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FAQs, Input about Digital Photography

Related Articles: Aquarium Photography: A Wonderful Offshoot By:  Adam Blundell and Shane Silcox,

Related FAQs: Above Water Photography, Underwater Photography,


Wet Web Media Site Compliment/Resource Suggestion        6/30/15
Dear Webmaster,
I just came across your awesome website and found it to be a great aquatic/aquarium
resource! I love keeping fish (though I am not very good at it) and found some helpful tips on your site - thanks a lot!
While I was browsing your site, I noticed you have already kindly linked to our sister sites, Can Stock Photo, Foto Search, and Go Graph in the "Photography" section of your page at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/fwlinks.htm  and would like to suggest an additional resource for you and your users, Barewalls.com.
<Ahh; will add this AM. Bob Fenner; common progenitor>
Created in 1996, Barewalls was the first company to capitalize on the tremendous potential of selling posters and prints online. Our vast collection contains artwork from thousands of famous photographers and painters from Ansel Adams to Vincent Van Gogh. Popular styles include Abstract art, Cubism, Impressionism, Pop Art, Renaissance, and more. Our
extensive list of artists can be found here:
I created an HTML link for your use if you find us to be a useful addition to the site!:
<a href="http://www.barewalls.com">Barewalls.com</a>
Megan A. Kos
Barewalls, Inc.

Pic – 4/19/12
Hi Bob,
A few of my corals under the Orphek DIF 50XP Pendants.  Wish I could get them a little sharper.  I think what I need to do is shoot during the evening so no outside light interferes. <Good idea> I didn't have a tripod on that shot but will use one this evening when I take a few shots for the review. <Likely hand held is fine... I shoot at 125th, 250th of a second... Consider raising your ISO setting (to a few thou) and only adding (if any) minimal supplemental (outside, flash...) lighting> I'm also going to use a remote shutter release to minimize movement.  <Mmm, "it", the reduced resolution, may be the lighting itself>
 <Cheers, B>

Re: Pic – 4/19/12
 I'll try bumping the ISO up until I can shoot at 1/125 and see what I get.  In real life the appearance isn't quite that blue.  There are two high range UV LEDs in the multichip and that may be what is making it appear more blue.
<Ah yes. B>

Re Pix     4/20/12
Hi Bob,
Got a little better results with the camera last night.
<Ah yes. B>

Re: Grinding glass?? Now: DSLR focus, technique   1/7/11
Speaking of Nikon, I believe they have the lead with their 39 point AF system compared to Canon's 9 point system (Comparing the Canon 60D with the Nikon D7000). The question is, how valuable is a 39 point AF system in the hands of most folks. To tell you the truth, most of the time I set my AF to one point, in the center. I've found that using all nine points, that on occasion, the camera will choose 3 or 4 different focus points and average between them, and sometimes you pic can be slightly out of focus
because of it, especially if your f-stop is below f8. Now keep in mind that my body is not the latest and greatest. I believe Canon released my 20D around November 2004 and obviously many new innovations have taken place since that time. As old as it is, it does take some great pics. I've always felt that a comparable 35mm film camera took much sharper pictures and had much better color definition. Not to long ago I was digitizing some 35mm negatives from pics I took with my old Minolta SLR and I printed a
couple of them out. I was really amazed at the detail and color definition present. I have yet to see a comparable print come out of my Canon digital, close, but not close enough where I couldn't tell the difference.
Perhaps a newer Canon body such as the 50D would produce noticeably better prints but I've got my doubts, at least for all around photography. I'm sure the 50D would be better at higher ISOs, less noise, etc. Oh well, enough rambling.
Have a nice day,
I do much the same most of the time. Single point focus so the camera does not zero in on junk I don't want. Then if I want something different it just gets swapped to manual focus. All these focus points, what is a photographer to do? I find it quite funny you bring it up. The D7000 is a far superior camera to the D300(s). I firmly believe that Nikon only let the 7000 have 39 AF points compared to the 300's 51 just so they can continue to sell the 300s. It is an inferior camera by all counts. Not a bad camera, but the 7000 has much newer tech in it. The 300s adds very little over the years old 300 it replaces. My little D90 only has 12 AF points I believe and focuses just fine!
Scott V.

