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EOS 6D Mark II Thoroughly confused on back button focus (yes, I read the manual!)

Skip70
Enthusiast

Yes, I believe the first step is to carefully read the manual, and I've done that several times. I must have taken my dumb pill this morning, but I need some hep and hope someone here can offer that. 

I have already "removed" AF from the shutter button. 

I'll start with what I['m tryin to set as a capability:

  • press and release the AF On button to hold focus as I hit multiple shutter clicks  
  • be able to hold the AF Botton while in Serco mode. 

What I don't understand is how to assign both functions to that button. I don't understand what AF Start and Stop means,, but I also don't understand how to assign those two functions on the button. If I select one, it shows on the menu, but if I then pick the other, the first one is replaced. 

Help, please? 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Frankly, I read that, but you didn't say you had seen the video!

Have you set the focus to servo mode as well as assign the AF button?  So it works in servo mode? If not that will not complete the necessary steps.

If that is still the case, perhaps have the camera checked to see if the button is malfunctioning. Perhaps get a second opinion from someone who is experienced with the gear.  If you have a local camera store that you frequent they are often happy to help you out - after all most of them will be photographers themselves.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

View solution in original post

13 REPLIES 13

Danny
Moderator
Moderator

Thanks for joining the conversation, Skip70!

So that the Community can help you better, we need to know exactly which Canon camera model you're using. That, and any other details you'd like to give will help the Community better understand your issue!

If this is a time-sensitive matter, click HERE search our knowledge base or find additional support options HERE.

Thanks and have a great day!

Skip70
Enthusiast

Sorry, forgot. It does not allow me to edit. It is a 6d Mark II

p4pictures
Rising Star
Rising Star

With your EOS 6D Mark II the default function of the AF-ON button is metering and AF start. This is all you need once you have changed the shutter button to either metering start or AE lock. Set AF to servo.

This does what you need.

Press the AF-ON button to start focussing with servo AF, when the subject is in focus release the AF-ON button and focus will stop, the lens stays where it was last focused. Now press the shutter as needed and the focus will not change until you press the AF-ON button again. 

When you press the AF-ON button the camera will focus, tracking subjects using servo AF. While keeping the AF-ON button pressed you can press the shutter button to take photos as you want. 

Often when photographers first try back button AF they release the AF-ON button when the press the shutter button, resulting in moving subjects being slightly out of focus. You can tell if you did this by reviewing the image on the camera LCD and having the AF point display turned on. If no AF point is indicated then you were not pressing the AF-ON when the photo was taken. Photographers also slightly release the AF-ON button and press it again causing the AF to activate and this means the sequence that were all supposed to be with the same focus distance may have some with different focus distances. It takes muscle memory and practice to overcome these.


Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
https://www.p4pictures.com

I really appreciate your response. However,r I was aware of how to use BBF once set up, I still am confused about how to set it up. 

You said: 

With your EOS 6D Mark II the default function of the AF-ON button is metering and AF start. This is all you need once you have changed the shutter button to either metering start or AE lock. Set AF to servo.

This does what you need.
Why woiuld changing the shutter button to EITHER metering start of AE Lock when all I want it to do is have the shutter button activate the shutter?  I also see a lot of posts (and YouTube videos) talking about using AF Start or Stop, not AE Lock. Do I ned to change the settings for the AF On button? 

Ok step by step.

Press MENU button and navigate to the Custom function menu tab, then navigate to C.Fn III-4 Custom controls and press SET.

You'll see a list of the buttons that can be reconfigured. The one you need to change is the shutter button to stop it initiating AF at the half-press stage of its travel. The full-press will always fire the shutter. Select the shutter button, the first icon on the left, and press SET. You should see that it is set to Metering and AF start as that is the default. For back button you need to change this to either metering start or AE-Lock (while button is pressed)

If you choose metering start option - the camera will meter the exposure for each frame in a sequence, so you might see different exposure values for each or some of the frames in a sequence. As an example, if you photograph a horse as it runs from open field to under a tree and out the other side in to the sun, this option adjusts the exposure between the brighter sunny open section and the frames under the tree in the shade.  

If you choose AE-Lock then the exposure is measured and locked for the first frame of the series while you press the shutter. If you release the shutter fully, and then re-press it the camera meters again. This option is for when you want the same exposure, so if you metered from the face of a player and they run towards you in the same light then the exposure would be consistent for the face for all the shots in the sequence. 

If you use manual exposure mode M on the dial and set the shutter speed, aperture and ISO values yourself, then both options above will give the same results. For other modes like P/Av/Tv they work as described above, and also for M with AUTO ISO.

Once you set the shutter button, just move to the AF-ON button and check that it is set to the default Metering and AF start.


Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
https://www.p4pictures.com

This was sorted a while back.  OP is all good now


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Tronhard
Elite
Elite

How to set up and apply back button focus - hopefully, this video from Canon Oz will get you there!


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Frankly, I make it very clea4r at the outset that I had carefully read the manual. I also looked at this video. Manyother as well. Call me dumb, but I am looking for help. Right now I have AF taken off the shutter, but the AF-ON button does not activate AF. I set that AF-ON butto9n to AF-Stop as instructed but that button does not activate the AF. 

Frankly, I read that, but you didn't say you had seen the video!

Have you set the focus to servo mode as well as assign the AF button?  So it works in servo mode? If not that will not complete the necessary steps.

If that is still the case, perhaps have the camera checked to see if the button is malfunctioning. Perhaps get a second opinion from someone who is experienced with the gear.  If you have a local camera store that you frequent they are often happy to help you out - after all most of them will be photographers themselves.


cheers, TREVOR

"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
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