PDA

View Full Version : Help with Full Tank Shots


MichaelW
01/10/2016, 07:33 PM
Here is a recent FTS I took and I'm looking for pointers in how to improve them. I can see that the pic is not quite in focus and details don't show too well.
I was using a programmed Auto setting on my Nikon. I dropped the exposure a couple clicks but I guess the auto focus just isn't cutting it? I adjusted the image slightly using the photobucket editing tools (I have never used photoshop or lightroom and don't really know how to start but I know that is a much better post processing and the next step for me to learn)

Anyway, any critique (preferably with tips for improvement) are welcomed.

http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o578/wenham09/Tank/image.jpg1_zpspu1uhfwz.jpg (http://s1148.photobucket.com/user/wenham09/media/Tank/image.jpg1_zpspu1uhfwz.jpg.html)

Reef Bass
01/12/2016, 07:03 AM
Photo not found

MichaelW
01/12/2016, 07:44 PM
Hmm yeah it did that on my build thread 2. I don't know why.
Any way let's try again
http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o578/wenham09/Tank/image.jpg1_zpswnf0hhvn.jpg (http://s1148.photobucket.com/user/wenham09/media/Tank/image.jpg1_zpswnf0hhvn.jpg.html)

IPT
01/13/2016, 12:36 AM
are you using a tripod? hopefully. Seriously consider using manual focus with the camera mounted on the tripod. Then you can zoom in on the live view and make sure it's sharp. Also us the mirror lock up and the timer. That will also help with sharpness.

3dees
01/13/2016, 12:24 PM
shut off all pumps. turn off all room lights. I never use auto focus. use a tri-pod or higher shutter speed. you can use a higher iso like 800 to help.

MichaelW
01/13/2016, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the tips. I will look into getting a tripod. This may be a dumb question but I am very new to photography, what is "mirror lock up"

3dees
01/14/2016, 12:15 PM
locks your mirror up for long exposures. not useful for tank photography.

Reef Bass
01/15/2016, 07:37 AM
I disagree. The use of Live View with the mirror locked up is at the heart of my macro reef photography.

3dees
01/15/2016, 12:06 PM
I disagree. The use of Live View with the mirror locked up is at the heart of my macro reef photography.

my bad. didn't think about live view. I'm an old timer and have never used it.

MichaelW
01/15/2016, 07:45 PM
I can see how live view would help. I can also view what my camera is looking at and close the shutter from my I pad on the Nokia app with a Wi-Fi bridge thing. It would probably be good to do that since it wouldn't disturb the camera.
What type of lens mm range is good for FTS.
So you guys focus manually with the live view? Isn't it hard to see how in focus the image is on such a small screen though?

royy13
01/15/2016, 07:49 PM
Mirror lock up takes a pic without the mirror moving. when you take a pic the mirror moves up so more light hits the sensor. It causes slight vibrations which can cause a slight blur in you pic. This puts the mirror up so it doesn't move during the pic which reduces the vibration and blur.

MichaelW
01/15/2016, 10:23 PM
Mirror lock up takes a pic without the mirror moving. when you take a pic the mirror moves up so more light hits the sensor. It causes slight vibrations which can cause a slight blur in you pic. This puts the mirror up so it doesn't move during the pic which reduces the vibration and blur.

Thanks... Now I just need to work out how to do it.

IPT
01/19/2016, 08:42 PM
If you using DSLR when you turn on Live vie by default the mirror is locked up. The mirror has to move up of the way so the images goes to the sensor, verse being reflected off the mirror into your eye viewfinder.

"Mirror slap" as they call is the worst at about 1/8th of a second. generally I go for as fast as shutter speed I can. However I have done tank shots (from a tripod) with long exposures for the coral (pumps off) and then faster exposures for the fish and merged them together.

The real benefit of live view here is you can "zoom" in. On Canon at least i can zoom in 10x on my LCD screen to really fine tune focus. I'm sure Nikon should have such a feature (alas it's probably not as good as Canons :), :) - just a fun Nikon jab :)). Seriously though, I'm sure it can be done on Nikon just fine.

IPT
01/19/2016, 08:46 PM
Haven't been taking as many pics as usual. Busy at work and also spending more time Airbrushing. Having some fun with an artistic medium that allow total freedom. That and the Aurora has been lame, or it's been cloudy :(. Did get some good pics of the Alaska range lately but for now I present an RC body I painted for myself.

