Jump to content
dnalex

DSLR/Mirrorless Camera Settings for Optimal Fish Photography (Some Point and Shoots Cams as well)

63 posts in this topic

Me next, please?!

I have a Kodak EasyShare Z981. Make it so easy that an infant could do it. :rofl

http://resources.kodak.com/support/pdf/en/manuals/urg01118/Z981_xUG_GLB_en.pdf

Starting at page 19-20 :)

:D Thank you. If you don't hear back from me, in a little while, you'll know that I died trying...

#TechnologicallyGifted

:rofl

Figured out all but the auto ISO. :) Nice. :thumbs:

Edited by yafashelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read books about aquarium photography in the past and here is what they sugguested (I'm a photography student/semi-pro).

Rubber lens hood,

Low ISO,

ON CAMERA flash.

Put on the rubber lens hood then press it up to the glass. Use the flash. The rubber will block out any "flare" on the glass.

I've yet to do this to my goldfish but I've photographed my tropical fish with this and it worked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure the flash works well if you have the rubber lens hood where you can press it against the glass. However, without it, the flash is a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Sony Cybershot DSC-N2

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DSCN2_handbook_EN.pdf

Instructions for manual settings are on pages 30-31.

If anyone has a camera that they need help with settings, please post your camera brand and model. I'll try to help. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Sony Cybershot DSC-N2

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DSCN2_handbook_EN.pdf

Instructions for manual settings are on pages 30-31.

If anyone has a camera that they need help with settings, please post your camera brand and model. I'll try to help. :)

Oh thank you. Mine is a Kodak easy share dx 6440.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll look this up! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn, I don't think I have enough lighting in my tank :( I gave it a try but the auto ISO bumped the ISO to 3200 so the pictures came out really grainy/noisy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn, I don't think I have enough lighting in my tank :( I gave it a try but the auto ISO bumped the ISO to 3200 so the pictures came out really grainy/noisy.

Try to set the ISO limit at 1600 or 800.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall though, I think this technique works great if you have sufficient lighting :o Otherwise, as a suggestion, I would shine extra lights directly into the tank (like a desk lamp) for faster and better focus as well as a faster shutter speed since goldfish can be super wiggly and uncooperative at times :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bubbles, I think that your point about better and/or more lights is a must.

However, as the article pointed out, and you can experiment with it as well, that once the lighting is sufficient, there is no additional benefit to increasing shutter speed, other than to make your photos darker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried taking pics today, but they were coming out sooooo dark. What do you think is doing that? The only thing that I can't figure out how to change to "auto" is the ISO. :idont

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried taking pics today, but they were coming out sooooo dark. What do you think is doing that? The only thing that I can't figure out how to change to "auto" is the ISO. :idont

I think you may need to supplement some lights. Perhaps some clip ons?

Did you use flash, or no? You may have to use the flash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried taking pics today, but they were coming out sooooo dark. What do you think is doing that? The only thing that I can't figure out how to change to "auto" is the ISO. :idont

I think you may need to supplement some lights. Perhaps some clip ons?

Did you use flash, or no? You may have to use the flash.

I used no flash, and the lighting on my tank is beyond ridiculous. I'm wondering if the problem is the darkness in the rest of the room? My living room is caveman dark, at night. :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always take pics with only the tank lights, and the rest of the room in darkness.

You set it at 1/125, f/5.6?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always take pics with only the tank lights, and the rest of the room in darkness.

You set it at 1/125, f/5.6?

Everything is set right, except auto iso.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you humor me and try to clip on light? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you humor me and try to clip on light? :D

Clipping on anything, for you, would be an honor. :o

You want the light over the tank? I'll just roll my embroidery light to face the other direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, you light up my life, Tammy! :rofl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you see what I did there? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you see what I did there? :o

Did you see what I did? :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to find an appropriate meme, but I'm coming up empty handed.

grumpy-cat-part1-2-09-092020192.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Darn, I don't think I have enough lighting in my tank :( I gave it a try but the auto ISO bumped the ISO to 3200 so the pictures came out really grainy/noisy.