Photos   9/1/10
Hello Grant,
I've viewed the photos you sent to Bob, and I'm very interested in what lens you used to take the pics with.
James (Salty Dog)
Well, I'm still living on the other side of the tracks with my EOS 20D and a couple of EF-S lenses. In my opinion the 50D is a little more than middle of the line, is a great camera. Thank you, Grant, nice pics.
Hey James. I used a Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens paired up with my Canon 50D body. Nothing too fancy as far as SLRs go, pretty much middle of the line nowadays.
Re: Photos   9/2/10
True, the 50D when compared with the 20D is a great camera ;) However, with the 60D coming out soon,
<I'd rather have the 50D over the 60D. Really not interested in the HD Video for the extra bucks and I believe the 60D did away with the magnesium alloy body, fps is lower and I don't believe you can fine tune focus for each lens. My opinion, the 60D is a glorified T2i.>
the 7D already being out and the 5D MKII being amazing for capturing clear macro photos at a high ISO, my 50D feels pretty much middle of the line comparatively. However, if I had been upgrading from a 20D I'd definitely think it was an amazing camera.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my 50D, but the grass is always greener somewhere else. I'd love the 5D MK II so I could take high ISO pictures of my tank without the grain it invokes in most cameras, including my 50D.
<Geez, your macros look pretty good to me. As soon as Bob gives me a raise, I'm going to look for a used, low shutter count 50D.-:) James
(Salty Dog)>
Grant Gray
Re: Photos   9/2/10
Well thanks for all the compliments.
<You're welcome.>
I took those pictures at either 200 or 400 ISO and used a flash, that's why you can see no grain. I'd like to be able to do non flash macro photography of interesting aquarium "stuff" rather than have to use a flash all the time, that's where the 5D MKII would come in handy.
<Oh yes, would love to have one, unfortunately it's waaaay out of my price range.>
I agree with you on the 60D that it's just a glorified T2i. However, that's like saying the 50D is a glorified Xsi, it's not totally an accurate statement ;) There is a lot that comes with the better body.
I bought a 7D and returned it a couple months ago, I loved the HD video but I didn't like the high ISO performance. I basically paid $900 more than I could sell my 50D for and for the actual gain I got in features I use it just wasn't worth it.
<I believe it would be very difficult to notice picture quality between the 50D and the 7D. Heck, my 20D takes pretty nice photos for an older camera.>
For tank videos it's hard to beat though. I didn't think I'd use the video at all but I found myself using it quite a bit. For that reason alone I'd buy the 60D, although I would miss my 6FPS, however I think the 60D is 5.3FPS so that isn't really much worse.
<No, wouldn't think so. I rarely rapid fire, used it once or twice trying to capture that right picture.>
I do sell photography on the side, so having the 18MP of the 60D for larger prints would not be a bad thing for me.
<Not much of a problem with me as I never had the need to go much higher than 8x10.>
I'm going to be selling my 50D sometime in the near future, let me know if you're interested ;) I guarantee it's in 100% perfect condition, I baby the thing. No scratches, no drops, nothing. However, it would depend what you consider low shutter count, I have around 25,000 actuations so far.
<I'd be looking for something 5K or less, and with the 50D's coming down in price, I might be better off buying new. I've already saw new 50D bodies (USA) going for under 800 on EBay, and from reputable sellers.
A couple pictures   9/1/10
Hey Bob. I know your site doesn't change much anymore <?> but I thought if you were in need of a couple pictures, I'd pass along some. If you don't want to use them on your site, or post them, that's fine, hopefully you and your crew just enjoy looking at them.
<Hey Grant. Thank you for sharing. Will gladly post w/ credit to you.
Lysmata debelius and Balistapus Undulatus.
As always, I appreciate all you guys do.

Re: Clown Breeding follow-up. Photography/aquarium    7/11/10
Hi Scott-
<Hi Sal>
The "secret" to any photography is to make sure the subject is lit from the front. For aquaria, this means pointing the camera slightly to avoid the lights. Also, making sure ALL lights in the room are off reduces glare on the glass. Sometimes it helps to turn off the Actinics for warmer colors.
Even on a cheap digital like the one I use, set the ISO as fast as possible - 1600 is good. If the image speed is fast, you need a shorter shutter speed and a smaller aperture. The result is a well focused stop-action picture. I still like film better, but good luck getting it processed correctly these days.
<Thank you for the tips.>
<Scott T.>

Candy Cane Coral Photo -- 03/19/10
Hi Bob,
Sorry for that crappy photo I sent you. Just realized my Canon was set at the lowest possible resolution in the RAW mode. Did not realize the RAW mode had six or seven different resolution levels available until I dove into the menu deeper.
<The more you look, the more there is to see. B>

General Photograph Blue Screen And White Balance 3/13/10
I wonder if you've had this question before or anyone nutty besides me to try this. I've checked the local search engine here and also general Google.
Most shops I've been in sell backgrounds to attach to the tank's back that change the background. I like the effect of black for instance but not anything silly like Finding Nemo or something with a princess.
<Aw, you're no fun.>
I found a blue that makes a not too shabby chroma key. I've had some success keying out the background and putting something else in. Not only do I think this is an interesting angle for someone with both fish and photo editing skills but it might be a good place to put sponsor messages for professional fish videos LOL.
<Hee, hee.>
Any tips?
<I had a 120 gallon tank at one time where the princess and the frog background became salt encrusted. So I did remove this and cleaned the glass good and painted the back of the glass with a flat latex azure blue.
Did remove any glare and I thought it looked rather pleasing. Problem here is keeping the inside of the glass clean which is nearly impossible with a full blown reef tank.>
Or alternately, is there anything that can be used IN TANK that can be attached to the back glass? That would give a stronger key and reduce glare.
<Mmm, you might want to try a piece of colored acrylic/Plexiglas.>
Also, have you done anything with white balance, setting it on an object in the tank? I've had good luck with this on a friend's SW talk that had white substrate. Think I made $100 printing some photos for her. She never saw anything like it because the natural light distortions from the glass.
<I set my white balance the normal way using a gray card, I think the results are a little better. To get the desired look I want in the aquarium photo, I change the Kelvin temperature in my DSLR menu rather than play with the white balance. Once I get what I'm looking for, I save this in one of the camera's user memories so it is readily available when I want to use it.>
I plan on using a white index card taped to the back of the tank (outside of course) because I don't have anything white in the tank and I am not spending $40 on fake coral.
<Try/experiment. I do not believe there is a right and wrong way, whatever looks good to you. James (Salty Dog)>
Any suggestions appreciated.
Re General Photograph Blue Screen And White Balance 3/14/10
Ahhh. Thanks. For the painting you did (I'm FW btw) was it the black glass on the INSIDE of the tank or outside?
<No black glass, was clear glass painted on the outside.>
And what did you use for the gray card and where did you put it?
<Just a standard photographer's white balance grey card and it is put in front of the lens.>
And if inside painting I suppose a fish and water transport is necessary :')
BTW: Green Chroma could be interesting if making underwater horror films with plants in the tank.
<Mmm, The Werewolf Fish strikes again. James (Salty Dog)>

