A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > Nikon > Nikon Digital - Cameras and Scanners > AE-L/AF-L vs pressing shutter...

Featured Equipment Deals

Ten Steps to Get Creative & Authentic Family Photographs Read More

Ten Steps to Get Creative & Authentic Family Photographs

Photographer Stacy Bostrom shares ten tips to make your family photography more creative by capturing the beautiful imperfection of life.

Latest Equipment Articles

Choosing a Mobile Photo Printer Read More

Choosing a Mobile Photo Printer

In today's mobile, digital world, we carry hundreds or even thousands of pictures around on our smartphones and tablets. Tom Persinger looks at 4 different mobile photo printer options for getting...

Latest Learning Articles

Advanced Printing with Lightroom (Video Tutorial) Read More

Advanced Printing with Lightroom (Video Tutorial)

Building upon last week's Basic Printing with Lightroom video tutorial, this advanced printing tutorial will teach you to print contact sheets, print multiple images at a time, use Lightroom's present...


AE-L/AF-L vs pressing shutter button half-way

Louis Berk , Dec 17, 2006; 04:04 a.m.

I cannot get my head around the difference between using the AE-L/AF-L button to lock exposure/focus on my D80 versus just pressing the shutter button half- way.

What is the difference, if any? If there is no difference what is the purpose of the AE-L/AF-L button.

Ever since I have had cameras which meter (going back years) I've always locked exposure by half-depressing the shutter button. The digital camera seems to work in the same way (except the addition of autofocus locks focus as well), so I must be missing something really important by not understanding the purpose of the separate AE-L/AF-L button which seems to me to be a duplication (and not very convenient method of doing the same).

TIA for any advice

LouisB

Responses


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Wilson Tsoi , Dec 17, 2006; 04:27 a.m.

You can program via custom menu to have the AE-L/AF-L button to do both exposure and auto focus lock, or just one of the two. It's a matter of preferance. If you're more accustom to exposure lock, you can program that button to execute AE-L only, and leave the AF-L to your half-pressed shutter release. Some people like to have AE-L and AF-L together since the focused portion is where they want to meter anyway. Just whatever that will make you work more efficiently really.

Frank Skomial , Dec 17, 2006; 05:18 a.m.

It is a duplication, but allows more flexibility via programming appropriate menus. The button serves as focus and exposure function lock at the same time or one of, or none locked, etc. You can program one to operate via the AE-L/AF-L button while the other via half press of the shutter release button so you could possibly lock one or the other independently. You can also lock in menu so it can apply not only to the next shot, but to a series of shots.

I think description on pages 56 and 70 is good, but there is more to it in the menus, so you need to digest also descriptions of relevant menu settings on pages 152 and 156/157. All the combinations of menu settings to operate both the AE-L/AF-L button and the Shutter half-press button are explained.

What is really missing is recommendation how to use the settings in actual shooting situations, but that is really typical of Nikon.

If you have time and patience you could practice all varius settings, to see which setting is more convenient for you. Possibly the default settings are better for some people, while others could learn to lock focus and/or exposure using different technique for single, or series of multiple shots.

Louis Berk , Dec 17, 2006; 05:19 a.m.

Wilson

Thanks for the answer but what I was actually asking is: what is the difference between pressing the shutter relase half-way and locking exposure/focus and using the AE-L/AE-F button?

LouisB

Espen Stranger Seland , Dec 17, 2006; 08:23 a.m.

It has been said: Nothing, unless if you program it to do something else, and one thing more: If you use a VR lens, the AE-L/AF-L will not activate VR, you have to half press the shutter buttion (if I remember correctly).

-espen

Erick Lamontagne , Dec 17, 2006; 09:43 a.m.

I've never used any buttons to lock anything. Manual mode locks exposure just fine and it's much more simpler. For focus, I use the back button to activate AF (not lock) so pressing the shutter won't make the camera focus on something I don't want. That way I can focus, recompose or fine-tune manually and it won't refocus when I press the shutter release.

The idea is to have different buttons for different functions.

Paul Sokal - Dallas, TX , Dec 17, 2006; 11:06 a.m.

Louis,

I don't have a D80, but on my D2X setup, depressing the shutter half way locks focus, not exposure. So if I recompose, the exposure may change. Pushing the lock button will lock both exposure and focus so they don't change after recomposing. I assume you can set-up the D80 the same way.

Paul

Louis Berk , Dec 17, 2006; 12:14 p.m.

All

Thanks for the help. It made me read the manual again and now I get it. The shutter button locks focus and I always assumed it locked exposure as well. When I look through the viewfinder it seems to do this. However, the manual does state that it only locks focus (something I did not pick up on before) and that in order to lock focus and exposure you have to press the AE-L/AE-F button. I understand the fact that it can be programmed and I'll have to play with that. Thanks again with helping me to understand this stuff.

L

Michael DeCorso , Dec 17, 2006; 12:21 p.m.

I agree with Paul the AE/AF lock allows your focus to remain unchanged as you depress the shutter

LJ Kirk , Dec 17, 2006; 12:21 p.m.

I puzzled over the seeming duplication too until I read that part of the manual and saw the vast array of selections to which you can assign that button. I chose AE Lock and Hold. I tap it and AE is set until I press again. I reasoned this might be most useful if I use spot metering ... take a reading, lock, compose picture however I like not worrying about exposure changes, then shoot.

I may change the function if this doesn't work out as I expect.


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses