Are you looking for ways to make your photography journey that much easier? Back Button Focusing is your answer.
I am always searching for easier solutions in my photography. I am always learning new things. And I would like to show you how much easier your photography journey can be by adapting to “BBF”.
Like everything else, there are pros and cons to new solutions. For me, it was all good. In my opinion learning, BBF was a game-changer for me.
what is bbf?
BBF is a short term for “Back Button Focus“. By default when taking a picture you do so by pressing the shutter button. When you press the shutter button halfway, you are setting the focus of your scene. Then you press down all the way and you take your photo. Hoping everything is in focus.
With your camera’s menu setting, you have the ability to assign certain functions to different buttons on your camera. So with BBF, I want to show you how you can divert the focus button away from the shutter release button to another button on the back of your camera.
With back button focus (BBF) you use a button on the back of your camera to use as a focus button. This separates the two features: using a button on the back of your camera for focus and the shutter button to take the photo.
It was a few years back that I was hearing about this BBF feature from all the professional photographers I associate with, in my groups. They were all saying how it was a lifesaver in their photography.
They all found it easier to keep the focus button separate from the shutter button. So, I had to figure out what this BBF was all about. I was so happy to have switched to back-button focusing. My photos came out so much clearer. I had so much less blurry photos.
Pros using bbf:
1. Your Focus will be sharper – when focusing on your subject, you will not be hindered by having to press the shutter button down halfway. How many times before I discovered BBF, I was trying to focus on my subject and pressed the shutter button too quickly.
Now, what do you think happened there? Yes, I missed the photo chance because I pressed the shutter button without properly focusing. The photo was totally out of focus because I hastily pressed the shutter button trying to quickly get the shot. And I didn’t get a chance to focus.
With BBF being assigned to a button on the back of the camera, you have the agility to focus on your subject and then take the shot.
2. Focus and Recompose – with back button focus you have the ability to not only properly focus your subject but if it is a moving subject, such as small children, you can keep recomposing your subject until you have your subject in focus. Then you have the ability to take the shot.
3. Focus with Ease – you have the focus button and shutter button separate from each other. With your thumb on the focus button in the back of the camera and your index finger on the shutter button, you have so much ease now to control your scene.
Cons using bbf:
1. Not easy to convert – the only con in using back button focus that I could think of is getting used to using a different button in focusing on your subject. There were a few times I got confused and thought there was something wrong with my camera. Whew!!
It’s just a matter of using and practicing with your camera. It will become second nature. Trust me.
How To Set Back Button Focus
For a Canon:
Follow these simple steps and if you have trouble, follow the photos down below for some added support. It really is easy.
Step One: On my Canon 5d Mark3, I go to menu and over to custom function settings
Step Two: Go to Custom Functions 2 (C,Fn2)
Step Three: Scroll down to Custom Controls – hit the “set” button
Step Four: Here you will set the shutter button to “metering start” (this removes the focus function from the shutter button)
Step Five: Set the AF-ON button to “metering and AF start.”
For a Nikon:
Step One: On a Nikon d800, select your custom settings menu
Step Two: Select “a – Autofocus”
Step Three: Select “a4 – AF activation”
Step Four: Select “AF-ON only”
Some cameras are slightly different. Just check your manuals.
And that is how you get Back Button Focus.
It truly is that simple. I promise you, you will love it. And it will be a game-changer on your photography journey. It was for me.