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What camera do you use for your tank shots?


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#1
Atela

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I'm currently in the market for a digital camera. Tried out the Sony NEX C3. It was nice, but it had a few faults. I'd like to get some feedback from the N-R forum members regarding what camera they use. I am open for new, used or refurbished. I need one that does fantastic tank shots as well as macro capabilities for my glass art. Some of the models with lower MPs do a fine job. Not sure why the MPs keep going up as each year of technology advances. Perhaps someone will explain why we need 16 MPs these days! It's gotta produce an image that would be breath taking!

If you have an older digital camera that does a great job with tank shots, I would appreciate hearing about it. If you have an image, or a link to post in this thread, that would sure be great. Thanks!
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#2
HVani

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Are you looking for a point and shoot or a DSLR?

I have a canon ELPH 300HS that I've been really happy with. It takes pretty good pictures for a point and shoot and the price was right.

Here are some shots with no editing.

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Those are just from the first day I had it. Lots of neat features that have been fun to play with. I have LEDs which are tough to capture with a camera but it seems to handle them ok.


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#3
Atela

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I'm ok with point and shoot as well as manual focusing. Those are some great shots! Thank you for posting!
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#4
Atela

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Bumping to hear from others.
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#5
Withers

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Canon G Series
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#6
cuboy

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You can get a old dslr and buy a macro lens for it. That will do the trick as well.

#7
Boboli

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Sony a850

#8
asting

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You can get a old dslr and buy a macro lens for it. That will do the trick as well.

+1

Also, I'd spend 2/3rds of your budget on the macro lens, and 1/3rd on the body. Always put your money into glass.

Personally I use extension tubes with a 55mm f/3.5 on a D300s. I've used the same setup on a d40 and d70 and it provides very nice results. that $50 lens is the best $50 I've spent on my camera.

#9
uwwmatt

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Rebel XTi ($350 or less on ebay) with Tamron 180mm macro lens ( $750 there are cheaper lens options though)

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Edited by uwwmatt, 26 March 2012 - 03:52 PM.

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#10
Atela

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Thanks Vic!

cuboy - I have a set of 3 macro lenses from my old Nikon 6006 that can work on some DSLRs. I may need to get a step-up ring to fit some models.

Thanks Boboli!

asting - I'll be PMing you later about those extensions.

uwwmatt - Thank you for posting those awesome pics. The Rebel XTi is on my list of considerations

Thank you all, and I hope to see more suggestions from other members as I research what you all have suggested here.
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#11
asting

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I have a set of 3 macro lenses from my old Nikon 6006 that can work on some DSLRs. I may need to get a step-up ring to fit some models.

If you already have nikon macro lenses you should be looking no further than nikon DSLRS IMO. Are they Ai, Pre-ai, or, more likely, newer af models? If they're pre ai then they won't mount to some cameras (d300, d70, etc) without damaging the aperture tab. If they're ai they can mount to pretty much anything but won't meter on anything but the higher end dx00 series (not sure if maybe the d7000 does too).
What lenses do you have? It's common for lenses to come with a macro label when their capabilities are anything but. For instance, I had a 70-300 sigma lens that was labelled macro.

I'll be PMing you later about those extensions.

These extension rings are great for decreasing the minimum focus distance which allows you to get "closer" photos than without them. You do lose infinity, but these rings can be added and removed and are put in between the lens and body. You could get pretty much any DSLR and use extension rings as an adapter, but you do lose the ability to mount directly to the body. Depending on what your lenses are I would be leaning towards a nikon DSLR with those old lenses. Pretty much all of the lenses that worked with your n6006 will work on the DSLR too (although some may not focus as the new low end models don't include a focus motor in body and rely on the lens for that).

What's your budget again?


Just to give you some examples of how close you can focus with the 55mm and a moderate extension tube I have some images below. As a disclaimer I have to say my tank is in an inconvenient location as I can't really use a tripod so all my images were handheld. To compensate for this I upped my ISO and unfortunately shot at like F8 (very low for macros). I'll have to try my Nikon 200 f3.5 with these tubes and see if i can get some good shots.

The extension tubes can be expensive, or very cheap, depending on your needs. You can get some that will pass along focus info and retain focus for high end macro lenses, or you can get some that mount and work. Since macro probably means manual focus and manual exposure I opted for the cheapos and spent maybe $10.
like here or anywhere else you're comfortable with.

At any rate, here's the type of close focus you can get. As far as sharpness, the Nikon 55mm is unmatched to this day.

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So while not particularly good examples (and my coral placement doesn't help), you get the idea of the focus you can pull off. These images are all without cropping (Pretty sure they all are but might be 1 or 2 that aren't).

Edited by asting, 26 March 2012 - 06:36 PM.


#12
Withers

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I don't think you're doing yourself any favors by claiming that lens' sharpness is unmatched to this day and then posting those pictures.

#13
asting

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I don't think you're doing yourself any favors by claiming that lens' sharpness is unmatched to this day and then posting those pictures.

That's handheld iso 3200 on a body that's three years old. Very narrow DoF due to being handheld. Maybe the basic concepts of photography elude you?



I can tell you
1) read what i said. Had you actually done so you would have noticed I posted the examples not as great examples, pieces of art, or fantastic, but as a way to show the minimum distance focusing capabilities with a set of macro extension tubes.
2) really know what you're talking about.

Please, let me be your student. you have so much to teach me.

Edited by asting, 27 March 2012 - 06:09 AM.


