Floyd B. Kestner, 83, a former chief photographer at the Smithsonian Institution died of Parkinson's disease Jan. 16 at the Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church.

Mr. Kestner, who became interested in photography at the age of 12, had photographed many subjects for the Smithsonian's National Museum including the Hope diamond, dinosaur bones, skulls for scientific study, rare dead fish, an insect's wing and meteorites.

He had worked in the old Smithsonian photographic laboratory, which was tucked away in a tower-like corner of the Arts and Industries Building. Mr. Kestner photographed the world's largest collection of miscellany.

He had been a commercial photographer before joining the Smithsonian in 1935 and was chief photographer for a 10-year period. He retired in 1962, because of ill health.

Born in Washington County, Va., he attended Emery and Henry Preparatory School there and later attended Valparaiso University in Indiana. Mr. Kestner had been a member of the old Trinity Methodist Church now called the Capitol Hill Methodist.

Survivors include three sons, Ivan, of Franconia, Va., Dean, of Alexandria, and Wayne, of Camp Springs, Md., a daughter, Ruth Wagoner, of Md.; a daughter, Ruth Wagoner, of Greensboro, N.C.; two brothers. Roby, Harrisonburg, Va., and nine grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the music fund of the Capitol Hill Methodist Church.