800mm for flowers

Started Mar 18, 2020 | Photos thread
John Koerner
John Koerner Contributing Member • Posts: 664
Re: 800mm for flowers

richj20 wrote:

Butterflies are starting to appear around here in southern California, so I dusted off my wildlife setup which uses a Panasonic 100-400mm, f/4-6.3 (=200-400mm FF effective focal length).

It is a useful lens for flowers that I encounter while out looking for wildlife.

I believe this is a Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui on a common Lantana, Lantana camara, member of the Verbena family.

Closeup in.. This is the only time I've been able to photograph a butterfly from the front displaying its proboscis. Usually it is blocked by a leaf or flower stalk.

California golden poppy, Eschscholzia californica. There are several species of poppies. This one has the most pronounced ring, or collar (torus) around the base of the petals

Pink Rock Purslane, Calandrinia spectabilis

Tidy Tips, Layia platyglossa

Water drops on Mexican Honeysuckle, Justicia spicigera

The minimum working distance of this lens is about 4 feet. I carry an Achromat for tiny flowers, and the MWD is reduced to about 1 foot or less for magnifying closer in.

Verbena lilacena, similar looking to the Lantana. Uncropped. This cluster is 2cm across. Nikon 6T 2.9 dioptre Achromat mounted. A bit more than 1:1 here.

Well, it is a fun lens to use for flowers, but its size and weight make it not so practical for me for every day flower work, especially when hiking up in the Sierras!

- Richard

Nice images.

I just used an 800mm lens for a flower yesterday ... a 10 lb behemoth

Nikon D5 + 800mm f/5.6 FL ED + 1.25x TC = 1,000mm

Honestly, though, for me, the 300 PF + TC (1.6 lb) on a DX gives me ~630mm ...

And the reproduction ratio (.36x) is much better which is ideal for most flowers.

The thing I like about using telephotos for (some) flowers, is the compression that smaller lenses don't afford. Blurs out the backgrounds better.


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