December 18, 2014, 04:46:10 AM

Author Topic: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?  (Read 25732 times)

Kernuak

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2013, 02:40:54 PM »
It does take a little while to retrain, but I think it's worth it. There are some additional benefits aside from those already mentioned. It saves the step of switching between MF and AF mode on lenses for certain shooting when you want to manually focus. Also, if you have a subject which moves quite quickly in one spot, then it is invaluable. An example froma few years ago, before my swithover, was when an adult starling was feeding a recently fledged youngster. Every time the feed happened, using normal AF, the camera immediately focused on the grass behind, which was a bit of a pain to say the least.
It isn't so much a case of switching back button focus on, but more of switching the normal AF off, as the default is to be able to focus from the back button or the shutter, instead of just the back button.
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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2013, 02:40:54 PM »

AudioGlenn

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2013, 02:45:16 PM »
I always use back button AF.  I currently shoot professionally but even when I was just a hobbyist, I used it.  My trainers were pleasantly surprised to learn I had already started using it.  It just makes more sense to be able to control AF and shutter release separately.  It took about 2-3 days of casual shooting to adjust.

as far as handing off your camera to someone, I just slip it into Auto Mode for strangers.  I don't like handing my gear to people I don't know anyway so it's not that big of a deal. 
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cnardo

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2013, 02:53:00 PM »
Use it exclusively now after getting use to it. Use it on a T4i and a 5D2. Put your camera into AF Servo mode, then Tapping BBF once is like SS or hold it down for AF Servo. Absolutely a must for BIF or any sporting event. Pre-focus on a spot ahead of time and wait for your subject to "hit the mark" . Shooting is faster also because the shutter button is just managing the exposure and not the focus. You never have to recheck focus...it's like putting your lens into manual focus mode!

I bought one of those RED Spot buttons that people put on their shutter button. Punched out the center part and put it on the BBF " * " button and the left over part on the shutter button...so now, by feel alone, I always know the difference between the AF and AE buttons... And the only time I gave my camera to someone else to take a picture all I told them to do is to "hit the little Red button first and the big Red button second"  :D
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cayenne

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2013, 02:56:31 PM »
It does take a little while to retrain, but I think it's worth it. There are some additional benefits aside from those already mentioned. It saves the step of switching between MF and AF mode on lenses for certain shooting when you want to manually focus. Also, if you have a subject which moves quite quickly in one spot, then it is invaluable. An example froma few years ago, before my swithover, was when an adult starling was feeding a recently fledged youngster. Every time the feed happened, using normal AF, the camera immediately focused on the grass behind, which was a bit of a pain to say the least.
It isn't so much a case of switching back button focus on, but more of switching the normal AF off, as the default is to be able to focus from the back button or the shutter, instead of just the back button.

OH, I thought it was just one menu setting to change all AF to the back button.

I'll have to dig out the manual and try to read up on this....I'll give it a try this weekend I think!!

C

Vossie

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2013, 03:23:44 PM »
I've tried it but the difficulty is that you use the same thumb for AF activation and AF point selection.

Is there a button on the 5D3 that you can program to instantly switch from zone AF to centerpoint (and back to zone if you release that button)? I would love such buttons for birds: servo mode zone when they are flying and temporary centerpoint when one is hidden between leaves.

I now use the back AF-ON button as AF-OFF button while being pressed. This helps me to temporarily freeze focus when in servo mode.
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pdirestajr

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2013, 04:12:07 PM »
It's the only way I shoot on my 5DII and 7D. Why I like it so much is that you can then ACTUALLY use full-time manual focus effectively. Otherwise, every time you touch the shutter/ meter button, it "messes up" your focus!

On my 5DII + 85mm f/1.2II + EG-S Focus Screen + Back Button AF = an amazing amount more in-focus shots.

Works nicely with macro too- rough in the auto focus with back button, then tweak manually.
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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2013, 04:12:07 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2013, 04:37:48 PM »
I've heard of it, never experimented much with it.

michi

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2013, 04:54:29 PM »
Hobbyist.  Tried it a few years ago, hated it.  Tried it again a year or so later, now it's the only way for me to shoot.  I does make a lot of sense.  I do think the placement is not optimally ergonomic.  I wish there was a button closer to the wheel as it does hurt my hand if I shoot a lot.

fugu82

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2013, 05:15:13 PM »
Hobbyist. Changed to BB focus on my 5D3, instantly hooked. Very practical and intuitive way to focus. Went back and dug out my 40D and changed it, too.

Pinchers of Peril

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2013, 05:48:17 PM »
I know people say a big advantage is being able to separate exposure from focus, but is there an advantage of using the BBF vs using the exposure lock and then recomposing and using the shutter button to focus? It seems like using the exposure lock would be another way to separate exposure from focus.
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mr few shots

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2013, 06:13:21 PM »
I would thoroughly recommend it  (once you get used to it which surprisingly doesn't take long)
It really seems so much more logical to control the tracking with your thumb and then fire the shutter button fully when you want to take the picture.
I switched over after reading a few articles about it and have never looked back
I always switch my mode dial to the green box when giving my wife the camera as her patience and understanding of my "f***ing camera" is nil
My brother on the other hand is an experienced user so I leave as is for him
The other button I found useful to configure on my 5D III was using the depth of field preview to switch between one shot and servo very useful if subject moves off suddenly when your in one shot..again takes a moment to get used to

cocopop05

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2013, 06:41:14 PM »
I use it when I use Live View.

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2013, 06:41:14 PM »

2n10

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #28 on: August 07, 2013, 06:46:43 PM »
I found it very easy to get use to. 
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wsheldon

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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2013, 07:35:03 PM »
It's the only way I shoot on my 5DII and 7D. Why I like it so much is that you can then ACTUALLY use full-time manual focus effectively. Otherwise, every time you touch the shutter/ meter button, it "messes up" your focus!

On my 5DII + 85mm f/1.2II + EG-S Focus Screen + Back Button AF = an amazing amount more in-focus shots.

Works nicely with macro too- rough in the auto focus with back button, then tweak manually.

Same experience here. I use BBF full time on my 50D and 6D. I started using it just for tripod and macro work, where you have to set up and wait for the right moment or wind and often pre-focus or rely on FTM, but now I use it all the time even for snap shots.
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Re: Backbutton Focus..do you use it? Pros? Cons? How hard to get used to it?
« Reply #29 on: August 07, 2013, 07:35:03 PM »