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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 02 Dec 2015 (Wednesday) 13:54
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POLL: "Do you use back button focus?"
Yes
156
84.3%
No
26
14.1%
What is back button focus?
3
1.6%

185 voters, 185 votes given (1 choice only choices can be voted per member)). VOTING IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY.
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Back Button AF?

 
CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 09, 2016 10:25 |  #151

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18121645 (external link)
.

I don't think that you do have to switch AF back to the shutter button. I have the AF set to the back button on both my 5D, my 50D, and my 1D4, and I use a remote release on all of these bodies and it works fine and I have never set the AF back to the shutter button.

.


rgs wrote in post #18121695 (external link)
I think this is correct. I have used a set of Phottix triggers as a remote and they worked fine. But I usually just use the delay timer. If I haueve live view enabled, the mirror is already up and everything is still, so I just use the shorter delay time. And, if I am plugged up to my DSLR Controller app, I have the big display on my phone or tablet and a remote shutter release right on the remote screen. Couple that with the short delay and it's hard to beat.


I might be making a bad assumption, but even though this was not made clear, I would assume that the statement re: remote shooting had to do with the fact that if set to AF ON, using a remote the camera will not auto focus. Of course for many (most?) remote shooting situations, you don't want to the camera to change focus anyway, it would be a preset focus, so it was a strange way to phrase it.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Sep 09, 2016 11:53 |  #152

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18121645 (external link)
I don't think that you do have to switch AF back to the shutter button.

My experience matches that of Al - at least with Yongnou triggers. They emulate shutter release only. This means that only those functions
that are set to the shutter button will occur. If AF is exclusively on the back button it will not start and if the camera is set to require focus confirmation it won't take the photo.

This issue doesn't occur if the camera is on manual focus or if you have AF on set to both the shutter button and back button.

I use BBF almost all the time with the shutter button just as meter start/shutter release. However I do sometimes encounter the above problem. I solved it by setting C1 custom setting to have the shutter button back as meter start/AF on.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 09, 2016 13:36 |  #153

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18122346 (external link)
.... and if the camera is set to require focus confirmation it won't take the photo....

This is the part I was missing, having never set a camera that way, I have never NOT been able to use a remote shutter.

Thank you for clarifying.

However, personally i still don't see any of this as a downside. If one set up is what you chose for normal shooting, I am not sure why you want it to be automatically over-ridden just because you switch to a remote trigger.

Clearly this is just my own P.O.V.

In any case, it's not that one needs to switch back to shutter release, it's that one needs to turn off "focus confirmation required"

If this sort of swapping is a regular big problem, these are complete set ups that can be easily swapped by writing them to a .csd file to load in one step on a 1D body, or a spin of the main dial to "C1, C2 etc. " on most other bodies.


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Sep 09, 2016 21:19 |  #154

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #18122432 (external link)
In any case, it's not that one needs to switch back to shutter release, it's that one needs to turn off "focus confirmation required"

Sorry I don't think I was clear. The focus confirm isn't the problem, it's the fact that the AF doesn't work. If you have focus confirm enabled then the camera won't take a picture. If you disable focus confirm then it takes an out of focus picture.


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Sep 09, 2016 21:41 as a reply to  @ Dan Marchant's post |  #155

In most cases the camera is focused when you set it up, not at the time of the photo... else who knows what it is focused on?


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BigAl007
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Sep 10, 2016 04:43 |  #156

In my situation I am not using the camera on a tripod, but a "shoulder stock".

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I have been taping a standard wired remote to the front handle, this has the normal type of double press switch seen on such devices, and the camera shutter button itself. Being a confirmed BBF only shooter, I find this very difficult, it is quite hard to find that first pressure a lot of the time, even as a competitive rifle shooter who always uses a two stage trigger (usually an Anschutz one, set at about 2oz). I have the camera set for AI Servo, since I am shooting Planes in Flight, so if I push through the camera will start shooting, no confirmation available in AI Servo, especially not on a 50D. So I am planing on having an engineer friend fit me two push buttons, one I can use with my thumb of AF, the other the index finger for shutter. Wiring them up using the wire cut from the remote will not be a problem, but I will still have to switch the camera back to AF on the shutter to use it. It strikes me as odd that in this day and age they would simply put the wired remote contacts in parallel with the shutter button switch. These days I would expect that every button would have it's own IO line to the controller, meaning that every button should be configurable by the camera operating system.

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Luckless
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Sep 10, 2016 08:39 as a reply to  @ BigAl007's post |  #157

I actually wired up a custom remote awhile back. I'm not sure about all the models they have, but the ones I've handled had a three line system: Focus, Shutter, Ground. And the shutter button did NOT rely on the focus being closed. If you're remotely handy with a cheap soldering iron, and have a few simple push buttons kicking around, then it really isn't hard at all to wire your own remote.


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Sep 10, 2016 12:24 |  #158

Luckless wrote in post #18123200 (external link)
I actually wired up a custom remote awhile back. I'm not sure about all the models they have, but the ones I've handled had a three line system: Focus, Shutter, Ground. And the shutter button did NOT rely on the focus being closed. If you're remotely handy with a cheap soldering iron, and have a few simple push buttons kicking around, then it really isn't hard at all to wire your own remote.

