Photography finesse

How to insert an image, create a readable hyperlink, photograph a coin, or use a forum feature.

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mhonzell
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Photography finesse

#1 Unread post by mhonzell » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:43 am

With the really shiny coins, I set up a diffusion box. There are different ways to do this, but I found this method works best for me.

Place the coin in a white box under the scope. (Really cheap mailing box without any markings. Fold to put white surface on inside of box towards coin.)

Set the only light source at almost a 90 degree angle to the surface about two feet away, but a few inches above the coin. (Center of light aligned with top edge of box.)

You will also need a small pane of glass (from an old picture frame.)

Set your white balance without the coin in the box.

Now, with the coin in place adjust exposure to the desired darkness. (You don't want it to auto-adjust.)

This photo may be adequate.

If not, place the pane of glass at a 45 degree angle towards the light such that the scope/camera shoots through the glass. Adjust the glass until you get the amount of light and mirroring effect from the coin you desire.

If coin is raw, place on a short dowel to defocus the background. I also put black felt on bottom if shooting a silver coin.

Post-processing (simple auto-correct) will enhance toning of the coin.
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Axial Lighting.jpg



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Photography finesse

#2 Unread post by mhonzell » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:10 am

Even with this setup, it takes some practice and adjustments. Glass has to be very clean. And focus can be tough with a microscope due to the limited depth of field. But, when it's right, it turns out fantastic.

Setup:
1.jpg
2.jpg
The coin roll(s) reflect white light and some red... be careful. But, this is a simple setup. Cut the paper tube to fit under the glass, but around the coin.

In this setup, which I have come to prefer, a box in front blocks direct light. I use a piece of white cardboard.

Normal photo:
a.jpg
With setup:
b.jpg
See how the tones come through.

Insert a different background (felt works best) and adjusting the angle of the glass, or moving the light gives you...
White background, dark fields:
d.jpg
Black background, bright fields:
c.jpg
Other examples:
The Kennedy shown without the setup and with the setup. Notice that it can cause the cameo effect to "disappear". So, that may not be the best angle for you.
K1.jpg
1906-64BN (3).jpg
Compare.jpg

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Photography finesse

#3 Unread post by PALH1 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:36 pm

:eureka:
remember that "imaging" is all about 'lighting'....
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SCOPE 177.jpg
SCOPE 181.jpg
SCOPE 174.jpg
SCOPE 171.jpg

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Re: HELP WITH COIN IMAGING PLZ

#4 Unread post by mhonzell » Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:32 pm

Paul, your hairline examples are excellent!
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Keep in mind, there is a difference between trying to represent the whole coin and showing trouble, or variety areas.
When showing small areas, true color need not be maintained.

Most of us would not wish to falsely represent a coin to a buyer.

When you post process a photo, it should be limited to cropping and possibly the amount of lighting (when the photo becomes washed out.)
You must setup White Balance before you shoot the photo.

Sharpness, Noise reduction, Hue, Saturation, Blur, etc. border on falsely representing the coin.

Without and With the setup
Toned.jpg

Some will contend that their photo program has post processing abilities. Here's a "non-gem" coin. The first view is the plain photo with only the boxes in place. The second photo is using the photo editing program to "auto-correct" the image. The third photo is using the setup with glass and no editing other than cropping the photo. Which one shows the coin's detail?
Post Processing.jpg
The goal of photographing a coin should be to make a photo that looks like the coin in hand.

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