How to use behind symbol concentration on your dSLR

November 5, 2014 - photo frame

Did we know we don’t have to half-press a shiver symbol to focus? Here is an introduction to a dauntless new universe of behind symbol focus.

What is it?

The sorcery AF-On button.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

Normally, photographers learn to half-press a shiver symbol on their dSLR to find focus, and afterwards entirely press a symbol to take a photo.

Back symbol concentration frees adult a shiver symbol to offer customarily one task: holding a photo.

The photographer afterwards uses one symbol during a behind of a camera to set focus, and a shiver symbol simply takes a photo.

Why should we use it?

Back symbol concentration gives we a best of both focusing worlds: singular and continual AF. Keep dire a behind symbol to use continual AF if a theme is relocating behind and onward in a frame, differently simply press a behind symbol once to close a focus. Then, we can take a print regulating a shiver symbol and recompose to your hearts calm though wanting to keep anticipating focus.

There are many scenarios where behind symbol focusing is higher to a normal shiver half-press:

  • Shooting a mural with a theme that is customarily creation teenager adjustments to their poise between photos. You wish to take a fast period of shots and don’t wish a AF complement to name a opposite concentration indicate any time.
  • Fast-moving action, kids or sports photos. Using a behind symbol to concentration will assistance revoke a loiter time between half-pressing to concentration and entirely dire a shiver symbol to take a shot.
  • Situations where a AF complement can get confused with what to concentration on. For example, sharpened by a bustling forehead like a net or a gate, it’s easy for your dSLR to wish to concentration on that rather than what’s behind it. With behind symbol concentration we can name to keep a concentration sealed on a background, even if we recompose a photo.
  • When we need tack-sharp images. Half-pressing and holding a shiver symbol to close concentration shifts a weight change in your hand. Simply dire a shiver symbol down entirely to take a print reduces a outcome of palm and camera shake in photos.

Where do we find it on my dSLR?

Depending on your camera model, behind symbol concentration possibly needs to be incited on in a menus and we afterwards allot a duty to a dedicated button, or it is already active by default. Unfortunately, some entry-level models might not have a ability to use behind symbol focus. If in doubt, check a manual.

The many critical thing we need to know about environment adult behind symbol focus: we contingency spin on a continual AF mode (AF-C) on your dSLR for it to work on Nikon models. You don’t have to fire on a homogeneous mode on Canon models, called AI Servo, though it will make it easier. Here are some brand-specific tips on anticipating behind symbol focus.


Higher-end models like a 5D Mark III will have behind symbol concentration already reserved to a symbol by default. Look for a “AF-On” symbol nearby a viewfinder. It should tumble naturally nearby your right ride that creates it easy to find though looking once flesh memory kicks in.

The AF-On symbol on a Canon 5D Mark III.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

To entirely capacitate behind symbol concentration regulating AF-On only, we will need to invalidate focusing when dire a shiver button. In a menus, corkscrew to find Custom Function 2, afterwards go to a Custom Controls section. Here we can change a shiver symbol duty from Metering and AF start to Metering start only. Now, behind symbol concentration is enabled when regulating a AF-On button.

Assign a shiver symbol a tradition control so it customarily looks after metering and photo-taking, not focusing.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

For Canon dSLRs though an AF-On button, we can customarily set a asterisk or AE Lock symbol to be your concentration button. In a Custom Controls territory within a menu, find an choice called “Shutter/AE close button”. The options from here in will change from camera to camera, though note that a series before a condense will control a shiver and a series after a condense will control a asterisk or AE close button. Generally we will wish to name Metering start/Meter+AF Start or similar. Again, deliberate your primer for a full outline of any choice to name a right one for your situation.

Remember that to entrance a tradition functions menus, we have to be in one of a PASM modes, not full automatic.


In a camera menu, conduct to a tradition environment menu (the choice with a pencil icon). Then, find a autofocus section. Look for AF activation and name AF-On. Press OK to capacitate it. This means that rather than vouchsafing a shiver symbol act as a concentration and shot-taking button, a AF-On symbol will demeanour after focus, and a shiver symbol will be used customarily for holding a image.

Find a Autofocus choice underneath a Custom Setting menu on a Nikon D800.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

For Nikon dSLRs though an AF-On button, we will need to reassign another symbol during a behind of a camera to act as your temporary AF-On. Find a behind symbol concentration choice underneath a Custom Settings menu and afterwards a Controls section. Choose Assign AE-L/AF-L symbol and corkscrew down to AF-On. Press OK and afterwards a AE-L/AF-L symbol during a behind of a camera now acts like an AF-On symbol for behind symbol focusing.

On some Nikon models, we can reassign a AE-L/AF-L symbol to act as your AF-On behind symbol focus.
Lexy Savvides/CNET

For other camera brands, deliberate your manual. Back symbol concentration is infrequently referred to as autofocus lock.

This feels weird. Help?

Getting out of a robe of half-pressing a shiver symbol to concentration is unequivocally hard. Give yourself during slightest a few days to get to know a behind symbol concentration process and try it out in lots of opposite situations before throwing in a towel.

It will take time and bid to get used to behind symbol focus, though once flesh memory kicks in we will find it tough to go behind to a aged half-press shiver symbol method. The good news is that once we learn yourself this new method, we don’t have to go back!

small.wp_rp_excerpt { line-height:115%; font-style:normal; } .related_post_title { } ul.related_post { line-height:120%; } ul.related_post li { list-style-type:none; clear:both; margin:0 0 0 3px; } ul.related_post li a { font-weight: bold; display:block; margin:0 0 5px 0; } ul.related_post li a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } ul.related_post li A img { width:130px; height:auto; }

More frame ...

› tags: photo frame /