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Back Button focussing

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  • Back Button focussing

    I heard the benefits of Back Button Focusing (BBF) described at the Marwell Zoo visit but I did not pay sufficient attention as to how one sets it up, I thought I did at the time, but I was overhearing the conversation so did not properly remember. The description of how to Focus using the Fn2 button and then releasing the shutter after changing the composition (but holding the focus selected by the Fn2 button) seemed to be a very useful technique.

    Please can someone describe the settings I have to make to use this option.

    If one does not always want to use BBF how does one switch to the shutter release button focussing.

    Thanks for any info. - If you are aware of a thread in the forum that describes the method please point me to it.
    This space for rent

  • #2
    Re: Back Button focussing

    I don't have my camera in front of me right now, but the principle is this (this is for E-M1, but it must be very similar for the mark II since I set one up at a demo day in about 20 seconds):

    Gears menu A (AF/MF) -> AEL/AFL -> S-AF ( or C-AF if you prefer that)
    - Select mode 3

    Gears menu B (Button/Dial) -> Button Function
    - Choose your preferred button for BBF and assign it to AEL (on my E-M1 I use the AEL button itself)

    To swap back - well, best to setup two My Sets (or custom modes on the mark II).
    Paul
    E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
    flickr
    Portfolio Site
    Instagram

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Back Button focussing

      Is this something that you can use that odd lever for? I.e. normal shutter button focussing until you flip the lever and then go to back button focus. Flip the lever back to return to normal? It would be really good if it could be set up like that. Well for me anyway.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Back Button focussing

        Originally posted by DerekW View Post
        I heard the benefits of Back Button Focusing (BBF) described at the Marwell Zoo visit but I did not pay sufficient attention as to how one sets it up, I thought I did at the time, but I was overhearing the conversation so did not properly remember. The description of how to Focus using the Fn2 button and then releasing the shutter after changing the composition (but holding the focus selected by the Fn2 button) seemed to be a very useful technique.

        Please can someone describe the settings I have to make to use this option.

        If one does not always want to use BBF how does one switch to the shutter release button focussing.

        Thanks for any info. - If you are aware of a thread in the forum that describes the method please point me to it.
        What are the benefits of BBF?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Back Button focussing

          Sorry. Duplicate.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Back Button focussing

            Well apart from the focus and recompose benefit, there is a great advantage of using BBF for landscape and still life/product/table top photography. In those circumstances a tripod is usually used along with live view. BBF allows you to fucus on your selected point (for maximum depth of field for instance) and then operate the shutter without risk of the focus point changing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Back Button focussing

              OK, thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Back Button focussing

                Paul

                Thank you - I think I have got it ! - I had a MK I available to set it up on initially and then was able to navigate (fumble) over the settings to the MkII.
                The differences in the menu structure between the two models are quite dramatic
                This space for rent

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Back Button focussing

                  Back button focusing is invaluable to me because I can no longer maintain a half press on the shutter button to lock focus without inadvertently actually firing the shutter.
                  John

                  "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Back Button focussing

                    Originally posted by TonyR View Post
                    What are the benefits of BBF?
                    With the camera set in manual focus mode3 you have the advantage of being able to use full manual focus which is great coupled with manual focus assist and have the advantage of full auto focus on the back button.

                    Well that's how I use it.
                    All the best

                    Being left handed my brain sometimes works sdrawkcab

                    Andy

                    Lots of cameras and lenses.


                    My Flickr

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Back Button focussing

                      There are any number of guides and tutorials on the interwebs about BBF, but this one's quite good: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com...-button-focus/

                      I actually use FRONT button focus for this on my E-M5ii because I'm a left-eye shooter and the camera body's so small that my right eyebrow gets in the way of my thumb if I use the AEL/AFL button by the viewfinder. I set it to the button on the front panel, and use my right 4th finger for it (I use AEL/AFL for a MySet).

                      There's plenty of room to have it set to Fn1 on the E-M1 which is fine for the right thumb.
                      Regards,
                      Mark

                      ------------------------------
                      http://www.microcontrast.com
                      Too much Oly gear.
                      Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
                      Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Back Button focussing

                        Originally posted by drmarkf View Post
                        There are any number of guides and tutorials on the interwebs about BBF, but this one's quite good: http://www.digital-photo-secrets.com...-button-focus/

                        I actually use FRONT button focus for this on my E-M5ii because I'm a left-eye shooter and the camera body's so small that my right eyebrow gets in the way of my thumb if I use the AEL/AFL button by the viewfinder. I set it to the button on the front panel, and use my right 4th finger for it (I use AEL/AFL for a MySet).

                        There's plenty of room to have it set to Fn1 on the E-M1 which is fine for the right thumb.
                        I do the same on the Pen-F. The rear Fn2 button is poorly placed and in any case it's handy to keep its default action of switching between EVF and rear screen. To avoid confusion on my E-M1 I have both the back button and one of the front buttons mapped to AF - that way I won't struggle swapping between them.
                        Paul
                        E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                        flickr
                        Portfolio Site
                        Instagram

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Back Button focussing

                          Originally posted by pdk42 View Post
                          ... To avoid confusion on my E-M1 I have both the back button and one of the front buttons mapped to AF - that way I won't struggle swapping between them.
                          Yes, I can see that could be a good idea, although I like to use all the buttons available on the E-M1 for useful individual things.

                          On Saturday I had an afternoon shooting with both cameras at our local rugby club (who, incidentally, host meetings of our camera club): I managed not to get confused between front and rear button focusing!

                          I'd done this before with 2 M1s, one with the 40-150 pro + t/c, and the other with the Panny 35-100 f2.8 (for closer action). I'd found both lens setups reasonably good for acquiring and holding focus - not DSLR standard, but perfectly usable. This time, with the Panny on the M5ii it really showed up the better CAF of the M1, and I gave up trying with the 5ii after a while.

                          Have you tried using the Pen-F for this sort of action shooting?

                          The M1/40-150/tc is very competent in the good light we had, and the main issues were the photographer's incompetence at keeping up with how fast the backs at this level move the ball around (!), plus the time the mki takes to clear its buffer. The mkii should be a lot better in this regard, as well as having less screen blanking during fast high-speed shooting.

                          I'm just about to finish processing some images and I think I'm satisfied enough to post a few in Foto Fair in a mo'!
                          Regards,
                          Mark

                          ------------------------------
                          http://www.microcontrast.com
                          Too much Oly gear.
                          Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15. Laowa 7.5.
                          Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Back Button focussing

                            This may of interest/adaptable

                            http://www.lessgearmorephotos.com/ba...pus-om-d-e-m5/

                            David
                            The beauty of not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise and is not preceded by periods of anxiety

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                            • #15
                              Re: Back Button focussing

                              Both my em5 and gx7 are set up this way. Gx7 has a bigger button. Obviously someone in their design team knows something about anthropometrics. My favoured way of shooting is in the zone, viz zone focusing using a RF.
                              Steve

                              on flickr

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