Re: I would suspect...
For example, Radio 4 just did a show on photographs and development from the 1830s. Turns out Henry Talbot was refused when he offered to give the technology to botanists. Why? Because they feared the photos would not show the *right* information.
That's not really comparable, and you're misrepresenting the situation in any case. If you want an engineer to build something for you, you don't give him a photo of the thing - he'll tell you that that's quite useless - you give him engineering drawings. Those engineering drawings don't look, to the untrained eye, much like the finished article, but they convey the essential information about the thing that the engineer needs to build it in a way that a photo can't.
Likewise in the tradition of botanical illustrations, the drawings would emphasize the important information about a subject, with detail drawings of notable features and so forth. Botanists felt about early photographs the way the aforementioned engineer would feel about getting a photograph instead of engineering drawings; they're just not very useful. It wasn't about the photographs not showing the "right" information, it's about them not showing the important information.
I'll leave you a couple of quotes from this page on the subject, which put things in the proper context;
"As I began to meet more and more botanists during my quest, the reasons why photography failed to take hold in their field began to emerge. Talbot’s original term for photography – skiagraphy – carried some of the explanation. By necessity, the early photographs of plants were photograms, printed by contact and thus giving the view by transmitted light, not our normal way of seeing plants."
"Another major drawback of photography for botanical illustration was the flip side of its very strength. Photography excelled at depicting a real-world object very precisely. However, botanists consulting an illustration wanted to observe what was typical for a type of plant, not what was specific to an individual specimen. In the end, this lack of ability to generalise the image was perhaps the single largest drawback of botanical photography."