Nikon D850 Auto Focus Stacking Feature

Has anyone with a D850 tried out the auto focus stacking feature for macro? I have been planning on buying a D500 and am quite dismayed to learn it doesn't have this feature, as macro is one of my favorites and I have always struggled a bit with focus stacking. Does the feature work well on the D850?

Comments

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    I think we have a member who has tried this recently...will ask him to post the results.
    Msmoto, mod
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    I have tried it and it works very well. The only gotcha is it only works on G and E lenses. My 60 2.8 and 200 4.0 are both Ds.

    And then to really test it I need a tripod and until I get the MB-D18 and RRS L bracket (both ordered) the only way to get my D850 on a tripod is with my 400 2.8E. Not exactly a lens that I had in mind for focus stacking.

    But I have played around with it on both my 58 1.4G and 105 1.4E handheld, taking several thousand shots to see how it works. I have to say this is a game changer for macro. If Nikon updates the 200 I will buy it in a heartbeat. Focusing rails are now obsolete.

    Never could figure out how the 60 is useful when you have a longer lens available. Probably the only lens I would say I wasted money on.
  • rmprmp Posts: 383Member
    The latest review on the blog is quite long, but it includes a short section of focus stacking that is quite through.

    I have tried focus stacking on the D850 and I like it. It took a few trial runs for me to get use to it. But, now, I will not go back to a focus rail or manually changing focus.
    Robert M. Poston: D4, D810, V3, 14-24 F2.8, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 80-400, 105 macro.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,308Moderator
    This is an interesting feature, but at least in the first trials, with rmp, there are some things one has to learn. At some point, maybe rmp will post the results of the trial....hint, hint, hint....
    Msmoto, mod
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 492Member
    I did a test run just this evening. I didn't make any settings, I just pointed my macro lens at a beer bottle, focused it on the front of the label, selected "Focus Shift Shooting" with the touch screen and pressed start. It started to take 100 exposures. I turned the power switch off at about 40. I took the XQD card over to my Mac and slid it into an XQD card reader.

    I couldn't see anything, of course, because I had to load up the new Camera Raw. Once I did that, I opened 20 of the files in Photoshop and did the focus stacking routine. It took a lot of time, as all the files were lossless compressed raw, but the results were excellent, seeing as I didn't even think about it.

    WestEndPhoto: I used a RRS L bracket, which I ordered soon after I ordered the camera and it has been sitting on the coffee table waiting for over a month.

    Now Ive got a couple of RRS focusing rails I don't see myself using very much any more!
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    I was told that my RRS L Bracket will ship in about two weeks on the 24th. I am also next in line for the grip. It won't be long.

    I was told by someone that they encountered focus shifting with their lenses using this feature and did not get good results, have you encountered this Symphotic or heard about it?

    I have trouble thinking focus shifting would be an issue unless I was trying to get 20 bugs in a line all in focus.........
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 492Member
    edited December 7
    I'll post the results
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 492Member
    edited December 7
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 492Member
    edited December 7

    I was told that my RRS L Bracket will ship in about two weeks on the 24th. I am also next in line for the grip. It won't be long.

    I was told by someone that they encountered focus shifting with their lenses using this feature and did not get good results, have you encountered this Symphotic or heard about it?

    I have trouble thinking focus shifting would be an issue unless I was trying to get 20 bugs in a line all in focus.........

    I'm using the 105 mm micro Nikkor f/2.8G. Exif says f/3.2 ISO 125 0.3 sec, and the distance from the front of the bottle to the focal plan was about 53 cm.

    I've done bugs and flowers, but mostly I photograph industrial items like laser crystals, circuit boards, etc. and I don't see a problem based on my test results. This just made my life a lot easier. No more messing with the focusing rail.

    I will start using the smaller raw files for my work photos to speed up the process but it was still amazingly fast. Start to finish was about 30 minutes from setting up the camera to posting on Flickr, and that was with 22 images stacked.

    This was just a test as I have only had the camera for 24 hours and even with this focus stacking test I haven't made more than 24 exposures.

