Friday 7 August 2009

Techniques-Back Button Focus 2

Just a quickie to expand on Martins post yesterday, We not only use different systems but we now use different focusing techniques, When i shot with Canon gear i too used the back button focus technique and found it to be a very effective way of taking images, I had the buttons set so that the back button focused and activated the I.S and all the shutter button did was take the image, This worked well for all situations but especially where the subject was static i.e bird on nest, I would then focus with the back button and then take my thumb from it and just use the shutter button which would then not move or hunt the focusing system, The back button focus i found not so effective on the Canon 1D MK3 as the focusing system at the time struggled to track a moving target and you would need to keep 'bumping' the button to get the AF back on track, Top bird in flight photographer Jim Neiger uses the Canon 1D3 and only uses the shutter button to do all his focusing and shooting and christened the term 'bump focusing' whilst using the 1D3,
After changing systems to Nikon and 'starting again' learning a complete new system i dropped the back button focus technique as with the Nikon system you start the AF with the back button and still need to touch the shutter button to activate the VR so i have stayed with the traditional front/shutter button system as in days of old, I have found this to work well with the Nikon system and my hit ratio i must admit is higher than when i used Canon or any other system, Its something that i do intend to try again at some point but at this moment in time i am old school


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