It's even easier for the xxxD/Rebel series of cameras as rather than the custom plug of the other cameras it uses a simple 3.5mm TRS plug (tip, Ring, Shaft, the type used for stereo audio headphones, unless you have an iPhone 7). I used to use a simple foot switch with just a TS plug on it, as it seemed that the shutter was on the ring, so if you inserted the plug carefully it would just fire the shutter. Really useful on my old 300D in the studio, as that body did not do BBF, and I always found shooting AF lenses in MF better if you could leave the AF clutch engaged, as it locks the focus position. I could get everything locked down, and just fire the camera as I rotated the turntable doing product shots. Handy when the turntable is a yard across and the product weighs upwards of 100 Lbs. The cameras with the custom plug, XXD upwards also seem to be a simple 3 wire, shutter/focus/return system too, you just have to sacrifice a remote switch to get the wire. Saying that I have seen a universal remote switch, by Hama I think, that used a TRS on the handset, and then used a TRS socket, with a short link to whichever camera manufacturer specific plug you needed. I might go get one of those, universal and tidy looking, while allowing the use of as long a cable as necessary. Real camera shops you can go and look round come in handy sometimes.

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Sep 13, 2016 08:39 |  #159

So, I'd like to further this Poll question by specific whether or not, the shooter is taking action/movement photos or portrait/landscape photos.

I can certainly understand the benefits of using BBF on Action/movement photos but I definitely do not understand the need to use it on portrait/landscape photos at all.

Is this an accurate statement or can someone clarify the benefit of using it on portrait/landscape photos.


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Sep 13, 2016 09:03 |  #160

dhornick wrote in post #18126472 (external link)
So, I'd like to further this Poll question by specific whether or not, the shooter is taking action/movement photos or portrait/landscape photos.

I can certainly understand the benefits of using BBF on Action/movement photos but I definitely do not understand the need to use it on portrait/landscape photos at all.

Is this an accurate statement or can someone clarify the benefit of using it on portrait/landscape photos.

I use it for everything except landscape, where I manually focus.


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Sep 13, 2016 09:06 as a reply to  @ dhornick's post |  #161

The benefits to BBF on portrait/landscape is that you don't confuse yourself with two control setups, as well as being able to set your focus independent of the framing. Often with landscapes I will set focus to the hyperfocal distance, then never adjust it. With portraits, if the subject doesn't move closer/further from the camera, then set the focus once and rest assured that it's still in focus. No need then to set the lens to manual focus, since it will not focus unless commanded to.


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Sep 13, 2016 09:08 |  #162

dhornick wrote in post #18126472 (external link)
So, I'd like to further this Poll question by specific whether or not, the shooter is taking action/movement photos or portrait/landscape photos.

I can certainly understand the benefits of using BBF on Action/movement photos but I definitely do not understand the need to use it on portrait/landscape photos at all.

Is this an accurate statement or can someone clarify the benefit of using it on portrait/landscape photos.

I use BBF all the time. Shutter button focus can cause focus to shift accidentally. BBF emulates manual focus in that focus and shutter release are discrete actions rather than being integrated. That means I have control of each. Unlike shutter button focus, I have never found BBF to be awkward. Indeed it is very much like manual focus except faster and more accurate - at least for me.


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Sep 13, 2016 11:00 |  #163

dhornick wrote in post #18126472 (external link)
So, I'd like to further this Poll question by specific whether or not, the shooter is taking action/movement photos or portrait/landscape photos.

I can certainly understand the benefits of using BBF on Action/movement photos but I definitely do not understand the need to use it on portrait/landscape photos at all.

Is this an accurate statement or can someone clarify the benefit of using it on portrait/landscape photos.

I find BBF beneficial for all situations for focus/recompose but I find it especially useful in landscape situations where I would otherwise have to switch the lens between AF and MF such as with the use of dark ND filters or night sky photography. Using the ND filter example when I used to shoot with the focus coupled to the shutter button I would routinely forget my lens was in MF and mess up the first shots of my next session. So the benefit broadens (at least for myself) by having a single configuration that I use in every situation. It reduces the chance of user error.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Sep 13, 2016 11:13 |  #164

dhornick wrote in post #18126472 (external link)
....

I can certainly understand the benefits of using BBF on Action/movement photos but I definitely do not understand the need to use it on portrait/landscape photos at all.

Is this an accurate statement or can someone clarify the benefit of using it on portrait/landscape photos.

"Need " is a poor choice of word in any sentence that involves a tradesman's choice of tools.

But yes even in slower paced situations the ease of focusing in one area, and exposing using another is valuable.


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Sep 13, 2016 13:44 |  #165

Focus is a distinct step in the image composition process, and is one that I want individual and total control over at all times. It's much the same with metering, that is also a separate step in the process. If I'm using an automatic exposure mode though I want to have the camera constantly updating the parameters that it is going to use, and only "lock" them at the point I release the shutter, so I am quite happy for the camera to start the metering system going based on either the first press of the shutter button, or starting the AF system. Usually I know which pre-set values I have when using auto exposure, so simply pressing though the shutter button if I'm in a hurry is not a problem. If I am being fussy and also fully controlling exposure, then I am very likely to be using an incident lightmeter, not the camera, or I am going to spotmeter some different areas in the scene and come to some conclusion based on those readings, and experience regarding the correct exposure settings to use. Yes a specific exposure button would be kind of nice in that situation, but I generally still have enough feeling left in my fingers to differentiate the shutter button first/second press, and an accidental discharge of a DSLR is not such a big mistake to commit. At least there is a separate AE lock button for the times you need one when using auto exposure modes.

I will say now that other than a Kodak 33 Instamatic, my first serious camera was a Practicka Nova SLR that was fully manual, and full mechanical, without the benefit of a built in meter. So I am used to the idea of controlling the camera independently.

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Back Button AF?
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