    Let me know about the grip. I don't really need it for my job, but it might be cool to have.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,351Moderator
    edited December 7

    I have tried it and it works very well. The only gotcha is it only works on G and E lenses. My 60 2.8 and 200 4.0 are both Ds.



    And then to really test it I need a tripod and until I get the MB-D18 and RRS L bracket (both ordered) the only way to get my D850 on a tripod is with my 400 2.8E. Not exactly a lens that I had in mind for focus stacking.



    But I have played around with it on both my 58 1.4G and 105 1.4E handheld, taking several thousand shots to see how it works. I have to say this is a game changer for macro. If Nikon updates the 200 I will buy it in a heartbeat. Focusing rails are now obsolete.



    Never could figure out how the 60 is useful when you have a longer lens available. Probably the only lens I would say I wasted money on.

    IMHO the 60D is a great lens that I have had super results with. It was derived from an industrial lens used where zero distortion is required. It is great for focus stacking as it is sharpest at around f4.5 IIRC. It is ideal for usages like @Symphotic is shooting, but give challenges for live insect photography where users lack fieldcraft. I now have the G for faster focus but it isn't as good as the D was for sharpness or distortion.

    I am Soooo fed-up that the D500 doesn't have the focus stacking facility.

    What fps are the image taken at?
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,552Member
    The 60mm macro (I had the G for a few years) is useful for subjects where working distance does not matter (any inanimate object). It’s also useful if you don’t want the compression that comes with using a telephoto lens. It’s also smaller and lighter than the longer macros, which depending on how much room you have for gear could matter; think in the context of back country/alpine photography of wildflowers.

    While I now have and use the 105mm macro, I still think the 60mm was sharper.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member

    I have tried it and it works very well. The only gotcha is it only works on G and E lenses. My 60 2.8 and 200 4.0 are both Ds.



    And then to really test it I need a tripod and until I get the MB-D18 and RRS L bracket (both ordered) the only way to get my D850 on a tripod is with my 400 2.8E. Not exactly a lens that I had in mind for focus stacking.



    But I have played around with it on both my 58 1.4G and 105 1.4E handheld, taking several thousand shots to see how it works. I have to say this is a game changer for macro. If Nikon updates the 200 I will buy it in a heartbeat. Focusing rails are now obsolete.



    Never could figure out how the 60 is useful when you have a longer lens available. Probably the only lens I would say I wasted money on.

    IMHO the 60D is a great lens that I have had super results with. It was derived from an industrial lens used where zero distortion is required. It is great for focus stacking as it is sharpest at around f4.5 IIRC. It is ideal for usages like @Symphotic is shooting, but give challenges for live insect photography where users lack fieldcraft. I now have the G for faster focus but it isn't as good as the D was for sharpness or distortion.

    I am Soooo fed-up that the D500 doesn't have the focus stacking facility.

    What fps are the image taken at?
    I actually do think that the 60 2.8D is a very sharp lens - surprisingly actually. However, I have the 200 4.0D which is also very very sharp and I find that I always prefer the perspective of the 200. The 60 is hardly ever used.

    In focus stacking, it shoots about 4 fps. I have Cs set at 4 fps and it sounds identical.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 318Member
    edited December 8
    Focus stacking is a game changer for landscapes as well.
    Post edited by vtc2002 on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,355Member
    Except the feature only works with a G or E lens.
  • vtc2002vtc2002 Posts: 318Member
    @WestEndFoto Thanks, early morning (3am wake up and 2 hour trip to location for a shoot) and no coffee. I corrected my post.
  • EricBowlesEricBowles Posts: 17Member
    Focus shift also works with silent mode. It is completely automated, silent and very fast. I think it's 6 fps which is the norm for silent mode, but it might be just 4 fps. Either way, you simply start the series and it completes the series very quickly with no slap or vibration.

    The trick to focus shift is setting the right increments and the number of frames required. I'd suggest using a medium setting for the adjustment - 4 or 5 - for the first few experiments. The series automatically ends when the stack is complete and you are at infinity focus, so it may end before the maximum number of images.
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