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Second Focus Stack Sharper in Foreground
Dec 26, 2020 21:25:21   #
Brucer Loc: Bedminster, NJ
 
I got it about the download now.

This is the second focus merge I did in Affinity Photo, and as you might see, the foreground seems in better focus than the previous image....let me go ahead and see if I can include it with a download. Sorry about the confusion.

My concern remains the same. About getting foreground edge and close to it in focus. Again, I used focus shift on my Nikon D850, and put a single focus point as low as it would go. The shot with the tower had it low on that big boulder, if I remember correctly. Four more shots fired after the initial foreground focused shot.


(Download)


(Download)

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Dec 26, 2020 22:17:00   #
Sidwalkastronomy Loc: New Jersey Shore
 
The second one is also lighter.

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Jan 4, 2021 20:12:48   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
With respect to the focus stacking attempts. First of all Affinity appears to have done its part of the job correctly. The real issue is obtaining the slices in camera.

In image #1. You got about 90% of what you wanted. As mentioned the issue is the closest foreground. I think you understand that the D850 asks you what you want as the closest point in focus and then it uses the parameters you set to move out towards infinity. Because the autofocus array does not cover the entire frame it is a mistake to rely on that to set the near point. Instead manually focus on what you want as the closest in focus area. Select an aperture that generates a decent zone of focus, say f8, without getting into diffraction issues. Most reviewers are suggesting an interval between slices around 5, the middle of that slider. When the camera finishes its run review the first and last images to make sure you got the end points sharp. As you do more of this you can refine your settings based on the kind of images you take.

As to image #2. Assuming that wanted everything to be sharply in focus, repeat the foreground comments from above. In addition you failed to get the far distance in focus either. That likely means increasing the number of shots you specify and/or widening the interval range.

Finally, even when you get the camera dialed in for focus stacking, just know that in some complicated images with lots of intersecting foreground elements, it simply may not work without weird giveaway artifacts. And of course, if anything moves, you will experience ghosts!

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Jan 4, 2021 21:19:17   #
Brucer Loc: Bedminster, NJ
 
Orphoto wrote:
With respect to the focus stacking attempts. First of all Affinity appears to have done its part of the job correctly. The real issue is obtaining the slices in camera.

In image #1. You got about 90% of what you wanted. As mentioned the issue is the closest foreground. I think you understand that the D850 asks you what you want as the closest point in focus and then it uses the parameters you set to move out towards infinity. Because the autofocus array does not cover the entire frame it is a mistake to rely on that to set the near point. Instead manually focus on what you want as the closest in focus area. Select an aperture that generates a decent zone of focus, say f8, without getting into diffraction issues. Most reviewers are suggesting an interval between slices around 5, the middle of that slider. When the camera finishes its run review the first and last images to make sure you got the end points sharp. As you do more of this you can refine your settings based on the kind of images you take.

As to image #2. Assuming that wanted everything to be sharply in focus, repeat the foreground comments from above. In addition you failed to get the far distance in focus either. That likely means increasing the number of shots you specify and/or widening the interval range.

Finally, even when you get the camera dialed in for focus stacking, just know that in some complicated images with lots of intersecting foreground elements, it simply may not work without weird giveaway artifacts. And of course, if anything moves, you will experience ghosts!
With respect to the focus stacking attempts. Firs... (show quote)


Excellent, clearly written advice. Thank you. So I infer that I can set lens & camera to manual, focus at the bottom edge, and focus shift will work in Manual Mode.

My plan is to go back to these two spots and try again before the winter is out. Especially the photo that includes the tower, i want to get right.

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Jan 4, 2021 22:51:12   #
Brucer Loc: Bedminster, NJ
 
Orphoto wrote:
With respect to the focus stacking attempts. First of all Affinity appears to have done its part of the job correctly. The real issue is obtaining the slices in camera.