Nikon, Canon... camera sel.   7/16/09
Hello Bob,
I'm thinking about selling my Canon G9 and go with a DSLR. I know you are a Nikon fan and wondered what model you use if current. I've presently got a bid in on EBay for a Canon EOS D20 and hoping I win. I've been looking at the Nikon D40x also,
<These are both great cameras>
a factory refurbished model that B&H has on their site.
<I have bought a good deal of product, used and new from B & H; they're reputable>
I'm not interested in buying brand new as cameras are like computers now, buy one today and outdated tomorrow, and, buying used, in very good condition, is much more bang for the buck. Any suggestions based on your experience?
<The 10,20,30... D series cameras are amongst the best consumer rigs on the planet. I don't think you will go wrong using one of them>
James, having a cold beer on the deck whilst answering WWM mail.
<BobF, recovering from IPAs from last night>

UW photography  7/3/08 Bob, I am very excited about the upcoming Hawaii trip, and a trip to Catalina on 7-13 as well! <Ahh!> I was wanting your input on a camera. I am not willing nor wanting to invest in a housing/strobes for my Nikon quite yet, is there a particular point and shoot that you have seen or tried ( and liked!)? <There are quite a few... Sony, Nikon, Canon, even Fuji have some good ones... with plenty of features, that take very nice pix... sans an external flash even. Look esp. to how many buttons and how hard it is to get to them... to set, re-set to "macro" setting/s> I realize there will be a huge quality difference in most of the photos, I just want to be able to share a bit of my experiences with my wife who could not get medically cleared to dive. Thank you, Scott V. <Ahh! Hopefully she will enjoy snorkeling. BobF>

