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>>I have borrowed a real camera and want to photograph my 55gallon tank.
>>Any ideas on good techniques?

Yeah, borrow or *rent for a day* a digital camera. If you get a kidak
you can get close up lenses for it.

>>Should I open windows and use natural light or just depend on the Tank

You'll need auxilliary lighting - a flash or powerful lights you rig
up like 4 big halogen spots. Aquarium lighting doesn't come close
to cutting it.

>>Film speed?
>A very good film is Kodak Gold ASA 400. With that you can even take pictures
>without using flash (done it a few times). I now several other people think
>you should only use asa 100 or lower, because the asa 400 film is to grainy,
>but if you don't wan't to enlarge the pictures up to 10"*20" you can't see
>any difference.

Kodak Gold is consumer grade film. Royal Gold is better and there are 3
or 4 better grade of Kodak film but it need to be refigerated.

I disagree strongly about being able to see the grain. I can see it
easily in regular 5x7 prints with 200 ASA. 

If I had to sue film I'd use 50 ASA Ektachrome and have them make
me a disc, not the slides it was intended for, or get the slides
and use a slide scanner to make imaegs for printing, displaying
etc. The new photo printers really do make pictures *as good as*
photographs, at least from 6" away; that it you can see dots
but you have to look VERY closely.

Use Royal Gold. but again, I think you'd be better off with a digicam.

Other things to note:

1) Make sure the glass is scrupuously clean. Use hot vinegar then

2) make sure the glass is clean on the inside, too, all tank surfaces.

3) The water has to be clearer that clear. Activated carbon
followed by a diatom filter. Failure to do this (and 2) will
result in some truly ugly surprises.

4) Takoing pictures of the whole aquarium at once is hard. With
close up flash reflectance is less of an issue, but for the entire
tank unless you're shooing on an angle you're going to have real flash

Get used to the idea that your first several attemps may prove
useless and frustrating. 

I've been playing with my digcam the entire holiday, daily,
(after getting it as an advance xmas presant in Novermber :)
and can get as good as 1 good shot in 10, with maybe one
in ten of *those* are "good".

Shooting whole tanks is tough, but with perseverence you
can pull it off.

Richard J. Sexton                                         richard at aquaria_net
Maitland House, Bannockburn, Ontario, Canada, K0K 1Y0       +1 (613) 473 1719