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk319/IPTalaska/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2213_zpslueuhdnl.jpg (http://s283.photobucket.com/user/IPTalaska/media/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2213_zpslueuhdnl.jpg.html)

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk319/IPTalaska/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2198_zpsjbigbsg2.jpg (http://s283.photobucket.com/user/IPTalaska/media/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2198_zpsjbigbsg2.jpg.html)

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk319/IPTalaska/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2180_zpsdptsv9o3.jpg (http://s283.photobucket.com/user/IPTalaska/media/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2180_zpsdptsv9o3.jpg.html)

http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk319/IPTalaska/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2172_zps0thv23oe.jpg (http://s283.photobucket.com/user/IPTalaska/media/Rc%20Cars/_MG_2172_zps0thv23oe.jpg.html)

rickztahone
01/20/2016, 10:26 AM
I can see how live view would help. I can also view what my camera is looking at and close the shutter from my I pad on the Nokia app with a Wi-Fi bridge thing. It would probably be good to do that since it wouldn't disturb the camera.
What type of lens mm range is good for FTS.
So you guys focus manually with the live view? Isn't it hard to see how in focus the image is on such a small screen though?

It depends if you are shooting Full Frame or cropped sensor. A good FTS lens for cropped sensor is a 24-35 range and full frame should be roughly from 35-50. You just want to avoid going over the 70mm mark on either type of sensor. At least IME.

MichaelW
01/20/2016, 06:14 PM
If you using DSLR when you turn on Live vie by default the mirror is locked up. The mirror has to move up of the way so the images goes to the sensor, verse being reflected off the mirror into your eye viewfinder.

"Mirror slap" as they call is the worst at about 1/8th of a second. generally I go for as fast as shutter speed I can. However I have done tank shots (from a tripod) with long exposures for the coral (pumps off) and then faster exposures for the fish and merged them together.

The real benefit of live view here is you can "zoom" in. On Canon at least i can zoom in 10x on my LCD screen to really fine tune focus. I'm sure Nikon should have such a feature (alas it's probably not as good as Canons :), :) - just a fun Nikon jab :)). Seriously though, I'm sure it can be done on Nikon just fine.

Thank you. This is some really helpful info. I am on the hunt for a reasonable prices tripod. Really it would only be used for tank pictures so I don't need to go 2 pricey.

MichaelW
01/20/2016, 06:15 PM
It depends if you are shooting Full Frame or cropped sensor. A good FTS lens for cropped sensor is a 24-35 range and full frame should be roughly from 35-50. You just want to avoid going over the 70mm mark on either type of sensor. At least IME.

Thanks I will keep that in mind when looking at lenses.

MichaelW
01/20/2016, 06:33 PM
It depends if you are shooting Full Frame or cropped sensor. A good FTS lens for cropped sensor is a 24-35 range and full frame should be roughly from 35-50. You just want to avoid going over the 70mm mark on either type of sensor. At least IME.

I am using a Nikon on d5200 so cropped sensor. I use the 18-55 lens that came with it when taking FTS so this falls into that range.

rickztahone
01/21/2016, 11:01 AM
I am using a Nikon on d5200 so cropped sensor. I use the 18-55 lens that came with it when taking FTS so this falls into that range.

Indeed it does. Now, "kit" lenses don't really offer great Lens IQ, but you can definitely take some decent shots with it. My recommendation is to buy a cheap tripod, or get a small portable table or something that will keep the camera stable and this will allow you to get far better sharper shots. The limiting factor with these lenses is that they are "slow", or rather, the aperture iris does not open very wide. The more expensive lenses do, which allows more light to pass through the lens and on to the sensor.

MichaelW
02/10/2016, 01:12 AM
Ok so I have the tripod and use live view to lock up the sensor and will use manual focus. My question is now about set up. How do people like to position the camera on tripod for best results. Perpendicular to tank should prevent any distortion or is this not really noticable. Setting camera high and angling the camera down might show more corals? Or just perpendicular to dead centre of tank?

Reef Bass
02/10/2016, 07:21 AM
Clarity wrecking distortion is introduced when shooting at an angle through glass. As such, the barrel of the lens must be perpendicular to the tank front. Said another way, the front of the lens should be absolutely parallel with the tank front. This can definitely cramp one's composition but it's a reality. You can certainly move the camera around in front of the tank, as long as the lens barrel remains perpendicular to it.

And just to be specific, with live view, one locks up the mirror, not the sensor. Locking the mirror in the up position allows the light from the lens to strike the sensor, versus being reflected up into the view finder.

ReefBum
02/10/2016, 09:26 AM
You should also be mindful of your f-stop. I like to use the aperture priority mode and keep it in the 5.6 to 11 range for full tank shots.

MichaelW
02/10/2016, 02:42 PM
Clarity wrecking distortion is introduced when shooting at an angle through glass. As such, the barrel of the lens must be perpendicular to the tank front. Said another way, the front of the lens should be absolutely parallel with the tank front. This can definitely cramp one's composition but it's a reality. You can certainly move the camera around in front of the tank, as long as the lens barrel remains perpendicular to it.

And just to be specific, with live view, one locks up the mirror, not the sensor. Locking the mirror in the up position allows the light from the lens to strike the sensor, versus being reflected up into the view finder.