Cameras, MichL discovers digital SLR...  - 07/08/07 Well, I was down at my cousin's house on Saturday. I showed him a bunch of my UW photos at my cousin Lisa's surprise 40th birthday party in May. He is an engineer and a professional photographer... he actually took the photo's at my friend Amy's (with the twins) wedding. So he is somewhat knowledgeable. So he was letting me play around with his digital SLR and showing me a couple different things, and we played around with several different lenses. It was really COOL! And WOW! I can't believe the difference between this and a point and shoot! <Ah yes... once you go SLR, you never go back... as they say> I just can't get over how far away you can be from your subject and the type of detail you can capture with these cameras. It's unbelievable! I still like the macro shots. I just like to capture the detail. The difference between the SLR and the point and shoot is simply amazing! There is a lot to learn. I would obviously want to get an underwater housing. DANG! They're expensive! <Yes... and lighting, and arms, and...> And several different makers... Fantasea, Ikelite, Sea and Sea just to name a few. And then there's the different lenses, lens ports, substrobes... It's a sea to sort through and it can be a bottomless pit of $... <Mmm, possibly... I'd like to issue the usual refrain here: MAKE IT PAY! Take pix, sell pix and articles... BUY more stuff including travel... WITH the MONEY you make doing what you enjoy... Repeat, rinse, repeat...> I'm hoping you might take me under your wing and give me some guidance here. <Shore> Can you tell me about your set up and why you use what you use? <Mmm, my best rig/s are the D70's (am NOT upgrading to the 200's... or... yet. Ikelite housings and their digital strobes and cords (with fill in with my old INONs), Ultra-light arms... Some spare gear... batteries, cards... and good hard-sided cases for transport. I mainly use the 60 and 105 mm lenses... but do have 80-200 and 18-35 and 14mm et al. lenses and ports> Which camera do you typically use? <The D70 Nikons... but still have my N90 analog rigs... Nexus Hsg.s...> What housing do you use? Any brands you recommend/avoid and reasons why? <I DO like the modern Ikelite housings by and large... For: 1) they're cheap/er than others... 2) You can see easily INSIDE should there be some trouble, e.g. leaking... 3) They're very sturdy... 4) Their easy to change ports on... and nowadays 5) they're TTL enabled...> What lens do you typically use? My cousin had some recommendations for dry land but had no idea what worked best underwater. I would like something that will take good macro shots also. <See above... the 60 and 105 are to "die for" in terms of near focus, depth of field... and do look for/buy a RIG (I see this below) that comes with at least one std. lens... the above water digital SLR lenses are "not that great" for UW use... Nikon's lenses are very good... but, off-brands can/do work with an adaptor ring (to enable electronics... plus fit the dagger connection...> Do you typically need to use a lens port? <Mmm, yes... keeps the water out of the hsg.> I would like to make a wise investment here. The housings for the D40x and the D80 are generally the same price, more than the camera for crying out loud! There seems to be more options for the D80 than the D40's. <Yes... newer models get this, as do ones that are more popular... But don't be too dazzled... a stock one with just ten options will do...> I don't think I would consider the D40. The price difference between the D40 and the D40x is minimal for the improved features available with the D40x. The biggest difference is the D40x has 10.2 mp vs. 6.1 mp with the D40. <... I typically shoot on smaller... jpg.s, rather than the larger/est available NEF files (proprietary to Nikon... and a pain in the keister unless you want to spend some time... batch processing... CS# et al. software... Do chat this over... THINK about what you want to do... all Net work is smaller... MOST ALL print work does NOT require multi-mega byte image sizes... BEWARE of proprietary file formats> I am thinking about getting either the D40x or the D80. The main difference between the two as I understand it, is the auto focus feature is built into the body of the camera with the D80, where as you need to get special auto focus lenses which have the mechanism built in with the D40x. <Really? I didn't know this... Am pretty to very sure that all Nikon (and adaptor-ringed other lenses like Sigma) will work with both body models> Will one of these two be better for underwater work? <Mmm... am hoping you take this as I intend it... but really either of these two choices IS mighty fine... THAT it is MORE impt. to just get out and make the pix AND sell them... WITH writing... or W/O... IF you want to spend the big bongo bucks, and not chase the later, greater tech. for a year or so... Heee... Step on up to the D200... BobF> Digital UW Photography Gear  Aloha  Bob, <Craig> I just finished my open water cert and am looking to buy some  underwater photo gear.  I'd like your opinion on my choices. <Okay... have only owned a few makes/models, but have read, chatted with folks re many more...> -I have a digital rebel (6 megapixel D-SLR) that I could buy an  Ikelite housing for (and add strobes later when I can afford it) OR -I could buy the Sea & Sea DX-8000G 8 megapixel camera and housing  (again adding strobes in about a month). OR -I could buy the Sea & Sea DX 759G  5 megapixel  with small kine  light right now. My gut tells me I should buy the Ikelite housing or larger Sea & Sea  and add strobes when I can afford it rather than go for a smaller  package immediately, but your input would be appreciated. BTW, look me up next time you're in the islands, would love to go  diving.   Will have more dives under my belt by then, doing a couple  more this weekend, Shark's Cove and Three Tables or Electric Beach on  Oahu. Mahalo, Craig Ellenwood <All good to great places when the surf's "not up"... And I do hope we get together on the Big Island, elsewhere as well... Given just the information above, I actually would go with building on your Canon rig... Not to talk down the Sea & Sea products, but the Rebel is a great camera, you don't really need more pixels per... and your familiarity with it above water cinches the deal for its use UW... I would save up, get the Ikelite "125" digital strobe (and possibly a "50" in time for back, side lighting) if you'll be mainly shooting in the tropics (bright settings). We could chat this up quite a bit, but given these choices, I'd go with the Canon. Bob Fenner> Aquarium Photography/Camera Choice  3/30/06 In your opinion, what is the best camera to buy to photograph corals? (Just to clarify, I mean in an aquarium, not the ocean :) I have heard Nikon CoolPix. Thank you in advance, I figured you guys would know for sure. <Niki, there are many good cameras that will do the job.  Whichever brand you choose, make sure it has macro capability and at least four megapixels.  One that I've had my eye on lately is the Sony DSP-W5.  Has a 2 1/2" display, Carl Zeiss lens,  and takes beautiful macro pics.  I've heard the Canon A610 is also a nice camera in this regard.  Both are in the $250 range.  James (Salty Dog)>   Niki

Starfish Eggs? (4/29/05) Hi, I have a red starfish, I think it's a Fromia milleporella. I've had it a few months and it is doing great. This morning I noticed that it had a few small red balls sitting on top of it. <Weird.> I checked back and found LOTS of red balls on and around it. I have checked everywhere to see if it could be laying eggs, but with no luck finding information.  <I doubt these are eggs as most starfish reproduce by free-spawning their eggs out into the water. Here's an interesting picture: http://www.cosmos.ne.jp/~breach/hot-spawn.html > I would not expect them to adhere.> I feel kind of funny writing to you because for all I know it could just be relieving itself and I've never noticed it.  <I'm sure it's not poop.>  Anyway, I was able to carefully get the starfish and eggs (?) into a protected area just in case.  <If they are eggs, they have not been fertilized, and thus cannot develop.>  I took a couple of photos, but don't know how to make them smaller.  <Most photo-editing software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and Microsoft Digital Image Suite have tools for quickly reducing file size and attaching images to an e-mail.>  <<Note: Irfanview is another excellent program created for Windows that is downloaded for free.>> Can have my husband help me tonight with that if you want to see them.  <Love to! Keep file size 300K or less.>  What do you think??  <Hard to say without taking a look at a good picture. Does the starfish show any sign of deterioration?>  Thanks, Kim  <Hope this helps some. Please do send the pix. Steve Allen.> 

