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Old Jan 1, 2010, 4:06 PM   #1
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Default Aquarium Pics

I took several shots of one of my aquariums today. Oly E30. I used the 14-42mm kit lens at 14mm to get the f3.5. I had to brighten these a bit post processing. I used manual focus.

What I want to be able to do is freeze the motion of the fish and also have a nice bright picture. I am thinking that the 50mm F2.0 macro lens would do what I want. I need to up the shutter speed. Am I on the right track?

The last pic is a crop of the second.


ISO 800, 1/6, f7.1



ISO 1000, 1/125, f3.5


Crop

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Old Jan 1, 2010, 4:41 PM   #2
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A while back I had the Canon A720IS. It had a scene mode for "Aquarium". These images are from that camera. I've included the EXIF intact so you should be able to glean some info from that. Whilst they are the best, I hope they help.



Width: 3264 pixels
Height: 2448 pixels
Camera Brand: Canon
Camera Model: Canon PowerShot A720 IS
Date Taken: 2007:12:26 20:23:53
Exposure Time: 1/40 sec.
Aperture Value: 2.97 EV (f/2.8)
ISO Speed Rating: 800
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode.
Metering Mode: Pattern




Width: 3264 pixels
Height: 2448 pixels
Camera Brand: Canon
Camera Model: Canon PowerShot A720 IS
Date Taken: 2007:12:26 20:24:11
Exposure Time: 1/20 sec.
Aperture Value: 3.62 EV (f/3.5)
ISO Speed Rating: 800
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode.
Metering Mode: Pattern
Focal Length: 13.2 mm



Width: 3264 pixels
Height: 2448 pixels
Camera Brand: Canon
Camera Model: Canon PowerShot A720 IS
Date Taken: 2007:12:26 20:25:29
Exposure Time: 1/13 sec.
Aperture Value: 4.00 EV (f/4.0)
ISO Speed Rating: 800
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode.
Metering Mode: Pattern
Focal Length: 22.8 mm




Width: 3264 pixels
Height: 2448 pixels
Camera Brand: Canon
Camera Model: Canon PowerShot A720 IS
Date Taken: 2007:12:26 20:25:19
Exposure Time: 1/20 sec.
Aperture Value: 3.62 EV (f/3.5)
ISO Speed Rating: 800
Flash Fired: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode.
Metering Mode: Pattern
Focal Length: 13.2 mm
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Last edited by gjtoth; Jan 1, 2010 at 4:47 PM.
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 4:47 PM   #3
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taking photos of an aquarium is tricky. I have not had to much luck on the perfect aquarium shot. Any tips you find would be great. At f4 and 1/30
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 5:08 PM   #4
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Nice..

The fish in my pics are Platys They are much smaller fish that swim quite fast. I was starting to capture at 1/125. At f3.5 I was really having to mess with ISO and EV
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 5:12 PM   #5
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Hi,
While I've not shot many aquariums, I shoot small birds in the early morning hours through my storm window and do believe that the issues are basically the same, in that you want a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion, no flash or lights reflecting off the glass to spoil the shot and a fairly deep depth of field to have a clear majority of the fish in focus.
The battle between using a fast shutter speed while using a low ISO for a clean image and an aperture setting that will give good depth of field is a challenge for almost all shots involving motion.

Here are some steps I would take:
First off, I would clean the glass on the outside of fingerprints, dirt etc. that would reflect and show in the image. I'd also glean the glass on the inside of tank as scum builds up rather quickly . You may have to wait a day or so for the water to settle prior to taking any shots but the final results - I think would be worth the effort.

Use a tripod or if none available set up the camera on a table and raise or lower the height by stacking some books or similar flat objects.

If you have any extra fluorescent lighting that you can place above the tank to shine down and provide additional light, that would be important. I'd also shut off all the room lights so that only the lights shining down into the tank would be seen. Unless you have an external flash that you can point up to the ceiling, I would avoid a flash- certainly, the on board flash of the camera which will point towards the tank and give you a lousy flash reflection on the glass.

To freeze the motion of fish swimming, I would set the shutter speed to 1/250 at a minimum. You may get away with 1/125. But, depending on the species, that setting may be too slow and the result will be motion blur.

At this point, depth of field is the hurdle. Hopefully, you have added enough lighting to allow you to set the f stop to f5.6 or higher. Positioning the camera at a distance of 4ft from the tank, with the lens zoomed to 42mm, the depth of field will be about .42ft or around 5". hopefully, that will give you enough depth of field to have the majority of fish in the tank in focus.

Now, in order to be able to use an f stop of 5.6 of greater, you'll have to play with the ISO setting. Hopefully, you've added enough lighting to keep the ISO setting to 400 or below. But I doubt it. I often shoot at an ISO of 1000 up to 1600 and get good IMHO very good results. If there a bit of noise, you can clean it up on PP.

BTW, here's a link to a depth of field calculator that should help in this and future situations where depth of filed is an issue.

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html


Good luck.

Zig
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 7:19 PM   #6
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Jeeez Zig, I was going to respond to the OP that there wasn't enough light. You went into a lot better detail - I'm realizing I need way more coffee in me, to respond the way you do...

(grin)

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Old Jan 1, 2010, 11:21 PM   #7
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It seems to me that aquarium photography is way more difficult than birds and everyone here knows my bird photography is '...for the birds' so I recon I will stick with apples, pies, buildings and other things that don't move.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 5:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
It seems to me that aquarium photography is way more difficult than birds and everyone here knows my bird photography is '...for the birds' so I recon I will stick with apples, pies, buildings and other things that don't move.

Bob,

Point well made... and point taken. I'll go back to my birds now..........

(smile)

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Old Jan 2, 2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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I know the book and magazines add a piece of glass into the tank to trap the fish from swimming out of the plane front to back.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 1:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitepass View Post
I know the book and magazines add a piece of glass into the tank to trap the fish from swimming out of the plane front to back.
Now that you mention it, I remember that also. Good point - thanks!

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