Lokko21

Help with Canon T3i settings

Hi guys I just bought this camera -Canon- EOS Rebel T3i 18.0-Megapixel DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens- and I love to set it right for taking pictures of my corals, I have LED'S, if anyone has this camera or similar can you share your knowledge and settings for it, imm new to the photography party...

Thanks.

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read and understand the manual. take lots of pictures. experiment.

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Thanks guys that's why I love Nano-reef....

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Thanks guys that's why I love Nano-reef....

 

These guys are not being asses about it. I could show someone how to punch but that won't make them a boxer in the ring. A DSLR is the same way. You gotta experement and you gotta do a lot of googleing.

 

The important thing to know is that that 18-55 mm lens is fantastic in the right situations but it is still a cheap lens. In the Reef tank, it is not gonna get you the images than an expensive specialized macro lens will get you.

 

When you look at those perfect reef tank photos that someone posted, don't think they pulled out their camera and took a pretty photo. The good photos are usually the result of taking thousands, tens of thousands, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of photos.

 

I can tell you that you will usually get a sharper image if the aperture is not all the way open. In many cases with cheaper lenses, not zooming all the way in often gives a better images as well. For instance, try shooting at 35mm instead of 55.

 

The next most important thing.... The more time you put into each shot the better the shot will be. My camera can pound out 15 shots in 2 seconds but that don't mean any of them will be good. The best photo I have taken so far took me 2 full evenings to experiment and get right.

 

Lighting can be one of the hardest things to get right. I spend prolly 2 hours sunday photographing NCAA cheerleaders in the park under high noon sun, not only because it was an interesting subject, It was a fantastic chance to get to work with some extreme light.

 

The reef tank can be one of the hardest things to photograph, especially without the proper lens. You can't even expect to take a photo of a moving fish with an aperture of 5.6 unless you plan on busting it with some flash. If you think those LED's are bright then take them out in the noon sun and compare.

 

The bottom line... You have an APS-C camera. It has more performance and better build than a bottom of the line canon 1100D but the image quality is still gonna be the same. This leaves your photos depending more on lenses and skills. You can take your $100 lens and expect it to get the same photos as a $2000 lens used by someone that has taken 100,000 photos just by going "hey guys, how do I take photos?"

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It's a digital SLR, so all SLRs share common options. I've heard of at least one camera (forgot which) that had an scene setting for aquarium that turned out fairly good look photos. I'm going to assume you don't know much about basic camera settings so forgive me if you already know:

 

First, look up in your manual on how to change the white balance setting and remove it from Auto White Balance. In a nutshell, White Balance is how cameras perceive colors based on the type of lighting, and reef lighting is confusing to a camera on Auto White Balance. It is why you some colors can look incredibly off and nothing like what you see. I suggest manually testing the different white balance options to see which one would works best.

 

Quite frankly, none of the cameras I've tried had a manual white balance setting that looked great for aquarium lighting. What I did instead was use a white balance setting that looked closest to what I wanted, loaded the photos in a photo editor to manually tweak the white balance further. A good photography app will let you do this, including Photoshop Elements, iPhoto, Lightroom, Aperture, etc. It's usually found under "color temperature" and I usually have to crank it up really high to get what I want.

 

Second, look up in your manual on how to manually control the ISO instead of Auto ISO. Reef lighting can be dim to a camera, so increasing the ISO will increase the camera's sensitivity to read the light. The problem is high ISO also increases noise and grain. Modern digital SLRs can deliver very clean images as high as ISO 800, and some can produce fairly smooth images at 1600. An Auto ISO setting may exceed ISO 800 when it's not necessary, so keep this under your manual control to keep your coral images clean and noise-free. Anything over 800 is not forbidden and maybe necessary sometimes, but try to keep the ISO as low as possible.

 

There are lots more that can be said, but I think a fundamental understanding and control of white balance and ISO can go a long way. Have fun!

Edited by gerbilbox

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Anytime I can be helpful and be an ass at the same time is a plus for me.

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Thanks guys I'm taking pictures like crazy, also I just got a new lens ( Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens) hopefully illl get some awesome close ups pictures and share them here.

Btw I didn't think Jeremai was been an ass..

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Go check out photography-on-the.net/forums sometime. Plenty of reading material on know how and whatnot...

Photography tips and tutorials

 

It's an entire thread with people's tips and help to photography.

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dont waste your time trying to dial in some perfect white balance...Shoot in RAW then in post you can correct the WB to whatever you want to try and closely match the look of the tank. I have never taken my camera off AWB i adjust everything in post as you will never get a dialed in perfect setting

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dont waste your time trying to dial in some perfect white balance...Shoot in RAW then in post you can correct the WB to whatever you want to try and closely match the look of the tank. I have never taken my camera off AWB i adjust everything in post as you will never get a dialed in perfect setting

 

I mention manual white balance mainly because not everyone is interested in post production. And besides, manual white balance forces me to pay attention to the light and I spend more time trying to get things right :)

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if your not interested in post processing..why did you waste your money on a DSLR and not just a P&S..You seem to dont wanna put alot of time into it so it sounds like you wasted money. Be my guest at spending all that time fiddling with the manual WB and then your shot will have come and gone and you will still be playing with the settings. learn to take advantage of what a DSLR has to offer..

Edited by 05XRunner

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LED's are not hard at all to take photos of if you shoot in RAW and adjust the WB in post

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