Back Button Focusing

In a recent TOP story on Tiger Woods’ errant golf shot that created a photographer’s now iconic shot and a fun amount of internet fame for "cigar guy," one of the comments triggered a teachable moment for me. I learned about focusing with the thumb button on the back of my camera. It was a tongue-in-cheek question about focus tracking that prompted a particularly informative reply (at least it was informative for me) from experienced sports shooter Ken Bennett. "This is a common tactic among sports photogs," Mr. Bennett wrote. "Separating the focus from the shutter button means I can leave my camera in continuous AF all the time, and adjust focus as needed with my thumb." Holy cow. How had I never stumbled across this feature? Sure, I’ve used focus lock, but I’ve never considered the idea of separating focus from the shutter button. It makes such perfect sense! Thank you, Ken Bennett! Just goes to show you however much you know, there’s always plenty of room to learn. And to all of you who are mocking my naiveté for not knowing this, forgive me. But also trust me: if you think you know it all, you’re wrong. To learn more about thumb button focusing, check out this article at the Canon Digital Learning Center.

Leave a Comment