Free Image Software Bob, I just downloaded and am trying out this free software from Google called Picasa2. It is remarkably simple to use. Here's a summary of it--> Picasa is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you will recognize. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized. Picasa also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and powerful effects at your fingertips. Download it here and check it out, it's worthwhile--> http://www.picasa.com/index.php  <Thank you for this. BobF>

Re Nikon D70 - Which Software? <Miguel, pleas read through and give me your opinion whether to spend the $ 100 for the Nikon capture software... or the Adobe CS, PE 3... a snag or just use the smaller jpegs... B> I would just go with the jpegs in the largest format. <Ah, yes... that was my plan> The RAW and TIFF images take too long to store on the card while shooting and can sometimes lock the camera up. <Not this one... as you'll see... it can shoot 3 or 4 full size images... a second! The new strobe (which will mainly be set on half power manual) recycles in.... a half second!> Jpegs will work fine for what we are using them for and they can still be made into nice prints. If needed I would go with PE3 just because it's a great program.  Mike (my 2 cents worth) <Am still hemming and hawing re the PE3... I downloaded and toyed with a 30 day trial version... Will go with the jpgs. B> More on Underwater Digital Photography  Equipment Bob, those links were a little disturbing. I hope I didn't make the wrong decision now about the housing. Between the lack of wide-angle & its history of breaking... ~Jeni <Well... I did want you to see Peter's input... he is generally "spot on"... Do listen to his and others careful use input. B>  Jeni, the Ikelite housing is probably superior when a wide angle lens is attached - BUT at a price of $500 vs. $189 for the housing, $275 vs. $65 for lens port that puts the same camera and same lens underwater... Thanks, but I'll take my $521 (more if you factor in the fact that you will end up buying a second strobe for wide angle) and fly to Hawaii (twice in the cheap season!).  Seriously, if you are going to be doing a lot of diving and want to get professional - get an SLR type set up - but also be prepared to pay the price. Also do keep in mind you can get very good pictures with a 5060. -Dave 

1 GB Card Source and Other Digital Photography Related Hi Bob, Since I don't have a laptop, I was thinking of purchasing a 1GB card for the Olympus 5060. All these are confusing me. Which is best? Dave uses a Microdrive, but I'm hearing a lot of bad stuff about it.  Thanks, Jeni <I buy the cheapest "fast" cards... think the one gigs are going for about fifty dollars... the IBM and knock-off Microdrives are fine, but expensivo! B>  Jeni, I bought a 4GB card almost a year ago for about $200 - by pulling it out of a cheap MP3 player that came out with an OEM Hitachi Microdrive. I did this because it was by far the cheapest thing on the market. You can get one now for 189 at http://memorysuppliers.com/hi4gbmi4cofl.html  <Cheap> I think you might do well with the compact flash - but you will want more than 1MB for a week long trip. I would get at least 4 to be honest...You do not want to try and delete unused photos from the camera. <Agreed> The advantage of CF right now as that (reason 1 & 2 are the only that really matter in my opinion) 1. 4 1GB cards is only slightly more that 1 4GB Microdrive 2. 4 cards are better than 1 - if my 1 card fails I'm screwed (if this happens at the end of a trip and you haven't been saving the pictures - everything is gone. It probably will not happen but it is a risk.) 3. CF uses less power (not really an issue on the 5060 - you will still take upwards of 600 pictures on one charge) 4. CF produces less heat (maybe this is better) 5. CF is reported to be more reliable by some (and they are solid state. 6. Some (but not all) high speed CF is reported to be faster. This is almost a non- issue. W/Underwater you are limited by the strobe recycle time. I don't know of any underwater strobes that support burst photography... Definitely not the Ikelites though. Another thing to be careful of -- a lot of crappy CF cards are sold at a premium because they are labeled high speed (when they are not). There are various speed tests done on the internet that I have come across. Here are some camera settings suggestions. Shoot in SHQ only - unless you don't mind a 7 second write wait (your strobe will appreciate it), have a lot of time to spend color correcting RAW images and think you have a chance of being published in National Geographic! Really SHQ works great.   Set the camera to use the underwater accessory. This is new to the 5060.  ***Get used to pressing the shutter release half way to get the AF active and cut down on the shutter lag.  Use My Mode to set the following up. 1. My favorite is AF/Super-Macro F5.6 (will depend on ambient lighting but this is a good test start) ISO 80 or 100. Put the camera in on the M (manual) dial, in the "CAMERA" settings set the Flash to Slave and the speed to Slow. This is the only way to get the built on flash to fire in Super Macro. If by chance you are using a cabled TTL - follow their instructions. Note: You can still use auto focus in this mode and I suggest you do. 2. My second favorite is AF/Macro with a P mode set up (basically auto everything) 3. AF P mode for wide angle. You need a lot of light for this to really work though. Anyways, congrats on making a camera decision. Also, before you go on your trip - be crazy and go in a swimming pool to try the thing out and get used to the settings. I spent way too much time in Egypt experimenting (with what should have been done elsewhere). Bring some coins, soda cans or other small targets to practice focusing on... Don't be like me and waste a lot of time, money, dive time w/ add on lenses until you have the basics down.  Once again I'm a bit long winded but have fun!  -Dave <I don't know enough to make comments re the settings mentioned here for the 5060... on the Olympus 4040 rig, the D70 DSLR Nikon and all Nikon analog SLR's I shoot strictly on Manual mode... setting exposure generally at 100 or 125th of a second (sometimes more/less, but rarely)... there's a very nice article by a fellow I met while out visiting with JasC diving... here: SplashdownDivers that I think you'd both enjoy. Bob Fenner> 

