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Gear: Back Button Focus

Category: Gear | Photography

When shooting I encountered on many occasion that after I had focused on my subject the shutter button would start focusing on my subject al over again. Very annoying especially when in low light and I would finally have my subject in focus and before shutter release. In my frequently discussed workshop of Mike Larson I first got introduced to back button focus. I had read about it in blogs but when I say how it worked I adjusted my Canon 350D immediately. I sometimes forgot to focus but in a very short time I began to see the difference in my photography. Much sharper and I would be able to react much faster to what was happening before my camera.

So what does back button focus do? The main idea behind back button focus is that instead of the shutter release performing the focusing of a subject this is now transferred to the * button on the back of your camera. Now focus and shutter release are separated.

When I bought the Canon 5DmkII I tried to adjust my setting but did not get it working properly opposed to my Canon 350D. That is until I came across the blog of Melissa Jill an Arizona based photographer who shared the proper settings for not only the Canon 5mkII but also the Canon 5D and Nikon camera's.

So here a brief explanation of how you can set up your Canon 5D MKII to set it to back button focus:
* Go to the menu and select the camera tab.

*  Go to C.FN IV: Operation/Others and set #1 to "3:AE lock/Metering + AF start" and

    set #2 to "1:Enable"

* Then turn your AF setting to AI Servo.

For a Canon 5D:
* Go to the menu and select custom function 4 and set it to setting 1. (setting 0 is default) 

* Then turn your AF setting to AI Servo.

For Nikon users you can also take a look on D-Town TV everything DSLR, where Matt Kloskowski shows in episode 31 how to set it up properly for your Nikon camera's.

Comments (3) -

7/11/2010 3:16:22 PM #

Wow, the picture is very clear so I can see how you do that, anyway, Canon is much much cheaper than any camera in my country.

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12/4/2010 8:04:34 PM #

Thanks for the review. Now I'm definitely going to buy this camera!

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12/7/2010 10:18:49 AM #

Many thanks for revealing this!!!

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