Beginner Better results with cheaper equipment

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339
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Chris
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#1
A few years ago now I had a D3100 and Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and managed to get a number of what I thought were nice sharp shots

Mario paying attention
by Chris Thomas, on Flickr

Now I have an 80d, and 24-105mm f4L and don't seem to get the same level of shots. Now I appreciate there is an added layer of difficulty as the fish is in water, and I've not shown my best shot. Using flash on the fish pics too.

Torazo sample
by Chris Thomas, on Flickr

Is there anything I need to do such as calibrating the lens and camera? Any other tips?
 
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Slyelessar
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#2
Canon colours, sensor, etc is different to Nikon.

However, it could be composition and editing. Do you use lightroom or images straight out of camera? If out of camera there should be a way to change the colour profile in the menu.

It could be the fact that you were used the previous camera, and need more time to gel with the new camera/lens combination.
 
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339
Name
Chris
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#3
Canon colours, sensor, etc is different to Nikon.

However, it could be composition and editing. Do you use lightroom or images straight out of camera? If out of camera there should be a way to change the colour profile in the menu.

It could be the fact that you were used the previous camera, and need more time to gel with the new camera/lens combination.
I had the Nikon 2 months, I've been using the Canon since July last year.

I spend far more time correcting the koi photos than I would have done the dog and the other photos in my Flickr as I want to get the colours right. The images are displayed on my website, as the fish are for sale.
 
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Slyelessar
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#4
I had the Nikon 2 months, I've been using the Canon since July last year.

I spend far more time correcting the koi photos than I would have done the dog and the other photos in my Flickr as I want to get the colours right. The images are displayed on my website, as the fish are for sale.
Have you thought about getting a polariser? Also, shooting through the side of a clear tank, rather than down into the bucket/contrainer?

Perhaps a prime lens might be more useful.
 
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Chris
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#5
The photos have got to be top down. I've tried a polariser but none of the top photographers in the koi world use one. As the fish vary in size, I don't think a prime would suit.

I do get some nice results occassionally, I just want to put the odds more in my favour!
 
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Russell
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#8
Have you tried a colorchecker passport to get the colour correct? I am only guessing that an in camera proifile made for the lighting and using a CP in lightroom would give accurate results for an image shot through water albeit clear water. Russ.
 
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2,635
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Mark
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#9
Whilst I’m sure you can get a better result of the fish with your newer gear I would class it as inferior to your older gear especially the lens. A 70-200 2.8 from any manufacturer is very good especially when stopped down a tad whereas a 24-105 is ‘ a superzoom’ effectively a compromise lens which will never offer the clarity of a 70-200.

The sensor in the Nikon is better too https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D3100-versus-Nikon-D80___664_518

Whilst the new gear is in image quality terms a down grade it’s more than good enough to get excellent results from.

Also just noted you took the fish at F18 which must equate to about F32 (or thereabouts) on full frame which at best is going to offer soft images.
 
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1,297
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Soeren
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#10
The photos have got to be top down. I've tried a polariser but none of the top photographers in the koi world use one. As the fish vary in size, I don't think a prime would suit.

I do get some nice results occassionally, I just want to put the odds more in my favour!
Thats really no reason not to. Grantes depending on angles you may see yourself in situations where it wont work but when it does it will save you tons of work cleaning up reflections and also colors tend to be more saturated. But in all photography there will be a learning curve.
Re cameras. I was under the impression OP now uses a Canon EOS 80D with a 24_105/4 lens
 
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8,388
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Steve
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#11
Whilst I’m sure you can get a better result of the fish with your newer gear I would class it as inferior to your older gear especially the lens. A 70-200 2.8 from any manufacturer is very good especially when stopped down a tad whereas a 24-105 is ‘ a superzoom’ effectively a compromise lens which will never offer the clarity of a 70-200.
its actually the Canon 24-70L F4 which is anything but a superzoom. It might not be as good as the superb 24-70L F2,8 but it'll give the sigma 70-200 2.8 a run for its money in most situations.
He's using the Canon 80D not the nikon D80
 
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Mark
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#12
its actually the Canon 24-70L F4 which is anythong but a superzoom. It might not be as good as the 24-70L F2,8 but itll give the sigma 70-200 2.8 a run for its money in most situations.

He's using the Canon 80D not the nikon D80
My bad! I think it’s the F18 anyway
 
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Steve
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#13
My bad! I think it’s the F18 anyway
Agreed, the aperture does seem a little slow for this type of shot, which has resulted in a shutter speed of 1/25
 
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Terry
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#14
Agreed, the aperture does seem a little slow for this type of shot, which has resulted in a shutter speed of 1/25
Small apertures such as f18 are well into diffraction territory, so will be less sharp than using say f5.6 . This would also let him use a faster shutter speed.
Almost any modern lens can produce excellent sharpness at the sizes seen on screen. Though when seen at 100% will seem less so.
 
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Phil
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#16
It has already been stated, two things contributing, an aperture of f18 will result in diffraction and a shutter speed of 1/25, even with flash will allow some subject movement. If you are going to use flash set the shutter speed at the maximum sync speed (possibly 1/200 or 1/250) and aperture to f8, if a true dorsal view is important make sure that you are directly over the fish as then you will not have to contend with front to back focus.
 
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#17
I don't think you can compare the two pictures (and so the two cameras systems) - the lighting not to mention the way you've shot them are completely different. The dog picture is nicely composed and well lit, the fish pictures are top down (not engaging compositionally) and seem to be taken in much darker conditions. You could have the best system going and still not be able to produce a great picture with the way you're shooting the fish
 
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339
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Chris
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#18
its actually the Canon 24-70L F4 which is anything but a superzoom. It might not be as good as the superb 24-70L F2,8 but it'll give the sigma 70-200 2.8 a run for its money in most situations.

He's using the Canon 80D not the nikon D80
Yeah, I listed the lens wrong. My bad
 
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339
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Chris
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#19
I'll try changing the aperture and seeing if that makes a difference, also I did wonder about the micro adjustments as some shots are good, some not so good.

Lighting is variable - I shoot the majority of my fish pictures in a polytunnel. I try for overcast days, but generally these are the busiest times for us.
 
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Phil
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#20
also I did wonder about the micro adjustments as some shots are good, some not so good.
Not the MA then.

If a camera can focus well sometimes, then there’s nowt wrong with it.

Your technique needs some work, your choice of aperture is odd, and your comparison shots are apples and oranges.

F5.6 1/200 and ISO 100 with the flash will get you the shot.
 
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Phil
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#21
I should add to the above, once you’ve got that simple shot, it’ll never look as good as the dog shot in your opening post, you can’t expect a lovely creamy background when your subject is 12” long and 1/2” away from the bg.

That dog is 100 yards from the background and shot at 2.8. As above apples and oranges.
 
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#23
The 2 images could have exactly the same degree of sharpness and the dog will STILL look sharper because of all the fine details which our eyes interpret as being super sharp whareas the fish has very little fine detail and so will ALWAYS look less sharp in a direct comparison.
.
 
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#25
I may of missed this but are these handheld?

Would a tripod or monopod be a better option?
 
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#29
The fish move around, so I need to be at least semi mobile
understand that, but a pan/tilt head or something similar would still allow movement, just stable movement.
 
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