Back Button Focus and Its Advantages

The ability to see when you need to capture the right moment and the speed of your reaction lie at the center of making a great photo. However, sometimes there are other things that can interfere with taking an awesome picture. Like what? Like not having time to focus manually or having to grapple with automatic refocusing of your camera.

Today we’ll talk about one smart solution that certain cameras feature and that can help you deal with these frustrating moments. It’s called back button focus.

Try to imagine something. You’ve found a great spot for taking a picture and have been waiting for a few minutes for the right moment with the shutter speed button half-pressed. And then boom! Your finger accidentally slipped from the button and you need to refocus, which usually takes more than a few seconds especially if your camera has a lot of AF spots.

Another thing that can happen is losing the focus point when you’re trying to shoot a constantly moving object. Annoying, isn’t it? We bet that you’ve been there so many times…

Back button focus is a feature that was first added to DSLRs by Canon in 1989. Nowadays the majority of professional cameras have either AF-ON or AE-L/AF-L buttons on its rear panel. These exact buttons can be programmed to serve solely for purposes of focusing. What for? Let us explain it.

Earlier all cameras’ shutter button was used only for one purpose, which is releasing the shutter and making the photo. And it really makes sense. Why would you need to half-press the shutter all the time to keep the subject in focus and lose it every time when your finger slips or make a trash photo by accidentally pressing the button?

BBF helps you solve these problems. Its main advantage is that it lets you use the shutter button for its primary purpose and handle everything associated with focusing.

It works really easy. You will need to press the BBF once in order to lock the focus in a certain spot and then simply press the shutter button for an unlimited number of times. Your camera won’t refocus until you unlock it by pressing the BBF once more.

Another usage of the BBF is for making pictures of moving objects. Just press the BBF in order to focus on your subject, which can be anything like your pet or falling water drops, and keep your thumb on it. And then release the shutter button using your index finger when the right moment has come. That’s all about it.

Obviously, it may take some getting used to the first week, but we’re sure that after the first few days you’ll fall in love with this feature and start using it automatically because it gives you a lot more creative freedom and helps you get rid of headache of refocusing every time.

Apply these awesome techniques to shoot distinctive photos that people will love, use our platform to sell them, and earn at least 70% of the photo value. Become a KeepSnap independent photographer and go out today to snap people around you and earn a living. It's completely free for photographers.