Classical Numismatics Discussion
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage  |  Topic: Hi!! Newbee photographer here 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hi!! Newbee photographer here  (Read 395 times)
Hugh A. P
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« on: December 21, 2019, 09:33:25 am »

First Merry Merry Christmas to all!
So here is my question.  I have now been collecting ancient coins and artifacts for over 7 years and I am ready, I think, to start photographing my collection.  I have gone through the posts on this page and I probably missed it but what is a decent not overly expensive set up for someone like myself who is just entering this side of collecting?  Are there any books anyone would suggest on the process?  I  know the vast majority of y'all have been photographing your coins for years so remember how overwhelming it seemed when you first started taking pictures of your coin😁😁.
Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!
Hugh A Pace Jr
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dougsmit
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2019, 07:54:18 pm »

http://www.forumancientcoins.com/dougsmith/coinphoto2011ez1.html
When I last updated my web site on coins, I posted where I then stood on coin photography.  I made very little effort to make it simple enough that people with no interest in the subject could take acceptable photos.  I invite anyone interested to look over my many pages on the subject but I rarely do things in the way shown any more and probably should replace all those pages with my latest thoughts.  I do not recall how to edit my pages now so doubt that will happen.

The problem I see is most people are interested in taking photos only good enough to sell on eBay rather than to do the best they can.  I suggest the best answer is to practice taking coins and diagnosing problems as they occur. There is no need to have the camera I prefer but you need to have a camera you can operate and understand.  There is no upgrade equipment that can replace your learning to use what you have.  When you are no longer the weakest link in the chain, then buy some better equipment. If money is no object, I can suggest really professional equipment but I suspect that older, used DSLR or Mirrorless cameras will outperform the expectations of most of us.

My latest coin photo uses a Canon RP mirrorless camera and 100mm f2.8 Canon EF macro lens used with a cheap third party extension tube all supported on a home made wooden stand positioned near a north facing window.  I do not claim it is the best photo or even the best I have made but it is where I am currently.  My old pages document the journey to this point.

The inset in the image is not reduced but cropped from the original, full size image.  The whole coin images have been considerably reduced in size and merged into one for online use. Unless you plan to make 20x30" prints, this is overkill.  I have not made any effort to keep up with the thousand camera models available that may fit your needs rather than mine. 
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Hugh A. P
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2019, 09:48:59 pm »

Thank you Sir!! 
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Hugh A. P
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2019, 07:52:00 am »

I'm not interested in taking photos to sell coins but to record my collection for insurance reasons.
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Congius
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2019, 10:13:22 am »

It you're more interested in recording your collection than taking the most aesthetically pleasing photos, then a scanner would be a lot less work. If you go the camera approach then you're going to need camera, macro lens, lighting, camera-stand, maybe software to remote control your camera... It's almost a second hobby! Lighting is really the killer... it can take a lot of experimentation to get a good lighting setup and then almost impossible to resist the urge to adjust lighting for each coin to bring out the best... quite time consuming.

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Stkp
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2019, 06:57:04 am »

It you're more interested in recording your collection than taking the most aesthetically pleasing photos, then a scanner would be a lot less work.

In my experience a scanner works well for low-profile coins, especially for oriental cash coins and medieval coins. As the profile increases, the quality of the scanned images decreases. The results are often poor on ancient Greek coins and Roman denarii, for example. Stkp
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dougsmit
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2020, 08:27:13 pm »

It you're more interested in recording your collection than taking the most aesthetically pleasing photos, then a scanner would be a lot less work.

In my experience a scanner works well for low-profile coins, especially for oriental cash coins and medieval coins. As the profile increases, the quality of the scanned images decreases. The results are often poor on ancient Greek coins and Roman denarii, for example. Stkp

A dozen years ago, commonly available scanners were 'improved' and made much thinner.  Whatever allowed this also ruined their use for ancient coins.  I still have a Canon scanner that was used for the image below but it has no driver that runs on Windows 10.  I still have a Vista computer but when it dies, the scanner is trash.


I still prefer a camera.
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Anaximander
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2020, 04:18:56 am »

I'm not interested in taking photos to sell coins but to record my collection for insurance reasons.

… and, of course, you're taking coin photos to share with others in your ForumAncientCoins members gallery. Smiley

The scanner is a good starting point. Mine is part of a basic inkjet printer. Its software creates the jpg file and drops it into my PC, where I use third-party software (currently: Corel PaintShop Pro) to combine the photos of the obverse and reverse into one. 

You will have noted the dearth of coin photography books; the tech moves too quickly, and advice on cameras and software quickly get dated.  Like Doug Smith, I've had multi-purpose printers left behind by operating system upgrades. Kinda hard to fight that.   

You can't beat Doug Smith's coin photography site for advice.  Read it repeatedly if you venture into camera-based photography.

I now use a mirrorless camera with a macro lens (120mm equivalent) on a stand with a convenient flip-up view screen. 
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Anaximander. Member Since 2019.
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dougsmit
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2020, 07:46:42 pm »

 

You can't beat Doug Smith's coin photography site for advice.  Read it repeatedly if you venture into camera-based photography.

I now use a mirrorless camera with a macro lens (120mm equivalent) on a stand with a convenient flip-up view screen. 

For the record, today I take no photos the way I did when those pages were written but I have forgotten how to access my web space files so I can not correct or add material.  When I started web pages in 1997, it seemed like the best way to share my love of ancient coins.  Today, discussion groups are filling the niche in my life that the web sites did then.

Today I am using a mirrorless with a 100mm macro lens used with extension tubes because most of my coins are smaller than the sensor in my camera.  I prefer using natural light when available but still add some artificial light on coins that do poorly without it. I am not of the opinion that anyone might want to copy my entire set-up and 99% of collectors are satisfied with any image that will sell a coin on eBay or prove to someone that the coin exists.  I appreciate the kind words and am glad if anyone got any value from those pages.
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