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Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by OzRay, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    A lot of people like to use a separate button to focus and just use the shutter release to expose the scene and take the shot. This can be done fairly easily by setting the AEL/AFL lock to AFL, but it then disables the ability to AEL lock, which can be handy in many circumstances. Once set this way, you can assign any, or any number of buttons to AFL, but you can't get back AEL. However, there is a way that gives you almost the same effect and is maybe even better.

    If you go to the menu/gear/(button/dial/lever)/button function setting, you can select any button to act as the manual focus switch. I've assigned what was the depth of field preview button next to the lens as this switch, as it's out of the way and so can't be accidentally pressed when the camera is turned on. How it works is that when you press the shutter half way, release the shutter button and then press the assigned manual AF button, the focus stays locked at that point until you once again press the assigned manual AF button to enable S-AF. It's not quite as quick as assigning AF the other way, but you rapidly get accustomed to this method and it ends up being just as effective.

    An additional benefit of this method is that you retain the AEL lock function, for situations where you don't want the exposure to change, such as panoramas. You now have the ability to set the focus and exposure to stay fully locked in any circumstance. This method also allows you to quickly go from a 'back focus button' style of shooting to normal shutter button shooting, without any menu changes. I haven't seen this mentioned before, so thought I'd pass on what I do. This works with the E-M1 and I presume on all of the O-MD models.
    • Like Like x 7
  2. mcrosa

    mcrosa Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Miami, Florida
    Mike Crosa
    As I am still getting my feet wet, please excuse my lack of understanding what you just wrote about.

    I f I understood correctly, I assign the depth of field preview button to be manual focus. So I press the button and then manually adjust the focus. I then take my picture by pressing the shutter, right? What I don't understand is why instead I would then "press the shutter half way, release the shutter button and then press the assigned manual AF button". This doesn't make sense to me. I thought that by initiating manual focus the camera would stay that way until I pressed the field of preview button to unlock manual focus. Am I lost here?
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Many people like to separate the function of S-AF from the shutter release button; that is, they want don't want the shutter release to have an AF function, just exposure and shutter release. A lot of pros operate this way.

    What I'm doing is leaving things as they are ie, the shutter button does both AF and exposure. However, if I want to lock the AF for any reason, I can just press the depth of field preview button to lock the focus in place and then move the camera about without having to hold the shutter release to maintain the focus point when in S-AF mode.
  4. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    my AEL toggle switches between AF vs MF

    in AF mode, AEL button does AEL
    in MF mode, AEL button sets focus

    best of both world. [honestly i dont even need AEL...use EvComp to set desired exposure based on eyeball or histogram]... since i always focus on the same point, the exposure metering is never a surprise
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I'm not talking about manual focus, I'm talking about being able to lock focus while in AF mode, as well as being able to lock exposure. It's not for everyone, but for those who have been frustrated with the generally recommended options, here is another option.
  6. I've run out of buttons on my E-M10.
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You need to sew on another one.:biggrin:
    • Like Like x 3
  8. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Too much to remember ... AFL then use manual shutter for me!
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Nice idea Ray. I've used back button focus for years and have learned to live without AEL on the Oly bodies due to this limitation. I'll give it a try, but I don't know whether I can re-educate my thumb from its job as focus puller!
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    No need to re-educate your digit, just assign Fn1 to the task and it'll be close enough to what you're used to doing, if not exactly the same.
  11. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I have my camera set up so that I'm normally using a half press to lock both exposure and focus and the fn1 button locks exposure using spot metering. I have my movie button set to MF, and have FN1 set to SAF (it focuses on press) when in MF mode. Seems to work pretty well for me.
  12. Hmm, I set up a dedicated button for MF/AF toggle for other reasons and just naturally found myself using this technique after a while without realising it. :thumbup:
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I assigned the rec button to toggle AF/MF but I also configured the AEL function to act as back-button focus while in MF.

    I do not see any specific advantage of my configuration over the one you propose, except for continuous AF.

    So I'm giving it a try because this means to gain one wonderful fn1 button back! And the fn1 button never felt that good for focus. Thanks.
  14. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    This is how I have my E-P3 and E-P5 set up - shutter has AF-S by default but the Function button near the shutter switches to MF mode to lock focus when needed. The big red movie record button is set to AEL.

    By the way, on the subject of AEL I'll repeat this here because I only learned about it recently - you can set a separate metering mode for AEL from your "default" metering. So for example my default metering is matrix but when I push the AEL button it uses spot.
    • Like Like x 4
  15. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I kinda like Mode 3, so I set my buttons in different way for enabling hard AEL lock:

    - in AEL/AFL menu set AF into Mode 3 and MF into Mode 1.
    - set Magnify button to MF function.

    When need hard AEL first lock focus in Mode 3, then switch to MF by pressing Magnify button and lock AEL same as you would do in Mode 1 (in my config it's same Fn button) - focus stays locked to whatever it is unless you touch lens focus ring..
  16. rpetruzz

    rpetruzz New to Mu-43

    Jun 22, 2014

    I've found an alternative to the suggestions above that I thought I'd share. In the menu settings you can change the mode of the AFL/AEL button in a way that will give you back button focus too...

    Go to "Menu / Gear/ A / AEL-AFL /S-AF" and select mode 3, which means:

    Shutter half press: AEL (exposure lock)
    AEL button press: S-AF (AF lock)

    This is detailed in a very handy PDF that I downloaded from the internet along with many other setting suggestions for the OM-D EM-1.


    Hope this provides another idea.
  17. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, for normal (S-AF etc) shooting it is a good way for a quick Spot Auto Exposure & locks it. I wish it also had the ability to be momentary & not lock as it used be on Oly DSLRs (Memo On or OFF). I also have the the AEL/AFL set for Mode 3 when in MF for a 'back button' AF. Ray's suggestion is good to implement for (manual) Panoramic use & if there is a button not normally used it can be set for MF toggle for these occasions (depending on how the AEL/AFL is set up).
  18. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Nice one Ray. Does the camera go back to normal shutter shooting after the shotis taken or does one have to hit the assigned MF focus button again to revert to normal shooting??

  19. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You need to hit the MF button to go back to AF.
  20. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Oh dear. :tongue:
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