View Full Version : Aquarium Macro DSLR Tips

06-28-2012, 11:23 PM
I have a Canon EOS 7D with a dedicated 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro lens and am looking for some tips on getting the money shots that should be capable from this setup.

Any other hints from different setups are more than welcome. The beauty of our tanks is worthy of documenting and sharing.

06-29-2012, 12:24 AM
all tank flow off, tripod w/timer or remote, manual focus to center of focal point, low iso, long exposure with small aperture, and pre-set WB.

06-29-2012, 12:34 AM
-I'd say use a small aperture to get max depth of field.
-Add light with a flashlight or flash to make shutter speed as high as possible.
-With a 7d you're probably safe to go up to iso1600
-Raw so you can adjust wb later to your liking.
-make sure the lens is parallel to the tank glass and as close as possible to avoid reflections (also turn off as much as of the room lights as you can)

06-29-2012, 12:40 AM
Ever used the remote slave function of a 430 EXII flash to add light from a different direction?

I'm interested in trying this and agree with all the other comments. I have a hard time finding a custom WB that works, especially in the tank. Maybe I need to borrow some of Denny's SPS as a reference. ;)

06-29-2012, 01:03 AM
I use a speed light off camera all the time. It's the best way too add light with a small aperture.

It's best to use a snoot to direct light on your subject. You can easily make one by rolling thicker paper and taping it to the flash.

06-29-2012, 03:15 AM
Depth of field increases the farther away you are. I've had good luck shooting a little farther back and cropping.

06-29-2012, 05:12 AM
I personally wouldn't have thought using a flash or different light source for tank macros would be a good idea, the best light will be from the aquarium alone and it's easy to make corals sit still. However I'd love to see good tank macros using a flash or other light source, if the effect is good I might have to try it myself.

Here's a couple slow exposure shots for reference, these where taken with a 100mm macro as well.



06-29-2012, 05:34 AM
heres a few quick ones through dirty glass

tank lights were already off for the night

160th of a second

1/16th power on speedlight


06-29-2012, 05:38 AM
this was shot with flash to


06-29-2012, 05:42 AM
and if you want more florescence.

you put a high pass filter on the flash, and low pass filter on the camera.

i dont have these things, but it can be done