Lens choice - getting inspiration by changing equipment


Pentax 50mm f1.7 and Sigma 24mm f2.8

I've been shooting a lot with this combination recently. The lens attached is my old Pentax 50mm f1.7 manual focus. The other is a Sigma 24mm f2.8 manual focus, also old. This one also describes itself as a macro lens, though I think pedantically it isn't but it does have a very short close focus distance.


I've been walking round for a couple of weeks with the Sigma attached to my Pentax K20d with the focus wound all the way down to closest distance. If I see a nice flower or blossom I get as close as I can until the flower is in focus. Or at least, the bit of the flower I want. At this distance, with a large aperture, depth of field is a few millimetres at most.


As usual, lighting, subject and composition are vital. Shade is best as full sunshine will create too much harsh contrast. For subject you're looking for the most interesting of perhaps a tree full of blossom. You then ideally want to find a bloom that is separated from its surroundings otherwise you'll get a flat and cluttered image.


With the 50mm, I've been shooting at f2.0 or thereabouts. This is very unusual for me and I've been really liking the shallow depth of focus and lovely soft blur that this lens gives. I made this triptych from tulips out in the garden and I think they're perhaps the nicest flower portraits I've ever done (which isn't saying much, as I've never really done much with flowers before the lock down).

Tulip Triptych

The point perhaps is that sometimes changing your equipment can give you a creative stimulus and a new enjoyment of your craft.

#flowers