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Author Topic: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos  (Read 299 times)

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Offline Ken W2

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Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« on: April 25, 2021, 07:20:12 pm »

Hello all: I’m hoping to finally start a gallery here on FORVM but I’m having trouble getting good pics using my iPhone, or maybe more accurately  using the editing tools. Took pics of 24 RSCs, the two below are representative. While some of the coins have some porosity, the coins are much better in hand. Other than the graininess I’m ok with these pics. The editing tools on my iPad and iPhone don’t seem to have an adjustment which will smooth out or flatten the surfaces. Am I missing something on how to use them?  Anyone have a suggestion for an iOS app that will smooth the surfaces?  Other suggestions on how to improve welcome too. Thanks in advance.
Ken

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2021, 07:42:46 pm »
Almost certainly whatever app you are using to import the photos (or possibly a phone setting?) is using software interpolation to "enhance" the perception of sharpness.  In generaly photography, this can make your photos looks crisper and can make a craptacular cell phone tiny lens appear better than it really is.  In coin photography it's the kiss of death, because "sharpening" filters add noise and pixelation that makes the coin surfaces look frosted.

If you enjoy the hobby, I highly recommend a decent digital camera (not a phone) with a decent macro lens with some telphoto capability (i.e. 100mm to 120mm focal length with 1:1 macro in 35mm equivalent).
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Offline Ken W2

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Re: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2021, 10:45:25 pm »

Thanks Ron. That may be my next upgrade in the hobby, but was hoping get decent quality pics with the iPhone camera and editing apps. These were taken in medium sunlight per Ken P’s suggestion. I’ve also tried diffused daylight bulbs and get that same “frosted” look, as you say.
Ken

Offline Callimachus

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Re: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 11:13:41 am »
The photos are fairly good as far as iPhone photos go.
I'd try experimenting with varying the lighting a bit to see if that might improve the way the surfaces look.

Offline Jay GT4

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Re: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 11:58:43 am »
I agree, pretty good for phone pics.  Like Callimachus said try different sources of light and direction of light.  The fun is in experimenting.  Each coin will require a different set up for best results.

Offline dougsmit

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Re: Asking for help on smoothing surfaces in photos
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 06:36:27 pm »
Sorry for the slow reply but I rarely visit Forvm anymore.  I know nothing about taking coin photos with an iPhone (never have touched one) but suggest you try using a less harsh light.  You do not need a bright light to take photos of a non-moving object and I hope you are not trying to hand hold the phone.  I would place the coin on a more neutral background (gray) and use the diffuse light in a relatively bright room.  The softer light might not give the sharpening routine as much to grab onto and ruin the photo.

I agree with RonC2 regarding using a camera.  My hobby is more photography and less coins these days.  My main use for a phone is hanging up on robocallers.  I certainly would not use a phone to take photos.  A used DSLR with extension tubes would cost about an ordinary denarius while a state of the art really great camera and macro lens might ren closer to a mid-grade aureus.  We all have to decide which is for us. The camera and lens will make much less difference than the input from the user.  If the images are harsh and rough, select softer light.  I don't know what controls your phone will allow for exposure but I would suggest using a bit less exposure.  Changing the dark background might help if you must accept their auto exposure.  Cameras generally allow control of such things.  I do prefer photos on a dark background but I can control such things as focus and exposure so I have options you may not.

 

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