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Author Topic: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?  (Read 206509 times)

henrikfoto

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Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« on: October 06, 2017, 05:43:17 pm »

I have seen many very good tests for the Nikon 200mm f.2
It is supposed to be the sharpest and best Nikon lens ever made. It even has a
pretty short close focus. I have been hoping to use one for focus-stacking for a long time,
but never have gotten to buy one.
Has anyone tried to use it for close stacks?

Also is the newer types with vr or vr2 any better or are they just the same lens with vr?
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NancyP

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 07:57:50 pm »

This sounds like a rather exotic lens, at least if it had the sales of the corresponding item in Canon-land.
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BobShaw

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 01:16:46 am »

Why would you be interested in an f2 lens if your interest is a wide depth of field?
Why would you be focus stacking and using VR?

I ask these because normally want a lens for macro to be sharp at the small apertures and have the camera on a tripod.

I am not a fan of focus stacking anyway. If you want to move a ton of dirt you don't use ten motorcycles.
Indoors at least I shoot at f18-20 with a mass of light.
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henrikfoto

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 03:16:33 am »

Why would you be interested in an f2 lens if your interest is a wide depth of field?
Why would you be focus stacking and using VR?

I ask these because normally want a lens for macro to be sharp at the small apertures and have the camera on a tripod.

I am not a fan of focus stacking anyway. If you want to move a ton of dirt you don't use ten motorcycles.
Indoors at least I shoot at f18-20 with a mass of light.


I think it is much more interesting to see stacks done with small dof and a better blur outside the sharp
areas. The 200 f.2 is supposed to be the sharpest modern lens Nikon has ever made. The vr is not important, but as far as I know Nikon made some other improvements (coating etc.) at the same
time they included the vr.
But it might very well be that the oldest version without vr etc. is just as good for this use.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 05:44:38 am »

Why would you be interested in an f2 lens if your interest is a wide depth of field?
Why would you be focus stacking and using VR?

I ask these because normally want a lens for macro to be sharp at the small apertures and have the camera on a tripod.

Hi Bob,

Small apertures to get more Depth of Field (DoF) come with a penalty of increasing diffraction blur. It's inevitable, it's physics.

Depending on the sensor it is used with, such a lens would probably offer its optimum quality at around f/4, and stacking multiple focused slices would allow extending the DoF zone at that aperture with higher quality than a narrower aperture would allow. It also offers the possibility to apply defocus blur to nearer and farther zones than the zone of main interest, by getting creative in postprocessing.

Quote
I am not a fan of focus stacking anyway. If you want to move a ton of dirt you don't use ten motorcycles.
Indoors at least I shoot at f18-20 with a mass of light.

Horses for courses, but at such short focal lengths, you'll already have lots of DoF, in addition to a wide Field of View.

As for the OP's question, what matters for focus-stacking to improve resolution in the focus-plane is lens quality at a given focus distance. I'm not sure that the lens mentioned is designed for its best performance at close focusing distances. It's more likely to be designed to be optimal at longer focus distances. So depending on what you want to shoot, start with the magnification factor that's needed for capturing the subject in whole. That will also give you the DoF, which basically just depends on magnification factor and aperture.

Maybe a shorter focal length, e.g. a Macro lens, will do better at the same magnification factor, although it will capture more (distracting) background due to its wider FoV.

If it is only resolution that you want to improve, you could try pano-stitching and downsampling. You can even do that with a narrower aperture since the downsampling will make the diffraction blur pattern smaller in output.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 03:45:47 pm by BartvanderWolf »
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henrikfoto

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 10:42:28 am »

Hi Bob,

Small apertures to get more Depth of Field (DoF) come with a penalty of increasing diffraction blur. It's inevitable, it's physics.

Depending on the sensor it is used with, such a lens would probably offer its optimum quality at around f/4, and stacking multiple focused slices would allow extending the DoF zone at that aperture with higher quality than a narrower aperture would allow. It also offers the possibility to apply defocus blur to nearer and farther zones than the zone of main interest, by getting creative in postprocessing.

I am not a fan of focus stacking anyway. If you want to move a ton of dirt you don't use ten motorcycles.
Indoors at least I shoot at f18-20 with a mass of light.

Horses for courses, but at such short focal lengths, you'll already have lots of DoF, in addition to a wide Field of View.

As for the OP's question, what matters for focus-stacking to improve resolution in the focus-plane is lens quality at a given focus distance. I'm not sure that the lens mentioned is designed for its best performance at close focusing distances. It's more likely to be designed to be optimal at longer focus distances. So depending on what you want to shoot, start with the magnification factor that's needed for capturing the subject in whole. That will also give you the DoF, which basically just depends on magnification factor and aperture.

