Back button focus

Chrisfg1

New member
Original poster
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
6
2
Aug 18, 2020
Still getting used to my A9 and watching various videos on settings. I've used back button focus for many years but from watching several tutorial videos it doesn't seem to be required for the A9. This would suit me as I find the function buttons smaller and more problematic on Sony cameras (big hands)! I'm just wondering what the general consensus is? I shoot mainly aviation and wildlife?
 

Gchappel

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
11
7
Aug 19, 2020
I moved from nikon to sony about a year ago. I like the feel and buttons of the nikon more, but for other reasons I wanted to move to mirrorless. I have used back button focus for years and years on the nikon system. I set the sony up for bbf as well, and I got used to it. Works fine. On mirrorless cameras with the new focus modes that use the entire sensor, I think some of the advantages of bbf somewhat go away. I still use it. If you are not used to it, I do not think you are missing a lot using the shutterbutton to activate focus.
Gary
 

Ziggy

Well-known member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
4
Following
1
329
257
Aug 6, 2020
Country
Australia
City/State
Victoria
Yes, if you do continual burst shots of a BIF I can't see that you'd need it.
 

RGaffney

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
12
46
Aug 20, 2020
I use it on my A7III works for me, it's an option some like it some don't Simple solution if you don't like it dont use it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WeeMalky

Ziggy

Well-known member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
4
Following
1
329
257
Aug 6, 2020
Country
Australia
City/State
Victoria
One positive reason to stick with the shutter button is feel.
AFOn and AEL have mediocre feel and in the cold AEL is hopeless. Talking about the A9 and A7R III.
Just rolling the thumb onto the joystick is more tactile at the risk of moving the focus area.
 

MickPayton

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
2
Following
0
21
32
Aug 17, 2020
Name
Mick Payton
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Presteigne
I have my A7R4 setup to use shutter button for expanded flexible spot, my AEL button set to add tracking to this, and my AF lock button to eye AF, this gives me 3 choices of focussing instantly. I shoot people on location and in the studio. I've only had it 2 months after switching from a Nikon D850 so still getting to know it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ChrisJ

Jskufca

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
23
18
Aug 30, 2020
I’m trying to understand the main benefit to BBF. I have the 6400, and it focuses so fast, I guess I don’t see benefit of any other way. Plus when traveling my wife might take a picture occasionally and wouldn’t want to try to explain not to use the shutter button!
 

Kevriano

Veteran member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
7
Following
0
536
552
Aug 18, 2020
Name
Kev Harper
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Crawley
I've shot using it for years and could never go back. The main benefit for me, is having the camera constantly focussing using AFC without the need to have the shutter button half pressed, that just seems alien to me now, it's not quick. I converted my wife to it too, she spent a couple of hours getting used to it, but would never go back either.
The main thing though is what you shoot. It's really only of use for Wildlife or sports where you are constantly tracking your subject.
 

celin

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
25
15
Aug 29, 2020
I use it all the time. It is what I am used to so don’t really know any other way. I don’t see the point in half pressing the trigger.

It is mainly used for tracking during wildlife or fast moving objects where you are constantly tracking but I am so used to it I have never changed it back.

I would say try it and see if you like it, if you don’t stick with normal focussing methods. It’s all what you like and what works for you.
 

KCH

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
24
6
Aug 31, 2020
I used back button focus with my Nikon gear for years and when I switched to Sony I carried on with the practice. Sony bodies really do not need it like Nikon did but the muscle memory reaches for the button.
 

Kevriano

Veteran member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
7
Following
0
536
552
Aug 18, 2020
Name
Kev Harper
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
Crawley
I used back button focus with my Nikon gear for years and when I switched to Sony I carried on with the practice. Sony bodies really do not need it like Nikon did but the muscle memory reaches for the button.
Plus the Sony bodies come with it enabled, though you have to switch of focus on the shutter button. Pentax are exactly the same.
 

César

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
25
23
Sep 1, 2020
Name
César
Country
Spain
I have my A9II setup to use shutter button for tracking wide, the back button focus for Eye AF, and the AEL for switch from tracking wide to tracking expanded flexible spot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KCH

Steveatesh

Member
Pro Member
Pro Member
Followers
0
Following
0
12
5
Aug 30, 2020
Country
United Kingdom
City/State
North East England
I had BBF set up on my Nikon and it was the first thing I set up on my A7iii when I made the jump on its introduction. It is, in my view, a much better way of shooting than with the half button press.

AlthouGH the real time eye focus is on I also have the lens hold button on the 3 lens I have set up for eye focus so I can use the small spot focus mode to tell the camera which face I want it to focus on but call up eye focus across the screen if necessary, very quickly.

it all allows me to have a camera that makes it very easy to adjust focus selection very quickly.
 

Pro Membership Upgrade

  • If you'd like to support this community you can easily do so by becoming a Pro Member and unlocking the following benefits:

    ✓ No Adverts in the Forums
    ✓ Pro Member Competitions
    ✓ Sell Items in the Marketplace
    ✓ Unlimited Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Higher Resolution Gallery Uploads
    ✓ Forum Profile Signature
    ✓ Custom Profile Cover Photo
    ✓ Advertise Your Photography Workshops

    Pro Member Upgrade

Shopping Links

You can also support this site by purchasing gear through the following affiliate links:
Although I would recommend supporting your local camera store if you have one.

User Menu

alpha shooters text logo

© 2020 Alpha Shooters. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Alpha Shooters is an independently run website and is not affiliated with Sony.com
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.