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Shoot flowers with a Zoom lens

| December 7, 2009 | 3 Comments
Interested in taking flower portraits, but do not have the money for one of those expensive macro lens? Fear not, chances are, your kit zoom lens will work just as great.

Pink Chrysanthemum

Pink Chrysanthemum Up Close by DPStudent on Flickr

A few days ago, one of the readers has asked me to recommend him a good macro lens for shooting flowers. After a little discussion it turned out that he was interested in flower portraits, not macro shots. Don’t get me wrong, macro lenses are a fantastic tool, and a great part of photographer’s arsenal, but my point is:

You don’t need macro lens for creating compelling flower portraits.

Chances are, that your kit zoom lens will work just as fine.

Check the flower in the photo above. It has been shot with my kit Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens which I have bought with my camera. Zoom lenses work great for shooting flowers because:

  1. It’s easy to put background out of focus by using the small aperture (f/5.6 in my case)
  2. You can zoom in close enough to have the flower nearly fill the frame

These effects are even more pronounced with a telephoto zoom lens. So, our photography tip of the week is:

“Try using your kit zoom lens for flower portraits”
…use small apertures, and zoom in as close as possible. Let us know how it went.

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Category: Beginners Photography, Photography Tips

About the Author (Author Profile)

Alan Graf is the editor and founder of Digital Photography Student. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and is also editor of – a Croatian wallpaper archive, and his own photo gallery at

Comments (3)

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  1. Useful article, I have had several people tell me something similar, so I will have to have a try not it is summer here

  2. Grunf says:

    The trick is that you have to get really low, and shoot from the flower's level, in order to put some distance between flower and background. It will help make flower stand out.

  3. […] you want to further enhance the effect, try using the telephoto lens at the max. zoom setting, or use the maximum zoom available at your prosumer digital camera. This entry was posted in […]

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