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  #1  
Old 01/08/2008, 10:23 AM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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Tips for full tank shots?

Im really coming along as far as learning how to use my new DSLR camera. I have noticed that there are 2 things i am not so great at...One thing is taking pictures of fast moving fish and the other is getting a good picture of my entire display. Macros i get the concept of much better. I cant seem to find the right setting to get a good representation of the full tank. Either the corals look good but i get so much blur from the fish swimming through the frame, or everything is just so dark from using a faster shutter speed in order to get less blur from the fish. If i bump the ISO up everything is just super noisy. I am also having trouble figureing out the white balance when i take a full view pic of the tank. I can set it so the tank looks good but the walls stand and everything else lit by the rooms lights are way off or, the tank looks washed out but the room is balanced correctly. I just cant seem to find that happy medium! Help please!!
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  #2  
Old 01/08/2008, 10:54 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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For balancing the lights of the tank with the room you could try metering of the aquarium and deciding the good exposure factors and setting them with the camera ini manual mode. then have the flash in manual mode and try different flash power to have the desired room lighting. bouncing the flash up on the ceiling gives you diffuse lighting in the room and avoides reflection on the tank glass. it also works better to have the flash off camera directed towards the ceiling or on a white wall to act as a big reflector. its not easily achieved if your using the built in flash.
Another method would be to take few pictures with the camera on tripod. making sure there is not the least motion between the pictures. you could take one picture with metering for the tank. another with metering for the room. also you could take a multitude of pictures with different focus point. all of these pictures will be the same position with different focus or exposure so fusing them and playing with individual layers opacities will give you the effect you desire. This will result in some of your fish having a few duplicates as tehy will be in different positions on each picture.
one other way of doing it is to take one raw picture and process it differently to generate one picture with good exposure fo rhte tank and another with good exposure for the room and then fuse them.
You also could use the braketting function to get three shots in rapid succession with 3 different exposures without having to mess with the camera settings and cause it to move. you can always set the amount of braketting difference you need.
Hope this helps.
  #3  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:05 AM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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Thanks for the speedy and detailed response. I was thinking of layering the images in the fashion you mentioned but i like the idea of not doing much post editing. I guess that is the best bet though. I just got this camera for Xmas so i am still learning all the basic functions of the camera. This is my first SLR camera so please go easy on me if i sound like an idiot.
I am looking into getting a different lense for it. I have the canon eos rebel XT. I want a lense that can take decent macros of the corals in the back of the tank but also want to be able to get decent full view shots and partial landscape pics. I was looking at the the 100mm macro lense that cannon makes for this body. Would i be better off getting a lense that is say 18-200mm so i can use it for both macros and other stuff. I am aware a specific macro lense would be best but for me i dont need a specific lense for each specific application. Id rather have a decent lense that i can use for multiple applications.
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  #4  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:07 AM
reefman13 reefman13 is offline
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Fast moving fish are tricky even for pros. So I would worry to much about those.

In regards to FTS, I have to agree to what was just said. The other thing you want to know is to keep your lens zoomed out as possible, because that will give you much better DOF.

thats really all I have to add. maroun.c did a pretty good job.
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  #5  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:10 AM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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Thanks Dave you know this is all your fault LOL! If it wasnt for you i wouldnt be spending this money on my camera! HAHA
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  #6  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:21 AM
weaselslucks weaselslucks is offline
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it also depends on the lense you are useing. If you have a 2.8 or faster lense then it would be easier.I have seen where the tank is and with those high celings and the pop up flash its just not going to do what you want it to. invite me over and i'll bring my light studio!
  #7  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:23 AM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by weaselslucks
it also depends on the lense you are useing. If you have a 2.8 or faster lense then it would be easier.I have seen where the tank is and with those high celings and the pop up flash its just not going to do what you want it to. invite me over and i'll bring my light studio!
anytime you want! Ill make it worth your while...You will not leave empty handed! I hope you take pics for frags
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  #8  
Old 01/08/2008, 01:50 PM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Unfortunately at some stage you will need a specific lens for each application.
If you don't like to do too much PP then the first method I described sould work fine still it does require an external flash.
I don't know which 18-200 lens you mention for Canon as I was not aware that there is one for Canon. I do have the 18-200VR from Nikon and even though VR is great and helps a lot with handheld shots you will still need a faster lens to freeze fish motion especially if you will not be using a flash.
  #9  
Old 01/08/2008, 01:53 PM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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i was looking at the quantary 18-200mm dc zoom lense. I dont really have that much to fund the best of the best for both my reef and my camera so i have to settle on an in between point. Spend more on the fish/corals since they are living and deserve it more.
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  #10  
Old 01/08/2008, 01:57 PM
beerguy beerguy is offline
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quantary is the Ritz camera generic brand. They really aren't very good lenses.

