View Full Version : Lens suggestions for good coral shots?

05-17-2010, 12:40 AM
So my wife picked up a starter DSLR camera (Nikon D3000) a couple weeks ago. The camera came with a kit 18-55mm lens, but it just doesn't seem to have enough zoom. My wife wants to pick up a 55-200mm lens for her purposes, will this work out to be a nice lens for reef tank photography, or should I be looking at making my own lens purchase for reef tank photos? What lenses are people using to get nice shots in their tanks?

05-17-2010, 02:21 AM
No the zoom lens won't be ideal. The zoom lenses are for like zoo trips etc. I'd recommend the 105mm f2.8 VR macro. It's faster and you can get way closer. I just borrowed one from my father-inlaw and It is drool-worthy. It's very pricey even compared to Canon's 100mm but the VR is a really nice feature. I found that I got better shots not trying to use the tripod and the VR I think is equivalent to a full f-stop. Auto-focus is really fast too and made taking pics of my fast chromis doable.

05-18-2010, 02:26 AM
I'll keep an eye on kijiji for that one. Thanks!

05-18-2010, 03:18 AM
If you can't find a nikkor micro lens on kijiji you may also want to look into Sigma or Tamaron's macro lenses. They are cheaper and take great pictures but aren't quite as high quality. Of course when I say "cheaper" they are still expensive but open up a whole other world of photography and you will wonder what you ever did without one before!

05-18-2010, 05:34 AM
Here is the one I'm using http://www.nikon.ca/en/Product.aspx?m=14317. Very nice lens and not too expensive. Check London Drugs, if you hit them at the right time you can get some good deals on lenses.

05-18-2010, 03:59 PM
I have the Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. It is cheaper than Nikon but a good lens also.

The Grizz
05-19-2010, 02:52 AM
I bought my wife a Canon EOS Rebel XTI it came with a EFS 18 - 55 mm & EFS 55 - 250 mm lens. Also bought a EF 75 - 300mm lens.

Can anyone tell me what kind of lens would be best for coral and fish shot's?

Jason McK
05-19-2010, 03:01 AM
I found I actually found my self shooting in the 50 to 55mm range when taking tank shots. I have used the maco lenses and they are amazing but they also come with an amazing price.

if you think about it most DSLR are 10MP and greater. a tipical high quality internet picture is about 0.79MP so if you can't shell out the big bucks for the macro just take the photo into some form of editing software and crop into the picture


05-19-2010, 06:34 AM
Yeah that's a good point. Although I find with only 150W of light my shots aren't super sharp and I need to use ISO 1600 or higher. I use the large image to allow me to size down and increase the quality and decrease the graininess of the shot. I know my own shots wouldn't look too sharp with any aggressive cropping but it's a good idea if you don't have money for a macro. I wish I did but I'll be back to using my 18-70mm stock lens for a while.

07-02-2010, 02:48 AM
You don't need to get a macro lens with VR or any stabilization really. If your shooting for macro you'll want to have the camera on a tripod anyway at which point you'll switch off your VR setting.

There are a number of lenses you could pick out for your camera. A non-macro lens will still allow you to take very nice pics of your reef tank. My suggestion would be to pick up a zoom lens for your cam in the same price range of the macros you're looking for you'd have a far more versatile lens that you'll be happ with for a number of applications; not just aquarium photography.

I would recommend the 18-105 VR (~$400); the 18-200VRII (~$800); or the 16-85VR (~$900). It all depends on your needs. The 18-200 is nice, but very heavy. The 16-85 is heavy as well, but falls somewhere between a semi-pro and a pro lens for image quality. It's defintely a step up in image quality from the other lenses in that price point.

I'm currently using the 18-105 on my d5000 while on an extended holiday in China. It's got a nice wide angle as well as mid-level zoom. It's also very light for as large a lens as it is. So it's perfect for my needs. That said, my needs are different than yours, so I can't tell you exactly what to do :) that said, I'd suggest picking it up regardless as it's a real nice everyday lens at a good price. Hope that helps!

Slick Fork
07-02-2010, 04:49 AM
For my Sony I've got a 50 or 55mm macro lens, really great for stuff right up against the glass but almost falls behind my Zeis 16-80 for stuff where I'm shooting greater then a foot or so between lens and subject. In hindsight I should've picked up a 100mm macro lens.

Grizz: For Coral, Macro's are cool you can get polyp sized shots! For non-macro photography I would recommend spending some time with the camera and maybe the 18-55 lens and see if there's a zoom level that you spend more time shooting with then the others, then go buy the corresponding lens in that size but as a non-zoom lens ie a non-macro 55mm lens. The fixed focal length will be faster and can handle a larger range of light conditions so will be better for fast moving subjects like fish.

07-02-2010, 05:06 AM
I bought my wife a Canon EOS Rebel XTI it came with a EFS 18 - 55 mm & EFS 55 - 250 mm lens. Also bought a EF 75 - 300mm lens.

Can anyone tell me what kind of lens would be best for coral and fish shot's?

The Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro is the lens to use. There's now even an IS version of it out. As with all macro lenses, you MUST use a good tripod.