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Jul 5, 2018 14:24:53   #
inclinerr Loc: South Carolina, United States
 
I have a Nikon D3400 camera with the two kit lens 18-55 and 70-300. My enjoyment with this camera in my retirement is just wonderful.
However I read about changing the button on the back to do the focus and use only the shutter release to take the picture.
Now I am juggling using two buttons 1) to focus and 2) snap the picture. This sometimes has caused me to miss an action shot.
Has anyone else tried out this arrangement of buttons on their camera and what are your opinions, advantages, and or short comings?

Here is a 3 photos showing what I have shot with the camera using the 55-300 lens.


(Download)


(Download)


(Download)

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Jul 5, 2018 14:34:56   #
rmorrison1116 Loc: Near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
 
Nice bokeh on 1 and 2. I've tried BBF on a couple of my cameras and for the most part it hasn't done anything for me. I've kept one of my cameras set to BBF so I get more accustomed to it. It serves no purpose on the cameras I primarily use on a tripod. My daughter has her 80D set to BBF and she likes it. To each their own, I guess.

I did watch a Tony Northrup video on BBF and it made sense, I just haven't gotten use to it.

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Jul 5, 2018 14:52:51   #
FreddB Loc: PA - Delaware County
 
If you used bbf on #3, it certainly didn't cause you to miss anything. Too bad you didn't have a longer lens, might have been able to see their faces.
Did you zero in with manual focus on the others?
Nice work on all 3!
👍👍👍

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Jul 5, 2018 15:12:07   #
CindyHouk Loc: Nw MT
 
I just got the Nikon D500 and setup BBF with the Shutter button half press to set exposure - it takes some getting used to especially since I am a novice anyway. But my BBF is set to lock when I press it and then I can let go...but it keeps the focus as long as the subject doesn't move - if the subject is moving - I just keep the button pressed.

Great photos!

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Jul 5, 2018 15:13:31   #
kenievans Loc: Dallas
 
I use BBF almost all the time for static shots or when not trying to stop motion. I can lock in the focus then use a different area to meter the exposure with the shutter button. Great for shots with a variance in light sources or high dynamics like night shots. It doesn't work well with action shots. You need your focus to change as the subject moves. That is when I use AI Focus. I am by no means an expert and I hope I explained it correctly but this works for me.

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Jul 5, 2018 15:41:57   #
AndyH Loc: Massachusetts and New Hampshire
 
It drives me crazy, absolutely stark raving bonkers.

Here's why: BBF is obviously better for more artistic compositions of architecture, landscapes, still life, etc. This is my favorite type of photography and using it separately from exposure locking gives me a lot more creative control.

But if I'm shooting sports, wildlife, family photos, or some work-related documentary shots, I need continuous autofocus mode, and I never remember to switch the damn thing back. I suppose I will eventually get in the habit of checking image format (I delete dozens of unused RAW files I've taken for work that don't even demand a large JPEG) and focus method every single time I pick up my camera. Eventually may be a long time, though!


Andy

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Jul 5, 2018 15:46:39   #
srt101fan
 
kenievans wrote:
I use BBF almost all the time for static shots or when not trying to stop motion. I can lock in the focus then use a different area to meter the exposure with the shutter button. Great for shots with a variance in light sources or high dynamics like night shots. It doesn't work well with action shots. You need your focus to change as the subject moves. That is when I use AI Focus. I am by no means an expert and I hope I explained it correctly but this works for me.


You should be able to do well with moving subjects and back-button focus (BBF). On Nikons, you set the focus mode to AF-C (continuous-servo). In this mode, the camera will continuously focus while the BBF button is pressed. Do you have Steve Perry's free guide to BBF?

https://backcountrygallery.com/free-back-button-af-guide-for-nikon/

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Jul 5, 2018 15:50:47   #
srt101fan
 
AndyH wrote:
It drives me crazy, absolutely stark raving bonkers.

Here's why: BBF is obviously better for more artistic compositions of architecture, landscapes, still life, etc. This is my favorite type of photography and using it separately from exposure locking gives me a lot more creative control.

But if I'm shooting sports, wildlife, family photos, or some work-related documentary shots, I need continuous autofocus mode, and I never remember to switch the damn thing back. I suppose I will eventually get in the habit of checking image format (I delete dozens of unused RAW files I've taken for work that don't even demand a large JPEG) and focus method every single time I pick up my camera. Eventually may be a long time, though!


Andy
It drives me crazy, absolutely stark raving bonker... (show quote)


Andy, with back-button focus, keep the camera set to continuous focus. If your subject is static, just push and release the button to focus; if it's moving, push and hold the button.

