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Old Aug 6, 2010, 7:58 AM   #1
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Default Lumix FZ35 and Reef Tank. Any helpful hints?

Hello all,

I recently bought this camera primarily to take pictures of my saltwater tank, and I specifically wanted a camera that would allow me to take great macro shots at a fraction of the price of a big-name DSLR.

So, that said, anyone have any helpful hints? There are quite a few macro options, and in my 1 day (and 200 shots) of playing around I've learned that I don't have to get all that up-close and personal with the subject to still get great close up shots (thanks to PhotoShop).

If there's anyone that has experience taking tank shots, especially under actinic lighting, I'd love to hear your advice. The two pictures below are of two different corals, one under "normal" tank lighting, and the other under blue "actinic" lighting. The flower parts of these corals are each about half a centimeter across, so tiny! No flash was used obviously, I was holding the camera by hand, and and just zoomed in and out on the macro setting until it seemed focused to my eye. Note that there are 198 pictures that aren't nearly as clear.



Last edited by reefyroy; Aug 6, 2010 at 9:42 AM. Reason: (oops, is an FZ35, not FX35)
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 8:13 AM   #2
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I'd suggest using the manual focus because you are going thru glass and water before getting to your subject.
Using a tripod will also give you sharper, focused pictures.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 8:18 AM   #3
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Any white balance suggestions when taking pictures in the blue lighting? Those corals have that greenish glow, but the blues are too blue..
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 8:26 AM   #4
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I am sure there are others on the forum who have experience in that area.
I haven't played around much with white balance but I know the camera has several settings for changing the colors.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 11:20 AM   #5
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roy-

What software are you using to correct the white balance? However, the blue lighting does not take well to WB correction at all, the color spectrum quality seems rather unusual. I would stick with normal lighting.

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Old Aug 6, 2010, 11:29 AM   #6
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Most aquarists use a blue (aka actinic) light in the evening to aid in coral growth, but also to see some of the fluorescent properties of many corals. In other words, many corals glow fantastic colors under blue lighting. The question is how to capture that glow using macro settings under those blue lights. =] That 2nd (blue) picture is un-edited, taken with the factory presets.
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Old Aug 6, 2010, 1:56 PM   #7
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Maybe you can try taking longer exposure shots with a tripod? I dimly recall a friend of mine mentioning this to me when he showed me pictures he took of a friend's aquarium in actinic light. Though what settings you would need to go about that befuddles me, at the moment. I think go into Scenery Mode, then enter Creative, so you can set the lens speed to longer than a second, perhaps?
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