Ae L Af L Nikon D3300

By | 15/11/2022

This blog postal service is particularly for Nikon users with entry-level DSLR cameras such every bit Nikon D3200, Nikon D5300 or any other DSLR in the 3000s or 5000s lineup as well as the professional-lever cameras such as the D810. All these Nikon DSLR cameras accept the ‘AE-L/AF-Fifty’ button placed on the top right side at the back of the camera, which is indeed a very useful push. Recently ane of my friends asked me to write a detailed postal service explaining the functionality and use of the ‘AE-L/AF-L’ push button, then allow’s get started with it.

What is the role of AE-L/AF-L push button on Nikon DSLR cameras?

The term AE-Fifty stands for Car Exposure Lock and AF-Fifty stands for Machine Focus Lock. As the names advise, this push allows you to lock the exposure, focus, and/or both while you lot are using the camera on i of the automated modes (Automatic, Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority or any of the scene modes).

Understanding AE-Fifty (Motorcar Exposure Lock) button on Nikon DSLR cameras

When y’all are using your camera on 1 of the automatic modes, the metering sensor of your camera determines the right exposure of the scene and the appropriate shutter speed, aperture and ISO values are selected by your camera. This is how the exposure is measured past your photographic camera, and it changes as the light in your scene alters.

Using the AE-L button placed at the back of your camera, yous can lock the exposure (shutter speed, aperture and ISO values) so that it does not modify when the low-cal varies in your scene. For example, you are photographing a flying bird and the background is changing equally the bird moves. In order to correctly expose for the bird, simply apply this button to lock the exposure and be sure of the fact that the exposure would not change as you motion the camera.

Another example: If you are clicking multiple photos to brand an HDR paradigm or a panorama, information technology is really important that the exposure (shutter speed, discontinuity and ISO values) remain the aforementioned in all the photos. Using the AE-L (Auto Exposure Lock) push, you can reach the aforementioned exposure in every bit many photos yous wish to.

You can also utilise the AE-50 button to click cute silhouettes. All y’all take to do is expose for the brightest role of the scene and so press this button to lock the exposure. At present recompose your frame and click the photograph in guild to capture silhouette effect.

Understanding AF-L (Car Focus Lock) push button on Nikon DSLR cameras

As you move your photographic camera or every bit the position of the discipline in your scene changes, the lens starts hunting for the bailiwick once again in lodge to adjust the focus as you proceed the shutter release button half-pressed. This happens if y’all are using the ‘AF-C’ (continuous focus) way. I case of such state of affairs is while you are out for wild fauna photography tracking birds and as you proceed the shutter release button one-half-pressed, the lens keeps on changing the focus plane. Your photographic camera might sometimes fail to correctly focus in such conditions and y’all would end upwardly with a bad paradigm.

This is when the AF-L button comes to your rescue, as by pressing the push you can lock the focus and stop the lens from continuously hunting for the focus. When you want the focus to be locked, just press the push and click as many photos yous wish to with the focal aeroplane prepare to a fixed position. This is only constructive when the subject is moving parallel to the photographic camera, making sure that the focal plane does not change. The moment the focal plane changes (the distance between the camera and the subject), the discipline start appearing out-of-focus.

One ideal state of affairs when you can use the AF-L button is while clicking panning photos and you know that the distance betwixt the camera and the field of study would remain constant. Lock the focus of your lens using this button on the betoken/position where the subject area would exist passing by. Now all y’all would have to do is pan your camera along with the subject field and press the shutter release button to click the photograph, without making your lens hunt for the focus.

Different AE-L/AF-L button modes

By default, both the camera exposure and the focus gets locked as long as you keep the AE-L/AF-L button pressed. You can modify the behavior of this push past customizing it from the Assign AE-50/AF-L Push button option in the menu. Each Nikon camera has its own range of controls that can be assigned to this button. In this post we would exist looking at some of the basic modes:

AE-L/AF-L button
  • AE/AF Lock:
    This is the default way, the exposure and the focus remains locked till the till printing the button. Once you release the push button, the auto focus and auto exposure cones into consequence again.
  • AE Lock Only:
    Exposure remains locked only as long equally you lot press the push button. This does not lock the focus.
  • AE Lock (Hold):
    This allows you to lock the exposure past just pressing the button, no demand to press and hold information technology. Merely press the button again to remove the exposure lock.
  • AF Lock Simply:
    Focus remains locked only as long equally you printing the button. This does not lock the exposure.
  • AF-On:
    Assigning this way allows the push button to control the auto focus of the lens. This means that half-pressing shutter release would not allow the lens to focus, instead the AE-L/AF-50 push would be assigned this office. This is basically the dorsum-button focusing technique.


This is a nifty culling for those who are not yet able to explore the manual fashion, or are more comfortable in using the automatic shooting modes. Without worrying much about the technical aspects or doing calculations, you can focus more than on the composition of your frame. In the initial days of using the AE-50/AF-L button, yous might struggle a scrap but trust me, this is extremely helpful in many shooting atmospheric condition.

(Featured paradigm from: photo facts)

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