what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?

Started Jul 25, 2012 | Discussions
William Porter
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what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
Jul 25, 2012

In the menus for the A77, on page 3 of the "gear" tab, there is an option for the behavior of the "focus hold" button. The user manual is (typically) useless on this topic. The focus hold button is not identified on the pages at the front of the manual that explain every other button and I can't find anything else about it.

I searched the forum and found only one thread, which talks about a focus hold button the 70-200 f/2.8 G lens. But I'm talking about the "focus hold" option found in the A77 menu for every camera. I've got it and I don't own the 70-200.

Anybody know?

Will

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JimmyMelbourne
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

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fanboy6
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

From Freidman's book on the A77, I believe this setting allows you to define how the button being depressed on lenses will act. The default is to "turn off the focusing motor within the lens". Some people seem to think this is a necessity, in attempting to keep the lens from hunting in low light, but I find that good technique is the real issue. As Freidmann writes, "Recommended setting: [I never use those buttons]". Ditto.

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William Porter
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to JimmyMelbourne, Jul 25, 2012

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold, the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

Jimmy,

WHERE is the button that you can set to "focus hold"? In other words, where is the focus hold button? That's my question.

A button with this name is mentioned on p 66 of the A77 user manual and the manual simply repeats what you can see in the menu of the camera itself, that this button has two options: focus hold and something mysteriously called "aperture preview."

But WHERE is this button?

Will

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fanboy6
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

William Porter wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold, the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

Jimmy,

WHERE is the button that you can set to "focus hold"? In other words, where is the focus hold button? That's my question.

A button with this name is mentioned on p 66 of the A77 user manual and the manual simply repeats what you can see in the menu of the camera itself, that this button has two options: focus hold and something mysteriously called "aperture preview."

But WHERE is this button?

Will

Will,

I could be wrong, but I think it does not exist in physical form. I think this menu setting defines how the button works on lenses that come with one.

Take care,

Doug

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woonwoon1
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

If A100 is Any indication. That would be the DOF preview button in the front.

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cplunk
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

William Porter wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold, the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

Jimmy,

WHERE is the button that you can set to "focus hold"? In other words, where is the focus hold button? That's my question.

A button with this name is mentioned on p 66 of the A77 user manual and the manual simply repeats what you can see in the menu of the camera itself, that this button has two options: focus hold and something mysteriously called "aperture preview."

But WHERE is this button?

Will

Front of the camera, under the lens, opposite side from the focus more selector. Toward the bottom, between the lens mount and the grip. If you're holding the camera with your right hand and the lens with your left, it should fall right underneath your left middle finger (assuming a shortish lens).

You have to hold it continuously for it to work.

At least I think that's the one the manual thinks if a focus hold button. Mine does DOF preview, but I'm sure that's a menu option I selected, and I think it's default was focus hold.

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fanboy6
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to cplunk, Jul 25, 2012

cplunk wrote:

William Porter wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold, the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

Jimmy,

WHERE is the button that you can set to "focus hold"? In other words, where is the focus hold button? That's my question.

A button with this name is mentioned on p 66 of the A77 user manual and the manual simply repeats what you can see in the menu of the camera itself, that this button has two options: focus hold and something mysteriously called "aperture preview."

But WHERE is this button?

Will

Front of the camera, under the lens, opposite side from the focus more selector. Toward the bottom, between the lens mount and the grip. If you're holding the camera with your right hand and the lens with your left, it should fall right underneath your left middle finger (assuming a shortish lens).

You have to hold it continuously for it to work.

At least I think that's the one the manual thinks if a focus hold button. Mine does DOF preview, but I'm sure that's a menu option I selected, and I think it's default was focus hold.

Nope, that would be the "Preview" button:

A preview button on the front of the A77 on the lens throat can act either as a conventional depth-of-field preview, by stopping down the lens to the taking aperture, or as a 'shot preview' which captures a preview image at your current exposure settings (allowing you to preview the effect of shutter speed).

