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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage (Moderator: bruce61813)  |  Topic: need point to improve on. New setting and set-up 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: need point to improve on. New setting and set-up  (Read 2080 times)
Johnny
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« on: December 14, 2009, 05:50:02 pm »

Posted this one in the Forvm coin of the day,  but  here I need advice on how to improve on the pic quality
Camera  is Fujifilm s2000hd 15X  point  and shoot digital (  can't afford anything else  Sad

After much pain  and trouble,  I revamped all my settings,  and redesigned my set-up.  these pics are now taken with 2 light sources with UV filters,  1 at 12 oclock,  and one at 9 oclock.  Lights are aprox  1 foot from coin  and are angled down  at 45 degrees

the coin is supported by thin  cap from a pen over a red background, and Camera is now held free hand,  on a macro setting (  1 cm  to 24 cm )   and shutter speed set at 2 line left of center  (  not  sure what the number is, and can't find the actual speed is )
LOL  so 2 lines left of center



The pic is taken  at about 85 degree angle from  face of the coin.

Any points would be greatly appreciated,  or if anyone needs nore info that I have not listed here,  please feel free to smack me around  and tell me to smarten up  Smiley,  I'll then post them

and thanks in advance  for any help

EDITED,  Here is a high profile coin,  along  with a very low profile coin taken  with same setting.  Notice the blurring at the bottom of the coin

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moonmoth
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2009, 01:52:21 am »

The lighting is not bad. The highlights are not washed out.  You might consider trying a small white paper reflector to get some detail into those very dark shadows on the thick tetradrachm, but not too much or the rest of the coin will start to lose definition.

More important is to take the photo from directly above the coin.  The angle is what is causing the edge of the coin to blur.  Your depth of field in macro photography is very small, and only taking the photo with the coin flat on can solve that.

Bill
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Johnny
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2009, 08:55:10 am »

Thanks Bill,  I'll give it a go tonight with a white reflective on the bottom of the coin and I'll repost pics.

might have to move one of the lights a bit,  it is causing me problems  when taking pics straight on the coin. but  will do that too

I'll also  use the white box thinggy I built last night too(  white walls all around )  see what it does..


thanks again


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Johnny
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2009, 01:45:49 pm »

here we go  Sad  this should show a bit of difference in the pics,  although  most of the changes are very minor,  there are differences

The white box I build  is a bust,  going to rebuild  with thin paper that allows light to pass through ..

These are the same camera settings as yesterday

Pic 1 taken  at 90 degree to the coin,  lights at 12  and 9 oclock,  and has white reflector at botton of the coin

Pic 2 taken at 90 degrees to the coin,  lights in same postion,  and white reflector removed

pic 3 taken at 90 degrees,  no white reflector, and lamp at 9 oclock moved back aprox 8 inches to get more of an indirect lighting

pic 4 taken at 90 degrees to coin  light at 9 oclock back by 8 inches  moved to 10 oclock  and aimed at coin,  no reflector used

Pic 5  taken  with lights a 10  and 12 oclock,  reflector placed at bottom of coin.  ligth at 10 oclock  lowered to give indirect lighting

  Still thinking  there is too much lighting due to the glare on the high points,  but  thanks to Moonmoth,  the out of focus  problem  has been fixed,  His reflector paper under the coin has removed the shadow on the lower edge

I've tried several other light position,  but  none that work,  and in most cases,  prevent me from getting pics  witout shadows being case on the coin by the camera

I'm almost there I think  >>>>>   Huh  but  still room for improvement
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moonmoth
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 04:24:39 pm »

I tried building a white box (using paper) but I gave it up as too fiddly and not producing the results I wanted.  You can get a very diffused lighting that way, but directed light works better on coins.

For my taste, the best results would be halfway between the with and without reflector pics.  With, you get the detail in the shadowed areas; without, you get a more dramatic contrast.  Perhaps try a smaller reflector? 

