Without exaggeration, a clip-on yellow or orange smartphone filter to take pictures in blue light reef tanks is one of the most important accessories a reefer should have in 2018. Since we can’t take our tanks with us and we socialize a lot online, being able to take great pictures of our reef tanks, and share our creations and corals, is one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby.
The Coral View Lens by Polyp Lab is the first kit to not only offer an interchangeable filter system with both yellow and orange filters, but also a macro lens which can also be paired with the color filters. We put the Polyp Lab Coral View Lens through its paces with an iPhone 8+ to see how it fares under ‘normal’ blue LED light and we couldn’t be more pleased.
Whether you’re taking Full Tank Shots or closeups, you’ll want to use a colored filter with your smartphone to reduce the amount of blue light getting to the sensor. Without it you can see the image turns out overly blue, washing out most other colors besides green, almost drowning out the warm orange, reds and purple colors.
The two colored filters in the Coral View Lens are yellow recommended for 20K lighting temperature and an orange recommended for 15K color temperature. However in my opinion I prefer to use the yellow filter is best for blueish white light like 15K while the orange filter works best for me in the super blue lighting.
The Macro Lens included in the Coral View Lens is an interesting touch as it really helps you get closer to subjects close to the glass. It doesn’t magnify what you see through your smartphone but it does allow it to better focus on subjects which are very close, within 4 inches or 10cm of your camera. Better yet it’s great to see that you can stack the macro lens with either the yellow or orange filter, getting the preferred color rendition of your blue lit reef tank.
There’s no question that taking pictures of reef tanks under balanced daylight lighting with a ‘real’ camera using white balance is the best way of photographing a reef tank. But since so many of our reefs live under blue colored light, and the smartphone is usually the camera we have on hand and can fire it up real quick, we’ve got to make it work and there’s no better way of doing that than with a clip-on camera filter.
Sure some of the colors get exaggerated and the color filter does nothing to improve the clarity of your shot, but by and large it’s more than good enough to illustrate our reef tanks. If you’ve never tried a clip-on color filter to take mobile images of your reef you’ll be stunned and how good and easily the pictures come out and the Coral View Lens is one of the best kits to get you started. [Polyp Lab]