• Andrew JK Tan

Nikon D850 - Initial Tips on Focus Shift


For those that have just acquired the Nikon D850 and have not tried the new Focus Shift feature, here are some initial recommendations on how to set.

INITIAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR

Nearest subject focus distance ~ 8 to 10 feet

Furthest subject focus distance - infinity

Lens aperture set to f5.6 to obtain best lens resolution/contrast performance (can try f8.0 also)

Focus Step Width at 5

Lens focal length 60mm 35mm 24mm (or wider)

No of Images 6 4 2

Lens aperture set to f5.6 to obtain best lens resolution/contrast performance (can try f8.0 also)

Focus Step Width at 3

Lens focal length 60mm 35mm 24mm (or wider)

No of Images 9 6 3

** the above are just recommendations only and hopefully a good starting point for you to try

KEY POINTS on my Setup and during Post Processing

1. Setup on a tripod

2. I pre-focus on the nearest point I want to be sharp

3. Re-compose - make sure your lens does NOT re-focus to a different distance

4. Key in the Focus Step Width & No. of images to be taken

5. Recommend to save each set of images taken into a NEW folder

5. Move to Focus Shift menu Start button and hit OK button

6. Upon completion check the last few images to see if you get the depth of field desired

7. Easiest is to use Photoshop's Auto-Blend tool to stack but first you would have to load all the files required as Photoshop Layers. Only load the files that satisfy your in focus/DOF requirements

8. After the stacking run has finished, you must check for stacking errors

Sharing another image which I captured last night with similar conditions as above where the nearest focusing distance was approx. 10 feet away and this time I wanted everything sharp all the way to infinity using a Nikkor 60mm prime lens at an aperture setting of f5.6

Resulting image stacked from 5 images captured at f5.6 was tack sharp from frog lantern all the way back to the palm tree. No sharpening at all after stacking during post processing.

Here is the series from a single capture at f20 with my Nikkor 60mm prime

Again it is clearly visible that diffraction effects present at f20 is impacting the crispness of the edge transitions (image looks slightly softer) but f20 does provide sufficient DOF to cover 10 feet to infinity

The following image shows the stacking ERROR by Photoshop's Auto-Blend tool

..... and how it should look like after I corrected the error manually. I did not have the time yet to try out with a different stacking software to see if this error would repeat itself but I will in the near future. So if you are using Photoshop do be careful then !!

The final version with the stacking error corrected

Have fun guys & gals with this awesome new Focus Shift feature in the Nikon D850. Watch out for more updates on using this feature when I use it on even more challenging scenes. I think I am addicted now ha ha ..... till then happy shooting.

#D850 #Nikon #FocusStacking #FocusShift