I use one or not depending what the individual coin seems to need.  Also, some coins with very low relief need a shallow raking light or the opposite, light from directly overhead, right next to the camera.  This one needed raking light:



And this one shows the details best with axial lighting, though it's not the prettiest view of the coin:

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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 04:43:26 pm »

Edited from original post

Here is the next pic of a smaller reflector.  this piece os 3 X 3 inches,  and was held in hand under the camera and angled towards the coin.  Still can't get rid of the shadowing around the eyes ....hummmmmm...

going to keep these settings along  with smaller reflector,  and reposition the lights next,   see if I can get rid of theshadow, and the washout on the high points


***edited*** new pic***  Seems as I remove more shadows,  I get more surface wash happening.........arrggggggg

second pic is close to what I want to get shadow wise,   but  now I have more reflection going on on the high points

I don't think I can get the light directly over the coin,  I have to get within a few inches of the coin to get these pics.  With the light above ,  I just cast a big shadow.  hummmmm   Angry  Angry  Angry   a paper filter over the light  Huh   

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Johnny
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 05:25:08 pm »

these next 2 pics are with paper over the light sources  (  just plain white paper )

the second is with a semi-transparent plastic  (  cover from my microscope ) covering the lights

opinion welcomed
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moonmoth
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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 01:16:38 am »

Well, I like the second shot in reply #5 best. You have illuminated the shadows without losing the dramatic effect of the coin's relief.  You can see what the edge of the coin looks like, which is useful with a thick coin like that one.  It's a good record of the coin AND a photo worth looking at.  The remaining shadows are dark, but not blacked out, which is fine.

For most of my own photos, I use a single light right next to the lens, but some excellent coin photographers use two light sources as you do (and I do sometimes) and that works fine. The photo I showed above, lit from directly above, is something you should only need to do occasionally. To get that effect I tilted the coin until the light was reflected straight up into the lens.

I am not a fan of adding coloured light, as you did in the last two shots, but that's really up to you to decide.
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"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Johnny
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2009, 05:20:05 pm »

Thanks for the reply Moonmoth,  and sry for the late reply to it

I went off  and get myself some edumacation  Grin  using various web site about lighting  (  yep I  did get confused )  and went back to redo my set up.  re-tried various lamp positions and shades  and ran the pics through various " diffuser boxes "  for lack of a better term,  finally  I think I'm on the right track with the third one I made out of tissue paper  and a cracker box

I did manage to drop the brightness on the coin,  while removing most  ( not all ) of the shadows and the coin now shows closer to actual colors.  I still have too much light on the right side,  but this can be fixed by backing up the light a few inches

in your opinion,  is it better  or worse

As I said,  the color  is very close to what I see in hand,  but  you photo guys and gals  can see thing I can't

thanks again
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moonmoth
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2009, 11:45:42 pm »

That is a nice photo, and any changes from there are mostly a matter of personal taste.

For my taste, I would look to reduce the amount of light being reflected at the bottom left, which for me is a little out of proportion, and expose the coin a fraction more.  Maybe try some different angles to bring out the eagle's head and the wreath better.  This is not necessary, though, just the way I would go about it. I would be careful not to make the lighting setup too complicated. 

Is the bottom right of the reverse properly in focus?  It might be just the poor strike that is common in these coins.

I would also brush the coin a bit more to get rid of those tiny hairs and dust flecks.  And I would not use a coloured background, because the colour bleeds into the coin, but lots of people like it, so again that's a matter of what I prefer, not what's right. 

Bill
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"... A form of twisted symbolical bedsock ... the true purpose of which, as they realised at first glance, would never (alas) be revealed to mankind."
Johnny
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2009, 06:53:07 pm »

Thanks again  for the help Bill

I'm thinking that I am chasing my tail on this a bit  (  NO I don't really have a tail    Wink  )

Hummmmm,  I do know  that I have limitations with my Camera,  but  I should  be able to fix  up  the last of the lighting issue

looks like  I'm going to have to modify  my setup  for each coin  "  type "

ahh well,  Maybe Santa  will bring me a good camera,  and if I'm  real lucky,  Shania Twain too   evil
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moonmoth
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« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2009, 01:48:03 am »

In practice, there are about half a dozen coin types that are different enough to need different techniques or settings.  Let's see:

Toned silver.
Really bright silver and shiny copper or bronze (badly overcleaned).
High relief coins, usually silver, and coins with deep incuses.
Nicely patinated bronze.
Very low relief and low contrast bronze.
Shiny black patina.
Waxed or oiled coins. (Remove the wax!)

The easiest to photograph are toned silver and nicely patinated bronze.  The hardest, for me, is a shiny black patina.  Look at this one, which is the best shot I have managed on this coin so far (this is straight from the camera, almost unprocessed). That legend almost disappears into the background.

This was lit with my normal lamp near the lens, plus some natural north window light which illuminates the top edge and takes the harshness off the shadows.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage (Moderator: bruce61813)  |  Topic: need point to improve on. New setting and set-up « previous next »
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