Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

Looking for Opinions on Photo Tests

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Virgil H:
My coin photography has had issues for two basically separate issues. One is my camera, the other is lighting. I at first thought my cell phone would work well, but the cameras on those things are awful, with zooming artifacts, etc. I am back to using my digital SLR without a macro lens. I cannot really afford one or maybe I should say I am not willing to spend my limited money on one. Right now, I am trying to make the SLR work. Major issues there are having to crop out 80% of every shot that results is a photo that is smaller than I would like and focusing is both critical and difficult.

With that background, I bought a set of bulbs for my photo stand that has arms for lights and a hookup for the camera. These bulbs can be controlled and used at 25%, 50%, and 100%. There are options for Warm, Cold, and White lights. It can get more nuanced than that, but I tried a few tests using 100% and each of the three settings. I tried to lower the camera for another set of tests that I discarded because the lighting arms just don't work as well with the bulbs when lowered to a height where I can get a better focus. I am thinking about trying external bulb holders, but I am afraid the camera will get in the way.

First picture is the bulb, they come in a set.

Second photo is 100% and Warm - A
Third photo is 100% and Cold - B
Fourth photo is 100% and White - C

All photos were processed in post to crop and adjust levels to get the image to look as best as I can while trying to get the coin to have accurate color. All the photos require adjustments, for me, that is almost always Levels. The white paper background color reflected the light of the bulb color selected until I adjusted things.
Anyway, what do you think? Are these acceptable photos? Which one looks best? This is an AR Republican that is pretty accurately depicted. The coin as far as color is probably best with B and C, but I still can't decide. I will try a bronze next.

Thanks for any input.


Jay GT4:
If you're going for just color, to me B looks best.  I think you can get a sharper image though.

Virgil H:
Thanks Jay. Yeah focusing is super hard with the tiny object I can barely see in the viewfinder. I have been using manual focus as auto seems worse. Maybe I can find a macro lens on eBay or something because that is what I really need and I know it. :) I like these lights, though.



--- Quote from: Virgil H on May 06, 2023, 10:44:45 pm ---Thanks Jay. Yeah focusing is super hard with the tiny object I can barely see in the viewfinder.

--- End quote ---

For a DSLR, you can probably find software from the manufacturer that allows you to connect the camera to a PC or laptop.  Focusing is then easier on the big screen. Focus at open aperture, but shoot with aperture 8 or 11 for more depth of field

Virgil H:
That is an interesting possibility. I will look into it. My DSLR is pretty old (~15 years), but it does have an old style USB type port (that port may have a different name I can't think of). Thanks for the suggestion.



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