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Jul 5, 2018 16:03:14   #
d3200prime
 
srt101fan wrote:
Andy, with back-button focus, keep the camera set to continuous focus. If your subject is static, just push and release the button to focus; if it's moving, push and hold the button.



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Jul 5, 2018 16:03:20   #
Bill_de Loc: US
 
Many people use BBF because it's the thing to do. Unfortunately too many know the mechanics of it without actually knowing how to work with it. Read any thread on the subject and that becomes clear. It works well for many once they know what they are doing. It isn't difficult.

My own preference is to use the shutter half press for focus and exposure and the back button to lock both if I want to recompose with a stationary subject. With a moving subject I prefer to have my thumb free to move the focus point. That's been made even easier since Nikon added the joystick on some models, even putting one on the grip for vertical shots.

My suggestion on most things is to learn whatever methods are available and use what suits you best. If that leaves you on the outside looking in, so be it.

--

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Jul 5, 2018 16:08:34   #
AndyH Loc: Massachusetts and New Hampshire
 
Bill_de wrote:
Many people use BBF because it's the thing to do. Unfortunately too many know the mechanics of it without actually knowing how to work with it. Read any thread on the subject and that becomes clear. It works well for many once they know what they are doing. It isn't difficult.

My own preference is to use the shutter half press for focus and exposure and the back button to lock both if I want to recompose with a stationary subject. With a moving subject I prefer to have my thumb free to move the focus point. That's been made even easier since Nikon added the joystick on some models, even putting one on the grip for vertical shots.

My suggestion on most things is to learn whatever methods are available and use what suits you best. If that leaves you on the outside looking in, so be it.

--
Many people use BBF because it's the thing to do. ... (show quote)


This is what I used to do, and I was used to it.

To the rest of you: I knew that was possible, but I never thought about how it would actually work in practice. Thanks for the idea, I'll give it a try. Now if you could just figure out a way to remind me to change my ISO and image size before shooting!

Muscle memory is such a funny thing - it allows us to ride a bike, hit a baseball, or double clutch an MG, even if we haven't done any of these things in years. But it also makes for that instinctual phantom shutter release and the arm slap across the chest of your front seat passenger when you brake suddenly.


Andy

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Jul 5, 2018 16:36:39   #
speters Loc: Grangeville/Idaho
 
inclinerr wrote:
I have a Nikon D3400 camera with the two kit lens 18-55 and 70-300. My enjoyment with this camera in my retirement is just wonderful.
However I read about changing the button on the back to do the focus and use only the shutter release to take the picture.
Now I am juggling using two buttons 1) to focus and 2) snap the picture. This sometimes has caused me to miss an action shot.
Has anyone else tried out this arrangement of buttons on their camera and what are your opinions, advantages, and or short comings?

Here is a 3 photos showing what I have shot with the camera using the 55-300 lens.
I have a Nikon D3400 camera with the two kit lens ... (show quote)

I've been shooting with that "arrangement" for over 20 years and it never caused me to miss a shot!

Reply
Jul 5, 2018 16:47:40   #
Shutterbug57
 
Set the back button to AF-C and you are done. Moving subject, hold down the back button. Still subject, press to focus & release. Want to decompose a still subject, press to focus, let up and reframe.

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Jul 5, 2018 16:49:06   #
kenievans Loc: Dallas
 
srt101fan wrote:
You should be able to do well with moving subjects and back-button focus (BBF). On Nikons, you set the focus mode to AF-C (continuous-servo). In this mode, the camera will continuously focus while the BBF button is pressed. Do you have Steve Perry's free guide to BBF?

https://backcountrygallery.com/free-back-button-af-guide-for-nikon/

Thank you for the information but I am using a Canon. It should probably function the same way. I will look it up.

Thanks

Reply
Jul 5, 2018 17:43:43   #
grandpaw
 
AndyH wrote:
It drives me crazy, absolutely stark raving bonkers.

Here's why: BBF is obviously better for more artistic compositions of architecture, landscapes, still life, etc. This is my favorite type of photography and using it separately from exposure locking gives me a lot more creative control.

But if I'm shooting sports, wildlife, family photos, or some work-related documentary shots, I need continuous autofocus mode, and I never remember to switch the damn thing back. I suppose I will eventually get in the habit of checking image format (I delete dozens of unused RAW files I've taken for work that don't even demand a large JPEG) and focus method every single time I pick up my camera. Eventually may be a long time, though!


Andy
It drives me crazy, absolutely stark raving bonker... (show quote)


Where it really shines is on sports, wildlife and family photos. You need to have continuous focus turned on to really benefit from BBF. Press and release for still subjects and press and hold down for action.

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