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Back-Button Autofocus

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Joubie
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Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by Joubie » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:45 pm

I have just found out that I can take photos on my Canon 550D using the back-button autofocus instead of the shutter-driven autofocus. I would love to know what the benefits are when using the back-button autofocus and if any of the photographers on this forum prefer using that method.

Eager to learn.

Thanks
Joubie

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DuQues
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Re: Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by DuQues » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:02 pm

I have just returned from Kruger and took some 7000 photos using this method.
All I can say is: use it!

It is extremely handy when you are birding, simply focus on the point where the eye is going to be when it turns its head properly, and shoot.
The AF is not going to kick in before shooting, so will not focus on the little branch in between.
The same goes for manual corrections, once you have it set, it'll stay set.

And for birds in flight, just keep the button pressed, and AF (tracking) will work perfectly.
Bird in flight: (Brown snake eagle)

Image

Bird hopping around like mad: (Spectacled Weaver)

Image

Another nice thing is that once you have focussed you can reframe your photo, again without the AF changing it when you press the release.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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madach
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Re: Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by madach » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:07 pm

I use back-button focus all the time. It takes some getting used to but I can't imagine using the normal shutter release button for focussing now. The main thing that is accomplished by configuring the camera to use the back button for focussing is that focussing and light-metering is separated into two actions. You control focus by using the back button and light metering by using the shutter release button. I use back focus for a combination of the reasons mentioned in this article: Back-Button Auto Focus Explained

mikef
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Re: Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by mikef » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:46 pm

I can also endorse everything said by DuQues and Madach

What I find particularly convenient is that with the AF set to AI Servo (continuous tracking) and using back button AF you effectively have all the benefits of "One Shot", "AI Servo" and Manual focus without changing any settings (Manual focus as long as your lens supports full time manual focus)

mikef
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Re: Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by mikef » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:58 am

AFAIK it is available on Nikon - certainly the newer models like the D90.

As a Canon user myself I think the better option is to change brands :twisted:

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J.J.
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Location: Eastern Cape South Africa

Re: Back-Button Autofocus

Unread post by J.J. » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:22 pm

I cannot remember that I've ever used the shutter button to focus...

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PHOTOGRAPHY HELPS PEOPLE TO SEE.
Berenice Abbott.

Brunilda
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Re: Our recent visit - nesr paul kruger gate or pambeni gate

Unread post by Brunilda » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:00 pm

Oh and eos user, dont thinki mentioned, the camera i use is the eos 5d mark ii. The reason why i shot at f5.6 is that the extender automatically moved me to it.

To get it so sharp my camera is set to af servo. I back button focus with center point then recompose. Metering is evaluative, but to compensatfor shadows i set the iso higher at times. With the 5d i hardly have any noise if i shoot lower than iso 1600, provided the focus is spot on though.
Living and working as portrait photographer in Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates.
website: www.brunilda.me
Blog: www.brunilda.me/~brunilda/blog/

I love me some Canon. I don't begrudge Nikon their fun, but Canon is my game.

EOS_User
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Re: Our recent visit - nesr paul kruger gate or pambeni gate

Unread post by EOS_User » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:34 am

Brunilda wrote:Oh and eos user, dont thinki mentioned, the camera i use is the eos 5d mark ii. The reason why i shot at f5.6 is that the extender automatically moved me to it.

To get it so sharp my camera is set to af servo. I back button focus with center point then recompose. Metering is evaluative, but to compensatfor shadows i set the iso higher at times. With the 5d i hardly have any noise if i shoot lower than iso 1600, provided the focus is spot on though.


Hello again...

f/5.6 looks to have been about right to achieve the required Depth-of-Field... Anything less and all the Impala would not have been sharp...

But a question for you... How can you 'recompose' when using AF Servo? Doesn't the Servo automatically re-focus as soon as you move the focal point?

Cheers...

PS - Abu Dhabi is on our TODO list! Been to Dubai a couple of times; now I need to get myself 'down-the-road' a bit :D

Brunilda
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Re: Our recent visit - nesr paul kruger gate or pambeni gate

Unread post by Brunilda » Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Eos user, do you know how to back button focus? Its a setting you change in your menu, then when you have a specific focus you press the af button, it then remembers what you focused on and keeps that focus, if you then move the camera, it keeps that focus, doesnt refocus at all and you press the shutter without a refocus. Works a charm. I am sure if said object all of a sudden move way out of frame it will be hell but so far so good, ive been super lucky with focus fpr my pjoto sessions since i switched to thwt method, so much so i struggle to go back to using the shutter release to focus. A bit bad when i hand over my camera to hubby that is used to focus with the shutter button, cause it doesnt work that way anymore.

Sheenae - we got new appreciation for the impala since we live in uae. In fact my kids thought the cattle they saw were buffalo, and through their eyes we saw how beautiful impala really is. They both declared impala to be their favorites.
Living and working as portrait photographer in Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates.
website: www.brunilda.me
Blog: www.brunilda.me/~brunilda/blog/

I love me some Canon. I don't begrudge Nikon their fun, but Canon is my game.

EOS_User
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Re: Our recent visit - nesr paul kruger gate or pambeni gate

Unread post by EOS_User » Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:42 pm

Hi Brunilda;

Yes; I'm familiar with 'back-button' focus, and using a single focal-point only, and with using AF Servo...

...but I never tried 'recomposing' using AF Servo! Perhaps I should :?

When I'm in that mode, I usually select either a 'right' or 'left' side focal point, dependant on the direction my subject is moving, and lock-on and track accordingly...

This'll be a good excuse to get the camera out & play :D

Brunilda
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Re: Our recent visit - nesr paul kruger gate or pambeni gate

Unread post by Brunilda » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:25 am

Give it a try, stick with centre point, less toggling back and forth, making it much faster. I have been quite successful with servo, heck single focus might work better, yet that is what another photog i had a workshop used and i stuck with it, you give me though to go play as well. I am loving my vacation to be able to play and enjoy my camera properly again, when back home i often have so many sessions it becomes a constant workmode.
Living and working as portrait photographer in Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emirates.
website: www.brunilda.me
Blog: www.brunilda.me/~brunilda/blog/

I love me some Canon. I don't begrudge Nikon their fun, but Canon is my game.


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