D850 10-Frame Focus Stack

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR' started by Walter, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Nikon D850 + Nikon 70-200/2.8E + Tripod
    ISO 64, 1.6s, f/8, 110mm focal length
    10 Frames, Focus Step Width = 2, Silent Exposure Mode

    This is a 3000 pixel wide output from Capture One Pro 10.2 from the TIFF generated by PS CC.

    This was my first attempt at focus stacking. I used the steps outlined in this article to load the images into PS, create a composite file with all the images loaded as individual layers, to auto-align the layers, and then to auto-blend the layers into a new composite layer. Once inspected for validation that I didn't miss any frames, I flattened the layers into a single layer TIFF. The 10 source NEF files were exported to PS CC as 16-bit Adobe RGB TIFF.

    What I like about this image is that the front and rear edges of the tray begin to show softness. This gives a natural "depth of field" look to the final product as if a single frame were exposed with just the right aperture to only get the bottles sharp, yet with f/8 the areas in front of and behind the tray go more quickly out of focus than you would get with say f/16 in a single frame.

    You can view the full size JPG here.

    WPR-20171008-0554-0563.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Looks good. What I like is that one can control the cuttoff of the sharp area with the aperture. The more you close down, the longer the sharpness rolloff. Using a lens near wide open gives a nice sharp subject and short transtion to a soft fore and background.

    Larry
     
  3. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Yes! Exactly! For product / food photographers, this is a game changer. You have other lenses like LensBaby that can do that but in my opinion those don't give the same degree of control. One could take more frames than necessary with focus stacking and simply remove the excess frames from the stack until they get the results they want.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Here is a follow-up test where I changed the Focus Step Width to 1, the f-stop to f/4, and the frames increased to 16. With this change, the focus area fall off is more pronounced.

    The full size JPG can be viewed here.

    WPR-20171008-0579-0564.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Very cool thing Nikon did by adding focus stacking and your examples show this off well.
    Nice work!
     
  6. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Thanks! I am now working on some pieces of jewerly for my wife. Imagine having this quality of imagery for your insurance company. State Farm accepts images and they place them in your records.
     
  7. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    One more example ... 13 frames stacked together to capture a diamond heart ring. This is severely cropped to just show the center of the frame, but it really shows the potential of this feature.

    [ UPDATE – I should also add that this was taken with a 70-200/2.8E with 36mm extension tube. ]

    WPR-20171008-0618-0630.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2017
  8. Plenty good enough for insurance purposes. I've always been happy with my second hand manual 105mm f4 micro Nikkor but a friend who never really got into macro is selling me his AF-S Micro NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8 and then I can do very closeup stacks!

    Larry
     
  9. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    That would be superb!
     
  10. I've been thinking that I'd like an AFS replacement for my 200mm f4 AF-D micro but I have a feeling the price would be wallet emptying. The Sigma 180 macro comes in at 1700US and 2200CDN so if Nikon ever does a new 200 I'm guessing it will be $3K or more up here.

    Larry
     
  11. Those are all excellent, Walter. Looks like focus stacking is all the rage now that people are getting D850s in their hands. I'm done a good bit of it in the past choosing shots manually or with Helicon Remote. I'll confess that capability is the main thing I find intriguing about the D850.
     
  12. very nice. Looks like the content of the tray would pay for a D850 as well
     
  13. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Thank you Jim.

    I must confess that I shied away from trying it, assuming it would be too complicated and I wouldn't have the patience to learn it. Now that I have done it successfully, I would encourage anyone who owns a D850 to try it if they have an interest or need for that capability. Nikon has made it exceptionally easy to capture the images via a dedicated menu panel, and Photoshop CC makes it exceptionally easy to blend them together via a script to create the layers and two edit features that auto-align and auto-blend the layers into a new merged layer.

    My first set of images took longer to get through because I first had to find a web page to show me how to merge the images together. By the time I took my last set of images, it was taking longer to capture the images than to process them into TIFF files and blend them together. It is pretty fool proof.

    In Photoshop CC the auto-blend tool leaves the individual layers and layer masks. This is really nice because you can go back and fine tune the masks if you don't like how Photoshop auto-selected them. Once you fine tune the layer masks, you can create a new merged layer (or not). In the end, I flattened the resulting TIFF and imported it back into my cataloging system adjacent to the raw source files. From there I exported the JPG files I shared here.
     
  14. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    My wife and I have this wonderful relationship. When she gets jewelry, I get camera gear!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Jewelry of different kinds :joyful:
     
  16. Walter, that first one is superb!
     
  17. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Thanks Mitch!
     
  18. Excellent work and use of your new camera. Makes me want me even more (or sooner). Thanks for sharing the info, you represent the best of this forum.
     
  19. Walter

    Walter

    Jan 13, 2006
    Columbia, Maryland
    Walter Rowe
    Thank you Ted. Very kind of you to say.
     
  20. Oh my Walter, that is simply amazing, I am so impressed. As you mentioned the fall off on image #2 is easily seen when viewing the back side of the basket. This is definitely a game changer as you have stated. Thanks for sharing this with us. By the way, the ring image is intriguing since I have often tried to capture good ring images during wedding shoots with little success. Your image is perfect.
     
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