I've read on some forum (not necessarily Nikonians) that one poster seemed fairly unhappy with the placement of the AEL/AFL button on the D610 back for its use programmed as a dedicated AF-on button. I'm contemplating acquiring the D610 and would use the AEL/AFL button programmed for that purpose, and do not contemplate using AE lock at all. Are fellow Nikonians who "back button focus" generally comfortable with the AEL/AEF button in a dedicated AF-on function in lieu of a separate AF-on button?
Wed 11-Dec-13 02:45 AM | edited Wed 11-Dec-13 02:50 AM by Charlie M
I programmed the AEL/AFL button on my D600 as the AF on button and prefer doing this way as I don't lock my exposure of autofocus. Plus, I find it easier to track moving subjects with my thumb on the AEL/AFL button while continually focusing. Charlie
Based on the drawings in the user manual, the placement of the ae-l button on the D610 seems to be better than the placement on my D70S. That said, the pro bodies of the D200/D300/D700 have a better placement of the af-on button being closer to the shutter release for easier thumb placement due to having both buttons.
---------+---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
Thanks, Nikonians. An additonal thanks to fellow Seattle Nikonian JosephK re his note on the D620 AEL/AFL button location. I'll have to see if Glazers or Kenmote will let me program the AF-on function into the AEF/AFL button so I can at least walk around the store(s) and shoot a few frames. I've always used the AF-on button on my other Nikon bodies (even on my M4/3 Panasonic GF1 and GX1 lightweight travel cameras), coming as I do from a film Nikon F SLR background and never having been able to successfully develop the delicate touch for the subtle half-press shutter button focusing protocol.
I'd really considered, with a budget gulp, the D800, but, based on most advice I've been told or read, my septagenerian camera holding techniques would likely require a tripod and my Lightroom some Geritol for the D800 files. I think the D610 will easily do the job for this increasingly casual amateur photographer.
Testing that button is very easy – no menus required! Just look at the back of the camera, bottom right near the screen, there’s an “INFO” button. Push it once to activate the screen, press it again to allow changes. On the bottom row, 4th section, is the “Assign AE-AF Button”. Press the “OK” button, scroll down to “AF-ON”, be sure to press “OK”, and you’re set. Before you give it back to the helpful salesperson, go back there, scroll up once to ‘AF lock only”, hit “OK”, and it’s back the way it started. - TJ
I use back-button focus on the D600 and like it. It's just a bit of a reach for my short and somewhat arthritic thumb. I wish it were positioned just a bit more to the right. You should definitely try it before you buy.
(The D800's back-button placement is much more comfortable, but as many have said, I don't see spending the dollars and dealing with the huge files.)
I am shooting with the D600 (one button programed AF-ON) and the D300 (which has the two buttons). Yes as others have said the D600 button is a slight further reach, but with usage it begins to feel like a normal reach. This was not a deal breaker for me. It works.
I would think the complaints are from people who are used to one exact location so anything different will be "wrong". But after a few hours of use they will forget slight differences and get on with the subject of shooting.
I have a D7000 with the button in essentially the same position and like it. I also have a D800 with deducated buttons for the AE-L/AF-L and the AF-On and it is fine but using the thumb to reach for one of two side by side buttons introduces errors. I solved that by setting my D800 the same way my D7000 and D90 are set, the rear button is set to AF-On and the front mounted index finger activated Fn button is assigned to AE-L-hold. It seems much more logical, with the index finger controlling exposure lock and thumb controlling AF. They both work quicker since they can be pressed at the same time and there are no errors since both are under where the appropriate digit falls. AE-L is essential for many styles of shooting and the only reason it is not used as often as AF-On is because the habit has not been formed. It puts you in charge of exposure and focus independently. It means metering becomes a much more versatile tool. Try it. Stan St Petersburg Russia
"Only downside is handing your camera to someone else to use."
U1, for me, is the combination "unschooled user/flash mode auto" setting, so that (usually at parties or night events) I can hand the D600 off to someone without having to explain settings. I have set the auto ISO and shutter speed minimum, and type of flash, and let the 51 points do their thing (I shoot AFC, S point mostly) and restore the shutter button to focus 1/2 press. This seems what many are familiar with, so it works for them.
U2 has my sunset settings, and of course I can change this if needed, but seldom do.
Full disclosure: I am the OP and a dedicated AF-on user, coming from a focus first, shoot later film background, and I've adopted this in the digital world with my Nikons wherever possible. Several have written here and elsewhere that they have set U1 and U2 differentially as to half-press focus-shoot execution and AF-on operation so that they could hand their cameras to (sometimes) a total stranger, sometimes a friend or relative for the purpose, apparently of having the photographer's image captured by that second person.
I must nt have much imagine but I really can't quite imagine handing over my Nikon DSLR to someone else to get my photograph taken. Even my best friend (except the one who is a photograher) I wouldn't trust holding, let alone actually using my DSLR. I guess if I ever needed a photgraph of me in the field or on a holiday trip or orther outing, I'd hand the second person my little Canon S100 which sits in my bag or pocket as a backup.