There is an AF/MF | AEL switch on my Sony α7R II. If I switch this to AF/MF, and then press the button inside the switch, nothing happens on the viewfinder screen or back panel screen.

How do I turn on manual focus for a Sony α7R II?


2 Answers 2


From the online manual:

You can easily switch the focusing mode from auto to manual and vice versa while shooting without changing your holding position.

Switch the AF/MF/AEL switch lever to the AF/MF position, then press the AF/MF button.

During auto focus: Temporarily switches the focusing mode to manual. Adjust the focus while the AF/MF button is being held down.

During manual focus: Temporarily switches the focusing mode to auto while the AF/MF button is held down, and locks the focus.

Hint: If you select [AF/MF Ctrl Toggle] in [AF/MF Button] under [Custom Key Settings], the focusing mode remains switched even if you remove your finger from the button.


By default, the button you mentioned only works while you are holding it down. You literally have to keep holding it down while you focus and until you press the shutter release. To me, that is a total pain in the rear. From the way you worded your question, it seems you want to switch to manual focus "permanently" (you know, until you switch back to auto-focus).

There are two-ish things you can do to switch to manual focus:

You can use the menus: { Camera Settings (camera icon) ; Page 3 ; Focus Mode }. You can also set up the function menu to include that setting so you can get to it faster.

You can set that same button that you mentioned to toggle between manual focus and auto focus, rather than be in only "push to manually focus and don't dare let up that frikkin' button" mode: { Menu ; Custom Settings (gear icon) ; Page 7 ; Custom Key Settings ; Page 2 ; AF/MF Button = AF/MF Ctrl Toggle }. Yeah, this is the one I use. (You could also set any of the other customizable buttons to do the same thing. But I just use this button for now, mostly because it already has the label by it.


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