Automated Focus Stacking with Promote Control and Nikon

The Promote Control allows you to automatically create precise focus stacks with single or bracketed exposures. In this tutorial we will create a focus stacked image using the Promote Control and the Nikon D7200:

A tutorial on the workflow with Canon cameras is available here.

Equipment

Camera Setup

  • Exposure Mode:  Manual (M)
  • Autofocus Mode: Single-servo AF (AF-S)
  • Release Mode: Single Frame (S)
  • Image Review: OFF
  • Auto ISO Sensitivity Control: OFF
  • Image Quality/Size: JPEG Fine/Large

Lens Setup

  • Focus Mode Switch to [M/A]
  • Focus Limiting Switch to [FULL]
  • Vibration Reduction ON/OFF Switch to [OFF]

Promote Control Setup

Scene Setup

  • Mount the camera on a tripod, arrange lights and composition.
  • Select exposure. In this example: Shutter speed 1.3”, Aperture f/16, ISO 100.

Procedure

  1. Turn Live View ON.
  2. Manually focus on the most distant point of interest. Note the position of the Distance Scale.distance scale end point
    flower end point
  3. Manually focus to the closest point of interest.distance scale start point
    flower start point
  4. Turn Promote Control ON.
  5. Live View on Nikon will automatically turn OFF.
  6. Navigate to the Promote Control Focus Stacking Screen by pressing the “Mode” button.promote control focus stacking menu
  7. Navigate to Step Size using the Left and Right buttons of the four way selector switch. Set value to “Small” by pressing the Up or Down buttons of the four way selector switch.promote control focus stacking menu_Step
  8. Navigate to Range “Start Point” using the Left and Right buttons. Set “Start Point” to +000 pressing the Up or Down buttons.
  9. Navigate to Range “End Point” using the Left and Right buttons. Press the Up or Down buttons to advance the focus until the Distant Scale indicates the most distant point of interest determined in Step 3. In our example the resulting End Point is +051.promote control focus stacking menu_Range
  10. Optional: adjust the number of shots (Frames) to be taken.promote control focus stacking menu_Frames
  11. Press the Start Button. The lens will automatically return to the start position and the shooting sequence will begin.
  12. The Promote Control beeps once the sequence finishes.
  13. Merge the image stack using photo-editing software of choice.

Results

Tips

  1. In steps 3 and 9, we recommend to go slightly beyond start and end points to ensure the entire focus range is covered in your sequence of images. Any extra frames can be deleted later.
  2. You can also set up your Promote Control to bracket exposures for HDR focus stacking.

 

One thought on “Automated Focus Stacking with Promote Control and Nikon

  1. […] For tutorials on Basic Focus Stacking please visit Promote Control Focus Stacking (2-part tutorial), Promote Control Focus Stacking with Nikon. […]

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