I use the AF-ON button on the back of my D3 for focusing exclusively and I half press the shutter for AE locking. I newer realized that the AF-ON button is deactivated when the shutter is half pressed so I cant refocus in that situation and I would have to loose the AE lock in order to refocus.

With all my newer Nikons I can refocus when the shutter is half pressed. Is there a menu feature which would allow me to refocus when then shutter is half pressed? I dont seem to have enough thumbs to push the AF-ON and AE-L button on the back of the camera at the same time when recomposing.

  • Are you sure you need to press AE-L constantly to have exposure lock? On other cameras you press it, release it and it lock exposure for some seconds. – Romeo Ninov Sep 4 '20 at 8:47
  • For example when I photograph a deer on a field in front of a dark background the exposure is often way off. So I point the camera down on the grass gather the exposure, lock it with the shutter and then point it back on the deer. This happens in a fraction of a second and I need to refocus in that situation. Of course I could dial in the exposure manually but I would have to point the camera down to get the metering first too. There might be alternatives to that but those situations keep coming spontaneously where I just need it to work and my other Nikons can do the trick too. – Arjihad Sep 4 '20 at 9:07
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    So you point the camera to grass, press AE-L, release it , point to the subject and press AF-ON and press shutter. Done. – Romeo Ninov Sep 4 '20 at 9:38

This really sounds more like an issue with the selected metering mode and not using exposure compensation. But there's a half dozen ways to do most things; so...

Re-enable focus on the shutter button and set the AE/AF-L button to AE-L only.

The only back button focus function/capability you will loose is manual focus; but there is a switch on the body for that, and most lenses also have a switch and/or manual override capability.

Do as you normally do using BBF. Then when you encounter this situation point it at the grass, press the AE-L button, and use the shutter button to refocus.

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