I am having a hard time getting the stigma sharp on these - suggestions? It was my intent to get the front stigma in focus and I wanted the rear to be a bit more OOF. I guess a different lens might help, something with an f2.8 or so?
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm 1:5.6E ED
ISO 640, 1/320, f6.3, 500mm
Date: 05/15/2021 10:15
Edited in: Capture One 21
There are some things you can do with your camera settings to ensure focus on what you want, and if you need to limit depth of field, and you are as close to your subject as possible, you can get a simulated shallower depth of field using the Quickmask tool in Photoshop.
First - you'll need to set your camera to Live View, manual focus and turn off AF-On focus activation from half-press of the shutter. And use the Live View screen to zero in on the part of the subject that has to be sharp. Using F5.6 as your aperture, Live View will give you an enlarged view to help establish precise focus.
Using a Plamp or similar stabilizer will help keep the flower still during focusing and shooting.https://kathyadamsclark.blog/2020/02/27/flower-photography-gadgets/
This is the first part of getting the best focus on the area of the image that you are seeking.
The second part is best explained in this blogpost I wrote in 2012. You can skip the first part that describes the perceptual component of why things look miniaturized in some photos - taking into consideration lighting, color saturation, focus and bokeh. The second part is the "how to" using Quickmask, gradients, and either the Lens Blur or Gaussian Blur filter. I wrote it using Lens Blur, but you should try Gaussian to see if you like it better. By tweaking the width of the gradient and its feathering to adjust the effect.http://pixeldiarist.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-miniaturize-photo.html
This should get you to where you want with your image.
Post the results when you get a chance!http://pixeldiarist.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-miniaturize-photo.html
BTW, magnification - not focal length - is what will determine depth of field - a 200mm lens at F5.6 and 1:2 magnification will have the exact same magnification and depth of field as a 100mm lens at F5.6 and magnification of 1:2, though the working distance will be shorter with the shorter lens.