a9 II Hitting multi-selector, throwing off focus

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MikeInMI

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Michael Allie
I'm new to Sony and took my A9 II with Sony 100-400mm to a local park yesterday to shoot animals. This was my first time out with the camera. I use back button focus so my thumb is usually on the AF-On switch. What I found is that part of my hand would often hit the multi-selector (joystick) and move the focus point off to the side. It took me a while to figure out why I was having trouble getting focus but eventually I did and then I'd just push it in the middle and it would re-center. That was fine but it was annoying and slowed me down. Has this happened to anyone else and if so, is there a better way to deal with it.

I was at my local camera store later and the Sony rep was there. I asked him if there was a way to lock that in the center, or have it return to the center. We changed the focus mode to Tracking: Center. Now each time I hit the button to focus, the focus point will be in the center, and then the focus point will lock onto the subject and move around the frame as appropriate to stay locked on.

I've read that some of you use focus mode WIDE which is probably fine for birds in flight. I was often shooting animals in trees, so without the accurate focus point, I was focusing on leaves that were in the wrong place.

Do any of you have suggested focus modes or techniques that you could share that might work better when I am shooting wildlife, but not necessarily BIF?

Mike
 

AlphaWorld

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Sometimes those Sony reps have good suggestions! That's a good one for your problem. You could try it without tracking, too.
 

Boojum

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I'm new to Sony and took my A9 II with Sony 100-400mm to a local park yesterday to shoot animals. This was my first time out with the camera. I use back button focus so my thumb is usually on the AF-On switch. What I found is that part of my hand would often hit the multi-selector (joystick) and move the focus point off to the side. It took me a while to figure out why I was having trouble getting focus but eventually I did and then I'd just push it in the middle and it would re-center. That was fine but it was annoying and slowed me down. Has this happened to anyone else and if so, is there a better way to deal with it.

I was at my local camera store later and the Sony rep was there. I asked him if there was a way to lock that in the center, or have it return to the center. We changed the focus mode to Tracking: Center. Now each time I hit the button to focus, the focus point will be in the center, and then the focus point will lock onto the subject and move around the frame as appropriate to stay locked on.

I've read that some of you use focus mode WIDE which is probably fine for birds in flight. I was often shooting animals in trees, so without the accurate focus point, I was focusing on leaves that were in the wrong place.

Do any of you have suggested focus modes or techniques that you could share that might work better when I am shooting wildlife, but not necessarily BIF?

Mike

Cameras today are amazing, Sony is very amazing.
 

pmenear

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No advantages with BBF (back button focus) anymore since switching to Sony, have a look at Mark Galers take on it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWsF5pMri-Q . I'm still trying to break the habits of a lifetime and not use BBF with my A1 but as I'm still keeping both Nikon (for flash/night photography) and Olympus (for underwater) systems its proving to be a hard habit to learn. I have reprogramed my AF-ON button to change focus mode which is proving very useful and better than the old BBF.
 

Jeff A

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Mike, I started with BBF and just recently I'm trying shooting without BBF. I had the Joystick itself programed to focus. That way, you are already there. Another comment is I hate the focus square moving as I then have trouble finding it. I think "Tracking" is good to eliminate the problem. I'm still learning, A LOT!
 
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Ziggy

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What I found is that part of my hand would often hit the multi-selector (joystick) and move the focus point off to the side. It took me a while to figure out why I was having trouble getting focus but eventually I did and then I'd just push it in the middle and it would re-center. That was fine but it was annoying and slowed me down. Has this happened to anyone else and if so, is there a better way to deal with it.
Use Lock Operation Parts in the menu.
Select what you want to control. Then you can lock and unlock the control(s) by pressing the Fn button for a few seconds.
 

Timothy Mayo

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CC Welcome
  1. Yes
For animals that don't have a nice clean background like birds in trees where a wide AF area can struggle to find them, the smaller AF areas or manual focus is always going to work best. It is easy to knock the multi-selector and move the focus point. Like Ziggy mentions above, you can easily lock the multi-selector by visiting MENU → (Camera Settings2) → [Lock Operation Parts] → Multi-Selector Only. Holding the FN button for a couple of seconds locks this and the the same again to unlock.
 

Hank

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I recently switched away from BBF after discovering how much functionality I was missing out on when I tried Mark Galer's camset file for A7iv's.

Finally learning about Recall Custom Hold was a game changer for me and I am just annoyed I didn't find out about it earlier.

I'm on a mission now to learn the features and available settings far more intimately rather than just doing what I had always done. We spend a lot of money on these amazing pieces of technology, it seems a shame to not make proper use of the tools they provide.
I totally get where you are coming from Mike, learning a new system with so many available focus options, buttons and controls is a lot to think about.
 

Ziggy

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I've been trying out Alex Phan's method of toggling between two focus areas and can see its value - but you lose Fn for joystick and wheel locking.
 
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