Back Button focus on DSLR's

Discussion in 'Cameras and Photography' started by mhedges, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

    Messages:
    2,399
    Location:
    Greensboro NC
    I've seen a bunch of people say how "back button focus" is better than the standard focus method on DSLR's. I believe what it does is take focus away from the shutter button, so the shutter will always fire when pressed. Instead focus is moved to a button on the back by the thumb wheel - often the AF/AE lock button.

    Anyone do this? Do you think it is better? I made the change and tried it out today but I had some trouble where it just didn't seem to focus. Maybe I didn't set it up right.
     

     

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  2. jbailey930

    jbailey930 AK Member

    Messages:
    819
    Location:
    N. Va
    I learned to do this some time ago on my Nikons. Set the AF to AF-C = continuous focus. You get ability to press the button to hold on for moving objects or use as a single point. It takes practice to get the hang of it. Not sure which camera body but this thread may shed more light on the topic.
    https://www.nikoncafe.com/threads/back-button-single-point-focus.308054/
    Good luck!
     
  3. cgutz

    cgutz AK Member

    Messages:
    3,391
    Location:
    SE South Dakota
    I use back button focus on my D5300 Nikon. My son is a professional shooter, and does the same on his D750. It shouldn't actually change how the camera is focusing, just which button does it. Just remember to press it to focus before the shutter.

    As said before, play with the actual focus settings. I personally use single point, so I focus on the desired point, reframe and shoot.

    Advantage: You can easily hold down the button to lock focus without worrying about pressing the shutter button "half way," which I've always had trouble doing. Once you remember to do use the back button focus, it is really much easier.

    Con: When first starting, you may forget the shutter no longer focuses. or, when someone else uses your camera, they don't know to do it, or if you use another person's camera.

    Personally, other than remembering to use it, there is no down side. After your first few out of focus shots, you remember to use it, and it becomes second nature.
     
  4. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

    Messages:
    2,399
    Location:
    Greensboro NC
    I shot with it more today and did ok for the most part but I think I still have to change settings. It wasn’t updating exposure metering with each shot at I got a couple shots that were pure white when I went from inside to outside.
     
  5. mhedges

    mhedges Super Member

    Messages:
    2,399
    Location:
    Greensboro NC
    I’ve tried it for a while now but I’m switching back. I haven’t really seen any benefit but for me there are a couple of drawbacks-

    1). Sometimes I just forget to focus
    2). More often I think I’m focusing, but instead I am just putting the “do not delete” lock thing on the last image taken. That’s what the back AE/AF lock button does when the LCD is displaying pics. I guess the eye sensor doesn’t work so good for me since it’s often still displaying when I’m trying to take pics
    3). I find it very difficult to impossible to compose in portrait and still hit the back button for focus.

    Anyone else have any of these issues?
     

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