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I’m a BBF and atoggler.....Nikon D810


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I shoot primarily high school seniors and use bbf.  I toggle my focus point to their closest eye for every shot.  I do get frustrated when I have a shot composed so well but I can’t get a toggle point close to the eye that I want to focus on )super close ups ones).  Is there any way to move out of that toggle box?  Would switching any of the shooting menu options help me get more focus points?  I’ll screen shot my focus menu (A1-12) so you can see what its set up to at the moment.  I just find I am a horrible (shaky) focus and recomposer especially since I shoot wide open a lot.


Also - what should I have the:  AF-c priority selection set to and the AF-s priority selection set to?  I want to be on top of it all and just be able to focus on my client.


Thank you Brian for the help!

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ok - Brian - I just was reading your thread about upgrade or not and you mention the d810 is like a bomber - in what ways should I expect it to be slow.  I haven’t seen it yet but want to be prepared.

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The problem you are describing is the nature of FX. The AF points are not spread out like on a DX body. The reason? It's because the DX sensor is physically smaller. The AF point positions are relatively the same, it's just the FX sensor is physically larger so that the AF Point Markers in the viewfinder tend to cluster in the center.

BBF is not the end-all-and-be-all of what people make it to be. It doesn't always work. *GASP* For some people, it works for them and they can produce great photos with it. Most of the time, it's just the "Herd" that follows the #Amazeballz Photographer at CutesyNamePhotography who swears by it,or the Blogger who wants easy traffic driven to their website.

"Hmm...I don't have anything to post! I know, I will do an article on the "Secret to Sharp Photos!! Back Button Focusing!!!"

More on the BBF below...

Bomber...until you have shot with a camera that does 7-8fps or more, you won't really have an idea of what I'm talking about. Since you are shooting portraits and seniors and not sports, you probably won't miss it. Here is a D4s, in machine gun mode. Each one of those clicks is a photograph. Compare that to the click-click-click-click-click of the D810. LOL!! Cameras like the D4s and D5 and even the older D4 / D3s are much faster. They think "quicker" because they are designed to be. Just like a fighter jet. It just shoots and shoots and shoots. That said, for what you are shooting...you do not need a D4s or D5 camera. I shoot Sports in addition to Weddings and Portraits. So for me, my needs are different.

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Now back to Back Button Focusing. In my humble opinion, BBF is a technique, just like any other. I am of the opinion that one should learn proper technique and improve all aspects of your craft, not just use BBF because some website / photographer told you it was the "secret" to getting good photos.

So let's get real for a moment. There isn't a damn "S-E-C-R-E-T" to sharp photos!! It's proper technique. Period. It's hand and elbow position. It's breathing patterns and thinking before you put that camera up to your eyeball. It's a whole way of thinking and doing. Sometimes, it's using a Tripod or Mono-pod. I feel so bad for the digital only shooters. I came from film. I didn't have 51 AF points. I had one...and manual focus at that. So you had to approach things differently. Now it's "Let me take 75 photos of my LUNCH!!! Just because..." xD

Great Technique is being PROACTIVE. Unfortunately, people are usually reactive, and when it doesn't work well, they seem to find that the "Magical BBF Technique" is the solution to their problems!! 

I know, so-and-so swears by it and you wanna be just like her. (Not you personally, Krista. I'm speaking to the members who read these posts/rants of mine.) My point is does anyone ever stop to think that they are being lied to?!?!  Seriously. I know several photographers who will push El-Cheapo Lights or Alien Bees and fail to mention that they use $2200 Profoto Lights and 7 Foot Modifiers. "All you need is a Bee and a Softbox to be like me!!" Buy my Workshop!! Buy my Wares!! You too can be an Amazeballz 'Tog like ME!!! For only $299.99...you can learn to turn on your camera! But wait, for an extra $200 you can learn how to click the shutter button AND change your Aperture!! C'mon Moms!!! Build confidence in shooting in Manual!! For only $300!!

(OK, I'm ranting and need to real myself in. LOL!!)

My point is, I think its a good idea to have you learn to use your camera without BBF. The first step is having your camera setup properly. So have you read your manual? What are your current settings, starting from A1?

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