by Gary / 0 comments - Orginally published:11th March 2017

Proving you can teach an old dog…

…New tricks. This is a tip for DSLR & mirrorless cameras that allow you to disable the two stage shutter button. That is, half depress the shutter button to focus, and fully depress it to take the shot.

Let me explain. I had started to see the term 'back-button focus' on so many photography forums my ears pricked up, and I thought "What's all this then?"

If you've read my photography story, you'll know I have been semi-serious about photography for over 25 years. I have a good collection of kit, built up over this time. However, always the amateur, and as an interest it had come and gone. I like to think I can take the odd decent photograph, and despite the grey hairs, I am also constantly learning.

So what's this Back button focus then?

It's actually exactly what it says. It's the assignment of a button on the back of the camera to perform the focusing function of the camera and separate that from the shutter release. It is that simple.

So how do I set up back button focus?

That's the tricky bit, and I will avoid trying to provide a solution for every brand & model. I'm a Canon guy, and I know across the models it differs.
My Focus Button
I suggest you Google your model and try 'back button focus' or 'BBF' or 'Autofocus lock' and there should be a resource out there to walk you through your individual configuration.

So should I use Back Button Focus?

Hmmm, that depends on your experience level. If you've just unboxed your first camera that supports it, then probably not. If you're reasonably experienced with your camera, I'd say give it a try. However, try it somewhere safe, don't test it on your once-in-a-lifetime travels. Go to your local park or regular shooting ground and give it a go. It might work for you.

It worked for me

After all those years, I found a new trick, and it works for me. It allows me to look through the viewfinder more, focusing on composition and capturing the perfect shot. That's why I'm sharing it with you.
A MkII Jaguar thundering up Hailwoods Hill towards Druids at Brands Hatch

Have You?

Tried the technique? Did it work for you? Let me know your thoughts.

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