Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

Started Oct 17, 2019 | Discussions
GuyDagar
GuyDagar Regular Member • Posts: 433
Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter
6

I spent two days shooting landscapes with the Z7, using the Focus Shift feature and the Z 24-70mm S lens and several F lenses. All I can say is, it's very hard to shoot landscapes not using focus shift. The results, when viewed at full size are nothing short of phenomenal—you simply can't get the depth of field with a single exposure and maintain sharpness thought the image. The F lenses with the FTZ adapter performed as well as the Z lenses. All images were taken with a tripod.

Also, as far as battery life goes, I filled up a 64GB XQD and a third of a second one before I had to change batteries. Shooting focus shift in live view accounts for the long battery life.

Here's a gallery of images with shooting specs.

https://talkphoto.net/focus-shift-shooting-gallery/

Your comments are welcome.

 GuyDagar's gear list:GuyDagar's gear list
Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 +12 more
Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z7
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viteaux
viteaux New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

Thanks for the info and your previous post with a link to your workflow. I haven't used this feature yet, but your contributions and stunning photos give me hope that I may be able to pull this off with my z7!!!!

 viteaux's gear list:viteaux's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +3 more
fishguy Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

I haven't played with that feature yet.  As I understand there is not much documentation on the focus shift settings.  How do you determine the start/stop points in a scene and how do you determine the total number of shots in a single sequence?

Thanks!

GuyDagar
OP GuyDagar Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

fishguy wrote:

I haven't played with that feature yet. As I understand there is not much documentation on the focus shift settings. How do you determine the start/stop points in a scene and how do you determine the total number of shots in a single sequence?

Thanks!

Hi fishguy. See my article on TalkPhoto, Nikon D850 & Z6/Z7 Focus Shift .

But, for starters, if you're shooting a landscape with a lot of distance, and you want everything in focus from close to the farthest point, set the number of shots to 100 for starters. It will only take what it needs and then you'll get an idea of how many it takes. But, every scene can be different. Some may take only 7 shots, similar scenes may take 14, or 30. Mainly you want to let the camera decide in most cases. For macro shots or distances that are measured in inches and not feet, it may take more than a hundred shots.

You determine the starting point by focussing your lens on that point, the closest point you want in focus. Set the number of shots and if it goes beyond the point you want in focus, you eliminate those pics later or simply don't include them in the stack.

Read my article and please feel free to contact me with questions. It's not as complicated as I may have made it look. Play with the settings and experiment and you'll learn a great deal.

 GuyDagar's gear list:GuyDagar's gear list
Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 +12 more
Digital Shutterbug Veteran Member • Posts: 5,080
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

Thank you so much for your link. My Z7 is the first camera I've owned with this automated feature. I really appreciate the information you put forth in your article. You filled in a lot of gaps for me, so I feel like I have a good starting point now. I'm not sure how long it might have taken me to reach this point with my own experimenting.

Now I've got to decide what to do about blending software. I've been using CS6. But, I upgraded to Catalina OS. CS6 no longer works. I've got to humble myself and rent Adobe's software, or invest in the one-purpose software from HeliconSoft. You've got to pay to play.

-- hide signature --

Steve

sunnycal
sunnycal Regular Member • Posts: 461
Focus peaking

I have not used focus stacking, but if I have cameras on tripod, I find it easier to put it in manual focus and use focus peaking (for landscapes, the precision is good enough). I would think that making a 3-10 exposure stacks will be simple enough.

 sunnycal's gear list:sunnycal's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon D810 Sony a6300 Sony a7R III Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro +13 more
GuyDagar
OP GuyDagar Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Focus peaking

sunnycal wrote:

I have not used focus stacking, but if I have cameras on tripod, I find it easier to put it in manual focus and use focus peaking (for landscapes, the precision is good enough). I would think that making a 3-10 exposure stacks will be simple enough.

Good point. I haven't practiced that yet at this point, but I will try it soon. Certainly this is the alternative when using manual focus lenses that won't work with the focus shift AF feature. This will give new life to older MF lenses that would seem to be limited to single exposures and having to stop down to get the best depth of field.

However, manual focussing and stacking images will be quite laborious if you're shooting something, particularly macro or other close-up work, that requires 50 or 100 shots or more. It just amounts to how lazy one wants to be. We've gotten pretty used to letting the camera do most or all of the work, but often hard work yields better pics.

Thanks for your input!

 GuyDagar's gear list:GuyDagar's gear list
Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 +12 more
fishguy Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

GuyDagar wrote:

fishguy wrote:

I haven't played with that feature yet. As I understand there is not much documentation on the focus shift settings. How do you determine the start/stop points in a scene and how do you determine the total number of shots in a single sequence?