Some photos taken in Tulamben, Bali with the Oly 8080 Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2005 Hi Jeni, Bob,  I saw the post re: digital cameras for U/W photography, and I thought I'd point you towards a site my fianc? created to house/store our shots taken in Bali last August/September. We only have a few shots up (a lot of tweaking is needed for the rest, been too busy moving and such), and the flash was far too weak, but he was able to get some good ones. Thought you might be interested, and also interested to know that I've done a bit of business with buydig.com and have been *very* pleased (though it can be quite a wait to get a customer service rep. on the phone!). Marina   <Thank you for this... am very happy with the D70 thus far... but the buying of Nikon's Capture software... and/or the PS Elements 3 or new CS ADBE program is a bummer. B>

Digital Photography Stuff >>Hi Dave, I have finally sold all my equipment on eBay (I still have a brand new sync cord I need to sell). I made a little over $1,600. Any updates for me on the best way to spend this money? I'd like a large card, so I can take lots of pictures. Or are many smaller cards better? Thanks, Jeni<< >Hi Jeni, How are you? My camera is an Olympus 5060 w/an Olympus PT-020 housing and Ikelite ds-50 flash. It's a 5.1 megapixel camera. You can get the camera for $460 at www.buydig.com and the housing for about $200. I bought the strobe at www.bhphotovideo.com - and think it was around $500 for the strobe, tray and all the parts.  That said I still think the Olympus 5060 and 5050 are the best "bang for the buck" underwater point and shoot digital cameras on the market right now. The 5050 (slightly older model) is reported to have a better lens but the 5060 has some features that are useful above and below water that I like and significantly less shutter lag. If you are willing to spend $500 additional for the housing you can get an a Ikelite housing that has a synch cord to the camera/strobe as opposed to the watching system that my system (and Bob's digital camera 4040) has. I'm not real sure if that is worth $300 to you...  Also there is an 8.0 Megapixel Olympus camera (8080/PT-023 housing) that has a fairly inexpensive housing, however, I have read anything spectacular about it that justifies the additional expenses - which leads me to this...  Depending on your budget (I assume how much you can get for your Nikonos) and/or how crazy you are about this you may be tempted to go with a digital SLR camera which will easily put your total cost in the $3,000 range. Olympus is releasing a new 8.0 megapixel SLR and manufacture an underwater housing for it. I will be watching that option myself. It is the E-300 model. Not sure what it will cost buy if the housing is cheap it may be worth it.  That's enough for a pretty nice digital set up.  If I were you I would consider an Olympus 5060 set up and either an Inon D-2000 Strobe or Ikelite ds-50 strobe. The camera does spectacular with macro when you get everything right and a decent job with everything else. My only complaint is like all digital (non SLR) camera there is "shutter lag" - which means it is difficult to take pictures of moving fish (and why Bob calls so many of my pictures "Buttfish" - the fish are swimming away).  Right now I am keeping my eye on the Olympus < http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_product_blue.asp?l=1&p=&bc=&product=1140&fl=5 > E-VOLT. It is an 8.0 megapixel digital SLR. What make this camera so attractive to me is that Olympus is going to be releasing an underwater housing for it this spring. Usually the Olympus made housings are much less expensive than comparable 3rd party housings. For example, the housing Olympus housing for my 5060 can be had for $200, while the Ikelite is over $500 and a Tetra aluminum housing is over $1,000. If you do your research there are advantages in using the 3rd party housings. The Ikelite housing offers true TTL via a synch cable rather than triggering off of the camera's flash. Right now you can get the E-VOLT for about $800 (after a $100 rebate from Olympus) at buydig < http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sku=OMEVE300 > but you may want to check on this daily. Yesterday I saw it there for $729.  I'm not sure what buydig's strategy is but I've seen them doing this before. I've bought 3 cameras from them total now and have never had a problem though. Olympus hasn't released the housing for this camera so I am waiting to see if I will be trading in my 5060 or not. In the mean time check out www.digideep.com  and www.digitaldiver.net .   Oh, .and as far as the CF cards. I think it depends on your preferences. If you have lots of pictures on one card and something goes bad - you can lose a lot of pictures. If you have lots of smaller ones you will limit this risk but I wouldn't get ones that are too small because you don't want to have to open your camera on wet boat to change memory cards. This is a far more risky thing to do to me. The batteries in my 5060 will take about 600 pictures so that isn't a limitation. You can get a 4GB Microdrive for about $200. I have one of these. Some people don't like to use Microdrives but I have never had a problem. In SHQ JPG mode I can take 1,086 pictures with this card. So theoretically you could take 100 pictures a day for 10 days and not run out of disk space. and save yourself the expense/hassle of bringing a laptop on your trip. Hope this helps.  -Dave 

