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Need some help picking out a lens. Looking to buy a macro lens to shoot flowers, and other objects, extremely close to create abstract compositions. Rented the Nikon 105vr last weekend but it does not work as well as I would like as I get close. The focus depth of field narrows a lot when I get close to the subject. I know Sigma and Tamron also make macro lens and that I could go up to 180mm or down to 60mm. I would appreciate some suggestions on other lenses to look at from those of you who have them....Show more →
Flowers are one of my favorite subjects, but they can be extremely difficult to photograph. I rather doubt that you'll find a sharper, more versatile and capable lens than the 105vr, but you're running into limitations that are inherent to macro shooting, as the others have mentioned. None of the lenses will do what you appear to desire done, because the high magnification of all macro lenses always result in shallow DOF. You'll need to do focus stacking for huge DOF, which will likely require a lot of additional equipment, like a tripod that's more conducive to macro shooting, some McClamps to hold the flowers still, flash, reflectors, etc.
Personally, I tend to use the longer macro lenses for flowers, when shooting in the field. My primary lens for flowers is the 70-180 micro. But, I am often just shooting close-ups, rather than 1:1 macro. If you will always want to use 1:1 magnification, especially with focus stacking, then the zoom isn't any more useful than a prime.
My suggestions would be to get one of the longer telephoto macro lenses, like the 150 or 180 Sigma or even the Nikon 200, assuming that you are doing the majority of your work with live flowers in the field. But, doing focus stacking in the field is usually a low percentage endeavor, IME, especially when you have windy conditions, unless you can erect an effective wind block.
If you're using cut flowers in studio, then most any macro lens should work just fine, with proper technique and lighting, although the shorter focal length lenses can present some challenges for lighting the subject.