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Valued Contributor
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Back button focus

I can't believe I've been shooting for nigh on 2 1/2 months already and I haven't set up back button focus.

 

Please correct me if I'm wrong. My understanding is that by taking AF off the shutter button and reassigning it to the AE lock button (*), one of the big benefits with this bbf is that on an IS STM lenses or focus by wire that go to sleep, I could more easily wake it up by hitting the bbf button. I don't believe I've ever even used the AE lock button for AE and don't see much need for it in my shooting.  Plus, STM or no, it just seems more convenient to do bbf. Is my reasoning on the right track? 

 

BTW, I saw Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens (White Box) on B&H for $399. About $150.00 less than Canon-boxed retail. 

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Posts: 9,257
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Back button focus

You will love that lens.  Buy a genuine Canon hood for it, too.  Many of the third party hoods just screw onto the front of the lens, and the petals of the hood often show up in the frame, which causes vignetting.  Besides, a genuine Canon hood can be mounted in a reverse orientation, as a storage position.

Using BBF is a love it, or hate it, feature.  I like it, myself.  I can pre-focus, and take a photo much faster when I press the shutter because I don't have to wait for the camera to focus before it fires the shutter.  If you like it, that's great.  You're customizing your camera, and honing your skills.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Back button focus

@Waddizzle wrote:

You will love that lens.  Buy a genuine Canon hood for it, too.  Many of the third party hoods just screw onto the front of the lens, and the petals of the hood often show up in the frame, which causes vignetting.  Besides, a genuine Canon hood can be mounted in a reverse orientation, as a storage position.

Using BBF is a love it, or hate it, feature.  I like it, myself.  I can pre-focus, and take a photo much faster when I press the shutter because I don't have to wait for the camera to focus before it fires the shutter.  If you like it, that's great.  You're customizing your camera, and honing your skills.


I think I will like BBF a lot, one of the main reasons being what you described above, regarding prefocus. 

 

As for the 18-135mm White Box STM lens, I kind of stumbled on to that on the B&H site. I think I will love having that range. 

 

We are planning to go up to Sequoia National Park in July (have been there several times before). As you might know, the place is crawling with black bears, foxes, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, etc. I almost ran into a bear along Generals Highway inside Sequoia once. I slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop about 15 feet in front of it. It didn't even look up. 

 

I can see a lot of use for an 18-135mm lens in this environment. I think I'll get more use out of this lens in this environment than I would the 17-55. And I will definitely order that Canon hood you mentioned. 



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Posts: 9,257
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Back button focus

[ Edited ]

@John_SD wrote:
@Waddizzle wrote:

You will love that lens.  Buy a genuine Canon hood for it, too.  Many of the third party hoods just screw onto the front of the lens, and the petals of the hood often show up in the frame, which causes vignetting.  Besides, a genuine Canon hood can be mounted in a reverse orientation, as a storage position.

Using BBF is a love it, or hate it, feature.  I like it, myself.  I can pre-focus, and take a photo much faster when I press the shutter because I don't have to wait for the camera to focus before it fires the shutter.  If you like it, that's great.  You're customizing your camera, and honing your skills.


I think I will like BBF a lot, one of the main reasons being what you described above, regarding prefocus. 

 

As for the 18-135mm White Box STM lens, I kind of stumbled on to that on the B&H site. I think I will love having that range. 

 

We are planning to go up to Sequoia National Park in July (have been there several times before). As you might know, the place is crawling with black bears, foxes, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, etc. I almost ran into a bear along Generals Highway inside Sequoia once. I slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop about 15 feet in front of it. It didn't even look up. 

 

I can see a lot of use for an 18-135mm lens in this environment. I think I'll get more use out of this lens in this environment than I would the 17-55. And I will definitely order that Canon hood you mentioned. 




The 18-135 is a pretty good walking around lens.  While it duplicates much of the focal range of your 18-55mm kit lens, You will notice a big improvement in image quality.  It will be too short for wildlife, though, way too short.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Valued Contributor
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Back button focus


@Waddizzle wrote:


The 18-135 is a pretty good walking around lens.  While it duplicates much of the focal range of your 18-55mm kit lens, You will notice a big improvement in image quality.  It will be too short for wildlife, though, way of short.