Big Wave Dave's Digital camera (Olympus 5060) input Hi Jeni, How are you?  My camera is an Olympus 5060 w/ an Olympus PT-020 housing and Ikelite ds-50 flash.  It's a 5.1 megapixel camera.  You can get the camera for $460 at www.buydig.com and the housing for about $200.  I bought the strobe at www.bhphotovideo.com - and think it was around $500 for the strobe, tray and all the parts.  That said I still think the Olympus 5060 and 5050 are the best "bang for the buck" underwater point and shoot digital cameras on the market right now.  The 5050 (slightly older model) is reported to have a better lens but the 5060 has some features that are useful above and below water that I like and significantly less shutter lag.  If you are willing to spend $500 additional for the housing you can get an a Ikelite housing that has a synch cord to the camera/strobe as opposed to the watching system that my system (and Bob's digital camera 4040) has.  I'm not real sure if that is worth $300 to you...  Also there is an 8.0 Megapixel Olympus camera (8080/PT-023 housing) that has a fairly inexpensive housing, however, I have read anything spectacular about it that justifies the additional expenses - which leads me to this... Depending on your budget (I assume how much you can get for your Nikonos) and/or how crazy you are about this you may be tempted to go with a digital SLR camera which will easily put your total cost in the $3,000 range.  Olympus is releasing a new 8.0 megapixel SLR and manufacture an underwater housing for it.  I will be watching that option myself.  It is the E-300 model.  Not sure what it will cost buy if the housing is cheap it may be worth it. -Dave http://www.digideep.com/ www.wetpixel.com

Digital Photography Hi Bob, Thanks for the quick response to the yellow tang problem. Last month I moved to digital photography with a Fuji S7000. Getting great results with an improved depth of focus in macro mode. All the best, Iggy <Ahhh... time and progress marches on unabated! The most modern of such rigs we have is an Olympus 4040... but a friend had the newer 5060 rig with us last week in the Red Sea... and much improved... no discernible delay twixt actuating the "shutter equivalent"... Bob Fenner, who still has his old LP's and loves the clicks and pops!>

Reef Critters 3/9/04 Anthony. Ok. That problem resolved, I took out that piece of lace rock and just went and got 25 more pounds of liverock.. problem solved. <heehee... yikes! Your solution of "if we don't know what it is... get rid of it/kill it" sounds frighteningly reminiscent of some governments policies> ---0oh come on now! No really, it was a piece of lattice rock (nothing other than that suspicious stuff on it so I got the live rock. better bio anyway) Plus, I was worried about the fish!!! So don't tease me! <<too tempting <G>> I'll check for some books for the white ovals...but for future reference, is there a "trick" to getting good pictures of your tank? My digital camera doesn't like the glass (yes i turned off the flash!) <ahh, yes... do use your flash (most always) but take the shot at an angle so that the flash does not bounce back at you (the flash will allow for a fast shutter stopped and fill in nicely - color and clarity to the image)> and I can't get it to zoom enough... <if digital, do resist using zoom to excess. It degrades the image quality. A proper lens (close-up) is far better than digital zoom. If not available, simply get as close as possible to the subject> maybe I should invest in a little microscope so I can check stuff out in the future.... What's your opinion on protein skimmers? Was thinking of one for my big tank, fish and live rock....good brand? really worth it? <I recommend a skimmer (or tow for large tanks over 120 gall) to almost all aquarists. They are incredibly useful. I would almost rather not run a tank than go without one. Do resist the poorly made low and mid shelf models... there is a lot of... er,... crap out there! Save your pennies and get a good design/brand like Euroreef or Aqua C brands> Thanks silly. Heather <best of luck my friend, Anthony>

Everyone, here's an Ian pic Here is a picture that I took of my Chevron tang and my Blueface Angelfish. I had to edit the background in adobe Photoshop because too much light was reflected off of my black background on my aquarium. All in all i believe its a pretty decent picture. If you would like you can post it on the site as a background. Thanks <Thank you for sending this along. Bob F>

Ian - nice picture - would love to send out as an image of the day, but unfortunately the format/size of the image doesn't lend itself to that. In the future, if you could try to send these along un-cropped, or better yet work with your technique to capture as much as possible in a landscape format, I'd be more than happy to send them out. Cheers
J --

Camera advice Hi Bob, <Hey Alex. Of all things, heard from Kirk Cantrell today as well!> hope you're well. the weather in England is starting to resemble California at the moment, would you believe! I've been promised a u/w digital camera for my birthday, and not having much idea about things, wanted your advice. I imagine the budget is around $750, and was thinking about the Olympus C-4000Z with the PT-010 housing - do you think this is a good idea? I'm guessing I can't afford Ikelite! all the best, <This is a very nice combo. And the housing is better than Ikelites by far. Bob Fenner> Alex. 

