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Image Lighting - which is better?

Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭✭✭

Still playing around with lighting. Which image is better, 1 or 2? Thanks in advance, for any replies



  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,117 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll go with the second picture.
    I too am playing with the lighting issues.
    Best of luck.

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • crazyhounddogcrazyhounddog Posts: 13,672 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sometimes less is more. Maybe try using less light and squeezing your aperture and slowing down your shutter speed. If you shoot in manual mode you will have more control. I think you’re flooding the images out with light.

    The bitterness of "Poor Quality" is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
  • JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,592 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm just gonna stand here and absorb what you guys are saying.

  • WaterSportWaterSport Posts: 6,655 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always have good success at night with no other lights on in the room. The amount of ambient light can have a big affect on your pictures. I think you want to be somewhere between the two pictures you have.


    Proud recipient of the coveted PCGS Forum "You Suck" Award Thursday July 19, 2007 11:33 PM and December 30th, 2011 at 8:50 PM.
  • derrybderryb Posts: 35,795 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2021 1:33PM

    3? 1 & 2 seem flat. More angle or diffusion on lighting?

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2021 1:30PM

    The one that sells the coin the fastest......duh!

  • 1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,540 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Obverse of #1, Reverse of #2.

  • tommy44tommy44 Posts: 2,157 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like #2 the best. I took a bunch of pics outside today at about 3PM in Atlanta and think they came out pretty good. I'd rather use natural light when I can.

    it's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide

  • CameonutCameonut Posts: 7,235 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll go with whatever looks closer to the actual coin.
    Both sets of images are very good.

    “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Thomas Jefferson

    My digital cameo album 1950-64 Cameos - take a look!

  • airplanenutairplanenut Posts: 21,756 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think the second one is likely more realistic because it shows lustre and marks. The diffused lighting in #1 is something I usually only use when there's color I can't show well alongside the lustre (for instance, a coin with strong bands of lustre that result in bright/colorful areas--good--as well as dark areas that don't show color--realistic, but bad if you want to show off the toning). Typically, I won't present an image like #1 without also having an image like #2, though when the #2 style image works, I don't bother with #1. In this case, I don't think the coin has any features that warrant the use of diffused lighting, since the color comes through with #2.

    All that said, I think some more playing would be worthwhile. A slightly different angle will probably get you better overall lighting (particularly the reverse which is a bit dark) while still showing lustre and color well. I will note that coins this small can be difficult because the bands of light coming from a bulb are relatively so large that it's easy to wash out the coin or, when being careful not to do so, effectively fail to illuminate it. If you have a similar coin the size of a quarter (I suppose that would likely be a quarter, but a nickel or half could work) it may help you practice what the end result should be, which in turn will help you decide what lighting is and isn't working best for you.

    JK Coin Photography - eBay Consignments | High Quality Photos | LOW Prices | 20% of Consignment Proceeds Go to Pancreatic Cancer Research
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Image one for the obverse and image two for the reverse. I know, but those are the ones I like. Cheers, RickO

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2021 10:19AM

    Thanks everyone. I think I’ll use the obverse from image 1 and reverse of image 2 for now, but I’ll retake the images sometime when I get a chance.

    This helps me both with this coin as well as other coins, it’s good to get others feedback. I also learned a new word:

    collimate - to make parallel
    collimate light rays


  • BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,589 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'd solve the sharpness problem before tackling the lighting problem. Either your focus is off, your camera is unsteady, the shutter speed is too long, the quality of the lens is poor.... or something. No amount of fiddling with the lighting will result in great photos if the subject isn't in focus. Until I got a copy stand and good macro lens, my photos looked just like this.

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BryceM yes, I know what you mean. I’m taking these pictures with my iphone of a small coin in a NGC slab. I’ve gotten it right with larger coins in PCGS slabs, but still struggling with the little coins in NGC slabs.

    For example, here’s a larger coin in PCGS slab I recently took with the same setup that think is focused better


  • jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 8,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm a very mediocre photographer, but as a photo allows I would prefer the 2nd photo.

    When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest....Abraham Lincoln

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  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 3,964 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 15, 2021 7:23PM

    I thought of something. Maybe it’s the white insert around the coins in NGC slabs that throws things off when I take a picture with my iphone. Maybe that’s why PCGS coins in slabs are easier to image than ones in NGC slabs. I might try making some kind of black slab cover with a hole in it where the coin is so the camera only focuses on the coin. Maybe then it’ll be easier to focus sharp and also easier to get the lighting right.


  • habaracahabaraca Posts: 1,914 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @1northcoin said:
    Obverse of #1, Reverse of #2.

    Yeppers that

  • The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why not use both? Since someone holding the coin in hand is going to tilt it back and forth to gauge luster and lighting effects, having both sets of images at yours and the customer's disposal will allow you to further show the dynamics of the coin.

    Custom album maker and numismatic photographer, see my portfolio here: (http://www.donahuenumismatics.com/).

  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,108 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I was buying I'd prefer you used #2 for both obv & reverse, assuming that is what the coin truly looks like. Obv 1 appears to hide some flaws with too much light reflection.

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