PDA

View Full Version : Cant figure this out for the life of me!


kobelka
04-06-2012, 03:56 PM
Hi all,
I have a Nikon d5100 dslr that I cant figure out!
It takes great pictures of my kids, family, dogs and everything I want it to..... Except when it comes to my tank.
I have read the manual and watched and read on the net on how to set the custom white balance but cant get it. Also I cant figure out how to take a pic without the flash?
I see the pics that many of you post and am in awe.
Any tips?
Anyone familiar with this camera?
Thanks
Dave

fido19
04-06-2012, 04:08 PM
1)get a macro lens
2)use a uv filter on the lens (they are dirt cheap)
3)to turn of flash just go into manual or p mode
4)also autofocus may not be the best option try manual focus
5)having a stand will help a lot
6)try taking pictures from different angles (this can help you a lot with certain corals or frags)
7)i have used a nikon d5100 and have managed to get some decent pictures out of it and i am sure you will too
8)persistence is the key here

toxic111
04-06-2012, 04:11 PM
First thing is to get it off the A setting for the flash. use M or S. I usually use S on mine to set the shutter speed I want.

For white balance get to it through the menu settings. I don't have a photo showing my setting but I use Fluorescent '6' Daylight, it seems to give me the best colours.

BlueWorldAquatic
04-06-2012, 04:43 PM
Biggest issue of taking pictures of any type is lighting, any photographer will tell you.

Make sure the tank is lighted well and that should solve most of your problems.

Having a macro lense will help definately

manual focus is the key

kobelka
04-06-2012, 10:34 PM
Lighting is the issue for sure. I can take clear pics of anything not lighted with a 14k pheonix! I assume its the white balance I need to figure out. When you snap a closeup of a SPS do you set the custom white balance with a piece of white plastic? Set it on auto? M? A? S? I guess its just alot of reading and trial and error to become a good reef photographer?
Any other advice?
Thanks so far.
Dave

Nano
04-06-2012, 10:37 PM
play with your white balance, and ISO sensitivity as well, to find a setting you like, its really trial and error, I think I shoot, around 800-1600 ISO and white balance is manually set prior to shooting. shoot the pictures in the largest format you can so you can scale them down slightly afterwards, so they are a bit more crisp

cav~firez22
04-07-2012, 03:24 AM
I wouldnt bother with UV, but definatly get a good Polorized filter. and as for whit balance, if you shoot in raw, then dont worry about it, do all your adjustments in photoshop or lightroom

Jeff000
04-20-2012, 06:54 PM
play with your white balance, and ISO sensitivity as well, to find a setting you like, its really trial and error, I think I shoot, around 800-1600 ISO and white balance is manually set prior to shooting. shoot the pictures in the largest format you can so you can scale them down slightly afterwards, so they are a bit more crisp

White Balance is the hardest part of taking a reef tank picture. It is so far into the blue that the camera may not even be able to go far enough, which means fixing it the rest of the way in post processing.

Always take pictures in the largest format the camera can, storage is cheap.

No reason to set your ISO at 800-1600, all you are doing is adding noise to the image. A reef tank has boat loads of light, you should be able to get a fast enough shutter speed to get a clear image via a tripod.
ISO 400 at most if you have a lower quality lens.


I wouldnt bother with UV, but definatly get a good Polorized filter. and as for whit balance, if you shoot in raw, then dont worry about it, do all your adjustments in photoshop or lightroom

I agree, don't bother with a UV, unless you are taking pictures above 6500 feet you'll never see the difference. And some say to protect the lens, but keep in mind you are degrading the image with every piece of glass you put in front of it. And an impact that wouldn't mark your lens would shatter the UV filter and now you have lots of glass to scratch the lens, glass scratches glass easy.

A polarizing filter is great to have if you shoot outdoors with water or sky in the image. But for a fish tank... not so useful.



You almost always have to do post processing.

Slick Fork
04-20-2012, 08:27 PM
Use a tripod and aperture priority mode to get the depth of field you want. Depending on lighting and your camera you can be between ISO 400-800 (1600 on mine) before you see any real "noise" in the image.

UV and polarizing filters aren't really useful in fishtanks, at least I haven't found them to be.

