FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board

Numismatic and History Discussions => Coin Photography, Conservation and Storage => Topic started by: Carolus Magnus on September 26, 2006, 08:20:34 pm



Title: Axial lighting
Post by: Carolus Magnus on September 26, 2006, 08:20:34 pm
Has anyone experimented with axial lighting for coin photography? This is where you shoot thru a piece of glass that is tipped to 45 degrees. The light source is at the open end of the angle. The glass reflects the light directly down at the coin. between the light source and the coin, you place a small black object about 1/4 inch thick so that the light can only be reflected down but not from the side. When I get some time, I plan on trying this out. Just curious if anyone else has.
                                                                                                Chuck T


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: AlexB on September 27, 2006, 12:45:57 am
Hi

Can you draw a schematic? I cannot quite work out the set-up.

Brgds

AlexB


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: moonmoth on September 27, 2006, 01:32:33 am
This method of lighting the coin only from the direction of the lens sounds as though it would produce a similar effect to a ring flash (which fits around the lens).  Has anyone tried one of those?


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: Congius on September 27, 2006, 05:52:30 am
I havn't tried it, but I imagine that it's probably not best suited to coin photography since usually you want an angled light source to bring out the shadows and therefore highlight the details. Perhaps you could try it without the "blocker" so you get the angled source PLUS extra weaker illumination from on top?

Here's a diagram of what I think is being suggested.

Ben


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: Carolus Magnus on September 27, 2006, 05:18:56 pm
Actually I got the Idea from this article. it looked interesting. I will let you readit for yourself

http://www.coinworld.com/news/011705/BW_0117.asp

I think it would be worth a try.
                                                                             Chuck T


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: Congius on September 27, 2006, 08:19:36 pm
It'd be interesting to experiment with, but the article does seem to indicate that the benefit is primarily to have highly reflective fields show as bright vs dark.

The downside to this type of lighting that I see is that you lose the shadows from side lighting that help bring out the devices (especially on a more worn coin), and secondly that often with ancient coins the fields are far from perfect and you may want a highly oblique light source to "smooth them out" (can help with pitting and blotchy patinas / partial silvering). The first point could be mitigated either by using dual light sources (axial + side) or perhaps simply by removing the side light blocker.

I'd be interested to see what type of results you get with different types of coins if you give it a try.

Ben


Title: Re: Axial lighting
Post by: Carolus Magnus on September 27, 2006, 08:55:06 pm
I will definatly be trying this out, but I fear it will be a while. I am picking up a new camera tommorow and I will need a little time to get used to it. When I do have pictures to post I will. Good or bad I will let you know.
     Actually the ring flash  that Moonmoth is talking about is probably the way to go, but at $500 a pop, I will try something else first. At least if I want to stay married a while longer.
     I see photo's on this site that are taken with homemade setups, and inexpensive camera's that are every bit as nice as those taken with  Profesional rigs, and that means more money for coins!! I just want to take the best photo's I can, and that takes lots of experimentation. Unfortunatly, I am not quite there yet.
                                                                                       Chuck T