Thanks!

Hi fishguy. See my article on TalkPhoto, Nikon D850 & Z6/Z7 Focus Shift .

But, for starters, if you're shooting a landscape with a lot of distance, and you want everything in focus from close to the farthest point, set the number of shots to 100 for starters. It will only take what it needs and then you'll get an idea of how many it takes. But, every scene can be different. Some may take only 7 shots, similar scenes may take 14, or 30. Mainly you want to let the camera decide in most cases. For macro shots or distances that are measured in inches and not feet, it may take more than a hundred shots.

You determine the starting point by focussing your lens on that point, the closest point you want in focus. Set the number of shots and if it goes beyond the point you want in focus, you eliminate those pics later or simply don't include them in the stack.

Read my article and please feel free to contact me with questions. It's not as complicated as I may have made it look. Play with the settings and experiment and you'll learn a great deal.

Thanks so much GuyDagar.  I will give it a try with macro first next week.  Will read through your article.  This may be much more user friendly than using my stackshot rail.

Cheers!

PhotoMoron New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

I read GuyDagar's article, which was terrific and very helpful. I have tried to use off camera flash with FSS but it doesn't work. I tried turning the camera on and off silent mode, thinking that might be the trick. But no luck. I only get one photo with flash, no matter how many images I chose in the FSS menu. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? FSS is such a great feature but so temperamental. Thanks!!

 PhotoMoron's gear list:PhotoMoron's gear list
Nikon Z7
GuyDagar
OP GuyDagar Regular Member • Posts: 433
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

PhotoMoron wrote:

I read GuyDagar's article, which was terrific and very helpful. I have tried to use off camera flash with FSS but it doesn't work. I tried turning the camera on and off silent mode, thinking that might be the trick. But no luck. I only get one photo with flash, no matter how many images I chose in the FSS menu. Any ideas what I might be doing wrong? FSS is such a great feature but so temperamental. Thanks!!

Hey there. I'm not sure what is going on, may have something to do with the flash being off camera? How are you firing the flash? One other thing that affects it is, you have to set the "interval until next shot" to give the flash time to recycle. Try setting it for a couple seconds to start with and experiment with it until you get it right. Not sure that's the problem, though.

See the menu...

https://talkphoto.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/focus-shift-menu.png

 GuyDagar's gear list:GuyDagar's gear list
Sigma 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 +12 more
PhotoMoron New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter
1

I used 4-second intervals thinking that might be good. I'll try longer intervals. Another issue might be that I'm using Yungnuo transmitters for my SB-800. Maybe it's the Yungnuos or the old SB-800.

 PhotoMoron's gear list:PhotoMoron's gear list
Nikon Z7
dspoel
dspoel Regular Member • Posts: 390
Focus Shift: Stacking Software

I see you use Photoshop. I would like to try this stuff, but without Adobe products. Are you or someone else in this thread aware of any other software that works well with Capture One?

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David.

 dspoel's gear list:dspoel's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM Nikon 35mm F1.8G ED +4 more
third son
third son Senior Member • Posts: 2,738
Re: Focus Shift: Stacking Software
1

dspoel wrote:

I see you use Photoshop. I would like to try this stuff, but without Adobe products. Are you or someone else in this thread aware of any other software that works well with Capture One?

If you are referring to focus stacking, Helicon Focus can be integrated with Capture One. I wish the Nikon worked as well as my Fuji X-T2 does. The output from the z6 is outstanding.

 third son's gear list:third son's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon Z6 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +14 more
third son
third son Senior Member • Posts: 2,738
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

These are super examples of what the camera can do in landscape scenarios.  I have tried it briefly in macro shooting and it was less than satisfying.  Granted, I have only had the Z6 for a few days.   I will try to get out tonight if the rain holds off

 third son's gear list:third son's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon Z6 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +14 more
PhotoMoron New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Z7 Shooting With Focus Shift, Z Lenses & FTZ Adapter

It's me again. I have gotten focus shift shooting to work indoors and once outdoors---it's been windy and autumn may not be the best time of year for FSS. I notice that I sometimes get a soft spot where I shouldn't have one. One image has a small blur where the edges of two leaves overlap, and another image of the view out my back window  had trouble with the fire escape (blurry between the vertical railings).  Is there a mistake that I might be making? As always, thanks.

 PhotoMoron's gear list:PhotoMoron's gear list
Nikon Z7
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