Nikon D850 Focus Stacking Tutorial

Photographer Matt Granger just published this short video looking at the focus stacking functionality of the Nikon D850.

There are very few cameras with built-in focus stacking (we are not sure why – this isn’t that complicated with today’s processors and in the D850 the camera doesn’t even process the files it only shoots the stacked images and you need to process them in Photoshop or some other image editing software). Regardless, it is nice that Nikon added this functionality and it seems to be working well from Granger’s quick video.

Focus stacking is great for macro and product photography when you need to have several exposures that have different focus to each of them in order to capture a larger depth of field and you can’t or don’t want to close the aperture (remember that after f/11 or f/16 image quality is also reduced and of course this means longer exposures or higher ISO which is not always what you want). You can also use focus stacking for landscape or architecture work (basically everything with no moving subject).

Nikon calls this function focus shift shooting and it can be turned on in the shooting menu (near the end). The D850 seems to have a number of options for the focus shift including – the number of shots, focus step (narrow or wide), the interval between shots, exposure smoothing, silent shooting and a folder to store the results in.

One interesting note from some users about this functionality – you will need an AF lens (and be in AF-S mode – we are not sure about AF-C) and some users also mentioned that you need to have the camera connected to the Snapbridge first (otherwise it might be grayed out).

Bonus video – photoshopCAFE on focus stacking in Photoshop

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You can check out many more helpful photography tips on our Photography tips section here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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