Focus Shift Shooting Video Workshop with a D500

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Andrew Lamberson

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I am really interested in learning to stack shots but I have a Nikon D500. Would the workshop be worthwhile for me even I don't have a camera the supports focus shift?
 
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NineBlades

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Grappling with that question myself. My D750 does not support Focus Shift, but the technique - done manually - is interesting and should add to my bag of techniques.
 

Steve

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Thanks for your interest. The course is really centered around Nikon's Focus Shift Shooting feature. However, probably 70% would apply to any stacking scenario. While it doesn't cover manually stacking, it the field techniques and setup would apply to most stacking situations and the post-processing into applies to any stack regardless of how it was captured.
 

AndyL3

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I bought the course today and I am into module 3 right now. Excellent course as always.
 

Oztours

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@Steve I am another one interested in stacking. Have you, or anyone else here, tried the Helicon FB Tube? It would appear to give the D500 (and others) the ability to do what the listed cameras in you tutorial can do. If so, then I would be interested in your course, mind you, I am interested regardless. Just don't let the price go up before my bank account says I can make it happen or keep the special price on the back burner for supporting members. ;)
 

Steve

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@Steve I am another one interested in stacking. Have you, or anyone else here, tried the Helicon FB Tube? It would appear to give the D500 (and others) the ability to do what the listed cameras in you tutorial can do. If so, then I would be interested in your course, mind you, I am interested regardless. Just don't let the price go up before my bank account says I can make it happen or keep the special price on the back burner for supporting members. ;)
Nope, haven't tried it, so I really don't know how much would apply. I mean, the basic macro field techniques would, and of course the post-processing portion would, but the setup is completely different for stacking.
 

AndyL3

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Steve, Excellent course, learned a ton. Went into the filed with my Z6 and the 24-200 Z, at 105 macro and even tried my 14-24 then realized it goes to infinity really quick. For landscapes what is your favorite lens on a Z camera for stacking? Thanks
 

Steve

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Steve, Excellent course, learned a ton. Went into the filed with my Z6 and the 24-200 Z, at 105 macro and even tried my 14-24 then realized it goes to infinity really quick. For landscapes what is your favorite lens on a Z camera for stacking? Thanks
LOL, the 14-24 gets from 1 foot to infinity in just a few shots!!

My two favorite landscape lenses for the Z (not just for stacking, but I use them for stacking) are the 14-30 and 24-70 2.8. I've been REALLY impressed with both of them. I'm tempted to get the 14-24 and sell the 14-30, but for what little landscapes I've been doing lately, I'm not so sure. That 14-30 is really good.
 

bjanes

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LOL, the 14-24 gets from 1 foot to infinity in just a few shots!!

My two favorite landscape lenses for the Z (not just for stacking, but I use them for stacking) are the 14-30 and 24-70 2.8. I've been REALLY impressed with both of them. I'm tempted to get the 14-24 and sell the 14-30, but for what little landscapes I've been doing lately, I'm not so sure. That 14-30 is really good.
According to an article by Lloyd Chambers the Nikon the Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 lens demonstrates a rather large rearward focus distance when stopping down from f/2.8. With phase contrast autofocusing, the autofocus sensors see only the central rays (around f/5.6) whereas contrast detection with live view can focus at the taking aperture including wide open. This focus shift is more common with very fast lenses and is less commonly seen with f/2.8 lenses, and should not be confused with what Nikon calls focus shift photography used for stacking. IMHO Nikon chose a poor name for the automatic stacking facility.

He mentions that one way to mitigate the effects of focus shift is to focus bracket at several distances and use the image that is best for the scene. He does not mention it, but I would think focus stacking would use the sharpest portions of each image in the stack and mitigate the effects of focus shift. Stacking could also correct for curvature of field.

Bill
 

PaulBCT

New member
I studied and loved the course, did my first stacked photo yesterday, and was very happy with the results. Great job! Thanks.
I actually OWN Photoshop CS5 (OWN - what a concept) and it suffices for my Photoshop needs. It did a remarkably good job, especially considering that it is several years old. (I will try and probably buy Zerene or Helicon.)

I would like to recommend the course to my good friend who sold all his Nikon gear and now uses a Sony a7R IV. He thinks size matters.
It strikes me that, as you said in a previous post, most of the info applies no matter what camera, and I agree. I believe you have the same Sony. Have you thought of issuing a supplement for Sony fans? Is the Sony quite similar to Nikons to stack? How should I advise my friend, other than to go back to Nikon? 😏
 

Steve

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I studied and loved the course, did my first stacked photo yesterday, and was very happy with the results. Great job! Thanks.
I actually OWN Photoshop CS5 (OWN - what a concept) and it suffices for my Photoshop needs. It did a remarkably good job, especially considering that it is several years old. (I will try and probably buy Zerene or Helicon.)

I would like to recommend the course to my good friend who sold all his Nikon gear and now uses a Sony a7R IV. He thinks size matters.
It strikes me that, as you said in a previous post, most of the info applies no matter what camera, and I agree. I believe you have the same Sony. Have you thought of issuing a supplement for Sony fans? Is the Sony quite similar to Nikons to stack? How should I advise my friend, other than to go back to Nikon? 😏
Honestly, I don't even know for sure if the Sony does stacking. The problem is we just started using Sony and I've been so busy with Nikon projects this year (the mirrorless AF book, D6 review, and stacking course) that I haven't really shot Sony more than a handful of times.
 

Steve

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OK, I did a search and as far as I can tell, automated stacking isn't a Sony feature :(

Hope someone has other info...

It looks like you can do it with third party systems like CamRanger though.
 

AndyL3

Member
Supporting Member
Can you stack and bracket at the same time? Any secret when doing a beach landscape and the water is moving? Attempted a stack but the water looks like bricks?
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Steve

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Can you stack and bracket at the same time? Any secret when doing a beach landscape and the water is moving? Attempted a stack but the water looks like bricks? View attachment 8916
You can (and I have), but I don't use stacking software at all. I do everything manually in Photoshop with layers and masks. It takes some pretty solid Photoshop experience - most of the time for shots like that I recommend trying to just get it in a single take - there's just too much that'll pose an issue for stacking software. Plus, when you throw bracketing in on top of it, it really gets complex fast.

Also, remember that, for the most part, tack-sharp water isn't critical to a shot, nor is tack sharp foreground sand. For a shot like what you have above, I'd probably just shoot F/11 or so and use hyperfocal distance with a slight focus bias towards the background. The truth is, there are some situations where stacking just isn't practical.
 

AndyL3

Member
Supporting Member
Thanks Steve. Great course and something I overlooked in my Z camera. I am now looking to find things to stack. The Post process is the challenge for me. I use On 1 software and need to learn the quirks. Same morning I did use f 16 so I didn't blow the entire morning! I recommend your course to anyone who wants to learn Focus Stacking.
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