Focus Shift / Stacking with the Nikon D850: Capture and Processing

Using a New Feature of the D850

I love using my Nikon D850.  It is without a doubt the best camera I've ever used.  I even made a video on the 8 Things I Love About the D850.  However, there was one feature that until recently I had never used.  That feature was Focus Shift Shooting.

Focus Shift Shooting was a feature introduced with the D850 that allowed the camera to automatically take a series of photographs at different focus points throughout the scene.  The idea is that you take those images, each with a different point of focus, and then "stacked" them in Photoshop, to create one super sharp image.

While the idea of focus stacking is hardly a new one, having a camera do the hard work for you is relatively new.  Even the amount of work in post processing is much reduced now with Photoshop generally doing an excellent job of merging the photographs automatically.

Using Focus Shift in the Field

With the process of creating a focus stacked photograph becoming easier and easier I thought it was about time, I gave it a look.  After all, even if I don't use focus stacking all the time, having another skill in your photographic toolbox can never be a bad thing.

So if you want to learn how I focus stack my images (and you don't necessarily need to own a D850 to do it), then check out my video below:

I hope you enjoyed that brief tutorial.  Like I said, you don't have to own a D850 to create a focus stacked image.  The D850 just automates the process of capturing the images.  I was also a bit hesitant at first on trying out focus stacking.  It all seemed a bit like hard work, but as it turns out it's not that difficult and the results are great.  It's not needed for every photo, but you'll be glad you learnt the skill should you need it.

So, do you focus stack your images?  Do you have a slightly different technique?  Let me know in the comments below.

Those Focus Stacked Photographs

Venford Falls - Dartmoor, Devon:  Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 24 mm, 2.5 secs at f/8, ISO 64, Lee Filters Circular Polariser. 

Life on the Edge - Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall:  Nikon D850, Nikkor 16-35 mm f/4 at 26 mm, 1/15th sec at f/5.6, ISO 64, Lee Filters Circular Polariser.