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I took this image yesterday to practice focus stacking. From what I have done I still think the far away objects should be sharper. Perhaps I should stop down more abut I thought focus stacking meant I could shoot wide open.

Fall is coming

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Butlerkid

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I think of focus stacking as an tool when photographing small objects at very, very close distances where DOF is very narrow even set at f8. For instance, jewelry, bugs, flowers, and other small things that you need to be very close to in order to photograph them.

I've not seen it used for landscapes where much smaller apertures can be used. DOF also helps identify the main subject in a large scene, so many times in landscapes you want the DOF to fall off.
 
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When viewing this small image sized for display on the Internet, the sharpness of the rear details seems fine to me. When viewing the full-size file at 100%, those details may or may not be as sharp.

I've gathered from the focus stacking experts I've followed that the external stacking software being used and the methods of using that software have as much to do with the quality of the final image as the process of capturing the images to be stacked. You didn't mention which software you used or which parameters you used. I wonder if the software implementation has to do with your dissatisfaction.

Perhaps I should stop down more abut I thought focus stacking meant I could shoot wide open.
As you know, when shooting wide open, that is rarely if ever the optimum aperture when sharpness is the primary desire. Perhaps your choice of aperture led at least partly to your dissatisfaction.

I've not seen it [focus stacking] used for landscapes where much smaller apertures can be used.
I also have not knowingly seen it used for landscapes but I regularly read that it's done. It makes sense that it would be done.
 

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Why would you shoot wide open when photographing a landscape where you want a large DOF? Steve Perry recommends about f8..... with 2 examples being landscapes. He has a large section on focus stacking ( in the book Secrets to the Nikon Autofocus System. You want the DOF field to overlap on each "step" of the acquisition process.

And another point from Steve Perry:

"Also, don’t be alarmed if you’re capturing a landscape with the method
above and you discover the last few images in the series are entirely out of
focus. The system goes all the way to the end of the focus range. As it
turns out, most AF-S lenses will focus beyond the infinity mark - and those
extra images simply need an introduction to the delete key."

At only $21, Steve's book is priceless! :p
 
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I shot at f/4 to test the focus stacking. The closest stone is what I focused on before starting the procedure and it is sharp. I set the width of each shot at 2 and set it up for 60 exposures, even though only 10 were needed. I used Helicon to stack the files. It has 3 methods. This was the default (averaging) and was the best.

Next time I will go to f/8 and see what happens. I will also take a shot closed down to f/16 or 22 but one reason I wanted to use focus stacking wa to have the f-stop open more so I could get a higher ss and lower ISO.

I do have Steve Perry's book - will look at what he says on focus stacking. However, if the last shot in a series is not in focus it will not be used as far as I know.

Still experimenting. Thanks for the comments.
 
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Interesting exercise, Allan. I've been intending to try focus stacking for landscapes but haven't gotten to it yet. We've had a hot summer and the biting insects have made standing still very uncomfortable. Fall is almost upon us now.:)

I would think f/5.6 or f/8 would be about ideal as that is where most modern lenses are sharpest. That's what I'll try.
 
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When you set it up, and depending on the Focus Step Width and Number of Shots, the Z6 will continue taking shots until either the Number of Shots runs out or Infinity is reached.

If the number of shots runs out way before infinity that COULD be the cause of the distant shots being OOF.

Keep an eye on the focusing scale to see where your stack ends?

I use f8.

DG
 
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I had it set up for 60 shots but it stopped at 10.
Two ways of looking at that.

If you want up to 60 shots then you need to set a smaller step width OR for the given step width you need far fewer shots

In either case you need to discard the shots which are focused "beyond infinity".

DG
 

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I think, could be wrong, the software does that. It looks at all the shots and finds the ones that have the best focus for each detail.
Trust - but verify.......

If you assumption is correct, then I don't think Steve would be suggesting that the "extra" OOF images may be the reason distant objects in the stacked image are OOF and recommending deleting the OOF images first before doing the stacking. Probably best to only select the images that you want the focus stacking s/w to use.
 
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I think, could be wrong, the software does that. It looks at all the shots and finds the ones that have the best focus for each detail.
If one or more of your shots has NOTHING in focus (perhaps because of focusing beyond infinity) then it/they are not required?

DG
 

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That is easier said then done. Everyone of the images has something in focus better than the others. i think a key will be to shoot at a higher aperture.
I meant the last few images.....you should be able to discern if distant objects are OOF because many of today's lenses will extent past infinity. But certainly before that, start shooting at f7.1 or f8......
 
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Karen, I did a few stacks yesterday. Each one had shots at the end I did not use. I just don’t know why this happens though. The d850 knows to stop. It just goes beyond.
 
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