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Thread started 17 Mar 2015 (Tuesday) 20:21
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Back Button Focus? Not Always!

 
scobols
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Mar 17, 2015 20:21 |  #1

I'm a big proponent of back button focus. I've used it for many years and swear by it, pretty much never turned it off. That is until last Saturday.

I was the event photographer for a gymnastics meet (for the third year) and was using a rented 1DX. I shot with the same thing last year and can't imagine going back to the 5D III, although I certainly could. I was only shooting the floor routines with a lot of fast action and I started shooting with BBF, like I did last year. Early in the second session (2 of 8 total), I really started feeling pain in my hand from stretching my thumb to focus. Then it dawned on me: Why am I using BBF when for this event I ALWAYS want the camera to be focusing. I was constantly holding the button in. I turned of off and went back to half shutter press for focus and it was amazing how much easier it became. Just one button to think about, no stretching of the hand, fast and easy. In addition, I was nailing focus on way more shots that I had been with BBF.

The meet is over, the camera is returned, and my 5D III is still on BBF. That's how I will use it most of the time - but not for gymnastic meets. I wish I would have thought of this two years ago...

Scott


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Charlie
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Mar 17, 2015 20:37 |  #2

C1, that's what it was made for.


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Mar 17, 2015 20:46 |  #3

I have the button set to turn off focus, so I only have to press it for those exceptions when I don't want it to.


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Mar 17, 2015 23:50 |  #4

That's why there is a choice.;-)a


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Mar 18, 2015 02:46 |  #5

On the 1DX the AF-ON button is exactly where the thumb rests anyway, so there's no stretching.


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Mar 18, 2015 07:13 |  #6

I don't have to stretch on my 6D either.


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scobols
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Mar 18, 2015 07:16 |  #7

Stretching isn't so much the point as is not having to constantly hold the button in. In fast action/sports situations like this, I don't see any need for BBF.

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Mar 18, 2015 08:13 |  #8

Although I don't have a 1Dx, I am with the others. The AF-ON button is where the thumb rests in the most relaxed position.

As far as getting tired by pressing, I think my back and my left arm will give up first (in that order) before my thumb. Unless you are not handholding.


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Mar 18, 2015 08:40 |  #9

It's at least not worse than keeping the finger half-way down on the trigger button all the time.


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scobols
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Mar 18, 2015 09:06 |  #10

Apparently those who use back button focus cannot be convinced otherwise.

Pushing two buttons is more work than pushing one button. You already have to push the shutter button through half-press in order to take the picture.

Try it...


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scobols
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Mar 18, 2015 09:07 |  #11

The reason I posted this thread is so those who are new and are influenced by many that back button focus is THE ONLY way to go can have an open mind and try something different.

I'm not saying it's better for everyone. I'm saying it was better for me in that situation. You can't argue whether or not it was better for me.


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Mar 18, 2015 09:39 |  #12

One of the advantages of BBF is not having to wait to achieve focus.
In AI SERVO With Back Button pressed, you can then press the shutter and still track the subject and press Shutter again.
Without BBF, you must half Press the shutter to achieve Focus, then press shutter fully down for exposure. Again and again.
Slowing you down.


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scobols
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Mar 18, 2015 09:46 |  #13

Understood. However, the camera is set to not take the photo until focus is achieved. Therefore, pressing the shutter button all the way down (without stopping half-way) focuses and takes the photo, all in one motion, without slowing you down.


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Mar 18, 2015 10:02 |  #14

I can see you point, and I agree with it, but I wonder if relying on shutter button focus would be as successful on a body with lesser AF capability?

ie: is 1Dx so good that BBF becomes less neccesary?


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scobols
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Mar 18, 2015 10:10 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #15

True, I didn't try it on another body. That is a very good point.


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Back Button Focus? Not Always!
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