#14
Atela

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If you already have nikon macro lenses you should be looking no further than nikon DSLRS IMO. Are they Ai, Pre-ai, or, more likely, newer af models? If they're pre ai then they won't mount to some cameras (d300, d70, etc) without damaging the aperture tab. If they're ai they can mount to pretty much anything but won't meter on anything but the higher end dx00 series (not sure if maybe the d7000 does too).
What lenses do you have? It's common for lenses to come with a macro label when their capabilities are anything but. For instance, I had a 70-300 sigma lens that was labelled macro.


Not being very digicam savvy, I'll give you the only information that I have to offer. They are Tiffen +1, +2 & +4 for 52mm....made in Japan. That's all that is written on the rings. I called Nikon and they said that they would be compatible with the digital cameras. However, my Sigma 28-70mm, 70-210mm and 70-300mm might not. I hate touching those lenses. They are all gooey from the aging rubber coating.

When I had the Sony NEX C3, I experimented with those lenses by holding them up to the NEX lens while snapping the pic. Here is a comparison picture that I did. The images are of a lampwork glass beas that measures about 16mm in height. The first picture on the left is done with an unknown camera by a friend of mine years ago. The second picture on the left was done with my Canon PowerShot A200. The second picture on the right was done recently with the Sony NEX C3. The image on the far right was done with the NEX plus one of the Tiffen macro lenses. It was time to return the camera, so I didn't get enough time to really experiment with it.

What's your budget again?


I'm swaying towards used, and shopping for the best deal. I still have a cart full of items in the check-out line at Drs. Foster and Smith, and I am also in the market for a new tank light fixture. So it's important not to go overboard with my aquarium expenses if it is at all avoidable!

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Edited by Atela, 27 March 2012 - 09:02 AM.

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#15
jeremai

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That's handheld iso 3200 on a body that's three years old. Very narrow DoF due to being handheld. Maybe the basic concepts of photography elude you?

I can tell you
1) read what i said. Had you actually done so you would have noticed I posted the examples not as great examples, pieces of art, or fantastic, but as a way to show the minimum distance focusing capabilities with a set of macro extension tubes.
2) really know what you're talking about.

Please, let me be your student. you have so much to teach me.

lol. oh, grasshopper...

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#16
asting

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lol. oh, grasshopper...

:P
Also, to clarify, the narrow DoF is due to the wider than usual macro aperture (I think it was like f5.6 or f8), not due to it being in my hand and on a tripod.



@ Atela:
Ah, I was assuming you meant actual lenses, not pieces of glass that are filters that fit over other lenses. I've used those before, and while inexpensive, they're not very good and are commonly avoided. Without knowing the model it's impossible to say, but it sounds like those are old AF-D lenses that would require a d90, d7000, d50, d70, or greater to be able to auto focus. As far as budget goes, I understand that you're trying to be price conscious but a number really helps.

Also, you should definitely add a decent tripod. This will allow you to use slower shutter speeds and really stop down your aperture for greater depth of field. When I say decent I'd like to qualify that. It doesn't have to be a top of the line Manfrotto with all the bells and whistles but just something that has some flexibility in positioning and can support your camera. With tank shots you have the benefit of being able to wait or use a timer to let vibrations and shakes dissipate, so a top of the end tripod would be overkill (although work very well). if you're on a budget you could probably pick one up for $80-100 that would do very well for tank shots. Depending on the height of your tank you could probably get by with a lesser model even.

The suggestion for that tripod is contingent on your desire to save money. You can certainly get by without one if you have a camera with VERY clean high ISO and dish out the big bucks for a macro lens with VR or IS capabilities.

#17
arwndsh

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Posted Image

60d w/ Sigma 150mm macro no tripod.

Edited by arwndsh, 27 March 2012 - 10:14 AM.

Posted Image


33L

#18
asting

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Posted Image

60d w/ Sigma 150mm macro no tripod.

Pardon my ignorance, but is that a tank shot?

#19
arwndsh

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Yes, it is an arm of a crinoid under LED lighting in a 60g cube. Full body shot

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#20
Withers

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hand holding a macro lens for these types of shots is like trying to ski with no legs.

#21
Atela

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@ Atela:
Ah, I was assuming you meant actual lenses, not pieces of glass that are filters that fit over other lenses. I've used those before, and while inexpensive, they're not very good and are commonly avoided. Without knowing the model it's impossible to say, but it sounds like those are old AF-D lenses that would require a d90, d7000, d50, d70, or greater to be able to auto focus. As far as budget goes, I understand that you're trying to be price conscious but a number really helps.

Also, you should definitely add a decent tripod. This will allow you to use slower shutter speeds and really stop down your aperture for greater depth of field. When I say decent I'd like to qualify that. It doesn't have to be a top of the line Manfrotto with all the bells and whistles but just something that has some flexibility in positioning and can support your camera. With tank shots you have the benefit of being able to wait or use a timer to let vibrations and shakes dissipate, so a top of the end tripod would be overkill (although work very well). if you're on a budget you could probably pick one up for $80-100 that would do very well for tank shots. Depending on the height of your tank you could probably get by with a lesser model even.

The suggestion for that tripod is contingent on your desire to save money. You can certainly get by without one if you have a camera with VERY clean high ISO and dish out the big bucks for a macro lens with VR or IS capabilities.

I have various macro lenses. Take your pick. They were used with my Nikon 6006. I'm thinking that with any of the 'D' series digital Nikon cameras, I've got a match made in heaven! I also have a a Bogen tripod.

hand holding a macro lens for these types of shots is like trying to ski with no legs.

lol! I've never heard it put that way, but you are absolutely right!

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If you do not know the names of things, the knowledge of them is lost too.
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