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 Post subject: AF-L / AE-L Confusion
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:01 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:08 am
Posts: 201
Location: London, UK
Hi all,

I was wondering what the relative pros and cons of the following two setups are:

Using AF-L on the back button to focus, and half pressing / pressing the usual shutter button to determine exposure and take the shot.

Using AE-L on the back button to set the exposure, and half pressing / pressing the usual shutter button to focus and take the shot.

I'm really confused by the relative merits of these two, and follow Ken R*s advice of using the back button for AE-L ...

One question I have is why would it be better to fix focus and then capture exposure when focus could shift if you have a shallow depth of field. Surely it's better to (as Ken R*ll suggests) fix exposure first, and then recompose, THEN focus on your subject and take the picture.... I hope that makes sense!

What do you use most of the time and why?

D5100 user. Twitter @stevesayskanpai
Feedback always welcome:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:26 am 
I dont use either of them, too many button presses to take the damn shot.
- Set your camera to AF-S (Single) - This allows you to focus, then recompose at will
- Set 'Shutter-release button AE-L' to 'OFF' - This means that once you have focused an recomposed, the camera will continue to meter the new shot.

The back button I use for AE-L, but I don't normally use it that much anyway. For tricky exposures I switch to manual mode, ditto for panoramas

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:17 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:24 am
Posts: 1831
I have a Focus Lock button which I use.

Once you get used to it, it's far handier than using the shutter half press to focus. If you have the camera in continual focussing, then holding down the focus lock button keeps your subject tracked. If you hit the button to acquire focus, you can then recompose and shoot. If you don't want to recompose if you're shooting with a shallow DoF, then use an off centre cross point, selected with the d pad. Unless you're shooting at f1.4 close range you should have enough depth of field to maintain good focus by pressing once and then recomposing. It can be a lot quicker and more accurate to acquire focus and compose and shoot. Otherwise you're using off centre focus points which might not be cross hair points and less accurate, and you're using the d pad to continually select the focus point you want.

So critical focussing and I'll use tripod/live view or a single point focussing with a cross hair focus point off centre - all other times I'll use the focus lock button as it give you two different modes of focussing under your fingertips in one go.

For exposure lock - handy when shooting weddings in particular when metering off the gown to not blow highlights and details, but I'm sure some wedding photogs will chime in on this point.

Try giving the camera to another person and see if they can focus!

I've recently starting using this method and after getting used to it I now find it more intuitive and user friendly if you're shooting in a fast paced environment.

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