Back button focusing - question about method

Started Oct 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Clivegriff
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Back button focusing - question about method
Oct 23, 2012

After starting a couple of recent threads ...

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50033886

and

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50069833

... about the optimum AF mode for photographing kids' soccer, I've been using the back button focussing (BBF) method with the following gear and settings:

D600 + Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 + monopod

AF-C 9 point, centre-weighted metering

Manual mode: 1/500s or 1/750s; f/8 or f/9.5; Auto ISO (max 3200 or 6400)

CL @ 4fps; Lock on at one step longer than normal.

RAW; Auto WB. Post-processed in Lightroom 4.2.

I position myself on the sideline near the corner flag so that the players are running towards me most of the time (as opposed to running ide-to-side).

My results with BBF have so far been mixed. When it's sharp it's REALLY sharp but IMHO it isn't always as sharp as it should be. So I've been reviewing my technique and one important question arises:

When using the shutter button, you half press to get focus and then keep your finger pressing the shutter down to fire off a burst and only release the shutter when you want to stop.

But ... when using BBF is it necessary to KEEP the AF-On button pressed in or do you press once to achieve focus on your selected target and then allow the AF mode to do its job?

Sorry if this seems obvious to some but I just can't figure it out.

Nikon D600
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