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Discussion Starter #1
I'm having a problem shooting pics in my frag tank. Due to the design, I have to use a photobox and shoot topdown pics. Some of the corals are 6 to 8 inches from the surface and the camera does not focus well that close up. I want to shoot macro shots but from a very close range. The camera I have access to is a Canon Powershot S3 IS.
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=144&modelid=13077

Is there a lens that I can screw in front of the existing lens to allow me to focus at such close distance? Any suggestion for getting a decent shot using this camera? I'm not looking for professional quality pics just something in focus and detailed.
 

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If it is a digi version of camera that uses the std Canon lenses you can use any of the screw on filters or attachments , sized according to the front of the lense thread( typically 49-55mm for older normal lenses) tho they can be larger on Wide angle and zooms and really huge on high end glass.
Even some of the point and shoot types can add close up lenses, check with a local camera shop
 

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It's Happy Hour Somewhere
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Jason,
It looked like there is a 58 mm close-up lens for $130.00. The only thing missing is the specs regarding the minimum focusing distance.

For using your existing lens/camera... in Macro mode Canon indicates that you need a minimum distance of from 3.9" to 1'6". Are you shooting with a tripod? That could be the issue.

When shooting in a macro mode the slightest bit of movement can make you out of focus. Even though you are shooting top down, some tripods are dynamic enough (configurable) to shoot top down.

I have a Manfrotto tripod I could let you try out. Let me know.

Bottom line....I am not certain that the camera is the issue.
 

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I would agree with chiapet. The camera itself should be able to get you something without a extra macro attachment.

The camera may be having a hard time focusing due to low light.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the input so far. I looked at the accesories but can't find any specific information about focal length. The problem with using a tripod is that I am shooting top down over a 4ft x 4ft tank. The bluriness that I am getting is not from camera movement, it's just not able to focus in macro mode at such short distance. I did a little research after posting this and found something called a close up lens kit by Hoya. It has 3 different scew on lenses that allow close up photography. I just need to pick up Canon's adapter/hood kit first so I can use addon lenses.
 

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It's Happy Hour Somewhere
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The manfrotto tripod I am referring to has the capability to go horizontal after the legs are extended.

Another tip for shooting through glass or acrylic is to add a polarizer. Adding a polarizer will potentially reduce your aperture up to 2 f/stops so you have to keep that in mind.

Shooting straight on to the glass or acrylic will also reduce blur.

There are lots of tricks to shooting in an aquarium.
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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Thank you for the input so far. I looked at the accesories but can't find any specific information about focal length. The problem with using a tripod is that I am shooting top down over a 4ft x 4ft tank. The bluriness that I am getting is not from camera movement, it's just not able to focus in macro mode at such short distance. I did a little research after posting this and found something called a close up lens kit by Hoya. It has 3 different scew on lenses that allow close up photography. I just need to pick up Canon's adapter/hood kit first so I can use addon lenses.
Check E-Bay for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again for all the great tips. I think the Hoya close up lens kit will do what I want. Here is a link I found that gives some actual focal distances for the different lenses in the kit.
http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/closeuplenses.html

Chiapet- Have never heard of that kind of tripod, I will have to do some research. A polarizing lens is definately on my list. The acrylic sides of my frag tank are completely encrusted with coralline. Shoooting through them is impossible and even if I do scrap the coralline off, the acrylic is in bad shape.
 

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The models on the two manfrotto tripods I have are 3021BPRO & 3001BPRO

The 3021BPRO is larger and more heavy duty than the 3001BPRO.

Here is an image of how the horizontal config works.


Image credit is Manfrotto web site.
 
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