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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am slowly learning about the new DSLR camera that I got. These pictures are much better than the other RCS pictures from the other thread. These DSLR cameras are very intricate and the minuscule settings make a big difference.

Hey everyone. I have always wanted be able to take aquarium photographs, particularly macro photographs. Well I managed to get an incredible camera which has allowed me to take some cool macro shots with the use of a macro converter (turns a normal lens into a magnifier lens). I do not have a "real" macro lens, the one I want is expensive so I am saving up money.

Disclaimer: Photoshop was only used to tweak the brightness. My aquarium is extremely bright so I have to lower the brightness. All of the colors, and everything else is straight from the actual picture. I do not believe in "enhancing" photographs in order to make them look more appealing. I consider that cheating.

Enjoy. More pics to come. Let me know what you think, and any other suggestions you may have.







 

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Nice pictures -- I know how hard it is to get the shrimp to cooperate. I've been into photography long before I got interested in planted aquariums, so we're coming at it from opposite directions.

The high contrast lighting in the aquarium is a challenge -- your camera's histogram and exposure compensation settings should be your best friends. Use Photoshop (or whatever) to tweak the exposures, contrast, and sharpening.

I like to shoot RAW images so I can do the most effective post-processing of the images without worrying about JPEG compression artifacts.

Your choice of a 180 macro lens is excellent -- the working distance is a necessity in the aquarium.

Looking forward to more pics!
 

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Nice start, but there are some white balance and focus issues in most of them.
Also, I don't know what kind of tank you are shooting these in, but aquarium lighting, even the kind we use in planted tanks isn't usually enough to capture a quality shot.

A lot of aquarium photography involves putting a flash over the top, pointed into the tank, using fast shutter speeds, with high (lower) f stops - f/8 or more.

Your choice of a 180 macro lens is excellent -- the working distance is a necessity in the aquarium.
The Canon 100mm 2.8 is a fine macro lens for most aquarium work as well, and is a lot cheaper in price, but certainly not in quality. Don't let the non-L designation fool you on this lens!
 

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Nice start, but there are some white balance and focus issues in most of them.
Also, I don't know what kind of tank you are shooting these in, but aquarium lighting, even the kind we use in planted tanks isn't usually enough to capture a quality shot.

A lot of aquarium photography involves putting a flash over the top, pointed into the tank, using fast shutter speeds, with high (lower) f stops - f/8 or more.



The Canon 100mm 2.8 is a fine macro lens for most aquarium work as well, and is a lot cheaper in price, but certainly not in quality. Don't let the non-L designation fool you on this lens!
I am definitely still learning, that is for sure. The macro adapter I am using really isn't that good at all, especially with the 70-200mm L that I have it on. Trying to focus with a 70-200 lens with macro adapter is extremely hard! I suppose the reason why my lighting is not an issue is because of the actual lens I am using. If you look at a macro adapter it bulges from the main lens, so there is ample light going into the lens.

I have considered getting the 100mm lens. I have done a TON of research on that lens, the 50mm, and of course the 180mm. There are several reasons why I am going to get the 180 L.

First reason is it is an L lens. My buddy who sold me this stuff for almost nothing told me to always buy the L lenses, always get the best when it comes to this gear that it is a great investment. I was shocked to find that the depreciation value of these lenses is almost nothing... :eek:

Second reason is that when I attach my 2x L extender the quality loss is minimal compared to if you attached the 2x extender on the 100mm. If you even attempt to attach the 2x on the 50 the quality loss is enormous.

Third reason why I want to get the 180 is the working distance. I am not only going to be taking macros of aquariums, but also other stuff on land. I don't want to scare off creatures by having to get so close.

The 100mm is $475, the 180mm is $1200. Big difference, but I can somehow justify getting the 180mm.
 

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Here's a shot a took the other day with my 100mm 2.8 Macro.


While I generally agree with the philosophy of your friend I couldn't be happier with this lens.

Brian
 

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Hmm, For fish photography, I would always recommend the 100mm over the 180mm and over the 70-200 for sure. 100mm is a true 1:1 macro lens, and can get to 2:1 with 100mm in extentions. 100mm has an awesomely small working distance, in manual, not auto mode, and i have not seen anything else compare to it in quality for true macro. Examples below, 100mm on 20D.







 

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How much bug photography do you shoot vs. how much aquatic photography? That will kind of dictate which lens you'll actually need more. I would definitely pick up the 100mm lens.

The 100mm macro isn't an L lens, but other than that designation, there's not a huge difference. The optics on that lens is one of the best in the entire Canon lineup (includes L lenses). If anything I would consider using that lens with a 1.4x TC to get you out to 140mm for your bugging needs. You'd actually get better results off this lens with a 2x TC than an L lens (not recommended for any lens unless you really have to have the shot; the picture degradation is pretty severe).

You can get away with a shorter lens for bugs. Here are some shots taken with the 50mm f/1.4D and 68mm of extension tubes (Kenko, non-DG).




 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow! Those are awesome shots guys. OK, I think I may reconsider getting the 100mm and saving the $700. I have read so many great things about the 100mm and how it could actually qualify as an L lens.

I need to get a true macro lens and stop trying to take super close-ups with this macro kit. The image definitely isn't anywhere near as sharp or crisp as the true macro lenses.

Everyone, PLEASE post more of your macro pictures. I did not intend this thread to be only mine at all. I would LOVE to see others macro shots. Lets see the awesome ones....

-Ryan
 

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Ryan, Your shots look really nice! I don't think that picking up that camera from your friend hurt you at all!!:hihi: :hihi:

-Andrew
 

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Ozelot sword Flower

OK, I found a real great subject for my new lens:
An Ozetot sword flower. (BTW, these things only last a day, so take a pic when you can, I lost 3 flowers already).
Both taken with a Canon D30, Tamron 28-75mm lens. No flash since it was under the 96 watt bulb
Click for a larger pic




With a 2X magnifier
 

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Wow these are all some really great photos! I'm learning quite a bit about cameras and lenses from the posts. One day I may be able to afford a good camera, but until then I'll just sit back and enjoy all the wonderful photos and helpful hints everyone else has. Keep up the great work everyone! :proud:
 

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Two More Ozelot sword

Here are 2 more pics with More magnifiers.
Same equipment as above:


Click for larger:

With a 4X magnifier



with both the 2X & 4X magnifier (the depth of field is so narrow only portions of the pistils are in focus)



BGG, this is another whole new learning process. But I am loving this lens, Thanks Joe, and Ed, and Eric.
 

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Nice shots Ed and Eric... I am about to step into the world of DSLR, for the last couple of years I played with a better P&S camera, hand-holding cheap lenses in front of it to do macros, ring flash made from a 7/11 plastic cup, and such...







Not the "crispness" that you expect from a better lens, still, you can get decent shots with non-DSLR's as well.

I don't have that much money to spend on lenses, but I am going to save up for a Sigma 17-70 which has some nice macro capabilities. Excited! :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Nice shots Ed and Eric... I am about to step into the world of DSLR, for the last couple of years I played with a better P&S camera, hand-holding cheap lenses in front of it to do macros, ring flash made from a 7/11 plastic cup, and such...

Not the "crispness" that you expect from a better lens, still, you can get decent shots with non-DSLR's as well.

I don't have that much money to spend on lenses, but I am going to save up for a Sigma 17-70 which has some nice macro capabilities. Excited! :biggrin:
Great pictures for a non-DSLR! Lemme guess the creatures: 1st is an Asian Filter Shrimp? 2nd is a pregnant Ghost/Grass shrimp? The 3rd is a Betta?

-Ryan
 
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