As for white balance, I shoot in RAW mode and then adjust on my computer when developing the shots.

Biggest tip though is just shoot and shoot and then shoot some more, it doesn't cost you anything but your time and practice is the only surefire way to get to know your camera!

kobelka
04-20-2012, 08:42 PM
Thanks. I did also end up getting an 85 mm macro lense. That is nice. When shooting in raw is there a certain program you use when adjusting pics on your computer?

Slick Fork
04-20-2012, 09:16 PM
I use adobe lightroom, it's great for organising as well as "developing". Photoshop elements is also good for more of a "getting into photography" kind of program and is significantly cheaper at ~$100 vs lightroom at ~$300.

For free, you should have a program available from Nikkon that will allow you to develop RAW files into your format of choice

Jeff000
04-21-2012, 02:38 PM
Use a tripod and aperture priority mode to get the depth of field you want. Depending on lighting and your camera you can be between ISO 400-800 (1600 on mine) before you see any real "noise" in the image.

Biggest tip though is just shoot and shoot and then shoot some more, it doesn't cost you anything but your time and practice is the only surefire way to get to know your camera!

What camera do you use?
Noise on the D5100 is evident at iso400. This is also subject to how picky you are.
I shoot a D700, 85mm f1.4 is my go to lens, but it is not a macro. But just as a crop I can get some great shots. I have a 65mm macro, and it is only "ok" I think. But even with my 85mm I don't like shooting above 800 because I can start to see the noise, although most will say that it is noiseless past 1600.

Shoot and shoot some more is great advice.


Thanks. I did also end up getting an 85 mm macro lense. That is nice. When shooting in raw is there a certain program you use when adjusting pics on your computer?

That's a nice macro lens. You should be happy with it
Shooting Raw (NEF as you're shooting a Nikon) is not really for the beginner, what raw does it take away all the image processing from the camera and gives it to you. So unless you know what you are doing or have lots of time to figure it out it's not really something I would recommend, you can still adjust WB (which is the biggest headache when shooting a tank imo) from a high res jpg.

kobelka
04-21-2012, 06:57 PM
Hey Jeff,
WB is proving to be something of a PITA for me. The Nikkor 85mm really seems to take fantastic pics. Everytime I try to custom set the WB with a white piece of plastic in the tank it doesnt work? I think I am following the instructions right. I can get it to work in other situations. Just have to keep messing with it I guess.
Oh ya, RAW is not likely for a beginner like me. Mabye someday but probably not!
Thanks

Jeff000
04-22-2012, 07:25 AM
Hey Jeff,
WB is proving to be something of a PITA for me. The Nikkor 85mm really seems to take fantastic pics. Everytime I try to custom set the WB with a white piece of plastic in the tank it doesnt work? I think I am following the instructions right. I can get it to work in other situations. Just have to keep messing with it I guess.
Oh ya, RAW is not likely for a beginner like me. Mabye someday but probably not!
Thanks

Set the WB manually to 10000k (of the highest it can do) and then take a picture of that piece of plastic in the tank, and use that as a reference to change your WB in post production. Bonus points if you can put that piece of plastic into every shot so that you can change every shot individually.

Setting the WB off a grey card (or white) for a whole series of pictures is only useful with strobes, imo. It's not designed to compensate for light as blue as tanks have. So you have to get the rest of the way in post.

Snaz
04-22-2012, 07:49 AM
RAW is the preferred method to shoot if you are doing post production like white balance on your computer. The problem with jpg files is they are a compressed file format and that can introduce artifacts especially when playing with them in post production program like Photoshop.

As a beginner though stick with the jpgs for now but be aware if photo editing software makes your pics look poor then consider shooting RAW.

Slick Fork
04-22-2012, 09:37 PM
What camera do you use?


Shooting with a Sony A55. Noise is a little noticeable at 800 but doesn't get really grainy until 1600

As far as RAW not being for the beginner, most programs will have an "auto" setting that does the same job (or better) as the camera does when shooting jpg's. You could also try shooting RAW and Jpg. Takes up more memory on the card but it gets you both a 'ready to go' jpg and a RAW file that you can play around with. As noted above, manipulating jpgs never works out well.