Digital Photo Gear (a techno chase adventure!) > http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,587650,00.asp Indeed, have seen Jas, thanks. Believe me, I'm almost constantly watching the digital camera market/technologies. Sadly (or, economically!), I'm not even considering buying a Digital SLR until the full-frame CCD's (or CMOS, ala Canon and Kodak) are actually affordable. Right now, only the exorbitant Contax and the not-yet-available Kodak and Canon are full-frame. Hell with that. Another 6-8 months, I'm sure, and the Canon 11MP full-frame CMOS will be in a cheaper unit... or the Kodak 14MP will get a cheaper/smaller sibling and convince me to switch to the Nikon system! (entirely possible!) The Kodak (it's too damn bulky) http://www.dpreview.com/news/0209/02092304kodakdcs14n.asp This report shows the Canon 11MP sensor is superior to scanned 35MM slide film: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/1ds/1ds-field.shtml That Canon is my current object of technolust... -Zo

Re: Jellyfish (pix over the net) No zips or huge pics for WWM Queries please Is 320x240 pixels ok for size? <Yes, my friend...if the image is clear, that would be wonderful. A little bigger if necessary. We get so much email at WetWebMedia every day and it is worked on by so many folks with various degrees of virus protection that pictures straight from the camera are too large unsized and too risky as zips by volume. Much appreciation for the adjustment :)>

B U Y . C O M - Computer Systems for Home and Office at Low Prices (2) Bob, Was wondering if the 3 second delay you have when using the digital camera may be due to a slow memory card. I have a fast 64MB card we can try out - also check this out. <Okay... the delay is only about a third of a second. Sorry for the confusion. Bob F> http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=10302882&hdwt=30421&loc=101 <<B U Y . C O M - Computer Systems for Home and Office at Low Prices (2).url>> << BUY.COM-ComputerSystemsforHomeandOfficeatLowPrices(2).url >>

Re: Stuff... (underwater photography) Also... the digital slave... I think both the Ikelite housing and the Coolpix has a hookup for the flash - TTL is it? Anyway... wouldn't need the slave sensor gadget with that, yes/no? <Mmm, think you're right... didn't look on Ikelite's site before sending last input... no sensor needed if directly connected. Bob F> All very fascinating stuff. <And expensive!> J --

Re: Stuff... (underwater photography) Well... housing for coolpix [yes 950] is intriguing because I now have a handle on how that damned thing works... that Hymenocera image I sent was shot with that... so there is advantage there. <For sure, yes> I just know because of all the fun I had in Na'ama Bay trying to take photos that I need a lot of practice. <Neverending my friend, for all> I wouldn't turn down a Nikonos... I'm flexible... just have some dives planned and is a good time to mix up the dive plan. <Agreed. Bob F> Cheers, J --

re digital shooting Mike look at backscatter.com they have an interesting article on digital shooting techniques to save battery life, delayed exposure etc. <Will add to WWM's digital photography archived FAQs. Bob F>

Re: underwater digital photo help > I just got back from my first trip scuba diving in the Turks and Caicos. > <Am going there (Sandals) for the first time in November... worthwhile?> > There is a Beaches on the island of Provo but not an actual Sandals club. > The island is fantastic but we were amazed walking down the beach how crowded the Beaches resort was. It looked packed and had lots and lots of kids. If you are going just as a couple I would highly recommend Ocean Club West or Allegro. I took a whole bunch of photos with my Sony Cybershot P1 camera in the underwater housing. Some photos came out great but they are all too blue. > <Did your housing come with a "red filter?"... you should use it... and check your white balance options as well> Housing did not come with a red filter which is why I'm trying to get rid of some of the blue now. > I have Paintshop Pro and MS Picture It but I?#8364;™m not sure exactly how I should manipulate them to get the colors to be more true to real. Any suggestions? > <Really only to experiment... and to study your "Users Manuals" for next times efforts pre-post-production... Bob Fenner> I guess I'll continue my experimentation. Just trying to get some guidance so that I don't waste time trying to figure it out if there is an easy solution. thanks, <There really is no "wasted time" here in retrospect... you will learn the program and your gears operation best by self-study and experimentation. Bob Fenner> Alexandra

Digital Photography: Olympus camera, Tetra housing...  You boyz... mo' money, mo' money... The Olympus, Tetra housing combo... Bob F http://www.olympusamerica.com/product.asp?c=78&p=16&s=12&product=702 http://www.uwimaging.com/products/photo_housings/tetra_3030/tetra_3030.htm

Dominica Dive Pics with Tetra - Olympus 3040 Digital Camera << DominicaDivePicswithTetra-Olympus3040DigitalCamera.html >> <Beauty... and went through the linked Egypt trip... and onto Ikelite's site... they've got a new digital strobe with a ONE second recharge rate... Bob F... pls research the hsg, strobe, arm, camera... as to costs, whereabouts and lets order... /WWM> Bob F.

Digital Photography Report - Underwater with the Olympus 3040 Camera << DigitalPhotographyReport-UnderwaterwiththeOlympus3040Camera.html >> <I say let's go to Wakatobi, and what parts of the new digital kit are on order? The 4040, Tetra, Ikelite strobe/arm/sync cord... batteries, larger 128 meg storage card... Looks like we're out the Nikon V... shot anyway... and like this author stated, at about twelve dollars a roll to process... digital saves real money in a short while. Bob F>


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