shattuckb02
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:30 am

Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:05 am

While I was out yesterday I thought I'd give the back-button focus method a try on my 70D. Now, I'm not sure if it's all in my head, but I feel like my "keeper" rate was a lot higher than normal. Maybe I was just "on"... Anyhoo, I was wondering if any of you have ever tried, or regularly use, the back-button focus feature on your cameras... Thanks folks!
 
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Moose135
Posts: 2691
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:27 pm

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:28 am

I use it all the time, it's probably 10+ years that I switched to it. When I get a new camera body, that's the usually the first thing I set. I find it gives me more control, and prefer to shoot that way.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
nucky
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:21 am

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:29 am

Same as the previous post from Moose135, it's the natural way now, could not go back to shutter release AF!
 
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scbriml
Posts: 14494
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:37 am

Personally I've never used it and I'm not sure I see much advantage for shooting aviation.

In AF-S mode, I've never had an issue with the 'focus and recompose' method of shooting, which I occasionally need when shooting in dimly-lit museums.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
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Miguel1982
Crew
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:53 pm

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:09 pm

I use it as well, but don't find it particularly necessary for aviation photography. There aren't usually many situations that require you to focus and recompose.
 
shattuckb02
Topic Author
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:30 am

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:34 pm

Thank you all for input. Just so I understand correctly, there is no difference between keeping the shutter-release depressed halfway and holding the back-button focus (when it comes to tracking an aircraft moving, say, left to right)?
 
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scbriml
Posts: 14494
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:42 pm

shattuckb02 wrote:
Thank you all for input. Just so I understand correctly, there is no difference between keeping the shutter-release depressed halfway and holding the back-button focus (when it comes to tracking an aircraft moving, say, left to right)?


The only difference I can think of is that if your lens has VR or IS, then using back-button focus will avoid it activating until you actually fire the shutter. This will save some battery life. Whether it's enough to notice is the question.

One other thing has just struck me, I use my left eye for photography, so I'm going to have to check that the back-button is still easily accessible with the camera to my eye.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
nucky
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:21 am

Re: Back-Button Focus

Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:31 pm

Don't just take it from me, although I HAVE been using back button AF for some years now...do some research. There are lots of tutorials online, presented by seasoned pro photographers. I had my doubts at first, could not see much advantage....(just as I did with digital cameras whilst still shooting film). The penny finally dropped after much perseverance and after getting used to it...and it does take some getting used to...I now use back button for all my photography, of which aviation is a small part, though that makes no difference anyway.
Just google Nikon back button AF...plenty of good info and explanations of the function to help you decide if it's worth your effort trying it? All of my colleagues/friends who have done the same as myself, now remain back button AF shooters! Good luck, hope this all makes sense and helps? :thumbsup:
 
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Blimpie
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:48 pm

Re: Back-Button Focus

Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:17 pm

After years and years of shooting with Nikons F3HP was my first (the F4s first with AF) up through the D3s I never used the back focus button. When I switch the Fuji (I went to Rf style to reduce the weight. 20 plus years of full size SLR bodies and all f/2.8 glass destroyed my back) and started using my two X-Pro1 cameras, I only ever use the back focus in button except when I use a 55-300 for railroad photography.

Yesterday I was doing trains all day with the big zoom and then went to BWI to work planes for a bit. I was hit or miss with the shutter AF, so I said to hell with it, and went back to back focus like I would for my newspaper or street photography and found my keeper rate doubled which I'm grateful for cause I snagged that BA B788 that came in with the sweet light on the side.

PS: I'm a left eye shooter as well and RF style cameras are not forgiving to us.
Real men fly without wings!
 
AlexC
Posts: 87
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:13 am

Re: Back-Button Focus

Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:13 pm

I use back-button all the time now, just seems natural and the normal thing to do.

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