Numismatic and History Discussions > Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage

USB Microscope vs Camera for Coin Photography

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Virgil H:
I have really been struggling with photographing my coins. Some scan pretty well, but the thicker Greek coins do not. I am actually a pretty good photographer and have a lighting stand, as well as tripods. There are two questions here.

1) Can anyone tell me how to use a macro screw on lens? I cannot afford a real macro lens. But I have a Canon EOS Rebel XT, not the greatest camera, but it serves my needs most of the time. I also have a Digital High Definition 0.45X wide angle lens with macro. They are two separate lenses that screw on the camera lens, in my case a Sigma DG 28-70mm 1:2.8-4. I also have a zoom telephoto lens, but assume the macro should go on the 28-70mm. I can find instructions no where. Does the wide angle and macro go on together or do you just use the macro lens alone? Which way does the glass go? Does it matter? I have tried every combination and I can get pics, but they are never in focus. Using manual focus I cannot get a good focus. Coins are too small on the screen. Auto focus is just as bad as the objects are too small. My eyes cannot discern the focus with this camera, I liked my old film camera focus screens much better, with the split. Anyone who can give me pointers on how to use this attachment, I would appreciate it. I have tried everything I can think of and have never used macro before.

2) I have a stereo microscope I use for coin cleaning. It does not have camera capabilities. Normally I wouldn't consider it, but I ran across this 0.3 MP digital microscope USB camera that is amazingly inexpensive to the point it might be worth the price to try it. 0.3 MP isn't much, though. But, the price is just almost too good. Anyone used one of these. The only thing I want it for is coin photography. Normally, I probably wouldn't even consider this option. Here it is:


Joe Sermarini:
I have purchased a couple different digital scopes. They were both unusable junk. That one does look better. Maybe it is.

Ron C2:
If you have a stereo microscope, measure the diameter of the widefield eyepiece - the part that you look through.  Typically on stereo scopes it will be 30 or 30.5mm.  Use calipers, 0.5mm is too small to use a tape measure.

Next go to ali express or amazon and look for a miscroscope eyepiece digital camera. They make them in many megapixel sizes.  Order the most megapixels you want to afford.

Another option is the get a DSLR adaptor for your scope.  You don't really need a trinocular scope.  as I said, they make adaptors that fit the eyepiece barrel.

Virgil H:
Thanks for both responses. I think I will try what Ron suggests before taking a chance. This thing is so cheap, I would be amazed it it was any good, as Joe said of the ones he has tried. I wish I could figure out how that macro attachment works on my camera. Need to maybe give that some more experimentation.

Wow.  I didn't know that a microscope eyepiece digital camera was thing.  I feel like an old guy....

I really need to get one.  Have you used one Ron?  Can you post any results?



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