Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Barleyman Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

MarkJ10 wrote:


Nikon’s implementation is frustrating - so close, yet so far.

Jim Kasson confirmed that for step size 5-10 the system works as expected. But step size 1-4 are all the same. That is, the lens step size does not get smaller for step size values smaller than 5. I just leave the step size set to 1 all the time. For landscape the step size is not usually too much of a limitation for me when I’m shooting at f8 or f11. But I’ve not been very satisfied with results at peak sharpness of my lens, which is around f5-f5.6. And for macro, the smallest step size is often too large and leaves a small obvious out of focus zone between each step.

There’s another feature of the system that is frustrating to some, but that I’ve adapted to. When the system finishes the last image, it simply stops. This is in contrast to other camera systems where the focus point is reset to the start when the last image is recorded. I use this feature. I set the number of images to a relatively low number. When the last image is finished, I simply restart it if I need more. Another detail: I autofocus using a point set specifically where I want the sequence to start. Then, if I do need to return to the start I can refocus there reliably. Note that I use back button focus and autofocus lenses, so YMMV. But even with manual focus it’s possible to use this strategy.

So, yes, it could be better. I find that for my purposes it works pretty well for landscape, but less so for macro. That’s the opposite from what I’d hoped for.

So to summarize what I do:

- Select the starting focus point and autofocus there.

- Set the step size to 1.

- Choose the number of steps and other settings based on experience, erring on the low side for number of steps.

- Start the sequence.

- After it finishes, restart for more images if needed.

- or refocus to the start if needed.

Best regards,


What do you use for the other options?  Focus Peaking?  Silent shutter?

 Barleyman's gear list:Barleyman's gear list
Nikon Z6 Olympus Tough TG-4 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +7 more
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