The [Focus shift shooting] item in the photo shooting menu varies focus automatically over a series of photographs. Use it to take pictures that will later be combined via focus stacking. The photos can be copied to a computer and combined using third-party software.

Focus Shift Shooting Options




Start shooting. The camera will take the selected number of shots, changing the focus distance by the selected amount with each shot.

[No. of shots]

Choose the number of shots (maximum 300).

[Focus step width]

Focus shift varies the focus distance over a series of photographs. Choose the amount the focus distance changes with each shot.

[Interval until next shot]

The time between shots, in seconds.

  • Select [00] to take photos at up to about 3 fps.

  • To ensure correct exposure when using a flash, choose an interval long enough for the flash to charge.

[First-frame exposure lock]

  • [On]: The camera locks exposure for all shots at the setting for the first frame.

  • [Off]: The camera adjusts exposure before each shot.

[Silent photography]

Select [On] to silence the shutter and eliminate the vibrations it produces during shooting.

[Starting storage folder]

Highlight either of the following options and press 2 to select (M) or deselect (U).

  • [New folder]: A new folder is created for each new sequence.

  • [Reset file numbering]: File numbering is reset to 0001 whenever a new folder is created.

Before Shooting
  • Use an AF-S or AF-P lens.

  • Choose a release mode other than E.

  • For best results, we recommend that you choose mode A or M so that aperture does not change during shooting.

  • We recommend that you stop aperture down two or three stops from the maximum.

  • We recommend that you take all shots at the same ISO sensitivity.

  • Take a test shot at current settings.

  • We recommend using a tripod and disabling lens vibration reduction (VR).

  • To ensure that shooting is not interrupted, use a fully-charged battery or an AC adapter and power connector (available separately).

  • To prevent light entering via the viewfinder interfering with photographs or exposure when your eye is from the viewfinder and [Off] is selected for [Silent photography], raise the viewfinder eyepiece shutter lever to close the viewfinder eyepiece shutter.

Focus Shift Photography

  1. Rotate the focus-mode selector to AF.

    Focus shift is not available with manual focus lenses.

  2. Focus.

    • During focus shift, the camera takes a series of shots starting from a selected focus position and continuing toward infinity. The starting focus position should be slightly in front of the closest point on the subject.

    • Do not move the camera after focusing.

  3. Highlight [Focus shift shooting] in the photo shooting menu and press 2.
  4. Adjust focus shift settings.

    • Choose the number of shots.

      Highlight [No. of shots] and press 2.

      Choose the number of shots and press J.

      • The maximum number of shots is 300.

      • We recommend taking more shots than you think you’ll need. You can winnow them down during focus stacking.

      • More than 100 shots may be required for photographs of insects or other small objects. On the other hand, only a few may be needed to photograph a landscape from front to back with a wide-angle lens.

    • Choose the amount the focus distance changes with each shot.

      Highlight [Focus step width] and press 2.

      Choose a focus step width and press J.

      • Press 4 to reduce the focus step width, 2 to increase.

      • Note that high settings increase the risk that some areas will be out of focus when the shots are stacked. A value of 5 or less is recommended.

      • Try experimenting with different settings before shooting.

    • Choose the interval between shots.

      Highlight [Interval until next shot] and press 2.

      Choose the interval between shots (in seconds) and press J.

      • Choose the interval between shots, in seconds.

      • Select [00] to take photos at up to approximately 3 fps.

      • To ensure correct exposure when using a flash, choose an interval long enough for the flash to charge. A setting of [00] is recommended when shooting without a flash.

    • Enable or disable first-frame exposure lock.

      Highlight [First-frame exposure lock] and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

      • [Off] is recommended if lighting and other conditions will not change during shooting, [On] when photographing landscapes and the like under variable lighting.

      • Selecting [On] locks exposure at the value for the first shot, ensuring that all photos have the same exposure. Large changes in subject brightness during shooting may however result in apparent variations in exposure. This can be addressed by selecting [Off].

    • Enable or disable silent photography.

      Highlight [Silent photography] and press 2.

      Highlight an option and press J.

      • If [On] is selected, the only time the sound of the shutter or mirror will be heard is when the mirror is raised or lowered at the start and end of shooting.

    • Choose starting folder options.

      Highlight [Starting storage folder] and press 2.

      Select the desired options and press J to proceed.

      • Highlight an option and press 2 to select; selected items are marked with a check (M). To deselect (remove the check from: U) a selected option, highlight it and press 2 again.

      • Place a check (M) next to [New folder] to create a new folder for each new sequence.

      • Place a check (M) next to [Reset file numbering] to reset file numbering to 0001 whenever a new folder is created.

  5. Highlight [Start] and press J.
    • Shooting starts after about 3 s.

    • The camera takes photographs at the selected interval, starting at the focus distance selected at the start of shooting and progressing out toward infinity by the selected focus step distance with each shot.

    • Shooting ends when the selected number of shots has been taken or focus reaches infinity.

    • To end shooting before all shots have been taken, either:

      • select [Focus shift shooting] in the photo shooting menu, highlight [Off], and press J, or

      • press the shutter-release button halfway or press the J button between shots.

Focus Shift Photography
  • The shutter speed and the time needed to record the image may vary from shot to shot. As a result, the interval between a shot being recorded and the start of the next shot may vary.

  • Regardless of the option selected for Custom Setting c2 [Standby timer], the standby timer will not expire while shooting is in progress.

  • If you are using a flash, choose an interval longer than the time needed for the flash to charge. If the interval is too short, the flash may fire at less than the power needed for full exposure.

  • If shooting cannot proceed at current settings, for example because shutter speed is set to A (“Bulb”) or % (“Time”), a warning will be displayed.

  • Changing camera settings while focus shift photography is in progress may cause shooting to end.

Adjusting Settings Between Shots

Shooting and menu settings adjusted between shots. Note, however, that the monitor will turn off approximately 2 s before the next shot is taken.


Because focus depth is reduced at short focus distances, we recommend choosing smaller focus steps and increasing the number of shots when photographing subjects close to the camera.

During Shooting

During focus shift photography, the Q icon will flash in the top control panel. Immediately before each shot, the AF indicator will flash and the shutter speed display will show the number of shots remaining.

Focus Shift Photography: Restrictions
  • Focus shift shooting will not start if:

    • The camera clock is not set

    • An incompatible lens is attached (use only AF-S or AF-P lenses)

    • No memory card is inserted

  • Focus-shift photography cannot be combined with some camera features, including:

    • Live view

    • Movie recording

    • Long time-exposures (“Bulb” or “Time”)

    • The self-timer

    • Bracketing

    • Multiple exposure

    • HDR (high dynamic range)

    • Interval-timer photography

    • Time-lapse movies

When [On] Is Selected for [Silent Photography]

Selecting [On] for [Silent photography] disables some camera features, including:

  • ISO sensitivities of Hi 0.3 through Hi 5

  • Flash photography

  • Long exposure noise reduction

  • Exposure delay mode

  • Flicker reduction