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09-07-2014, 07:56 PM - 1 Like   #1
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AF/AE lock button

I've been watching a few tutorials ( Northrop / perry ) that espouse the virtue of using the back button for autofocus lock instead of using the shutter release button. Is this really a good idea. Do a lot of you pentaxians use this method?

09-07-2014, 08:07 PM   #2
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First thing I change on any camera. This disconnects the focusing from actually taking the picture. Two separate actions.

I'll admit it takes a little getting used to at first, especially if you have been focusing with the shutter button for a long time. But it's the only way to go, IMHO.
09-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #3

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I use this method, that way you have more control over when the camera focuses, and when it doesn't focus for that matter. I'd recommend trying it, and start saving your custom functions in User 1 or User 2 mode, that way if you ever have to hand your camera to someone else to take a snapshot of you, you can just switch to Program/ Av/ or Tv mode etc. and not have to teach them how to use the af button. I once ran into this problem and the person was so confused of all my custom settings they almost handed me back my camera. Oh the joy of owning a Pentax, you can customize so many functions!
09-07-2014, 08:30 PM   #4
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Yeah, I use the button. Most times, I am taking pictures of things that don't move. so, I can take care of focus with the button and take pictures with the shutter. Of course, in AF-C, the AF button can just be held down and the shutter button pressed as needed.

As far as using user mode for settings you like and leaving the default condition easy for.. visitrs, you could make user mode with typical and easy settings and then call that 'selfie by proxy'...!

09-07-2014, 08:49 PM   #5
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I also use it often, I have a K-5 preset with and without that setting. When focus won't need to change for a second shot - e.g. a bird sitting nearby - the time for AF refocus could lose you the ideal shot (or spook the bird away!).
09-08-2014, 12:23 AM   #6
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It did take some time to get used to at first, but it is just so much better.
- Makes focus-and-recompose a lot easier, no more need to hold the shutter button half pressed while moving the camera.
- The quick-shift feature (for the lenses that have) actually becomes very useful. Again no more fumbling with holding half-press while focusing manually.
- No need to have the camera refocus if your subject hasn't moved since the last shot.

I like to leave the AF in continuous mode. That way I can press and hold the AF button while taking images if I need focus tracking, or just tap the AF button if I want the equivalent of AF-S/single focus mode. No switches to move to get the one or the other.

In short, the camera focuses when I want it to focus.
09-08-2014, 02:31 AM   #7
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I agree, back focus is the best way to go. There are times when I want to lock exposure, especially to reduce overexposed skies, so I set as a user mode so that I can use button and have to revert back to shutter to focus. I think that not having two buttons is the only thing that I can think of that the K-30 does not have.

Last edited by JimC1101; 09-08-2014 at 02:37 AM.
09-08-2014, 04:39 AM   #8
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It depends on what camera you own as to programming the AF/AE button. If your is one of the models that does not have a separate AF button located on the back of the camera then I recommend switching yours. A couple other changes to go with that is to shut off your half shutter press in the custom menu thereby utilizing your shutter for taking pictures without any chance of it refocusing. The other as previously mentioned is to switch to using AF.C mostly instead of AF.S, that way you have the option of keeping a depression on the button for continuous focus if there is any movement or a press, lock and release for locking your focus. It takes a little bit to get used to remembering to focus this way and you'll probably blow a few photos at first but once you get used to it I think you'll like it.

The models with the separate back AF button one can use it for dedicated focusing and not lose the AEL lock function of the camera since that is a separate button. However if yours is one that doesn't have one then you can lock both AF & AE by changing your custom setting to lock AE with AF, it's not something I use or have used prior to my K5lls.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 09-08-2014 at 04:49 AM.
09-08-2014, 06:55 AM   #9
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Ok so now I'm a little confused. I have the k50. I set my AF button to enable AF 2 and the side button to "c" on the camera is that correct?
09-08-2014, 09:22 AM   #10
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Great to get used to it.

It does take getting used to, but I've found it's invaluable at times. I think if you keep searching this forum, there is a link to a photo expert's advice on how and why to use it.

I was able to get a multi-exposure sequence using it by setting the focus once and then just keep the shutter firing away.

These pictures are from the same sequence (although not everyone is listed here [they're in reverse order at my fliciker account]):

but even better yet, when trying to pinpoint someone in a crowd, I prefer to use spot focus and recompose before shooting, and there's no real other way to highlight someone in the depth of other people (or objects for that matter).

But you do have to "think" while using it. I've also ruined shots by keeping the focus button pressed during a sequence and found that as the subject moves out of center (which occurs during movement) the camera started to focus on the back wall ruining the sequence. In that case I forgot to remove my finger from the button (and remember the whole sequence takes just a few seconds to complete)

I also just did a sequence moving down a line of cheerleaders standing on a football track by standing on the side of them and forgot to focus so that as I zoomed in to the end of the line, they were out of focus (the distance went from about 5 yards to 30 years).

There's nothing like just practice (and I guess the best news is there's no extra cost as there was in film Days!)

(But then I'd also argue setting for using custom functions so it can be swapped in and out of using the button without having to think about it).

Hope these examples help!

09-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerrys Quote
Ok so now I'm a little confused. I have the k50. I set my AF button to enable AF 2 and the side button to "c" on the camera is that correct?
Yes for your camera that is correct. For the K5's you have to turn off the half shutter press.
09-09-2014, 02:06 PM   #12
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Yes, I'm another user that favors the dedicated AF button. I use this feature on my Canon bodies also.
09-10-2014, 03:13 AM   #13
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In my type of shooting I usually prefer to use shutter button for AF, and only switch over to AF-button focus if normal way don't work well.
I have set AF-button to disable AF for times I need to take mnual control of AF. I feels more comfortable the way I normally use the camera.

On my K-7 SR activates with half-press of shutter button, so I still need to half-press the shutter button when using AF-button for focus.
09-25-2014, 06:09 AM   #14
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I use it all the time and on every camera I can. It is much more convenient. Took all of five mins to get used to.

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