just isn't enough room to get my thumb in there as well, without smudging my glasses and making the whole thing look very awkward. It may be just a matter of getting used to it but do others that use their left eye have the same issue?
    Cheers Kieran

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    I didn't. I didn't know about it (so beginner of me). Just read this and was intrigued. Spent the last half hour Googling about it and took about 5 random but perfectly focused photos in my almost pitch black room. I love it. So yes, I will be using this in future. It is so much quick than half holding the shutter and just listening to the lens zzzzzzp zzzzzzp at me before beeping to tell me it couldn't find anything. I mostly photo my kids so it will definitely come in handy. (I throw away so many photos where the camera just decided to focus on a knee)
    Still a new kid in the photography world


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    Okay. Sorry. Didn't mean to come off as a crazy person. I'm on the other/weird side of tired and got a little excited. I have been trying to figure out how to do this for a while, especially yesterday when trying to shoot a fish in our tank. Was a bit of *focus>he swims out of frame>accidentally shoot rocks>try to focus again>can only focus on rocks*... Super frustrating, gave up after a while. So now I have a solution and I am happy.

    Thank you for posting this. It never occured to me that there was an actual way to do it.

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    I started using it about 3 months ago and havnt looked back.
    As others have said I find it easier to use cause your camera isn't trying to focus everytime you push the shutter.

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    I've had a go at focusing this way but I'm finding it hard. For me, I keep forgetting to use it so it's more a matter of developing the habit.

    As I'm a beginner I can't add anything about its usefulness in any given situation, but I'd be interested to hear what other more experienced photographers have to say.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    I started using it after reading an article on using back-button focus with ai servo on the 7D, and find it very convenient. The only time I shift focus to the trigger is when I am using the camera with one hand while holding a flash with the other, say for macro work, and then I do sometimes put the focus back to the trigger.
    Back-button focus, the hidden gem in convenience for me.
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    Former Username : Wetpixels Dazz1's Avatar
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    I had no idea this existed. I have experienced the frustration of the shutter button causing re-focus every time it is depressed. My solution was to go to manual focus, and while that works, I can see this would be useful. I will experiment with it, thank you.
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    Thank you for thread never new about it so will have to read up about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROA44 View Post
    Thank you for thread never new about it so will have to read up about it.
    Likewise. When I read this thread I went straight to the manual to read up on it. I'll give it a try for a few months and see if I can get used to it, or if it is something that helps.
    Cheers

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    I use mine the opposite way around. I have it programmed to turn AF off because the majority of the time I'm shooting I want trigger finger focusing, but in the occasion I want to hold focus, I can simply hold the back button.
    Mic

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    Member Fruengalli's Avatar
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    Same as etherial for me

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    Ausphotography Regular wmphoto's Avatar
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    I've been using it for a while now. Find it very helpful in the 'focus - recompose' type scenario so that you can focus on your subject then meter for the whole scene. Like Kieran, I also wear glasses, and it is a PIA with the smudge marks all over my right lens but you eventually get used to working with it.

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    I'm a fan
    I just find it more of a natural flow for me whilst working if that makes sense.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    I'm from the why-use-two-buttons-when-one-will-do school of thought, so focus with shutter button for me. Nothing against AF-ON, just never really found a need to use it.


    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munecito View Post
    Back button focus is the only real way to focus!!!

    Now seriously. It is!

    It eliminates the focus chasing every time you press the shutter.

    You can keep the autofocus switch in the on position and quickly change subject and refocus and not miss that shot like you would with the switch in the off position.

    If something gets between you and your subject the camera won't try to refocus for whatever it is in front.

    Saves batteries.

    Every time you use shutter focus a kitten is killed.
    All the above, ok, maybe not the last point , are very valid reasons to use that method.

    I have troubles using a camera not set up for the af on ( back ) button set as the sole means of focussing now. To me it falls just in line with the way cameras are meant to work, a dial for the aperture ( or a ring on the lens ), a button or ring on the lens to focus with and a shutter button that performs one function alone.
    Using a dedicated focus button that is set to lock when pressed and only to unlock either after an image is taken or the button is pressed again in combination with an exposure lock button set to stay locked until pressed or an image is taken and a shutter button that serves one purpose makes for a good combination all round to me.
    Andrew
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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I use it, though not when shooting macro.
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  20. #20
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    Do you use it or not, and why?
    Is it more useful for certain subjects, like birds compared to landscapes?
    I use it all the time, best way to focus where and when I want, especially for bird photography, but I use it all the time with all photography now. Thumb goes on back button and forefinger on the shutter release and works a treat. Only one drawback and that is to remember to tell people how it works if you ask them to take a photo of you.

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