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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 10 Sep 2013 (Tuesday) 07:19
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back button auto focus...

 
sancho1983
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Sep 10, 2013 14:42 |  #31

I don't really get the benefits?

It seems like it's an extra button to press when I have to press the shutter button anyway? (which would normally trigger the focus lock)


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apersson850
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Sep 10, 2013 14:52 as a reply to  @ sancho1983's post |  #32

Here are a few situations where the benefit is pretty obvious:

  • You are tracking a runner (Servo AF) towards the finish. To keep tracking, you have to have AF active, but since several other photographers also want shots of this runner, you get bounced around a bit. To then keep your finger on half-press, without neither releasing nor pressing too deep, isn't easy. With back button focusing, you keep AF-ON fully depressed and keep your finger of the trigger button until it's time to fire away. That's a lot easier in such a situation.
  • You are tracking a runner (Servo AF) who runs behind some obstacles. You still want to shoot, since the obstacles are blurred due to being out of the depth of field, but you can't let the camera focus-track at that time. If you do, it will focus on the obstacles instead. By just letting the AF-ON button go, you can keep on shooting without having AF active, and then resume AF once past the obstacles.
  • You are shooting someone who remains at about the same distance all the time, so you just want to update focus occasionally. But when you shoot, you want the freedom to compose the image in any way you see fit. But momentarily pressing AF-ON now and then, whilst aiming the AF point to the target, you update focus. Then you let go of AF-ON and can fire at will, without updating focus with the AF point now covering the background.
Other people will have other examples, due to what they frequently shoot, but the principle will be similar.

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dankin
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Sep 10, 2013 14:57 |  #33

It feels weird to not use back button focusing...I'm so used t it.


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Nighthound
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Sep 10, 2013 15:18 |  #34

sancho1983 wrote in post #16285579 (external link)
I don't really get the benefits?

It seems like it's an extra button to press when I have to press the shutter button anyway? (which would normally trigger the focus lock)

By using BBF you're not using the shutter activation button to perform three tasks – meter, focus and trip the shutter. There's a slight lag time between focus acquisition and shutter trip when using the same button to perform both which allows for focus loss. Using BBF let's you better lock focus on your subject while taking the shot.


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Mike ­ R
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Sep 10, 2013 15:54 |  #35

It took a short time to get use to it and now the only time I change back to the shutter button is if I'm letting someone else use it.


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apersson850
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Sep 10, 2013 16:02 |  #36

Nighthound wrote in post #16285708 (external link)
By using BBF you're not using the shutter activation button to perform three tasks – meter, focus and trip the shutter. There's a slight lag time between focus acquisition and shutter trip when using the same button to perform both which allows for focus loss. Using BBF let's you better lock focus on your subject while taking the shot.

But this isn't true if you rest for a moment on half-press. Then it has the same effect as pressing AF-ON a moment before pressing the trigger button.


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foxbodychris
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Sep 10, 2013 17:06 |  #37

Well I made the switch and going to try it out the weekend at the nhra event. So if just hold the * button it will keep auto focusing correct? I think ill switch the iso button to set as well cause its very difficult to find up on the top. Cant wait to try it out!


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apersson850
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Sep 10, 2013 17:16 as a reply to  @ foxbodychris's post |  #38

You hold the AF-ON button to focus. Well, you can assign the same functionality to the * button, but normally there's no reason to. The AF-ON button is already set up to execute AF, it's more conveniently located close to where your thumb otherwise would rest and it's a tad larger than the * button.


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foxbodychris
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Sep 10, 2013 17:25 |  #39

apersson850 wrote in post #16285993 (external link)
You hold the AF-ON button to focus. Well, you can assign the same functionality to the * button, but normally there's no reason to. The AF-ON button is already set up to execute AF, it's more conveniently located close to where your thumb otherwise would rest and it's a tad larger than the * button.

Thanks


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apersson850
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Sep 10, 2013 17:27 as a reply to  @ foxbodychris's post |  #40

The only setting you really need to do is to remove AF from the trigger button half press action. Set it to metering only, and you are ready to go, provided you do use AF-ON for back button focusing.


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sancho1983
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Sep 10, 2013 17:35 |  #41

I know I'm being really thick, but I still don't understand, the way I see it you're having to do more, you still have to half press (and full press obviously) the shutter but you also have to press the back button. :(

Sorry


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Sep 10, 2013 18:09 |  #42

I tried it for a week or so years ago, never liked it. I don't quite see the benefit either, but I also don't take photos of sports or animals, no gain for me, one more button to press. But obviously many here love it for some reason or other. Maybe I'll try it again some day, but probably not. I do use the * for meter lock occasionally. My friend uses BB on all his cameras, but also could not explain to me why I should do so. I never noticed a lag of any kind. Might be more depending on what you shoot? runners, race cars, fast birds, ball games? All things of little interest to me, may be I just never came across the supposed limitations the standard setting has?

Curious, was this also a feature on pre digital cameras?


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sbgagne
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Sep 10, 2013 18:09 |  #43

sancho1983 wrote in post #16286031 (external link)
I know I'm being really thick, but I still don't understand, the way I see it you're having to do more, you still have to half press (and full press obviously) the shutter but you also have to press the back button. :(

Sorry


Just try it. I like it since I can obtain focus using the back button and metering is only done at the time I press the shutter button. If I used the shutter button only I would obtain focus and metering at the same time. If the lighting changed between when I half pressed the shutter button and I was ready to shoot the metering would be off. This way I can focus and the metering will be right at the moment I press the shutter button not when I half pressed the button earlier.




  
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rdmello
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Sep 10, 2013 18:18 |  #44

I've recently switched to BBF and like it. The only place I find it slows me down is when I take my thumb of the BBF to change the focus point using the D pad. That makes me wonder if BBF is worth it.

Hands down, it's much better for focus and recompose.


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foxbodychris
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Sep 10, 2013 18:30 |  #45

apersson850 wrote in post #16285993 (external link)
You hold the AF-ON button to focus. Well, you can assign the same functionality to the * button, but normally there's no reason to. The AF-ON button is already set up to execute AF, it's more conveniently located close to where your thumb otherwise would rest and it's a tad larger than the * button.

My * button is bigger than my AF on button on my 7d and find the * easier to use so I may go that route and just disable AF-on


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