There is some misinformation in this thread. There's more than one way to skin a cat... or in this case, take macro shots. I handhold all of my macro shots. Tripods can be a pain to use, or just simply impossible at times. There are some general rules that dictate which method you use. The primary issue is light. If you don't have enough light, you'll have to increase the ISO (light sensitivity), shorten the shutter time or open up the aperture (smaller numbers mean more open). This is where some of the information provided early in the thread comes into play. If you have a slow shutter speed, you will likely need a tripod to prevent camera shake. The 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens I use is good for steady hands up to ~1/100th of a second, which is rather slow (potentially slower if you support your hands on something). However, you can also boost light. I prefer to use a flash unit on the camera, with a light diffuser and a "bounce card" (that is built in) to provide diffuse light into the tank. This eliminates a great deal of issues presented earlier, though it does add some to the cost of the photography. The following shot is hand held, ISO100, f/11, 1/4000th shutter and 580EXII set at +0 EV. It's important to note, several other issues still apply, like reflections off the glass or glass angle distortion... but the camera issues "go away" with more available light. An advantage to a flash unit: I can freeze my clownfish that never stop swimming any time I want. No moving a tripod, no struggling to stop motion blur. 1/4000th shutter freezes them instantly.