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| p.1 #15 · Auto focus help, especially with my new Canon 500 MkII |
This was your first mistake. If, as you say, you are a "digital rookie", then don't make the challenge of becoming familiar with your gear any harder than it has to be. Restore the camera's defaults, and spend some time making sure you can obtain consistently in-focus images using the standard settings. Once you've done that, then you can try back-button focus, although IMO there is no reason to use it (unless your goal is to satisfy the camera-gear forum "experts" who insist "that's how the pros do it...".)
I know that there are those here who swear by using the back button for focusing, and, yes, there are some who will consider you to be a rank novice if you don't do it that way. If it works for them, that's great, but, after trying it both ways extensively, I find that I am able to concentrate better on other aspects of shooting when I only have to think about pressing one button, and not two, in order to take my shots. Regardless of which way ultimately works best for you, I would echo the suggestion to start with going back to the default of having focus activated with a half press of the shutter button. If nothing else, it will allow you to confirm that the camera and lens are working properly. Once you put in some time with it that way, you can go back to experimenting with separating focus from the shutter button and better decide which way works best for you.