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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?

 
John ­ from ­ PA
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Dec 23, 2015 12:18 |  #91

Tried it, didn't like it. Been doing things a certain way since the early 1960's so probably just can't be taught new tricks.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 23, 2015 12:20 |  #92

John from PA wrote in post #17829872 (external link)
Tried it, didn't like it. Been doing things a certain way since the early 1960's so probably just can't be taught new tricks.

You were using shutter button autofocus since the early 60s?




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2015 12:45 |  #93

.

Preeb wrote in post #17829765 (external link)
I use BBF both ways. Servo works great on moving subjects, but I've had some issues in the past with missing focus on still subjects. Maybe operator error, maybe doing something not quite correctly in servo. I don't know, but when I'm doing landscapes, I use one shot, aimed at the point that works for the scene, then I don't touch the button again.

What you are saying about switching from One Shot to AI Servo makes sense, given that you sometimes shoot landscapes. . With landscapes, there is often enough time to take an extra two or three seconds to switch from one mode to the other.

With wildlife and sports, there is often not the luxury of an extra two seconds to adjust AF settings. .You often have no idea when a critter is going to stop for a split second, nor when a stationary one is going to start moving. . Hence, for wildlife and sports, it makes sense to stick with one mode because you really can't predict what the next two seconds will bring.

But for landscapes and other stationary (not that landscapes are always stationary) subjects, switching to One Shot from time to time makes a lot of sense.. In fact, if I were a landscape shooter I don't even think I would use back button focus - it's really optimized for action photography, and I don't see that it offers as great a benefit for stationary subject matter.

gonzogolf wrote in post #17829875 (external link)
You were using shutter button autofocus since the early 60s?

I kind of wondered about that, too.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Dec 23, 2015 12:52 |  #94

gonzogolf wrote in post #17829875 (external link)
You were using shutter button autofocus since the early 60s?

No, speaking in general about the way I approach photography which I got into actually in the late 1950's. As a high school student I got a job in a retail camera shop that was owned by a professional photographer. I learned a lot from the pro.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 23, 2015 12:57 |  #95

John from PA wrote in post #17829917 (external link)
No, speaking in general about the way I approach photography which I got into actually in the late 1950's. As a high school student I got a job in a retail camera shop that was owned by a professional photographer. I learned a lot from the pro.

Then you must be having a hard time stuffing film into newer cameras. I get that there are techniques and habits that serve you well but being proud of being a Luddite is counterproductive.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2015 13:14 |  #96

.

gonzogolf wrote in post #17829922 (external link)
Then you must be having a hard time stuffing film into newer cameras. I get that there are techniques and habits that serve you well but being proud of being a Luddite is counterproductive.

Aw, come on - give John a break!
Nothing he said colors him as a Luddite. He was just explaining why he chooses not to use back button focus. And I think that was exactly what the OP was asking us to do:

urbanfreestyle wrote in post #17804831 (external link)
Just wondering how many people on here use back button focus on their camera? I have never used it before but seen a lot of videos from people saying it is the way forward!?

So do you or don't you and why / why not?

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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john ­ crossley
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Dec 23, 2015 15:59 |  #97

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17829907 (external link)
.

But for landscapes and other stationary (not that landscapes are always stationary) subjects, switching to One Shot from time to time makes a lot of sense.. In fact, if I were a landscape shooter I don't even think I would use back button focus - it's really optimized for action photography, and I don't see that it offers as great a benefit for stationary subject matter.

.


I disagree. I think it is easier the other way round. For landscape using BBF you can focus the shot and then wait until the elements are right to take the shot.
With sport/action photography you are concentrating on tracking the subject in the viewfinder until the optimum shooting moment. Why prat about pressing two buttons when you only need to press one.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2015 16:17 |  #98

john crossley wrote in post #17830146 (external link)
With sport/action photography you are concentrating on tracking the subject in the viewfinder until the optimum shooting moment.

This may not be entirely true.

Most of the time when shooting wildlife, birds, and sports, one is not waiting for "The Optimum Moment". Rather, one is trying to capture every single moment during which the subject presents a usable image.

The mindset isn't generally to get one really good photo, it is, rather, to get all of the good photos that it is possible to get. This mindset leads to a certain style, or method, of shooting, and it is this method of shooting which often benefits from having the shutter button separate from focusing (for reasons explained so many times in this and many other threads that I need not explain it again here).

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Trvlr323
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Dec 23, 2015 17:42 |  #99

john crossley wrote in post #17830146 (external link)
I disagree. I think it is easier the other way round. For landscape using BBF you can focus the shot and then wait until the elements are right to take the shot.
With sport/action photography you are concentrating on tracking the subject in the viewfinder until the optimum shooting moment. Why prat about pressing two buttons when you only need to press one.

BBF is the bread and butter of sports and action photographers. With the focus on the back button you have the option to track subjects or just get focus then recompose and shoot. Baseball shooters do this all the time. Tap for focus on a player, recompose to take a shot and hold down the BB to track that player (or another) when movement occurs. How are you going to achieve that in AI Servo with the focus and shutter on the same button?


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tandemhearts
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Dec 23, 2015 19:12 |  #100

nqjudo wrote in post #17830283 (external link)
BBF is the bread and butter of sports and action photographers. With the focus on the back button you have the option to track subjects or just get focus then recompose and shoot. Baseball shooters do this all the time. Tap for focus on a player, recompose to take a shot and hold down the BB to track that player (or another) when movement occurs. How are you going to achieve that in AI Servo with the focus and shutter on the same button?

This is the best explanation I have seen of where and when it might be useful to a photographer. The ability to switch between fixed and tracked focus quickly and by feel makes sense.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2015 19:28 |  #101

tandemhearts wrote in post #17830369 (external link)
This is the best explanation I have seen of where and when it might be useful to a photographer. The ability to switch between fixed and tracked focus quickly and by feel makes sense.

Yes, that is exactly what I attempted to explain in post #93.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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kawi_200
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Dec 23, 2015 21:15 |  #102

I don't like back button AF. I tried it when I first heard the preachers, "You must BBAF! It is the best and only way to take photos." It wasn't long after that that I switched right back to regular old shutter focus.


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photoguy6405
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Dec 27, 2015 22:28 |  #103

Bassat wrote in post #17805457 (external link)
Exactly. And someday Canon will fix the annoyance that is having to go back to shutter-button focus to do anything remotely. I always forget to turn in on, and always forget to turn it off! (Feeble minded, my wife would say!) BBAF should be the default status. According to this poll, 90%+ of us use BBAF.

Personally, I agree with you that it should be the default, but cameras today are actually more marketed to casual users than pros, so I grudgingly understand why it's not.


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rgs
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Dec 27, 2015 23:48 |  #104

photoguy6405 wrote in post #17834592 (external link)
Personally, I agree with you that it should be the default, but cameras today are actually more marketed to casual users than pros, so I grudgingly understand why it's not.

My 7DII came with BBF and shutter focus both enabled. I simply had to disable the shutter press. Incidentally while learning all the 7DII's advanced AF options, I toyed with going back to shutter button for birds in flight when using one of the large focus areas against a clear sky. I also heard Art Morris suggest that on one of Canon's instructional videos. But I found the BBF was still better and/or that it was so ingrained in me that I didn't want to change.

BTW for those who accused poor John of using AF in the 1960s, the first AF camera was the Pentax ME-F (external link) of 1981. The lens looked like it had a tumor on it where the motor was housed. And it didn't work very well. Minolta was the first to make it work in a practical way. So you guys leave John alone. :)


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tonylong
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Dec 28, 2015 11:30 |  #105

An interesting story:

I had for a bunch of years used only back-button focus, always in AI-Servo, and always to Manual Exposure, because I shot a lot of wildlife and "activity" stuff. Then I sent my Canon 5DC in for some work, and in the service department they reset everything to "normal" meaning, well, shutter button exposure and stuff.

Anyway, I adopted to using the shutter button, oh well,

I'm curious, though, as to what people do when shooting tethered, either from a distance or on, say, a tripod and using either a cable release or another remote connection? Can you use BBF or do you depend on the shutter release?


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Back Button AF?
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