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Chris and Lazlo,
I used 1600, because the lighting I was using was a tungsten lamp shot through two diffusers to balance the color temp and soften the light cast on the flower. One of the things I run into with orchids is the reflective nature of their petals, so to help control that, I set up the lighting to counter it. At f/9-f/11, the sweet spot of this macro lens at the focal distance I was using, a boost in ISO was required to get the exposure in the ballpark. I know I could have stopped up quite bit and dropped the ISO, but effective focal range decreases substantially, requiring more shots. I'm on a learning path, so any tips or suggestion are appreciated. I usually shoot flowers at f/22 and ISO 100, when using a regular lens, but then again, I'm usually a few feet away...