Aquarium photos

jan211

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Hi

I'm going in vacation for a few days next week to the Bahamas. I plan to go by Atlantis to the aquarium. Since everything is behind glass, what would be the best approach to getting decent photos? I have a 40, 50, 85 and 18-55 kit lens. I recently added a 70-200 but that thing is really heavy. I had only planned on taking the smaller lenses, unless the 70-200 would be best for the situation. I'd appreciate any input. I have a speed light too if that would help. Thanks.
 

oldhippy

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Rubber lens hoods I hear are the trick. Right up against the glass.
 

DorkSterr

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Personally what I would do is high ISO + decent shutter speed, I wouldn't use flash. And try to get right on the glass.
 

SCraig

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I ALWAYS use a flash when shooting aquariums. It's the best way to get good shutter speed without having to use high ISO. I put the lens hood right against the glass of the aquarium, and use an off-camera flash cord to get the flash off the camera. Camera in one hand, flash in the other as far away from the camera as I can get it.
 

PropilotBW

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I wouldn't use the speed light at all...remember, you're shooting through glass. Glass reflects.
With reflections in mind, wear dark colored clothing to reduce your own reflection in the glass. Get close to the glass.
As for lenses, I would take any of your f/1.8 options. You can always crop down.
Leave the tripod at home. It's summer season, and it's going to be busy...not worth the risk of taking it and the staff not allowing you to use it. (..And you though the 70-200 is heavy...)
You mentioned the 70-200...it sounds like a good option, if you're looking to get a super-detailed close shot. It is probably not going to make a difference if the fish isn't right on the glass or close to it. The more water the lens has to shoot through, the less spectacular the shot is going to be. (I'm talking the large tank they have). Other smaller tanks are much clearer water.
Your 50 or 85 should be your best options.
 

SCraig

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I wouldn't use the speed light at all...remember, you're shooting through glass. Glass reflects.
With reflections in mind, wear dark colored clothing to reduce your own reflection in the glass. Get close to the glass.
Show me a reflection in any of these. In fact there is one shot of a red and green frog stuck on the glass at the Nashville Zoo (third from the end) that looks like he is floating because the glass is completely invisible.

Tennessee Aquarium - Everything except the Jellyfish and outside shots used a flash, I think. EXIF data will show and it's on all the shots.

Nashville Zoo - Scroll down to the Reptiles and Amphibians or the Fish section. I think all of them were shot with flash. Again, the EXIF data is intact and will show whether a flash was used.

Glass is reflective, but it reflects at the same angle away from the glass as the angle at which the light hits the glass. As I said, I use an off-camera flash cord and get the flash away from the camera and put the lens hood right against the glass. The result is zero reflections.
 

PropilotBW

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I wouldn't use the speed light at all...remember, you're shooting through glass. Glass reflects.
With reflections in mind, wear dark colored clothing to reduce your own reflection in the glass. Get close to the glass.
Show me a reflection in any of these:

Tennessee Aquarium - Everything except the Jellyfish and outside shots used a flash, I think. EXIF data will show and it's on all the shots.

Nashville Zoo - Scroll down to the Reptiles and Amphibians or the Fish section. I think all of them were shot with flash. Again, the EXIF data is intact and will show whether a flash was used.

Glass is reflective, but it reflects at the same angle away from the glass as the angle at which the light hits the glass. As I said, I use an off-camera flash cord and get the flash away from the camera and put the lens hood right against the glass. The result is zero reflections.

Nice shots.
 

kathyt

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Most aquariums don't allow flash so you need to bump your ISO super duper high, and increase your SS like the others mentioned. In some of my recent aquarium shots I had my ISO up to 12,000 I believe. I used a macro 100mm lens and it worked really well. Skip the tripod because you will have no room for it.
 

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