Yes, I would never expect this lens to be an appropriate wildlife lens 99 percent of the time. Some of the parks, though, like Sequoia, and even Yosemite, will surprise you. If you're not careful, you'll walk into wildlife, as the animals are accustomed to people, which is dangerous for all concerned. 

 

About 5 years ago, we were walking along the edge of Crescent Medow where it meets the woods in Sequoia, and saw this idiot standing a few feet away from a tree with his Nikon pointed high up into the braches, where he was photographing a black bear cub. I immediately knew that we had stumbled into a life-and-death situation. I didn't want to alarm my wife, but I told the photographer that the cub's mother could be nearby and that he should immediately back away and leave the area.

 

I won't repeat his reply to me, as I don't want to be banned from the site. I just said, "Have it your way then" and I began walking away with my wife beside me. As we were getting clear of the tree, about 20 feet or so, I heard some movement approximately 50 or 60 feet off into the meadow. The mother bear took what I estimate to be about 5 or 6 steps through the tall meadow grass...and then rose up on her hind legs, her full attention on the Nikon idiot, who was now between her and her cub up the tree. I recognized my good fortune as I knew that my wife and I could continue to leave the area while the photographer met his fate. However, at the site and sound of the bear, he must have quickly reconsidered and immediately began his own departure along a differerent route.

 

My point of this story is that in National Parks, where wildlife is accustomed to automobiles and large numbers of people coming and going all the time, they begin to lose their fear of us. Thus, we can get closer to them than you would get in a normal backcountry wildnerness situation. Hence, I might get some great wildlife shots with the 18-135mm IS STM. Looking forward to trying, anyway. 

 

 

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-11-2017

Re: Back button focus

I know that area of Crescent Meadow well!  It's like bear heaven there.  I don't think I've ever been there early in the morning or late in the afternoon without seeing at least one, and usually multiple bears in that area, as well as over by Tharp's Log.

 

 

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Valued Contributor
Posts: 429
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Back button focus


@JA_199 wrote:

I know that area of Crescent Meadow well!  It's like bear heaven there.  I don't think I've ever been there early in the morning or late in the afternoon without seeing at least one, and usually multiple bears in that area, as well as over by Tharp's Log.

 

 


Yep, you're right. When we go back up in July for a week, we'll definitely hit the Meadow again as well as Tharp's.

 

I'm in San Diego, and people here love going up to Yosemite and Tahoe, and I love them too. But Sequoia is often bypassed and overlooked. Hope it stays that way, though it can get crowded on summer weekends. 

 

The Giant Forest is also a great place to hang out. Find a spot and just wait. Make sure you have spare batteries.

 

We're also going to hit the High Sierra Camp while we're there. Birders and photographers from all over the U.S. come for the wide variety of birds. An incredible environment. In fact, we usually stay in King's Canyon, at the John Muir Lodge, but this time we're at Wuksachi. 

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎05-30-2017

Re: Back button focus

It saddens me how ignorant people are around wildlife. I live in CO and was hiking a 14'er two years ago. A guy was up there with his tweens and they were going off bothering the mountain goats getting way too close. In my disdain for this stupidity, I wrongly wished the goats would turn on the kids. They just moved out of range though.

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎04-11-2017

Re: Back button focus

Yeah, you don't want to be THAT guy.  I watched the person in this pic ignore signs and shouted warnings to march right up to this elk at Rocky Mountain Park.  I didn't stick around to see what happened next, but he was definitely getting danger close. I always keep my distance (that's what telephoto lenses are for) and in bear country, make sure to make enough noise so any bears in the brush will hear me coming a long ways off.

 

IMG_0998.jpg

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,317
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Back button focus


@JA_199 wrote:

Yeah, you don't want to be THAT guy.  I watched the person in this pic ignore signs and shouted warnings to march right up to this elk at Rocky Mountain Park.  I didn't stick around to see what happened next, but he was definitely getting danger close. I always keep my distance (that's what telephoto lenses are for) and in bear country, make sure to make enough noise so any bears in the brush will hear me coming a long ways off.

 

IMG_0998.jpg


Not only would that elk have been dangerous enough; any number of his brothers and cousins could also have been on the other side of that ridge, and the photographer (well, the guy with the camera) wouldn't have had a clue.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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