Getting clarity by turning off your focus

One of the best camera tech tips I ever got was to turn off the focus capability of the shutter release button. I’ve been doing so for years now, and today, I suggest that you do the same.

(Gasps of dismay and shock ensue. Make do without our autofocus?!?)

I’m not really asking you to do without your autofocus. I love my AF. With its speed and ultrafine focus, I would be hard pressed to do without it. I just don’t like it coming on every time I half way push the shutter button.

So how do I focus? On my camera there is a “focus start” button. My right thumb rests almost automatically on this button, so it is quite easy to have my shutter finger at the ready while I decide if I want to refocus or keep my current focus. Index finger on the shutter, thumb on the focus.

Some of you might wonder why I prefer this to the AF off button. The AF off button is something that is only used from time to time. With the AF Start button being the entire focus control, you are using it everytime you want to focus, and the action becomes very automatic.

It might take a short time to get used to having a separate button to focus, but it is really a quick and simple process, much easier than learning to drive a car, or even change your aperture while looking through the lens.

There are very few downsides. All of your camera’s functions still work- AI Servo, AE, you name it. The only thing that changes is your focus.

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
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