AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits

Started Mar 12, 2007 | Discussions
cayzi Contributing Member • Posts: 558
Re: AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits

Gabby498 wrote:

I have both AF-C and AF-S set to Focus Priority
I have the AF-ON set to Shutter/AF-ON (shows ON in the A menu)

What did you mean with Shutter/AF-on, that you can lock focus with half shutter press (adjust in custom menu a5) or with AF-on button?

This allows me the option, without going into a menu, to use either
the shutter button or the AF-ON button for focusing. The difference
is that to hold the focus I have to continue holding the AF-ON
button down until I take the photograph.

So it is the same as holding or pressing AF/AE lock button (set to AF lock only)?

So you must press AF-on button and hold it because a shutter release button can change focus point when you are doing recompose?

I use the AF-L/AE-L set to lock and hold focus only and the Function
Button to select spot metering.

Why do you have set AF-L/AE-L button to lock focus if you have AF-on button for that and shutter release button. Did you mean that with AF-L/AE-L button you lock exposure only (AE lock)?

I can use either matrix metering or, by pressing the Function
Button, select an area to spot meter and press the AFL/AFE to lock
and hold the exposure and release the button, select the area to
focus, press and hold the AF-ON, compose and shoot.

How can you hold AF-L/AE-L button and AF-on button at the same time???

Why don/t put AF-L/AE-L button to one press on button to lock it (AE lock HOLD or AE lock, reset on release)?

Or if matrix
metering and half press will work for the situation, I can use that.
All without taking my eye away from the viewfinder.

Looks like a way I want to work focus and exposure lock. Sometimes it is enought to have focus and exposure locked with shutter release button. Works fine.

DecibelPhoto Contributing Member • Posts: 791
Don't let go of the AF-ON button

If your focus point is still on your subject, continue holding it down while you press the shutter release so that your camera is constantly tracking focus as your fire off frames.

If, on the other hand, you see that your subject is remaining at a static distance, and you are having trouble keeping a focus point on your subject, you can let go of the AF-ON button and continue taking pictures without losing focus due to something passing in front of your subject or because your focus point tries to grab onto something behind it. Because your focusing is no longer connected to your shutter, your focus will not change.

The whole point is that you start to view your focusing system and your shutter system as separate entities, and you can easily chose to engage one without the other. The main difference in doing so is that you can release the shutter without engaging the auto-focus system when it is not needed or may produce undesired results.

Gabby498 Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits

cayzi wrote:

What did you mean with Shutter/AF-on, that you can lock focus with
half shutter press (adjust in custom menu a5) or with AF-on button?

That is correct, either can be used however this is limited to AF-S. I do not usually shoot sports or wildlife so I seldom use AF-C. I also switch back and forth between Shutter/AF-ON and AF-ON Only. I haven't decided which I actually prefer.

So it is the same as holding or pressing AF/AE lock button (set to AF
lock only)?

Correct but see reply below...

So you must press AF-on button and hold it because a shutter release
button can change focus point when you are doing recompose?

Correct.

I use the AF-L/AE-L set to lock and hold focus only and the Function
Button to select spot metering.

My error, it should read "I have the AF-L/AE-L set to lock and hold EXPOSURE only. This allows me to meter at one point and focus at a different point because the two functions are separated. My original error creates confusion.

Why do you have set AF-L/AE-L button to lock focus if you have AF-on
button for that and shutter release button. Did you mean that with
AF-L/AE-L button you lock exposure only (AE lock)?

You understood correctly in spite of my error. This is correct.

How can you hold AF-L/AE-L button and AF-on button at the same time???

Explained above, I don't/can't. The AF-L/AE-L locks and holds exposure without having the button depressed.

This way seems to work well for me. It would not work as well is the subject is moving and you are using Continious Focus. I had used the AF-ON set to AF-ON only for a long time. I have just recently set it to where I can use either the AF-ON or the half press to focus. I am not sure which I will stick with, but for now this is working well.

Sorry for the confusion.

bikinchris
bikinchris Forum Pro • Posts: 21,549
Re: AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits

I can't beleive I didn't weigh in on this back when this thread was new.

I like using the AF-On button. I didn't always have it set as the only focus method. It was also hard to switch and sometimes I had to think why the camera wasn't focusing for a while. But I think that i have better level of in focus shots this way.

That being said, if you don't shoot in situations where you have to reframe, or shoot fast moving subjects, you may not want to use the AF-On exclusively. Half press will work fine for most people.
--
Chris, Broussard, LA

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Nikon D3 Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
kurtzhao Regular Member • Posts: 131
Re: Because I like having AF separate from shutter release.

I've been using AF-ON button for around two years and will never switch back.

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Nikon D5
eneiman Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits (NT)
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Steven, from Canada

RJSPhotography Senior Member • Posts: 1,686
Re: AF-ON how many use it and what are it's merits (NT)

handy feature to have

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Nikon D3 Nikon D300 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR
bikinchris
bikinchris Forum Pro • Posts: 21,549
did you want to post something?
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Chris, Broussard, LA

 bikinchris's gear list:bikinchris's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon D4S Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR +1 more
eolian Regular Member • Posts: 270
It's a miracle!

...and...I also feel like a complete idiot for not having figured this out before. I've been shooting for years, thinking how silly it is that there exists a dedicated button for focus, when you can just focus by a half depress of the shutter.

What a revelation...ALL THANKS TO YOU GUYS!

How did you people learn about this anyway? I don't think it's totally straight forward, and the manual certainly doesn't make it clear when the AF-ON button is useful.

THANKS AGAIN!

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