3 reasons why you should switch to Back Focus button

3 Reasons Why You Should Switch To Back Button Focus

Photographer and author James Brandon is about some of the topics of his ebook Tack sharp currently on sale over at Snapndeals

by James Brandon

This article was written to expand on some of the key points in my ebook Tack sharp: A Step By Step Guide to nailing emphasis. This ebook goes on sale now via the DPS site Snapndeals for only $ 7! So make sure to pick up a copy!

In the past couple of years (and really since writing my ebook) I have a huge advocate for making the switch to back button focus become. It was one of the most revolutionary changes that I ever made how I take pictures. It seems like such a small thing, but it is such a huge difference in the way the camera works. I honestly don’t know why this is not the default setting on all cameras because after getting accustomed to this institution, I honestly can’t understand the meaning of or use of the shutter halfway down ‘ method ‘.

This small advantage takes some getting used to, especially because for the first few weeks after switching to CSO you’ll probably your lens to manual focus switch out of habit. When your focus is set up on your shutter button, you must switch your lens to manual focus so that your camera doesn’t refocus when you go to take the photo. Otherwise, you would set your focus manually, then you would press the shutter button halfway and the camera would ignore what you manually. How annoying! When you visit the CSO switch you no longer need the focus mode selector on your lens because the camera no longer will re-orient when the shutter is pressed. In most cases, your AF-ON button will be used for focus and focus alone. So you’re free to use your shutter button as just that, a shutter!

For this shot in Riomaggiore, Italy-I had my camera on a tripod and chosen in manually focus using Live View on the back of my camera.

This was one of the most frustrating things that I encountered when I use the ‘ shutter halfway ‘ method of focusing. Sure you can lock in focus by holding down the shutter button halfway, then focus will remain locked as long as you keep your shutter in limbo. But then you have to keep your finger! If you really think about it, not that sounds absurd? If you let go or accidentally lift your finger just a bit, the camera once you press it will redirect. Or press the shutter button a little too hard and you’ll find an image before you’re ready.

With the CSO, you can set the focus and setting will remain until you decide to change it. For wedding photographers, that means you can be at the end of the aisle, while the bride and groom give their vows. You are not moving and neither are they. You can use the Center AF point to focus on the brides face with your telephoto lens and then you’re set for as long as you in that position. With the old method, you should refocus on the bride or grooms face with each shot. That’s how you end up with throwing away shots where you accidentally on the face of the ministers instead of the bride or groom. And let’s just hope you don’t have to hand it to a number of photos of the kiss with a blury bride and groom and a sweaty, tack sharp Minister.

Once I focus on the town of Varenna on Lake Como I need no longer worry about focus (with a subject that far away, the focus at infinity). With CSO should I not worry about refocusing my camera when I was ready the release button pressed.

The two main forms of auto focus on your camera (a Canon) one-shot and AI Servo. They are called on a Nikon AF-Single (AF-S) and AF-continuous (AF-C). One-shot means that when you click your AF-ON button (or shutter release button halfway) expresses your camera will be the focus once on the basis of where the subject at the moment is set. If your subject moves or if you move, you must revisit your focus. This method wouldn’t work very well if you were your children walk around the sprinkler installation in the summer, or shooting a football game with shooting fast-moving subjects.

That’s why there is another method of focusing AI-Servo (AF-C at Nikon). This method blew me away the first time I discovered it. Servo keeps actually focused on moving subjects addressed. So if you play fetch in the park with your dog and your dog full sprint to the ball is running back to you, you can enclose a single focus point of him in the Servo mode and fire so many shots if your camera can take before the buffer runs out. Assuming that you have a fast enough shutter speed, you need a very high percentage of sharp, in focus images.

So the thing that I started to notice about having the camera in the Servo mode is that I could use just as Servo one-shot. You see, if you want to use Servo focussing with CSO constinuously’ve hold the AF-ON button to keep track of focus. So if you have a still subject you can just tap the AF-ON button and the focus will stop when you let go of the button customize. I’ve found that if you have a still subject and hold down the AF-ON button in Servo mode, the camera will continue to try to work to find focus. So the subject will start something going in and out of focus, because the camera thinks it should be looking for a moving subject. But again, if you just tap on the AF-ON button and let go when you see that your subject in focus, you’re good to go. When you select this exercise and it becomes second nature, it is a very quick process that really brain power nor completely takes time.

When I photographed this helicopter was headed right for me, hold the AF-ON button in AI Servo I was able to keep track of focus if the closer to me.

If you are interested in more about things such as back button focus, servo modes, and tips on how to set it up on your camera then make sure you head over to Snapndeals and pick up a copy of my ebook Tack sharp learing. It is only $ 7 to this sale and if this camera settings are completely alien to you in any way, I truly believe that it will revolutionize your photography. I made the ebook short and to the point on the right approximately 50 pages long, so you can read it in a day and spend the next week or so to apply the hirers and get used to the new settings. If you have questions or input, as always, feel free to leave me some comments below. I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

If you haven’t already, you need to follow me on Google + and Twitter!

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