Any "AF-On" Button User?


cichlid

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2006
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#1
Hi

Today I read a photo tip (from a magazine) regarding the use of the "AF-On" button.

This is done by configuring/customising your cam body to achieve focus by pressing the AF-On button and then capture the image by pressing the shutter button. In this way, when you press the shutter button, your cam will not try to focus but instead it will just take the picture.

A short quote from the magazine :

"I'm using my thumb on the rear AF button to focus the camera and my index finger on the shutter button to capture, and because AF isn't active on the shutter button, the focusing decision I make isn't overridden by the camera as the image is capture.

With this setup, the AI Servo tracking is active only when you depress the rear AF button. Keep it depressed as you follow the action and capture your images with the front shutter button. When you lift off your thumb for a stationary shot, focus is locked at that location. You can re-frame the image, then capture with the shutter button."

In theory, it sounds ok. I havn't tried it out yet though and I suspect I will get confused during the first attempts.

Are there any users' comment.
 

Dec 12, 2009
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#2
Well i dun find problem in half pressing shutter for focus then fully for shoot. In fact i read b4 some say just press shutter fully at 1 shot might cause more shake.

I tried your method before is fine when shooting static object but
Half press for focus makes my action to take a short faster esp when shooting something impromptu and fast. This is because i only need to focus on my index finger rather than to move thumb and index finger.

How about left handers? Might be more troublesome?
 

Last edited:

wmayeo

New Member
Feb 11, 2008
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#3
I used to use AF-on button to focus. It might delay the shots. So i always used the shutter button to half press for focus.

You should try it to see which one is more suitable.
 

Miao

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2004
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#4
I use this method to capture candid shot, lock focus first, then wait for the moment before snap away, its faster and not make the subject notice you r aiming at them.
 

Miao

Senior Member
Nov 3, 2004
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#5
Miao said:
I use this method to capture candid shot, lock focus first, then wait for the moment before snap away, its faster and not make the subject notice you r aiming at them.
I mean focus, then place ur camera down, then hold it up to shot when u see the correct moment. ..
 

SkyStrike

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 29, 2010
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#6
I'm a leftie...no problems in regards to using the thumb to press that AF-lock thingy.

But somehow or rather, I find this AF-lock hard to use due to subject movement and will force you to re-focus again.
 

yrh0413

New Member
Oct 21, 2004
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#7
I prefer to use half-press shutter button to focus. Although AF-ON button is just under my thumb I find myself no longer have a firm grip on my camera and it put stress my left hand especially with heavy lens.

Half-press shutter button to focus feels more natural to me; and I do not need to move my fingers around too much. :)
 

markyen

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2007
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#9
I tried to use it for lock focus so can recompose and take metering. Personally I still prefer Nikon button placement. The AF-on should be relocated.
 

David Kwok

Senior Member
Aug 23, 2008
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#11
A 100% AF-ON button user and never look back at half depressed shutter for me.
I used it for normal landscape, I use it for fast paced sport events.
When you need to couple short AF for continuos mode, AF-ON is the way to go.

Given you an example, I am trying to capture a player moving left to right, suddenly a player is going to intercept in between, changing the focusing if I keep my shutter half depressed. I quickly release it, let the player pass by and then snap off using my shutter release, without this AF-ON, it will need to refocus when I press the shutter release again.

I can even do recompose for my continuous mode using this technique. Try it without AF ON and u will need to switch between the modes. There is absolutely good use for it. I don't find the button out of placed, for my big hands, it works good and I will say very effective since I owned D300 and onwards.

But you need to take note, metering is reset when you half depress each time. But these 2 buttons works independent of each other, so you will need to know when to release and when to not. It is not too difficult once u work with it often enough, it comes like 2nd nature once you work with it all the time.

I am curious about the weight and grip thing. For me, it is never the grip of the body that holds my gear. Much of it is on the lens and my left palm resting on the bottom edge of the body. My right grip is merely stabilizing and adjusting the directions.

Try it and feel it yourself.
 

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allenleonhart

Deregistered
Sep 17, 2008
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#12
af-on user here. easier to set focus one button, shutter one button
 

rhino123

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Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
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#13
I try the AF-on method once... didn't like it... my spec always got in the way of my thumb when I try to press that small button with my eyes plastered to the viewfinder.
 

cichlid

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2006
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#14
Thanks all for your views....i will give it a try later this week :)
 

cichlid

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2006
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#15
Thanks for the link, it made me realise that I could customise the AE-L/AF-L button for the AF-On method on the D90. The placement of the AE-L/AF-L button on the D90 is a little bit far for my thumb to reach but the D700 AF-On button placement is just perfect.
 

NedKelly

New Member
Aug 20, 2008
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#16
Yep another af-on convert here... using nikon bodies, right eye shooter.

Used to normal halfpress focus then shoot. and then tried AF-on. At first I am not used to it and dont quite like it.. but now never looking back (took about a week plus of constant use to get use to it) . My shutter button halfpress is set for AE-L
My system is also set to AF-C with tracking on the D7000, and only AF-C on the D90.

With this system you get AF-C (only by tapping the focus), tracking (holding on the button), and instant manual focus (not pressing) without having to go to the bottom left front lever every time you want to change it. :D
 

kino2

New Member
Apr 16, 2008
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#17
I usually set 'AF-on' for focus and shutter release button for metering when shooting static scenes/subjects (landscapes/ long exposures/ product/ macro/ etc...) on tripod.
 

nathaniel

New Member
Jun 18, 2006
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home.pacific.net.sg
#18
95% of the time, I use separate focus & shutter buttons, as it gives me better control. Focus-lock/recompose takes too long when I'm taking multiple shots of the same subject (from the same position).

Also, it opens up the possibility of switching to live-view mode--where I can take photos in live-view without any shutter lag. One advantage of live-view vs looking through the view-finder is for situations where I want to see the entire scene directly (and I am occasionally glancing downwards at the live-view screen to make sure the composition is roughly where I want it to be). Also, because I am looking directly at the scene (rather than through the viewfinder) the view doesn't "switch-off" when I press the shutter button.
 

crispy12

Senior Member
Sep 24, 2011
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#19
I use AF lock button when needed. My thumb is always on it, and only really need it if taking multiple shots from same position.
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#20
i started seperating AF and exposure thanks to rueyloon. he once shared with me the reason why we should separate and i thought it made sense.
 

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