EB: Thanks for that clear, concise, and illustrated example of lighting for ancient coin photos.
I've spent years trying to master coin photography, a challenge given the small size of the subject and the differences among the coins themselves.
I'm getting better at it. It has probably been twenty years of effort, much of it gleaning advice from public posts of Doug Smith
various sites over the years) and a few others, but this is the first forum
I've seen with interaction.
I'm now using some upgraded kit: a digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (Micro Four Thirds sensor, M43), using a macro lens (120mm equivalent), on a stand of my own making. Temperature has been a hot button, both the sheer heat of incandescent or halogen lighting and the white balance of my light sources. I'm making a go of LED lighting. I have used several brands of photo-editing software
. Like you, I look for an efficient batch process, start to finish.
You've hit on the biggest remaining issue: lighting. I've varied my approach from time to time, and am currently using axial lighting supplemented with one dimmable direct light. Having read and re-read so much of Doug Smith
's commentary, and now yours, I am finally going to try an LED ring light,
also dimmable, as my direct light, with the microscope ring light a suitable size for the diminutive M43 lenses (and a great price
point). All my lights will have close to the same temperature of 5500 degrees.
Here's three takes on a stater
... my best efforts in 2002, 2013, and 2017. Scanner, point-and-shoot camera, then M43 camera. Different lighting setups. I will compare these results to the ring light in two to three weeks, when my ship comes