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/sonyslta77/4

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Photoviewer
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to cplunk, Jul 25, 2012

In the a57 menu there is also a function of "focus hold" In the hand book of Sony, it mentioned as "Sets the function of the focus hold button of the lens.

(Focus Hold/D.O.F.Preview)"/ After searching for some time, I think the focus hold button shld be on the Lens. And none of my lens have this button.

Just do a google search I found this :

http://www.sony-mea.com/microsite/dslr/09/standardLens/technology/technology_01.html#fh_button

Cheers

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Sam_Oslo
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to Photoviewer, Jul 25, 2012

Photoviewer wrote:

In the a57 menu there is also a function of "focus hold" In the hand book of Sony, it mentioned as "Sets the function of the focus hold button of the lens.

(Focus Hold/D.O.F.Preview)"/ After searching for some time, I think the focus hold button shld be on the Lens. And none of my lens have this button.

Just do a google search I found this :

http://www.sony-mea.com/microsite/dslr/09/standardLens/technology/technology_01.html#fh_button

Cheers

Yes, this is my understanding too. The "focus hold"-bottom is found on some lenses.

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Kriekira
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

I am 99% sure that the "Focus Hold Button" is on many (but not all, and mostly heavier) Sony lenses. The function assigned to these buttons (some lenses have more than one, so that a button falls naturally under the left thumb in different orientations of the camera) is one of two functions in the camera set-up menu. The two functions are:

  • Stop focussing, and

  • DoF preview (set the aperture blades to the aperture that will be used when the shutter is pressed)

I have set all my cameras to "DoF preview". Unlike Gary Friedman, I use this function regularly to preview DoF. I have never used the "stop focussing" function.

If the lens attached to the camera does not have a Focus Hold Button, the setting has no effect and either of the two possible functions must be effected by other means.

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garykohs
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Focus hold
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

Various high end Sony lenses (70-200G, 70-300G, 70-400G, CZ 24-70, etc.) have one or more focus hold buttons on the lens.

The purpose is to allow you to temporarily suspend AF operation in continuous shooting mode. Say, for example, you are shooting a baseball game in C mode and you have a baserunner at 1st base. Anticipating a pickoff move you focus on 1st base, hold down the focus hold button, and when the pickoff attempt comes you fire off a series of shots. If you didn't have focus hold set, and your field of view was wide enough to have both the baserunner and first baseman in it, your shots would have been focused on the grass behind the players. [Assuming, of course, center spot or zone AF.] Unlike Gary Friedman I use these buttons frequently.

If you don't have the buttons on your lens you can accomplish the same thing by holding down the AF/MF button. This is awkward to say the least, but you can set the button to toggle - press the button once to disable AF, press it again to enable AF.

[You can also disable autofocusing with the shutter button, set the camera to MF mode, and then press the AF/MF button to focus. This is handy for tripod use when you want to keep the focus locked.]

William Porter wrote:

In the menus for the A77, on page 3 of the "gear" tab, there is an option for the behavior of the "focus hold" button. The user manual is (typically) useless on this topic. The focus hold button is not identified on the pages at the front of the manual that explain every other button and I can't find anything else about it.

I searched the forum and found only one thread, which talks about a focus hold button the 70-200 f/2.8 G lens. But I'm talking about the "focus hold" option found in the A77 menu for every camera. I've got it and I don't own the 70-200.

Anybody know?

Will

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Gary

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

When holding the camera to take a shot, the focus hold button would be near the bottom and to the right of the lens mount on the camera body. You should be able to access it by extending one of your right hand fingers while holding the grip.

On my A55, this button is programmable to be used for Focus Hold (allows you to re-frame your shot without changing focus) or DOF Preview (allows you to check the DOF before taking the shot... since your viewfinder always shows the view as if the lens were wide open, so when using a lens with f/2.8 but having selected f/8 for your shot, you would be seeing DOF as it would be if the shot were being taken at f/2.8 but pressing the DOF preview will show you the DOF as will be recorded since you've selected f/8 instead). The ability to program that button between DOF Preview and Focus Hold may also apply to A77.

