Lens recommendation for flower buds?

I’m am amateur photographer that shoots for fun when I have time (not often anymore.) I have a DX Nikon D7100 (upgrading to a 7500 later this year) but my smallest lens is a non-kit Nikkor 18-200. If I use a tripod I can get a relatively sharp focus on flower buds, but I’m wondering if a macro might be better. Thoughts?

If you want detail and can get close up, macro is the way to go. It’ll capture things that the telephoto won’t.

Echoing Mojo’s answer. You want a macro. Nikon I think still makes a relatively inexpensive 40mm macro, but you’ll have to get really close to your subject to get ‘macro’ images from it. Close enough to ditch the lens hood, in some cases.

Nikon also makes more pro-sumer and professional macro lenses in focal lengths in the 100mm range I think, which would let you back off from the subject. They may not be DX lenses though.

You’ll also have to restrict your aperture pretty heavily (but not too heavily) to maximize the depth of focus, especially with the shorter focal lengths at closer lens-to-subject shooting distances. You may even need to consider focus stacking in post.

I am a Nikon shooter myself and own the Nikon 105 mm ƒ2.8 “micro” lens. (In Nikon nomenclature it micro rather than macro.) It’s about $900 new, but you can watch Nikon’s refurbished page to see if any pop up or check out other used lens sources. It’s a great lens, and it’s wicked sharp. I do a lot of tabletop product photography, and it is my go-to lens for product shots. On your DX camera, that would give you a focal range of around 158 mm. Here are a few images I’ve shot with it; the flower and bee are cropped out of larger images.


Absolutely beautiful, Steve.

I was able to borrow a Sigma equivalent and am just starting to play with it. The person actually offered it to me for $400, it’s brand new. I’m considering it.


I’ve never used a Sigma lens, but I have a favorable impression of them. Check out some reviews first. If reviews look good and you’re happy with the images you’re getting, go for it.

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