I was just wondering what people thought about using for shooting in an aquarium. I'm asking because I was at the Monterey Aquarium a while ago, and... well, let's just say that it didn't go well. I had a couple of pictures I was very happy with, but mostly it was a disaster.
That day, I had a D90 as my only body, and did most of my shooting with a 50mm f/1.4.
I was thinking that, if I had to do it again, and had one available, a 24mm f/1.4 would probably be ideal.
That's a pretty tough environment. Not a lot of light, water that causes lots of wobbly subjects, lots of glass that causes flash to be problematic, lots of people to get in the way or to irritate, reflections off of the glass that are problematic even without flash.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Wed 09-Jan-13 06:36 AM | edited Wed 09-Jan-13 06:37 AM by robsb
A polarizer would cut too much light which is dim to start with. If you are up against the glassi.e have your lens hood touching the glass that pretty much takes are of reflections. shooting at angles works if you use a longer lens. Of the options I found the fish eye was the best choice.
I tried all the tricks mentioned earlier by other posts. And finally I decided ... why not go straight to the fish instead of shooting through glass and elbow wrestling with a long line of soccer moms?
That's why I have been saving up for an underwater housing for my D800 for the past 6 months.
My two favorite lens are the Sigma 8mm FishEye and the AF-S Nikkor 14-24 both wide open. I usually do not press my lens to the glass although it can be helpful. Best use of the circular FishEye is on a circular subject, so I switch a lot. Most of my shooting is done around 800 ISO although I typically have the camera set for Auto 6400.
This one is with D3 and 14-24 at 14mm f/2.8 320s and ISO 800 Everything hand held (no MonoPod or TriPod allowed).
The circular one is shot with a D7000 Sigma 8mm f/3.5 125s and ISO 6400
Can't wait for Montery Day as I missed the last two. I may go on my own sooner with my D800 and those two lens.
AW100 has a depth rating of 30 feet, if I remember it right? It's a snorkeling case more or less. I have been wanting to get real close to the marine life better than that for more than 10 years now.
The cheapest housing for D800 I can find is the Ikelite averaging $1,500 at the moment. With the port system and strobes, it will end up around $3,000 at least. That will be a heck of a system. Money is only part of the problem. It may not be convenient to lug this bulky system around every time I hop on the plane.
Or go mirrorless route. With the J2 or maybe the J3, plus the wp-n1 or wp-n2, it will be at least $1,000. There doesn't seem to be any strobe available for that. If anybody knows about the strobe for wp-n1 or n2, please let me know. The depth I usually go requires at least some form of lighting. This system may not even work, unless I stick with sunny shallow dives which only consist of less than a third of the dives I usually do. However, this system will be much smaller and lighter.
Sigh ... it's a lot easier just by going to the aquarium after all.