3 Situations That Will Convince You Back Button Focus Is The Only Way To Use Autofocus

Back Button focus is awesome. This simple tool makes capturing sharp images a lot easier. It’s time you started thinking about switching your camera settings and using it! Once I learned how to use this nifty little feature, my life as a sports photographer became much easier.

Then I started to experiment further and I discovered back button focus is useful for all types of photography. Here’s why

I used back button focus when I shot this landscape photo. The boat was moving fast enough that I need to track it. The sihouette needed to be tack sharp for this image to be a success.

What is Back Button Focus?

When you purchase a camera, it comes loaded with default settings.  One of those settings, includes having the autofocus function and the shutter function connected to the shutter button.

We all know that to activate autofocus you can press the shutter button halfway down to compose your shot and then complete the image by fully compressing the button. It’s simple and easy to use. For most basic situations it works quite well. However, as you become a more practiced photographer you’ll find yourself in increasingly demanding situations which will require more complex camera operations.

“One of the best examples of when to use this is sports photography, but it’s also useful for night photography, portraits, wildlife, weddings, candid shots, just about any thing you might do, back button focus can make it better. ” -Tony Northrup

This is where back button focus comes in handy. Essentially, you are separating the shutter and the AF focus into two separate operations. This will give you greater control over your camera and once you practice the technique it will speed up your ability to compose shots and ensure images are tack sharp. With back button focus, you won’t need to refocus every time you press the shutter button.

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