Back button focusing

A feature that many sports photographers like to take advantage of is back button focusing. I was trying this out at Yorkshire Wildlife Park recently and it has its advantages. The idea is that you can use a button on the back of your camera to focus, rather than have the camera focus when you press the shutter button half way down.

The advantage of this is that you can focus when you want to, and then not worry about the camera re-focusing if you take your finger of the shutter button.

For example, I often press the button half way down to get my focus, then re-compose the shot because I don’t want my focal point to be right in the middle of the frame, then take the photo. This means I have to keep my finger on it the whole time, and need to re-do these actions if I want to take additional shots. With back button focusing, I focus using the button, then point the camera somewhere else and take as many shots as I like.

Some cameras let you re-assign the exposure lock button, but your higher end DSLRs will have an “AF-ON” button you can use to activate the auto-focus without having to re-assign a button – useful if you use exposure lock as well. In which case, all you need to do is stop the shutter button activating the auto-focus. I’ve done a video showing you how to do this on the Canon 6D…

By the way, the video is the right way round, it’s just the thumbnail that is wrong.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at 11:37 am and is filed under Tips & Advice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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