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Unread 07/30/2005, 11:46 AM   #1
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Carlos's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,258
Macro Shots


How can you asses which camera to buy if you are looking to take macro shots? Most of us in the hobby take a very high percentage of macro shots, and most of the shots usually dont come out right (even if we use a tripod).

How would you pick the right camera with the right macro capabilities? There are so many cameras out there with so many zoom features but not all of them can take great macro shots. e.i. I have an old Olympus C3030 and a newer Olympus C-750 Z. When it comes to macro shots or closeups, the C-3030 is by far a much better camera than the C-750. What is the difference? The C-3030 has only a 3x optical zoom and 2x digital while the C-750 has a 10x optical and 3x digital. You would think the newer camera with greater zoom capabilities would give you better closeups from different ranges.

Another question is once you purchased the camera, how do you know what lenses to purchase to get good macro shots? Purchasing a brand new camera is not a real option so if possible, I would love to purchase a lense that would allow me to get real nice closeups of my corals regardless of where they are, front/back of the tank. Right now, I have some lenses that let me get very close to the coral but I have to be within a few inches of the coral. If I want to take shots of the corals in the back wall or even middle of the tank, I cannot use the lense as all I see is a big blurr.

Sorry for the many questions and the long post but I have always wondered about macro shots. What can I do or buy that would give me a kick *** macro shot??




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Current Tank Info: Custom 210 gal Reef Octopus Tank with SlimFlow overflow, IceCap 36XL Sump, Reef Octopus ELITE 200INT Skimmer, 2-Part Dosing, 3 x Giesemann VerVve, KH Guardian Alk Controller, ClariSea Roller Filter
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Unread 07/30/2005, 04:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Studio City, Ca
Posts: 7,011
hi Carlos-
wanna hear something wierd? i almost never check this forum. in fact, i never check this forum... i keep forgetting it's here. the only other time i've been here is after Skipper told me someone asked me a question (the one and only other thread). but today i thought i'd check and see if there were any new posts... and there it was. crazy...
anyhow- there are two things that determine the magnification of any given [point and shoot] camera. one is how long the lens is-- how far does it zoom in. that is the second number in the zoom lens focal length listings-- ie 28-110mm.
the second factor is the minimum focus distance-- sometimes listed as macro range. that's how close the camera/lens can be to the subject and still have it in focus.
the smaller the minimum focus distance/macro range the greater the magnification. and the longer the zoom lens the greater the magnification, given that the minimum focus distance is consistent.
example- compare two lenses- one that is 150mm on the long end, and that can focus on something 10cm away will have more magnification than a lens that is 110mm and can focus 10cm away.
so you'd want to look for the longest lens with the shortest minimum focus distance.
some of these new cameras nowadays have super long lenses- but not all of them will be able to focus at their minimum focus distance when zoomed all the way in. some of them will only focus close at the wide end of the lens, so the magnification is not all that great. sometimes you can find the magnification ratio listed in the specs but often not- so usually it's best to play with the camera in the store first so you can find out firsthand.
for those shots of corals at the back of the tank... not an ideal solution for that. the reason is, you need more zoom and more magnification at the same time and teleconverters (lens attachments that give you more zoom) generally make the minimum focus distance increase too- so you're gaining some magnification but not as much as you'd think.
sorry- wish i had a better easier answer for ya.
but i guarantee if you spend a jillion dollars like i did you'll get good macros

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Unread 11/27/2008, 06:53 PM   #3
tahiriqbal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Manchester England UK
Posts: 684
hi greg

Hi there,

Would it be possible if I could share this excellent thread of yours on picture taking as this would really make big diffrence to many british reefers.

Thanks... waiting for your kind reply..

Tahir Iqbal
Manchester UK

Current Tank Info: 56cm x 56cm x 56cm
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