Additionally, you may come across some lenses that have focus hold buttons on them. My Minolta 200G has it and so do lenses like Sony 70-200G, 70-400G...

William Porter wrote:

JimmyMelbourne wrote:

When you set your focus and then press the button set to focus hold, the focus will lock. Same as when you hold the shutter half down prior to taking a pic.

Jimmy,

WHERE is the button that you can set to "focus hold"? In other words, where is the focus hold button? That's my question.

A button with this name is mentioned on p 66 of the A77 user manual and the manual simply repeats what you can see in the menu of the camera itself, that this button has two options: focus hold and something mysteriously called "aperture preview."

But WHERE is this button?

Will

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Corkcampbell
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It's the button on some lenses, not the DOF preview button.
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

This has been discussed before on this forum. The wording in the manual is unclear, which, I believe, they fixed in later manuals.

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William Porter
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to fanboy6, Jul 25, 2012

fanboy6 wrote:

I could be wrong, but I think it does not exist in physical form. I think this menu setting defines how the button works on lenses that come with one.

Doug,

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

How hard would it have been to SAY THIS in the user manual? Seriously, if anybody with Sony can reach the people in charge, I'll rewrite the A99 manual in return for a camera. You can get to my website to contact me and I'll send you my writing resume.

Will

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William Porter
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to cplunk, Jul 25, 2012

cplunk wrote:

Front of the camera, under the lens, opposite side from the focus more selector.

Nope.

That's called the Preview button. See the user manual, p 66 (where Preview button and Focus Hold button are distinguished) and p 19 (where the button you're talking about is identified as the Preview button).

Will

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

William Porter wrote:

fanboy6 wrote:

I could be wrong, but I think it does not exist in physical form. I think this menu setting defines how the button works on lenses that come with one.

Doug,

That makes perfect sense. Thanks.

How hard would it have been to SAY THIS in the user manual? Seriously, if anybody with Sony can reach the people in charge, I'll rewrite the A99 manual in return for a camera. You can get to my website to contact me and I'll send you my writing resume.

Will

The button is to the lower left side of the lens mount on the body (when you're looking directly at the camera... or on the same side as the grip). It is a small button that can be set for DOF Preview (I guess A77 manual calls it Aperture Preview) or for Focus Hold.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

William Porter wrote:

cplunk wrote:

Front of the camera, under the lens, opposite side from the focus more selector.

Nope.

That's called the Preview button. See the user manual, p 66 (where Preview button and Focus Hold button are distinguished) and p 19 (where the button you're talking about is identified as the Preview button).

Will

And that button can be set to be used as Focus Hold button (if you prefer). That is the option you get via the menu.

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William Porter
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to EinsteinsGhost, Jul 25, 2012

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

When holding the camera to take a shot, the focus hold button would be near the bottom and to the right of the lens mount on the camera body. You should be able to access it by extending one of your right hand fingers while holding the grip.

No. That is called the Preview button. See p 19 and p 66 of the A77 user manual and notice that the preview button and focus hold button are clearly distinct, and the one you're referring to is the preview button.

Looks like the focus hold button is on some lenses and not on the camera body at all.

Will

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: what is the "focus hold" button on the A77?
In reply to William Porter, Jul 25, 2012

William Porter wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

When holding the camera to take a shot, the focus hold button would be near the bottom and to the right of the lens mount on the camera body. You should be able to access it by extending one of your right hand fingers while holding the grip.

No. That is called the Preview button. See p 19 and p 66 of the A77 user manual and notice that the preview button and focus hold button are clearly distinct, and the one you're referring to is the preview button.

Looks like the focus hold button is on some lenses and not on the camera body at all.

Will

That button can be used as DOF (or Aperture) Preview, or Focus Hold, depending on your menu selection.

Some lenses do have that button too, but the manual is strictly talking about the one on the camera body.

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