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01-07-2010, 09:46 PM   #1
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aquarium photo help

hey guys nice forum this is.

I need some help with settings for my pentax k-7 that i bought yesterday.

i love to foto my aquarium wih malawi fish and i could use help on the settings.

i have tryed several settings but the images keep being blurry.

what camera settings should i use for take sharp photos of aquarium fish ?
tha flash has to be off.

im a beginner and yes i have read the manual but could use some help anyway.
please explaine the settings in simple format. :-)

01-07-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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Don't have a K7, but I've always found manual focus to work better. That way the camera doesn't focus on the side of the tank.
Close the curtains to cut down reflections and use the tank light.
01-07-2010, 10:22 PM   #3

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Aquarium photography is pretty tough and it can be hard to get good shots especially when dealing with active, fast moving fish like Malawi cichlids.

My tips are:

Turn off all other lights in the room, close curtains etc. to cut out any other light sources that might reflect in the glass.

Try to get away without using an on camera flash if you can, it washes out the colours too much. If you do use the flash remember to shoot at an angle so the flash doesn't reflect off the glass straight back at you.

Set your sensitivity to 800 or higher if you don't mind a little noise, and set your aperture as wide as you can (AV to lowest number) you want as much light so you can bump up your shutter speed. I look for at least 1/30s for slow moving or stationery fish (SR is always on) and 1/125s for moving fish.

As opfor said try manual focus, manually focus on a particular spot the fish often hang out in and fire the shutter when one comes into view. If your using a wide aperture you many have limited DOF so try to focus on the eye and get it sharp.

This shot was taken on my K10d at f 1.7 probably around 1/30, ISO 800.

01-07-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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It's a tough one. You need a fast enough shutter speed in case of slight movement. Depending the lens you have, (the F stop it will go to) you might need a tripod. High ISO can bring out noise you don't want.

These were all hand held at ISO 200, with a Pentax K85/1.8 manual focus lens using a K7;

01-07-2010, 10:50 PM   #5
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Oh....... and set your camera to center spot focus, press the shutter button half way and focus on the fish, then move the camera to where the shot looks best for composition and shoot.
01-08-2010, 03:25 AM   #6
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thanks for the replys.

i will try take some shots i be back with pictures i hope :-)
01-16-2010, 11:13 AM   #7
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today i took some pictures this one was the best i think

what do you think ?
01-16-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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here is the image

Attached Images
01-16-2010, 06:09 PM   #9
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Purusam: That is a good shot you have there--you are a quick learner. You have been given some great tips, especially by "MikeL." Another tool you can use to get better shots is anticipation. Watch the fish carefully, study them. Learn where they like to hang out, how and when they turn--do they spend more time in some areas of the tank than in others? Aquarium fish tend to have sudden flashes of swift movement, often followed by a period where they just kind of float. Try to time the release of the shutter speed to coincide with when they are "floating" or exhibiting the least movement. Late at night, and the light turned off on the aquarium for some time, induces inactivity in aquarium fish. You could try waking them up so to speak and shooting them while they are still groggy. The slower they are moving, the better your chances of getting nice, sharp, images. Finally, you can use panning to get sharper images, especially if the tank is a large one. This too takes patience and practice, but yields some great results if you hang in there. This shot is @ 1250 ISO, f5, 1/30th--no flash. Best!

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 01-31-2010 at 10:48 PM.

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