Thanks for the clarification.
Yes I presumed perpendicular would be best.
Next noob photography question is will I be better of keeping camera as close to tank as can with lens zoomed out (keeping whole tank in frame) or move camera back and zoom in to fill frame? Common sense would tell me camera close without zoom.... But my common sense has fooled me before.

Reef Bass
02/11/2016, 07:28 AM
My preference is to be closer and less zoomed. I believe slightly more light enters the lens that way.

rickztahone
02/11/2016, 05:08 PM
My preference is to be closer and less zoomed. I believe slightly more light enters the lens that way.

It does if you happen to have a varying aperture lens. The more you zoom, the more it stops down as you do it.

Reef Bass
02/12/2016, 08:32 AM
I have also noticed this with my prime macro. It makes sense considering the inverse square law of light transmission. The amount of light drops off by one over the square of the distance. More distance equals less light.

woodnaquanut
02/13/2016, 11:41 AM
I have also noticed this with my prime macro. It makes sense considering the inverse square law of light transmission. The amount of light drops off by one over the square of the distance. More distance equals less light.

Ken, are you talking about f stop and zoom lenses?

Your statement about inverse sq. law is correct but doesn't apply here.

When metering an object, it doesn't matter how far the lens is from the object. What matters is the strength of the light source and it's distance from the object. That's why an incident light meters work.

F stop is the ratio of lens aperture to focal length. So on a zoom lens the max aperture is fixed but the focal length changes thus changing the max f stop.

MichaelW
02/13/2016, 02:31 PM
Ok so I spent a while playing around yesterday. This was the best I could come up with... Still not great.

http://i1148.photobucket.com/albums/o578/wenham09/Tank/7a9a3d7e-7944-46a3-9f20-4eac1792c351_zpsqacklo4v.jpg (http://s1148.photobucket.com/user/wenham09/media/Tank/7a9a3d7e-7944-46a3-9f20-4eac1792c351_zpsqacklo4v.jpg.html)

SoloGarth
02/13/2016, 02:52 PM
I have similar difficulties. It is hard to get decent FTS. I think a lot of this is due to the direction from which the light is coming.

Reef Bass
02/14/2016, 08:29 AM
Ken, are you talking about f stop and zoom lenses?


No. I confused the issue by bringing up my experience with my prime macro. My b.

noy
02/14/2016, 12:18 PM
can you post your exposure information - camera/lens/exposure/F-stop/speed/ISO - you have the white balance correct but shot just lacks detail.

MichaelW
02/15/2016, 11:22 AM
Nikon d5200, stock18-55mm lens, exposure -1.7, f stop I think around 9, 1/60 ( I think), iso 500. I think these were the settings for that shot.

noy
02/17/2016, 08:32 PM
use a tripod (if not doing so already)
try fixing ISO at 100, same exposure setting, and take a few shots start at F9 and going to F5.6 - see what depth of field you get.

SoloGarth
02/17/2016, 10:16 PM
use a tripod (if not doing so already)
try fixing ISO at 100, same exposure setting, and take a few shots start at F9 and going to F5.6 - see what depth of field you get.


Doing this will require very long shutter speeds. I have not gotten good results in this way.

rickztahone
02/18/2016, 08:45 PM
Doing this will require very long shutter speeds. I have not gotten good results in this way.

Agreed, you may need to bump that ISO up to at least 800 sensitivity.

Matt Dean
02/29/2016, 10:11 PM
Are you using a timer for the shutter release? Set it to 2 seconds so you can push the shutter and back away. This will diminish the potential movement you get when pushing the shutter, especially if you have a lighter tripod. You at find this will sharpen things up.

rickztahone
03/01/2016, 02:38 PM
Are you using a timer for the shutter release? Set it to 2 seconds so you can push the shutter and back away. This will diminish the potential movement you get when pushing the shutter, especially if you have a lighter tripod. You at find this will sharpen things up.

sry, couldn't help but chuckle from above :lolspin:

Matt Dean
03/01/2016, 02:45 PM
OOPS! Damn auto correct :P

MichaelW
03/05/2016, 10:42 AM
I have not tried using a timer for release no. But have been using a tripod. I need to keep my shutter speed fairly fast or the fish blue. I'm not sure if using a timer release would make much difference due to the high shutter speed I am using anyway? I am wondering if the lens I am using may just not be able to produce the results I desire.

Matt Dean
03/05/2016, 01:40 PM
The timer has no affect on any of the settings. it just delays when the shutter is engaged. It minimizes any chance of camera movement when you press down on it. Even on a tripod, you can move the camera when you depress the shutter. try a 2 second delay. I use the delay even when I am holding the camera to give me a chance to settle.

Didn't notice if you were shooting in RAW or JPG. If you can, shoot in RAW. You can get a lot more out of the pic that way.

SoloGarth
03/05/2016, 06:05 PM
Or just use a remote shutter release. That's what I do.