Try to set the ISO limit at 1600 or 800.

I got some like these using that technique: lyretail_molly___17_by_elaineselenestock

red_wag_swordtail___13_by_elaineselenest

red_wag_swordtail___2_by_elaineselenesto

What I also reccomend is:

LOW aperature number

Shutter speed of about 1/100

ISO NO HIGHER THAN 800 Preferebly as low as you can go.

A SHORT lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of those pictures look great! I definitely need to try this asap :) My little fish just moves so darn fast!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was just trying to take some good pictures of my fishy! This is a great article!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there. I've just read the article and I have some pros and cons to it. I just want to share my experience on taking pictures of aquariums in different conditions. Here is a link to some of my pictures I have taken both of my aquarium and in public locations.

http://flic.kr/s/aHsjxY3rNB

So, here are my guides:

1. Reflections: Reflections are always a problem, however reflections occur when there is more light outside the aquarium, rather than inside. Easiest way to fight reflections is to stay in the dark. So when you're taking pictures of your aqua turn off your ambient light and let the aquarium glow. Your camera will still be able to focus as there is enough light for it in the tank.

REMEMBER: Turn off your built-in flash unless you are reaaaaaallllly close to the glass and the reflection is not visible.

2. Aperture - using large aperture is tricky - if you use aperture 1.8 or 2.8 - you will have a reaally shallow depth of field (focus zone). This means that only some part of your fish will be focused. This will allow you however speeds around 1/80 to 1/160 depending on your tank light and ISO settings. So, if you're not using flash, you definitely depend on large aperture to get focused pictures without motion blur.

3. Flashing - sure you can use flash, however it must always be external. I am using flash all the time in my pics, it is positioned on one side of the aqua or sometimes I place it on top of it, replacing the aquarium lighting. Using an external flash is really rewarding - you can use smaller aperture (f8 - f16) and you are not slave to the speed. You can take as good pictures in 1/160 as well as 1/16 both on lowest ISO setting. The results are slightly different, but overall you don't get blurred shots.

WHY or HOW? - the fact is that the presence of light causes the blur, not the absence of it. It is hard to understand at first, but it is simple. Imagine the following - you have been in the club where there is this white, flashing strobe that blinks very fast, and it seems to you that you see dancing movements like stills - the persons in front of you just stop in a split second and on the next flash they've changed their postures. It is not that they're not moving in the darkness, it is just you don't see it.

The same happens with your camera - if you stay in a dark room, your camera is set to iso 100 aperture to 8 and your speed to 1/16, and you do not use a flash, you will hardly get anything else but a dark black picture. If there is an external flash above the aquarium, that flashes for just a split second - you will get all your fish frozen in that split second. Taking the same picture on speed 1/160 will produce merely the same result. The difference will be in the contrast of the picture and the dark zones - the pic on 1/160 should be darker in shadows, more contrasty. Of course flashing at 1/160 of a second puts more stress on your strobe, so your next shot will be delayed a bit. So, if you can get a remotely controlled flash unit above the tank - use it confidently, and remember ALWAYS avoid the built-in one.

4. Lens types - you are not limited to using MACRO or MICRO lens. Any kinds of lens are good as long as you know what you're doing. My latest pictures are shot with 50-150 mm lens from about 1.50 to 2 meters from the aquarium. Zoomed to the max (150mm) produces the so called 'close-up' photos. They are not macro shots, but you can see enough detail on the fish and scales. My older pics are made with my older lens 50mm 1.8 and 18-70 kit lens. Using longer lens to me was more rewarding than 'pressing' the camera next to the glass. WHY? Because it solves several problems - 1st fish do not get upset or nervous, 2nd I am avoiding reflections caused by the aquarium light, 3rd I have more control on the pic as I see more - using zoom lens I can focus on single fish and then fast get back and get a group shot.

5. Point and shoot cameras - to my opinion are pretty much incapable of taking adequate photos as they lack a lot of control.

So - yes, the article on Nikon page says the truth, but it does not show all the aspects of fish photography, neither all the options you have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×