Using AF lenses with Manual Focus


For many photographers, tweaking or just using manual focus with AF lenses is a normal thing.

But, if you don’t set the camera properly, once you manually focus, a 1/2 press on the shutter wipes it all out.

you must do 3 things to set the camera up so your shutter 1/2 press won’t activate AF.

  1. Change the “AEL/AFL” to Mode 3 (Menu/Gears/A/AEL/AFL/OK/S-AF/>Mode 3/OK)
  2. Make Fn1 to be your AF Button (Menu/Gears/B/OK/Button Functions/>/Fn1/>/”AEL/AFL”/OK)
  3. Change the AF Mode to “S-AF+MF” (Menu/Gears/A/AF Mode/OK/S-AF/>/”S-AF+MF”/OK)
    1. OR, you can use the Super Control Panel, and change it there.

This will allow you to manually focus with the wired focus ring, and use the shutter button to take a meter reading and exposure. without the 1/2 press changing the manual focus you set.

6 thoughts on “Using AF lenses with Manual Focus”

    1. This is helpful in low light spaces also, where AF may not lock or work w/o having that bright orange AF aid turn on..

  1. Won’t setting your camera to “MF” prevent this? Granted, you also lose the ability to focus lock first before tweaking. I’ve tried using the “back button focus” method but have always switched back to the normal method. Something about having to remember to press a focus button *before* taking the picture has always annoyed me. But I definitely do see the advantages of setting a back focus button.

    1. Using MF is a different scenario.
      Using the the back function button for focus is useful when you have a somewhat stationary subject (like in a Studio), where the DOF of the f/stop will allow for small distance variations. (about 3 feet), that allows you to take a few images w/o refocusing for each one.

      1. Yes, using back button focus is most useful for stationary subjects and when you have time to think. For moving subjects or spur-of-the-moment snaps, this results in out of focus photos. (Side question about DOF: I’ve always wondered whether depending on DOF is good enough, or should I always tweak the focus to ensure critical focus?)

      2. When I do a studio shoot or with a strobe in my house, I will use a higher output flash so that I can use and F number: like f/11. Also I will not use a longer lens, like a portrait lens, instead I use a moderate wide angle lens like 40mm. So f/11 even at a closer distance will have a few feet in focus.
        But I also have a custom to setting for the default auto focus on the shutter button half press. Because as you say it can be more convenient.

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