Best settings for tank pictures? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Best settings for tank pictures?

My brand new shiny S1 IS will be here wednesday, what are the best camera settings, and whats best tank enviornment for taking pictures?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 06:54 PM
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I am wondering the same thing. I don't have a high end camera just a
Finepix S5000, and my pictures are cameraphone quality.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 07:16 PM
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There is a lot to be said about taking tank pictures.

1) Don't use flash. Reflections will mess up results.

2) Place the camera on a tripod, table, or something else stable and use the timer to take the pic if it has one. Some cameras have a remote, works just as well.

3) Darken the room as much as possible. Wait until it is night, close windowshades, turn off lamps etc.

4) Choose a medium aperture, this is usually where the most quality vs depth of field can be found.

5) If you can adjust ISO/ASA settings, set them to the lowest or next number (usually 50 or 100). 400 will introduce a lot of noise, unless you are shooting with a high quality digital SLR that contains a big chip.

5) If your tank is a long one (vs tall), consider taking a pic of the left and right half and stitch them together in an image editor afterwards.

6) The biggest problem is often the contrast between overexposure at the top of the tank and darkness towards the bottom, especially if you have a jungle with plants reaching the surface. If that's a problem and you are good with Photoshop (or others), use exposure bracketing and overlay the images afterwards. A little tricky, but can improve pics a lot.

7) That's obvious: clean the glass thoroughly, using some vinegar for example. Especially if you deal with hard water, there are always dried drops left on the glass.

8) Whitepoint control. Some put a white sheet of plastic or such into the tank and measure the whitepoint. If your camera has only automatic or preset whitepoints, you might be stuck with a greenyellow hue unless you do some image editing.

9) Spend a lot of time focussing. That can make all the difference. Some autofocus systems will focus on the front glass rather than say the center of the tank. Use manual focus of the camera has trouble focussing in dim light.

10) Take your time... You can't just point 'n' shoot and expect excellent results.

11) Take some time to play around with settings, read the manual of your camera to see where you can tweak things.

Good luck & keep trying!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-05-2004, 08:58 PM
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excellent advise!
thanks!
kris

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30 gallon tall, pressurized CO2...killer lights
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2004, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Alright I cant wait till i have school loan money for a nice slr cam! I used to be into photography but left the hobby due to financial reasons now im interested in digital photograpy!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2004, 09:22 PM
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I'm still wrestling with this one big time myself. I recently took shots at night when the rest of the family was asleep and the only lights on were the tank lights. The shots came out pretty decent. With my aging Canon A40, I set to "P" mode (semi-manual ) and changed the setting which determines the light source to either tungsten, flourescent or VH flourescent. Aside from that, I let the camera decide.

Good luck and please post back with any suggested settings that work for you!
Brian.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2004, 11:49 PM
 
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You should make this an article.
A lot of the aquarium-related forums I'm involved in have a lot of people asking questions about how to take better pics.
This was very clear and simple.

Thank you
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