Back button and other stuff

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Richard Hutchings, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Richard Hutchings

    Richard Hutchings No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's been a almost a couple of weeks since I turned the back button focus feature on. Last night, I turned it off because I miss the half button press. I realized that I can HBP and then just press the AE/AF Lock button as it was intended to be used and also get great results.

    As much as I like getting all technical and running things in manual, I also want to try to embrace the Auto functions. I almost never shoot Manual but prefer A and S priority. I think I need to put it on full auto for a while and see what I get.

    Another thing is shooting raw. As cool as it is for editing, 98% of my raw images are just taking up space. Do I need that? I don't think so. I think I'm going to shut that off and only turn it on if I'm shooting some great landscapes and I think I might want the perfect image. I'm not giving up on them, just going to be more selective.

    I've learned a lot since I got this camera and I'm sure things will change again as I learn more and take more pictures.


     
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  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    'I realized that I can HBP and then just press the AE/AF Lock button as it was intended to be used and also get great results.'

    Congratulations on thinking for yourself! BBF advocates are a LOT like reformed smokers....
     
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  3. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    This is not intended as a negative comment in any way, but I believe as your experience and skills improve you will revisit shooting raw, BBF (especially for wildlife / birding), and manual mode. Also, if your images are in raw file format, as your PP skills improve, you will be able to do some amazing things with your favorite older pictures in that archive.
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Umm, I don't get this BBF ... am I missing nothing/something?
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Raw file processing is pretty easy these days with all the good, newer software. I shoot a lot of RAW+ JPEG. Batch processing and the idea of processing a "representative" file, copying the global adjustment settings, and then pasting said settings to multiple raw files, has really made it easy to process large shoots with MANY raws.
     
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  6. Strodav

    Strodav TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Many cameras have at least 2 or more focus modes, AF-S is the right thing for still images, AF-C is better for things that may be moving, and sometimes AF-A which allows the camera to switch between AF-S and AF-C by itself (doesn't always work the way you would like). In addition and completely separate to that you can change the number and location of focus points being used, from a single point to 153 points for my D850 and D500 bodies. You set these options before taking a shot. For moving wildlife, especially Birds in Flight (BIF) you want to use AF-C for the highest keep rate, but for still wildlife you want to use AF-S and lock on your subject's eye.

    BBF allows for a button, usually on the back of the body, to be assigned to focus in AF-C mode when it's pushed, and act like AF-S when it is released. So, you get to switch between modes quickly and easily. In order to make it work you need to disable the 1/2 push shutter button focus. I use my D500 DX camera for birding and have it set up for BBF and it has significantly increased my keep rate.

    If you really want to learn about Nikon focus modes I recommend getting a copy for Steve Perry's "Secrets to the Nikon Auto Focus System" at www.backcountrygallery.com . He also has another book I highly recommend if you are into wildlife photography, "Secrets to Stunning Wildlife Photography". He goes through BBF for both Nikon and Canon in this book.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
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  7. Grandpa Ron

    Grandpa Ron No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A lot depends on what you do with your prints and how much you like to tinker. Many of my picture can be shot on auto, but like to play with depth of field, sky glow and moon light shots and other things that move me to manual mode.

    I do minimal post processing, so jpg serves me well.
     
  8. Scott Whaley

    Scott Whaley No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have been working with the BBF using the AI Servo on my Canon 5d and 7d. I like the flexibility it gives me when shooting moving objects. It just takes some practice and a lot of patience.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Depends on the Camera, and the subject matter. For SOME situations, BBF is good, for other situations, I see little advantage.
     
  10. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree with you re BBF. Tried it, didn’t like it.

    The raw files are another story. What I do is shoot raw + jpeg - on two separate cards. I download the jpegs and if they look good I discard the raw files. If there are a few jpegs that need WB or exposure tweaks or need shadows lifted, I download just those raw files. Not sure if your 5600 has dual sd slots?
     
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  11. Richard Hutchings

    Richard Hutchings No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Now I'm starting to want the BBF back. I need to spend some time doing side by side comparison shooting. I wish it was easier to flip without going into the menus.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You're taking the right approach in trying out and learning to use different features of the camera and seeing which ones do and don't work for you given your situation and style of photography and what you like to shoot.

    The most common advice and methods work in most common situations, but can have variation when it gets down to specific situations. As noted above in some situations backbutton is going to have little to no real world benefit for a photographer; whilst in others it can be a significant help. I also find it varies depending on the methods one uses in the field.


    For example when shooting photos of horses jumping over a bar one might choose to follow the horse; focusing on the animal and holding down the focusing button to keep the AF tracking the subject the whole time. However another option is to focus once on the jump (the bar) and then wait for the horse to move into the frame since you know that the horse has to move into the area of focus.
    Neither method is "the best" and they both have their gains and losses depending on speed and angle and skill of the photographer.

    Using backbutton would allow one to shift between using both styles by just setting the camera to continuous AF mode and choosing to press the back button or not when they want the focus engaged. It makes it faster to shift between the two than entering the menu to shift between continuous AF and one-shot AF modes. For me that is a very powerful boon because it lets one use either style of AF by just choosing to press a button or not. Furthermore it lets you shift instantly between the two without having to think about what mode teh camera might be in (eg first shots of the day).

    It also takes the AF off the shutterbutton which means you can also meter a scene or move the camera around the scent to take various meter readings without the half-press of the shutter engaging the AF system and moving the focus around when you don't want it too.

    I find it gains an added bonus when you ahve lenses which have full-time manual focusing as an option. This is where you can use the lens in AF or manually move the focus ring to change the focus without having to turn the mf/af switch on/off. IT means you can shift (with those lenses) into manual mode without doing anything at all; you just don't press the backbutton and the lens is already in manual mode. A great boon if you want to use AF to get close to the focus and then adjust manually; or when the AF is proving hard to lock into a subject and you need to use manual.



    In the end I've tried it and found it works better for me; my focusing errors tend to be more a result of skill at using the focusing system itself rather than the pressing of the AF button or not. A halfpress on the shutter would give me the same keeper rate as a press on the backbutton - the difference is rather in other areas rather than the button selection.

    Note backbutton in portrait mode is much easier and more practical when you have a battery grip. If you don't have abattery grip then portrait orientation backbutton AF can be more of a trial than a boon
     
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