Author Topic: Back button focus on mirrorless?  (Read 955 times)

RobOK

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Back button focus on mirrorless?
« on: April 19, 2020, 03:17:25 »
I still do BBAF on my Z6. This article has an interesting discussion!

https://backcountrygallery.com/has-mirrorless-killed-back-button-af/


Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2020, 05:43:05 »
A bit of a click bait title.
As he says "Of course, some people just like the ergonomics of it better"
Half the time I manual focus anyway

Mike G

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2020, 07:32:13 »
IMHO mirrorless certainly in the form of the Z6/7 has if anything enhanced BBAF! The mirrorless cameras I have owned(Fuji x 2, Lumix G9 and now the Nikon Z6. If you don’t want to BBAF then turn it off and revert to the shutter button AF. It seems to me to be ones mindset that gets in the way! Personally it doesn’t come easy to me, but then I’m an old curmudgeon set in his ways, but I really am trying, honestly. :)
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Mike G

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2020, 08:45:39 »
I hadn’t realised that BBAF was so musical!  :)
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2020, 08:51:29 »
I'm using the "back button" (ie., AF-ON) all the time on my Z- and F-mount cameras. Must have followed that practice for decades.

FYI: I altered the original thread title from "Bach" to "Back". Just to avoid the thread to drift off. Less "musical", but more to the point. And I do love Bach and his music myself.

Mike G

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2020, 09:21:16 »
I'm using the "back button" (ie., AF-ON) all the time on my Z- and F-mount cameras. Must have followed that practice for decades.

FYI: I altered the original thread title from "Bach" to "Back". Just to avoid the thread to drift off. Less "musical", but more to the point. And I do love Bach and his music myself.
You’re quite right Birna, I just thought it a little amusing, and I’m easily amused!
Your comment re using BBAF for decades, hits the nail on the head, do something for decades and you get accustomed to the practice. Surely a matter of self training?
Nikon Z7, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2020, 09:47:46 »
It has proven itself over the years as the best practice. Not really that complicated.

Amusement in these C-19 times can be a scarce commodity. True. Thus I gave the matter some consideration before correcting the original typo. I contribute enough typos myself :).

Anthony

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2020, 10:46:59 »
I have only skim read the article, but he seems to ignore one of the main benefits of BBF, which is the ability to switch between locked focus and focus tracking at the touch of the thumb.  This is particularly useful with wildlife and sport, where the target is still at one moment and in action a moment later.

Also, if he can move the focus point to track a bird's eye as its head moves, he has remarkable skills.
Anthony Macaulay

Erik Lund

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2020, 08:43:36 »
... Also, if he can move the focus point to track a bird's eye as its head moves, he has remarkable skills.
He must be out of a younger 'gamer' generation  :o ;D
Erik Lund

MEPER

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2020, 10:00:36 »
Do you mostly use single AF point and then move around with this single point and place it where focus should be or do you use AF area mode to let the camera select where it thinks focus should be?
What about priority when trigger is pressed?    I guess when you have the BB set to focus you have not prioritized focus on release bottom?

I can see my D5200 is set to AF-A so a mix between AF-S and AF-C.




RobOK

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2020, 16:41:44 »
I was the OP of the link... I stay mostly with BBF. But I do think its always good to challenge our practices and not just do it because we always have!

I spent the weekend trying to get the hang of Area AF with tracking on the Z6. I mapped the "subject selection" to FN2 which is a better location. I find the Z6 with firmware v3 does a great job tracking but it is still hard for me to "let it track" on its own (this is not a Z6 comment, i just have not used AF tracking on any of my cameras).

Akira

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2020, 23:25:59 »
I've never been a dedicated sports/wildlife shooter, so never felt BBAF useful or handy.   :o :o :o

I've dedicated my thumb for AF point selection since the film AF camera days and focused by half-pressing the release button...
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2020, 08:57:36 »
I do sports photography, but as everting is moving, using BBAF I would have to press two buttons to keep the object in focus, so never really found my way into using BBAF. I have tried, but I fail ???, so doing like Akira.

Anthony

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2020, 18:59:03 »
But I do think its always good to challenge our practices and not just do it because we always have!


I agree with this.  I have recently discovered shooting by touching the LCD screen on the intended point of focus.  Very useful when the camera is on a tripod, and in many other circumstances where using the LCD is more practical than the EVF.
Anthony Macaulay

MILLIREHM

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Re: Back button focus on mirrorless?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2020, 12:05:49 »
Totally misleading, there are reasons to use BBF (or not to use it) but that does not change with mirrorless.
The main reason not to use BBF is that it needs substantial training, which made me reluctant first to use it until I was able to automatize it. With my SLRs i usually have individual configuration for slow operatoins and high-speed AF situations. Originally the first was still being set to shutter release Af- activation but in the meantime I am solely relying on BBF for best control. Iam using AF-C only (and if the camera is offering Iam deactivating AF-S completely so i cannot accidentially switch in the wrong mode). With BBF i can quickly control whether the AF is on or not, so I can more easily avoid AF focus hunting caused by obstacles like leaves and such and I can do manual overrides at any time, otherwise the override mode that makes AF-S lenses so advantageous is overriding me again.  AF-lock buttons do not work for me, even more so the buttons on the lens i have found to be unreliable.
I am working in single field mode mostly and with PV button configured to switch to group mode. Having the camera to chose AF Field and this 3d Stuff might work for sports but not for birds in flight.  Yes i have to switch my thumb between af field choice and AF activation but if I have to be really fast there is no time for carefully chosing the perfect af- field, i either preselect and then hold AF or decide to keep the focussing and adjust composing afterwards. Having a greater AF-field coverage of the frame does not change that for me. If there is enought time (like a sitting owl) there is no problem with BBF either

What is different between SLR and mirrorless?  Mirrorless AF fields covering a greater area, and are not on par with af speed and reliability (at least with Nikon Z, dont knowhow evolved Sonys A9 actually is. I see need to change my habits with the Z6 in terms of BBF/AF-ON button
Wolfgang Rehm