lens for fish shots


New member
what lenses do you guys use for fish shots? i am looking into getting some new lenses for my Nikon D40X and am looking for some good lenses for the tank. the problem is i cant realy afford any fast zoom lenses. i am planing on buying a macro for the coral and other photography needs but will it work well for fish too?
A fast zoom lens is what makes a lens good for fish shots. Slow focus macros generally make poor fish lenses. Mabey you should get a fast prime?
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12890276#post12890276 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by TitusvileSurfer
Mabey you should get a fast prime? [/B]

Maybe this might work..... get some shots of whales off the coast:)
The new Canon800MM 5.6 was fun to play with for a while.

I would also recommend looking into a nice prime for fish. Since you can control the distance from your subject just by moving a zoom isn't necessay. I'm not familiar with Nikon lenses but I like my 50mm 1.4 for fish. f/2.8 should be fast enough. But if your taking pictures of tangs or other fish that never stand still having a faster lens like f/1.8 or f/1.4 is nice.

What about the Micro Nikkor 60mm AF-S? It would work very well as a general purpose lens for the aquarium. It's a prime lens for sharp pictures and AF-S for fast focusing plus has macro ability. Not bad price either.

I personally just use my 18-70 for general aquarium use including fish, works pretty good for me.
Icurrently have experience with the 18-200 VR 50mm 1.4 From Nikon and 17-50 2.8 from Tamron.
The 18-200 VR is great when shooting handhels without flash but most of the time I have to back of the front glass a bit for it to focus as the minimal focusing distance is a bit too big. That would be the case of the 70-300 mentioned above too.
the 50 mm focuses closer which is better and has a much wider aperture which will allow you to freeze moving fish without flash sometimes. still with my shooting style I need something that focuses a bit closer as I like to have the lens straight on the glass which ensures I'm perpendicular to the glass to minimize distortions and then I need to follow the fish and shoot and the problem here with the 50 mm is that sometimes the fish is a bit closer, though still within the focusing range of the lense but it's cut which can be problematic. the Tamron 17-50 2.8 focuses even closer has wide enough aperture (with resonable sharpness at 2.8 for the price) costs less and allows you to zoom in and out while the les is on the glass and you're tracking the fish. for all this I have rubber hoods on the lenses to avoid scratching the tank.50 mm 1.4 will beat the two other lenses or any lense you can gte in term of sharpness and at a lower price 1.8 is a good option too. but you loose flexibility.
for me for fish shots I always use an external flash bounced up which does not reflect back unless you're shooting with the camera pointing upward. having a rubber hood on the lens and having it on the glass kills any reflection. so the flash is an important thing to consider too.
another much more expensive but a very fine choice quality wise would be the Nikon 17-55 2.8 which is a very sharp zoom and has a very fast focusing and is built like a tank this is considered a pro lense and will cost aroudn 4-5 times the price of the Tamron 17-50 2.8.
As for macro lenses although they are very sharp especially the 105 but from what I've read/heard they are not the fastest focus for fish shots. still I don't doubt yo uwill get reasonable focus time with the 60 or 105 which has the added value of VR.
so fish shots 18-200 if I need more zoom or if tank is deep enough. 17-50 if tank is a bit narrow or if planning to shoot fish in certain locations in the tank that are closer. 50 mm when I have all my time to take and repeat the shot or if taking coral pics or whenever I need the most sharp pics.