If budget is a real concern, consider buying used from someplace reputable like B&H Photo/Video or Adorama. That way you can save some money and get a basic warranty/return policy.

With a (D)SLR, the lens is far more important than the camera when it comes to image quality.
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  #11  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:01 PM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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Beerguy any reccomendations on a good lense that i can use for multiple applications. I am not a professional photographer so i dont need the best of the best i just want to be able to get good macros without moving my corals against the glass and decent full tank shots. I also would like to possibly use it for other stuff for some outdorr photography. Mainly nature shots and some urban city shots.
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  #12  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:07 PM
beerguy beerguy is offline
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What's your budget?
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  #13  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:13 PM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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$300-$400 ish
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  #14  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:38 PM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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I second beerguy on getting other lenses. 3 of 4 lenses I won are Nikon and I only have the Tamron 17-50 2.8 and thats reported to be a pro quality lense from Tamron. I once purchased a Pro master 28-105 lense as I dropped a lens and needed a replacement while it was shiped ot Japan to have it fixed and that Promaster lense was just garbage.
Which lense do you currently own?
if it doesn't duplicate the focal length you have and if you're ok with a shorter reach lens, the 17-50 2.8 Tamron or maybe it's Sigma equivalent 18-50 2.8 would be nice and affordable choices.
Sigma have a newer version of that lense that comes with a Macro button. It is said to have dealt with the issues of it's previous version. I still have to test my Tamron 17-50 more extensively to make an oppinion on it however till now it looks good.
my reason for getting the Tamron version and not the Sigma was that it zooms in the same direction as my other Nikon lenses. Both are said to be very sharp. The Tamron lens is said to be even sharper than the Nikon 17-55 2.8 which costs around 1.5K. Still both lenses have been known to suffer from lack of serious QC. so make sure to check whatever lense you get for issues like back/front focusing or maybe exagerated softness when wide opened... and make sure you have a service center for it near you if needed or the ability to return it if your buying online.
Try to read some reviews on those and other lenses before you rush into buying anything and also check with other Canon users for other alternatives. at least a 17-50 or 18-50 2.8 lense would be faster than a 3.5 5.6 18-200. Manufacturing such a wide coverage zoom lens was considered a breakthrough and it came at a price of a bit of softness that these lense suffer from in addition to some distortions. longer range zoom lenses especially lenses considered to be a pro version suffer a lot less from this.
  #15  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:41 PM
craiglanda craiglanda is offline
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I have the stock EF 18-55mm that came with the camera. I sometimes move the corals on my intank frag rack right against the glass and use a +10 macro filter but im sure i dont have to tell you what i think of the results i see with that!
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  #16  
Old 01/09/2008, 11:29 AM
reefman13 reefman13 is offline
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I would have to say that a 18-200mm lens, is a perfect all around lense. It is great for taking wide pics, and is awesome for close-ups. I have been taking all the close-ups of my tank with that lense (Nikkor brand). It is also a VR lense which makes it just that little bit better quality, and I love it. The next thing I am looking into is a 2x telephoto converter, and to perfect my close-up macros.
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  #17  
Old 01/09/2008, 11:49 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Reefman,
he's got a Canon and as far as I know canon does not have an 18-200. The one he's considering is a lower quality lense than the Nikon 18-200 VR. I guess Tamron came up with an 18-250VR still this is a very hard zoom lense to manufacture and I guess the image qulity of that lense wether on a Canon or Nikon will not match the quality of the 18-200Vr ehich still is behind pro glass quality. One nice thing I like in Nikon is that non pro quality glass is better than Canons and still not that expensive.
Actully I bought my 18-200VR before I even bought the camera Body. I was coming back from Holland and there it was in the Duty free while everyone in the states was on 2-3 months waiting lists and paying more than the official price....
as for the 2x converter remember that it will take around 2 stops of your light and the 18-200 is starting from 5.6 if zoomed. your autofocus will suffer and you will need a lot more light. Also your image quality will suffer and the 18-200VR does not have much to spare. I would suggest investing in a dedicated macro lens if your objective in perfecting your close up macros.
  #18  
Old 01/10/2008, 01:31 PM
"Umm, fish?" "Umm, fish?" is offline
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Shooting fast moving fish is really tough. But, motion is motion and the way to freeze motion by using fast exposures. The way to get faster exposures is to reduce depth-of-field, increase ISO, or add more light (flash). Giving yourself lots of flash power is the best way to go. Just remember not to point the flash directly at the fish or you'll get reflection from the glass.
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