Maybe a shorter focal length, e.g. a Macro lens, will do better at the same magnification factor, although it will capture more (distracting) background due to its wider FoV.

If it is only resolution that you want to improve, you could try stitching and downsampling. You can even do that with a narrower aperture since the downsampling will make the diffraction blur pattern smaller in output.

Cheers,
Bart

Thank you for interesting points, Bart!

I am really just looking for the best lenses with very high resolution.
I have seen how beautiful the Nikkor 200 f.2 renders and was just curious
if someone have tested it for stacks. I think it is not at itīs best for macro,
but maybe still very good at 3-4 meters?
Maybe I will get one and test, but this lens is very expensive and it would
be nice to know if these tests were allready done by someone else.
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Rory

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 03:25:56 pm »

I shot with the 200/2 for a few years - I don't have the lens any more so I can't try with an up-to-date body.  As you know, the lens is quite special, with a smooth detail and great bokeh.  As for stacking it's no different than any other lens so I'm not sure where you're going on that.  Be warned that it is wide and heavy.  Tough to fit into most camera packs.
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BobShaw

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 06:26:20 pm »

Small apertures to get more Depth of Field (DoF) come with a penalty of increasing diffraction blur. It's inevitable, it's physics.
True, but that's why good macros cost a lot. The HC120 sell for about $5,800US new and goes to f45 (but I paid a lot less than that).
It is my understanding that when you change the focal plane then you also change the focal length slightly, which changes the magnification slightly. That leads to other problems if blending. Aberrations can be fixed in raw. Suffice to say that as far as I know most product photographers shoot small aperture and strong lights. That is what they advocate on Photigy.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 11:15:55 pm »

One key aspect of a lens to do DoF Stacking is the degree of actual focal length change with the change of focus distance.

This is a technological aspect mostly, and one would have to try the 200 f2.0 to confirm how well it performs along this metric.

Cheers,
Bernard

henrikfoto

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2017, 03:14:21 am »

One key aspect of a lens to do DoF Stacking is the degree of actual focal length change with the change of focus distance.

This is a technological aspect mostly, and one would have to try the 200 f2.0 to confirm how well it performs along this metric.

Cheers,
Bernard



I agree. Put are the different versions of this list tested agains eachother?
I know vr is not important on a tripod, but is the lack of nano-coating on the
non-vr model an issue?
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2017, 06:07:45 am »

One key aspect of a lens to do DoF Stacking is the degree of actual focal length change with the change of focus distance.

This is a technological aspect mostly, and one would have to try the 200 f2.0 to confirm how well it performs along this metric.

While true, the different slices in a focus stack usually have different magnification factors, this is something that is handled by dedicated Focus Stacking applications like 'Helicon Focus' and 'Zerene Stacker'. They resample the different slices to make them register perfectly in the transition zone, and they also offer a choice of better resampling algorithms than common image editors do.

Cheers,
Bart
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bjanes

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2017, 08:00:50 am »

As for the OP's question, what matters for focus-stacking to improve resolution in the focus-plane is lens quality at a given focus distance. I'm not sure that the lens mentioned is designed for its best performance at close focusing distances. It's more likely to be designed to be optimal at longer focus distances. So depending on what you want to shoot, start with the magnification factor that's needed for capturing the subject in whole. That will also give you the DoF, which basically just depends on magnification factor and aperture.

The OP did not state at what magnification he wishes to stack, but this lens is ill suited for closeup work since it only focuses to a magnification of 1:8. One would not normally stack at f/2, so why pay a premium for aperture that will not be used? The 200 mm f/4 micro-Nikkor has an excellent reputation but needs updating with improved coatings and a built in focus motor (AFS). One could argue that AFS is superfluous in a macro lens where one would be focusing manually, but it would be helpful when one is using the lens at longer focusing distances (non-closeups) or with the D850 focus shift capability or with the Camranger or other focus by wire applications.

The VR of this lens is helpful with hand held work, but for macro and closeups, with such a heavy lens one would normally use a tripod and turn VR off.

Regards,

Bill
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kers

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Re: Focus-stacking with Nikon 200mm f.2 Has anyone tried?
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 08:14:15 am »


I think it is much more interesting to see stacks done with small dof and a better blur outside the sharp
areas. The 200 f.2 is supposed to be the sharpest modern lens Nikon has ever made. The vr is not important, but as far as I know Nikon made some other improvements (coating etc.) at the same
time they included the vr.
But it might very well be that the oldest version without vr etc. is just as good for this use.

I understand and did that before with the 85mm 1.4.
The 200mm already has one of the best out of focus differences so if more is interesting- surely worth to find out...
And yes you need a lens that has great quality wide open. I think of the f1.4 105mm  nikkor or the f1.8 135mm Sigma...
succes.
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