What Is the Best Way to Focus?

There are so many ways to focus that new photographers are easily confused. For example (but not limited to):

  • Full auto focus (let your auto focus select your focus point)
  • Spot vs zone focus
  • Single vs continuous focus
  • Focus-and-compose vs move your focus point
  • Single button focus vs back-button focus

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And it doesn’t help that many photographers push that THEIR method is THE only method you need to use (and why on earth would you use another method?).

  • Would I tell a landscape photographer to use continuous focus? (Crazy!)
  • Would I tell a basketball photographer to use focus and compose? (Crazy!)
  • Would I tell one successful pitcher that they ditch their successful method and adopt another pitcher’s method? (Crazy!)


But this is how people write their articles and blogs which can be very frustrating to the new photographer, so this is what I say to them:

  • These different methods are tools, and you should use the best tool for the job and what works best for you
  • People and situations are very different, so there no one size fits all.
  • Use what is working for you, but keep an open mind.*

*For example, I tried back button focus as many have recommended, but even after a few weeks of constant use, I did not get better performance with the typical subjects I had, but I did find it useful in some situations like speakers at events who were not moving around and landscapes. This is an easy integration as I just have to turn my Fuji camerass to manual focus and the back AF-L button becomes the autofocus button.

Good luck!


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