Set AE-L button to AF-ON Question

Started Jul 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
jonikon Veteran Member • Posts: 6,980
Re: Personally, I do the opposite method

hoof wrote:

Many people like the AF-ON techinque. Personally, I use a variant of that technique. I use the normal shutter button technique, and when I want AF to stop, I use the AF-L button. This is backwards from the AF-On crowd, they want to control when AF is on. I want to control when AF is off.

I do the same as you. I find this method is more reliable than AF-ON because it is a one button operation and there is not the time lag between focus and shutter release.

I do it my way because most of the time I want AF to engage when pressing the shutter. Locking focus (or turning AF off) is the exception for me. For the AF-On crowd, it's the rule, they want to only focus when they choose.

Same here.

A disadvantage of the AF-On technique is that VR won't engage when you autofocus, until you depress the shutter. For long telephoto lenses handheld, this can hurt AF acquisition as the image bounces around due to camera shake. In addition, non-Nikon lenses usually need some "settle" time, and that requires pressing the shutter button prior to taking the picture. Using the AF-L techinque, you've already engaged the VC/OS a bit while acquiring focus since the AF is driven by the shutter button.

Yes, the VR advantage can be important with longer focal length lenses.

The main downside of both approaches is the inability to lock auto-exposure. In the AF-On case, it's not mapped at all (if you've replaced the AF/AE-L button with the AF-On), in my case, I have to decide beforehand whether the button locks AF and AE, or just AF.

My work around is to use spot metering which follows the selected focus point on the D7000. I have spot metering on the Fn button.

The main problem I have with AF-ON is that any movement of the camera forward or backward after the AF-ON is pushed will result in missed focus. This is primarily a problem at shorter focus distances however.

  • Jon

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