In image #1. You got about 90% of what you wanted. As mentioned the issue is the closest foreground. I think you understand that the D850 asks you what you want as the closest point in focus and then it uses the parameters you set to move out towards infinity. Because the autofocus array does not cover the entire frame it is a mistake to rely on that to set the near point. Instead manually focus on what you want as the closest in focus area. Select an aperture that generates a decent zone of focus, say f8, without getting into diffraction issues. Most reviewers are suggesting an interval between slices around 5, the middle of that slider. When the camera finishes its run review the first and last images to make sure you got the end points sharp. As you do more of this you can refine your settings based on the kind of images you take.

As to image #2. Assuming that wanted everything to be sharply in focus, repeat the foreground comments from above. In addition you failed to get the far distance in focus either. That likely means increasing the number of shots you specify and/or widening the interval range.

Finally, even when you get the camera dialed in for focus stacking, just know that in some complicated images with lots of intersecting foreground elements, it simply may not work without weird giveaway artifacts. And of course, if anything moves, you will experience ghosts!
With respect to the focus stacking attempts. Firs... (show quote)


I began researching how to use Manual Mode, which I never have yet tried, and I began to get the relationships between shutter speed, aperture, a set ISO, and the internal light meter as a guide. And then I realized you were writing about manual focus.

First, I reviewed online parameters about the use of Focus Shift, and what I read states that autofocus for lens and camera must be on, in order for the function to work. (That's when I figured Manual Mode was the issue....I'm getting old my memory isn't so sharp.) I should point out that, to the best of my knowledge, the D850 is unique in that you can focus stack by the camera's internal Focus Shift program. Now I'm wondering if I've found a problem with it, if you can't manually focus to get the entire foreground..... Surely not?

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Jan 4, 2021 23:35:25   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
it is a hybrid notion. The lens must be set in autofocus (A/M or M/A) and the camera have autofocus on for the focus stacking to work. However you can override the camera function initially by simply turning the focussing ring and watching what snaps into focus in the viewfinder. Do that before engaging the actual focus shift function by pushing the start option.

Now, I strongly advocate learning how to control your camera, and Manual metering is a big part of that. But let's take one step at a time.

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Jan 4, 2021 23:46:38   #
Brucer Loc: Bedminster, NJ
 
Orphoto wrote:
it is a hybrid notion. The lens must be set in autofocus (A/M or M/A) and the camera have autofocus on for the focus stacking to work. However you can override the camera function initially by simply turning the focussing ring and watching what snaps into focus in the viewfinder. Do that before engaging the actual focus shift function by pushing the start option.

Now, I strongly advocate learning how to control your camera, and Manual metering is a big part of that. But let's take one step at a time.
it is a hybrid notion. The lens must be set in au... (show quote)


I'm with you on one step at a time. Thanks. I'm familiar with turning the ring from my former Pentax K-1000. (Entirely manual.) I picked up from somewhere that turning a lens ring when it's set to autofocus is not a good idea, but I'll take your word for it and give it a shot tomorrow.

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Jan 4, 2021 23:52:41   #
Orphoto Loc: Oregon
 
You will be ok on that manual focussing as long as it is some form of an AF-S lens. If it is an older one with the mechanical connector where the camera drives the lense by turning the screw ---- then don't mess with it. But the AF-S ones allow for a "manual overrride".

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Jan 5, 2021 09:29:57   #
Brucer Loc: Bedminster, NJ
 
Orphoto wrote:
You will be ok on that manual focussing as long as it is some form of an AF-S lens. If it is an older one with the mechanical connector where the camera drives the lense by turning the screw ---- then don't mess with it. But the AF-S ones allow for a "manual overrride".


Yes, I have the AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f.4, and also the HSM Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art, which is a fairly new release and surely the same sort of functionality. My older Nikon 50mm f/1.8 will not work for focus shift and I'm pretty sure my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for crop cameras (which works to some extent on my D850) won't either.

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