Best Macro For Controlled Aquarium Shots? (P&S vs. DSLR)

Started Apr 3, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Trancium Regular Member • Posts: 122
Best Macro For Controlled Aquarium Shots? (P&S vs. DSLR)


I need to do some EXTREME(as close as possible without going microscope) macro work with non-moving subjects in a controlled aquarium setting(separate small aquarium for shooting).

I used to use - back in the day - a Nikon Coolpix 4500 that allowed me to get amazing macro shots of marine life in a controlled aquarium setting. Since the camera allowed me to focus as close as 1cm, I could place the subject in a small aquarium, put it right up against the glass, and shoot with the lens up against the outside of the glass. I got amazing results.

Fast forward, I now have a Nikon D50, and just last year dropped a boatload of cash on a Sigma 150mm Macro lens, and right out of the box I'm disappointed.

Compared to the old Coolpix4500, the results are sad. I can't even focus as close as the ol' point and shoot.

Reversing and stacking, although a possibility, seems intimidating and loses a lot fo light, reducing focal depth significantly.

Initially I was considering switching to Canon for the 65mm that does 5:1 out of the box(why doesn't Nikon have an equivalent?!), but I have heard a lot of feedback about it being notoriously difficult to work with.

So I'm thinking I should just get an updated point and shoot with max resolution I can find that focuses as close as 1cm, and just return to the technique I used before. Also wondering if there are any attachments for P&S that might even get me even closer.

Flash issues are NOT a concern because all the light is provided by high-powered metal halide aquarium lights, mainly because they deliver the color I need for these shots (14k-20k color spectrum, on the bluish side) and a typical flash would ruin the color rendition completely.

Also: I realize I won't be able to do fish or moving animals with a point and shoot, so looking for another - probably DSLR - solution for that using my existing D50 or D90 and 150mm Sigma macro.

Finally: What's the entry level advice for hooking up a DSLR to a dissecting Microscope and any suggestions about where I could find those discounted or used? Scopes are pricey!

Much thanks in advance for all advice!


UPDATE: After reading this I'm definitely considering the Canon G series.

But wondering why:

"Even the SX1 IS cannot match the G6’s superb macro performance despite the SX1 IS ability to shoot at zero cm distance in full resolution in super macro mode. The thing with the SX1 IS is, you cannot zoom while shooting in super macro mode."

What does it mean that the G series can zoom in macro mode but "at a lower resolution"?

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