Best manual settings for photos of fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-14-2011, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Best manual settings for photos of fish?

I have access to a really nice Canon EOS (not mine unfortunately, but I get to play with it). I was wondering if folks had a sense of the best general setting for manual photos of a tank?

To date, my attempts have been to set the ISO to 800 or 1000, set the aperture as narrow as possible to improve my depth of focus, pray the fish pauses as I VLH (that's "vary like hell") the shutter speed until I get a somewhat acceptable image. I also use a tripod. Then I try to correct the best shots using Photoshop. Plants, easy! Overall tank, no sweat. Fish seem darn near impossible!

Not being a photographer, does the higher ISO on a digital camera result in blurring (graininess) like you'd get on high ISO 35mm film? Should I use a larger aperture and a faster shutter speed?

Any general suggestions based on experience are welcomed!
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-14-2011, 02:15 PM
Yes higher ISO increase the graininess of a picture. Top ISO I use is 800 anything beyond that and picture is not really going to look 'sharp'. Higher ISO you go to the more sensitive the image sensor is to light though. Meaning a High ISO is likely to be better for a low light situation like an aquarium. However you still need to balance everthing together to get a good picture. ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed all work together. The brighter you can get the tank the easier it is. Blurring of the image is usually from too long of a shutter speed. Too short a shutter speed and your image will be too dark. Use the lowest F-stop you can to let the most light into the camera as possible. I personally would not bother with using something like photoshop but you certainly can. I usually use ISO 400 or 800, F-stop 2 or 3, shutter speed is usually between 1/13 and 1/30. It depends a lot on how much light is available.

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post #3 of 3 Old 08-14-2011, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that probably accounts for my problem. The lowest shutter speed I'm using has bee 1/60, and I get movement blur. I'll open the aperture/lower the f stop, still try for a slightly higher shutter speed, and try to get the focus where I want it.
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