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05-14-2012, 08:11 PM   #1
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Best lens for floral arrangements

My wife is into floral arrangements and she has me take 100 shots from every conceivable angle, then post them on her fb page. I have been using my DA* 50-135 because it is the best lens in my bag. But then I told her I couldn't get the angles she desired because the lens was too long, she gave me permission to buy another lens. Whatever I get will need to be capable of tending to her needs as well as my other needs. I wouldn't necessarily need macro, but close focus would be nice. My first choice would be the FA 31mm Limited for reasons other than the flowers. There are also several wide angle zooms that I could make use of. Any thoughts before I let my heart decide on the Limited?

05-14-2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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There is a whole list of wide angle zooms in the 16/17 - 45/50 range, any one of which will do a good job. I have the da*16-50 but others will have their own favorites. But what the heck, that is too hard to decide amongst them, just get the FA 31mm and be happy.
05-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
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Have you tried the kit.lens stopped-down to f/8-f/11? If you don't like the results, consider one of the kit replacements in the 17-50 / 16-45 range. Since flowers usually don't run around too much, you might also think of a manual-focus lens. I *REALLY* like the Cosina-made Vivitar Series 1 19-35, available in MF (cheap) and AF (not so cheap) versions. Other ~20-35mm lenses are rarer and costlier.
05-14-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
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I think you have two questions. The first question is what technique do you want to use to photograph the flowers which is largely to do with lighting. You may already have this sorted, but lighting question is just as important and may need to be sorted before the lens. At the moment my way to light plants is using some cheap LED video lights. I am getting much nicer images than either using natural light or a harsh flash including ring flash. I use the LEDs with my 70mm macro and have not used it with wider angles lenses

As far as a great lens for the job, I am not sure. I love my 35 ltd macro. But if I were you I would tell the wife that the experts said that you couldn't go past the F31 and you must buy it.

05-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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Agree with RioRico, but for different reasons. You can try the kit lens to see what the 18-55 range gets you. And elsewhere on the forums I've seen folks mention a program that will look at a bunch of photos and do a histogram of the focal lengths used. So you could shoot a bunch of shots at all angles and even if the photos aren't keepers, you'll get a sense of what focal length you need and whether a fixed length will be sufificient.
05-14-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. I do have the Tamron 18-250 which I bought with my K10D because the shop did not have a kit in stock. I have decided not buy anything slower than f/4.0 and preferably f/2.8 or better. IMO fast glass is the way to go even if I end up stopping down. This is my chance to get my first Limited so I will likely go with that and try to pry a wide zoom later.
05-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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I would be between the fa 31 ltd and the da 35 ltd. if you think you see doing to jump on full frame (if it ever happens) then go with the 31. If you are going to stick with a crop sensor, then the 35 all the way because you have the option of going macro. You really can't go wrong with either, which is why I have the 35 and am planning on the 31 as one of my next two lenses.
05-14-2012, 10:35 PM   #8
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Definitely tell the wife we recommended the FA31
You won't regret it and with luck she'll never know

05-14-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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I use the 35 limited for exactly the same scenario (wife's arrangements). This lens is designed for exactly this type of work. I pair it with the AF360 in wireless mode.
However, the Sigma 17-70 is a very good close focus lens which gives a bit of flexibility with the zoom and is cheaper.
05-14-2012, 10:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
However, the Sigma 17-70 i
if you want to save money and you are not that worried about getting stunning photos then the sigma 17 - 70 is OK. I have had mine since it first came out about six plus years ago. Does a nice close up and is an OK all round lens.

If you love your 50-135 pentax zoom the sigma will disappoint. I think my sigma is in the glove box as a just in case its needed when the weather gets ugly. The 35 Ltd or FA 31 wlll complement your 50 -135 rather than having a second best backup lens.

Last edited by Bob from Aus; 05-14-2012 at 10:50 PM.
05-14-2012, 11:52 PM   #11
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You need the FA*200mm f/4 MACRO lens, you have permission
05-15-2012, 12:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
You need the FA*200mm f/4 MACRO lens, you have permission
If I work it right, I could have an entire arsenal of lenses and other necessary extras before the summer is out.
05-15-2012, 12:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AOShep Quote
If I work it right, I could have an entire arsenal of lenses and other necessary extras before the summer is out.
Good luck. I use my work as an excuse, but it has worn off. Wife's floral art provides a new angle, I will work on my own wife angle.
05-15-2012, 02:21 AM   #14
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Too bad they don't make these anymore:

Sigma 20-40mm F2.8 EX DG ASPHERICAL (AF Lens) Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Someone found one in Australia just recently.

But in any case with flowers you don't have to worry about vignetting too much. No one will notice.

Seb
05-15-2012, 04:36 AM   #15
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One more vote for the DA 35 Macro. It's really a great lens for shooting all kind of objects, artifacts and collectibles: jewels, watches, coins, stamps, stones, sculptures, paintings, floral arrangements, etc. While the 35mm focal length would be a bit short for shy critters, it's perfect for shooting inanimate objects, especially if they are medium sized -- like floral arrangements -- without having to stand too far away from the subject, while picking up some details at close distance whenever needed. Image quality is very good and the DA 35 Macro is able to deliver nice contrasty pictures with superb colors, even wide open.

Cheers!

Abbazz
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