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  • Andrew JK Tan

Nikon D850 - A Focus Shift Sharing Session

I had the opportunity to share the new Focus Shift feature in the D850 with some passionate photographers at our annual MENTORGRAPHIANS Group BBQ at Pasir Ris. There were all pretty

excited to witness how this new Focus Shift feature was executed to maximize Depth Of Field (DOF)

This candid capture by Gin Tay shows how the D850 was setup to capture the images shared below.

The subjects to be captured were the soccer figurines that were used by the game. The width of the soccer table was approx. 4 feet long.

I wanted to impress on them that using Large aperture numbers including focusing using the Hyper focal Distance technique was not the best or most effective way to get maximum Depth Of Field (DOF) in a scene. Furthermore using large aperture numbers will also give rise to the issue of DIFFRACTION which will cause a very visible drop in the image quality.

This first shot shows the amount of Depth of Field that can be obtained by setting the aperture to f25. I focused on the second red vested figurine and as you can see the Depth Of Field obtained was definitely insufficient especially in the foreground areas which was a little surprising as I had expected a little more of the foreground areas to be better focused.

This second image was generated by stacking 16 shots using Photoshop's Auto-Blend tool. You can see that this second image was so much sharper & has so much Depth Of Field. All the figurines were sharp front to back. The Focus Shift settings used were as follows:

1. No. of Images : 20 (even though only 16 of the 20 were needed for the stacking process)

2. Lens of aperture number : f10

3. The Lens was a 60mm f2.8 micro

4. Focus Step Width ~ 7

5. Focus started from the blue vested figurine at the bottom left corner

So if I wanted to use f8.0 with a focus step width of 7 , then 20 images would probably have been the right number of images to capture.

So another example where the Focus Shift feature of the D850 really comes in handy when it comes to maximising DOF with maximum image quality.

There will be more Focus Shift attempts in the very near future which I will definitely share with everyone. Till then , happy shooting !!

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