Back Button Focusing?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
SpiltMilk Senior Member • Posts: 1,644
Re: Back Button Focusing?

Krav Maga wrote:

SpiltMilk wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

SpiltMilk wrote:

Leonard Migliore wrote:

bobgeorge wrote:

I was just watching some YouTube videos on the pros of Back Button focusing.

Wondering....how many of you use that technique and do you see a real benefit?

Thanks in advance!

I use back button focusing because it separates the actions of focusing and of taking the picture.

With zero judgement on your choice - why would you want to separate "the actions of focussing and taking the picture" anyway?

Because there are some situations where I use single servo focusing and some where I use continuous servo. If I did not use back-button focus, I would have to switch the camera to the appropriate mode. With back-button, I do not. So it saves a step.

That makes good sense.

So... am I right? - One press and release is the single-servo, the press and hold is the continuous?

That's how it is on my cameras.

Now that IS a neat idea and a good reason for BBF - for the people that do it that way.

For me there are a couple of issues that BBF helps to deal with. One of them is if I'm shooting in a highly kinetic environment; such as MMA/martial arts gyms. Though I'm generally not a spray and prayer, I like to use the BBF with continuous, keep it pressed with my focus point and just snap of shots; usually in two or three shot bursts. I don't have to worry about modulating my finger on the shutter button. I just have to compose and shoot.

The other issue is alluded to above; that of modulating the pressure on the shutter release button. On my D750 it's especially "hair trigger." It's very difficult for me to half press it without inadvertently firing off a couple of shots. Yes, I could put it in single shot mode, but in active situations with a lot of movement, I prefer to shoot a burst of three or four shots, but at exactly the time I want.

Another area in which for me is useful is when shooting portrait/headshots. I like to hold down the BBF in continuous with the focus point on an eye and burst of three or four frames. Often times you'll get an expression or slight variation in expression that may be better than others. Also, if using a shallow DOF in which even slight movement blows the focus on the eye, it can be useful to use the BBF, continuous. It helps to decrease the possibility of an OOF shot

Good answer, thanks.

It seems that, like most things, it's not a "this is best, full stop", it's more of a "this is best for me"

My camera is less trigger happy, and I use a rocking motion on the shutter button rather than a vertical press - I can adjust focus as I wish to then Whammo!, rock the finger further and take the photo

("Whammo!" is, of course, not the right expression there, haha)

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