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The focus stacking post from last week generated a number of questions about the difference between focus stacking and depth of field.
Focus stacking uses multiple images that are EACH precisely focused on a different part of the image and then blended together so that the entire image is tack sharp. A single image made at even the smallest lens aperture will only deliver a single point that’s sharp, while the rest of the image is out of focus to varying degrees. Aside from that, all lenses perform poorly at their smallest apertures. So, with focus stacking you get the best of all worlds if you’re seeking to have everything tack sharp: Complete focus throughout the frame, plus the highest lens performance you can attain. This is because you’ll be working at the optimum aperture rather than stopped down to the minimum f/stop.
Here’s another, higher-magnification example of focus stacking. The first image is a stack of 80 images while the second is just a single frame from the middle of the stack. As you can see, at f/8—the optimum aperture for this lens—the single image is quite sharp, but only at a single point due to the high magnification. Even at f/32, not much more of the image would even be “perceptibly” sharp—and certainly not the entire flower.
These captures were made internally and controlled by the camera—specifically on the Nikon D850 and Z Mirrorless cameras—by a technique called Focus Shift Mode. The camera automatically captures each individual image as it steps the focus from front to back creating a stack of images to be blended later. Give it a try!
Nikon Z7 | F-Mount Adapter FTZ | AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED | 5000K White Balance | RAW Capture | ISO 400 | 1/100 @ f/8 | Internally Focus Stacked @NikonUSA #nikonnofilter #NikonLove #photography #photographer #photo #photooftheday #photoshoot #light #macro #macrophotography #flower #additive #color #colorphotography #studio #nikonambassador #MirrorlessReinvented #CaptureTomorrow #NikonZ7
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