What's the best lens for flowers?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Steven, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I was photographing some flowers yesterday with the 20mm/1.7 . I am looking at the photographs now and many seem pretty blurry and out of focus. I am assuming now this is not the best lens for this type of photography? Something to do with minimum focusing distance or something of that nature?
    Should I have just stopped down some more? Camera did choose to stay wide open on most shots ( P-mode). I did use spot focus metering.

    Would 14-42mm do better? I know there are some dedicated macro lenses out there. Are they the best for close up photos then?

    Thank you for any advice in advance. :smile:
  2. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    i don't have a macro lens yet so i make do with my panny 45-200... with a bit of focusing and isolation of the flower, i'm quite happy with the result...:smile:

    oh, yeah, i bought the oly macro converter thinking it would be ok with ANY mu43 lens... alas, it only fits my oly kit lens at the moment so i use the 45-200 more...

    if i wake up early tomorrow, i might nip to cameraworld and have me some canon FD 50/1.4 and canon FD 85/1.8... plus a macro prime if they have any that i haven't seen in their website.:biggrin:
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    You can get some interesting shots with your 45-175 :smile:
  4. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    If you were close to the minimum focusing distance, or within 1ft from your subject the depth of field you have at 1.7 is very shallow. That's why most macro lenses aren't even very fast, you need more depth of field given by a narrower aperture, so stop it down.

    At 10", with 20mm f/1.7 you have 0.3" in focus. Check DOFMaster

    If the whole photo is blurry then maybe it was about the shutter speed, but since you mentioned minimum focus distance and wide open, I'll guess narrow dof.

    Different lens? :confused: I personally don't work for a camera shop (maybe the others do), so I don't see a point in getting another lens for this purpose. Get good light and shoot in A with a stopped down aperture. Unless you need a big print you don't have to fill your frame and just crop afterwards, that extra distance will give you more DoF.
  5. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I also take flower shots with the 45-200mm.

    [​IMG][/url][/IMG] This hasn't been cropped.
  6. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    Best native lens for m43 IMO would definitely be the PL45mm

    heres a quick snap I just took in my backyard (didnt have flower pics with this lens, too busy shooting bugs ;))

  7. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    E-PL1 with PL 20mm, f4, 1/400 sec, ISO 200
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I find the field of view at minimum focus distance of the 20/1.7 is too large for flowers. The 45-200 can work, but you need to stand quite a ways away, and risk someone walking/standing in front of you.

    The 45/2.8 is fantastic, allowing you all the composition options, from the whole flower to just the stamens, although at these close distances, a tripod is almost mandatory.

    The fisheye works really well too
  9. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Real Name:
    I think macro lens or not depend on how much magnification (how big or how close you want to be).

    About the blurry part, although it’s impossible to take same angle for all pictures, you could go around the not enough DoF by putting the whole object into your focus plane (such as shooting from above), like shizlefonizle's sample picture.
    Or play with tilt lenses, but those are expensive.

    GX1 with Elmar 90/4, the magnification is just 1:10, far cry from macro lenses.
  10. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    a blue flower using my e-pl2 and panny 45-200

    • Like Like x 1
  11. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    another flower, a yellow one...:smile:

  12. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    • Like Like x 1
  13. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I guess that it depends on what type of flowers shots you want to take. I've found that the kit 12-50 lens (which includes a macro setting) is quite versatile for shooting flowers.



    These were both shot handheld.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7673363876/" title="Along Came A... by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7673363876_57244e6ae3_b. "1024" height="769" alt="Along Came A..."></a>

    I'd say probably the PL45 as you can get closer if you need to...although the 45-200 is awfully good as well.
  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    It's not my primary flower lens, but you can do some nice work with it.
    E-PL1 with PL 20mm, F5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO 200

    E-PL1 with PL 20mm, F4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 200

    E-PL1 with PL 20mm, F1.7, 1/40 sec, ISO 500
    • Like Like x 1
  16. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    The Big Valley, CA
    I'm a beginner, so take this for what it's worth. :) I have so far had better results with adapted MF lenses, since I can take plenty of time to focus just right. Here's one with a Pentax-M SMC 100mm f/4 Macro, stopped down to about f/8, tripod mounted.


    And one of a million or so hand-held with the Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4, at about f/2.8. :)

    Both lenses were thrift finds for $10 or less. The VF-2 helps a lot.

    • Like Like x 1
  17. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Any telephoto zoom should do the trick for flower close-ups. You'll have to zoom in all the way and then shoot from the minimum focusing distance. That'll give a flat perspective and a nice bokeh to go along with it. Here's one I have from the Nikon 75-240, shot at 240mm:

    Flower by Veeresh_ai, on Flickr

    The Olympus 45mm also works well if you can get the background to be at a distance:

    Flower_Dreamy by Veeresh_ai, on Flickr

    And last but not the least, I try to follow advice given by a pretty famous floral photographer, "Give up magnification for composition". What he is saying is that you don't need high mag photos all the time, sometimes you have to give it up to suit the composition. That kinda works well for me.
    • Like Like x 3
  18. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Quite a few lenses will work. I used my PL25 1.4 this weekend and LOVED the results! I use the 12-50 kit a lot too.

    here is what I did with the 25 (you can see the flower thread for more inspiration!)



  19. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    I've got some good results using the 20 1/7 lens.




    I have found the 100-300 to be good as well.


    My Canon FD50 f1/8 has produce pleasing results.


    • Like Like x 1
  20. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    in my opinion, you really need a dedicated macro lens for flowers:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipmack/7085989731/" title="20120415-2012APR15 023 by flipmack, on Flickr"> 7085989731_9ac3bef7ba_z. "640" height="480" alt="20120415-2012APR15 023"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipmack/7085993787/" title="20120415-2012APR15 032 by flipmack, on Flickr"> 7085993787_f6b8d64099_z. "640" height="480" alt="20120415-2012APR15 032"></a>

    The above were taken with the ZD 35/3.5, attached to my EPL1 via DMW-MA1 and using the VF-2.

    Unfortunately, this setup, though doable, is not ideal. I'm finding my macro experience more enjoyable when using my E-1 with the ZD 35/3.5 attached.