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What do you guys use for coin photos?

bigtime36bigtime36 Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

I know I've probably asked this in the past but it's always a personal struggle getting quality pictures.
We all take pictures and post for sales, questions, or just to show off new purchases or favorites.
I bought a microscope with a 7" monitor with video and picture capabilities, also able to hook up to a monitor or TV for bigger viewing and it is 50x-1200× zoom. It arrives tomorrow so once I get it I'll play around and post some coin pictures I've taken with it. Jim

Collect raw morgans, walkers, mercs, SLQ, barber q. Looking at getting into earlier date coins pre 1900s.

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    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use my phone for most. Not great pics, but they are ok. Some of my nicer coins I sent to a member here and he photographed them. Much better than I could ever do.

    Successful BST with ad4400, Kccoin, lablover, pointfivezero, koynekwest, jwitten, coin22lover, HalfDimeDude, erwindoc, jyzskowsi, COINS MAKE CENTS, AlanSki, BryceM

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    joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 14,869 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I too, use the scope, 1500x power with the USB. My laptop is essential.
    However, my majority preference is my Android Phone.
    Many great photography from this source.
    Received many compliments. I do have a Nikon digital camera but can't even remember when I used it last?
    :D
    Here's some examples from my trusty Phone.





    "Jesus died for you and for me, Thank you,Jesus"!!!

    --- If it should happen I die and leave this world and you want to remember me. Please only remember my opening Sig Line.
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    KurisuKurisu Posts: 1,850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For posting...my hands and my cellphone. I take a handful of shots and quickly choose the sharpest to crop and post. When I want a close up I take pics through a very good focusing/printing loupe I have from my days of professional photography and printing.

    When I'm serious...my Cannon D70. I don't do many serious shots though. I just get my Trueviews or have someone else take the serious shots :blush: Since it's not what I enjoy doing with my "real" camera.

    Phone shot...

    Phone shot through the loupe...

    Coins are Neato!

    "If it's a penny for your thoughts and you put in your two cents worth, then someone...somewhere...is making a penny." - Steven Wright

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    silverpopsilverpop Posts: 6,599 ✭✭✭✭✭

    a Logitech HD Pro C920 Webcam

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    coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,768 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If I want a great photo I send my coins to Mark Goodman, amazing work.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My coin photography has also been less than stellar but I've been slowly accumulating better hardware: Canon T2i; 100mm Macro lens; and I'm waiting on a copy stand with proper lighting. If I had to do it all over again, I'd buy the lighting first. I've taken a handful of pictures with the new camera but the images still suffer from lack of proper white balance that can't be sufficiently addressed in image processing. My new bulbs arrived the other day and they're significantly brighter that what I had been using. I'm excited for the arrival of the copy stand so I can finally put everything together.

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
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    Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    iPhone 7+. 😀

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

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    jdillanejdillane Posts: 2,362 ✭✭✭

    My iphone 11 did surprisingly well. Recently upgraded to a 14Pro and its awful for coin pics. Wish I'd not traded in the 11!

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Canon T2i, Canon 100mm macro lens, Kaiser RS1 copy stand (found on craigslist), Phillips PAR30L Flood light, Canon LiveView software on my PC so I can view the upcoming shot on my PC monitor (mostly to find the right lighting angle).

    Like @spyglassdesign , I also tried a USB microscope, but it lacks white balance so the color of the coin is wrong and I can't correct it in a digital editor. So I have mostly just used it to look at earwax!

    @lkenefic - to set the white balance on your Canon T2i, first turn the shooting mode dial to "P" (Program mode), then on the menu for White Balance, choose Custom White Balance. Using your current lighting, take a shot of a white piece of paper, and this completes the Custom White Balance.
    Download a copy of the Canon T2i manual (free PDF):
    https://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/9/0300004289/02/eosrt2i-eos550d-im3-c-en.pdf
    and these instructions are on page 99-100. It's what I did.
    If you leave the shooting mode dial on the top of the camera at the green rectangle (Automatic), it assumes you are shooting in sunlight / incandescent light. That limits your lighting options a lot.

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @yosclimber Thanks! I tried setting the white balance as you indicated, but I think my issue was the hue of light being given off from my bulb selection. I went with a 75W bulb but didn't notice it was a soft white light. So, I think I've been telling my camera that a lt. yellow/straw color is actually "white"... I'm certain this will be resolved once the copy stand gets here and I can use the incandescent white lights that just got here. I plugged one of them into a lamp and the hue of light being given off is so very much "whiter"... if that makes sense...

    Collecting: Dansco 7070; Middle Date Large Cents (VF-AU); Box of 20;

    Successful BST transactions with: SilverEagles92; Ahrensdad; Smitty; GregHansen; Lablade; Mercury10c; copperflopper; whatsup; KISHU1; scrapman1077, crispy, canadanz, smallchange, robkool, Mission16, ranshdow, ibzman350, Fallguy, Collectorcoins, SurfinxHI, jwitten, Walkerguy21D, dsessom.
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    coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just an old 15 yr Panasonic Lumix FZ28 P&S camera with I believe 8 MP on a macro setting.


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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 6, 2023 2:33PM

    @coastaljerseyguy said:
    Just an old 15 yr Panasonic Lumix FZ28 P&S camera with I believe 8 MP on a macro setting.


    The obverse photo is fairly good, a little out of focus on the bottom; maybe the camera was a little tilted.
    The reverse is out of focus for some reason.

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    coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,249 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree 100%. Beginninging photographer, poor lighting and the Dansco slide didn't help. Wanted to show an original circulated coin vs a nice shiny MS. This reverse not much better, too much light, but a little clearer.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If my phone cannot do it, I don't try anything else. If it were really important, I would send it to one of our members. Cheers, RickO

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    CoinHoarderCoinHoarder Posts: 2,467 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Apple I-PAD.

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    skier07skier07 Posts: 3,690 ✭✭✭✭✭

    iPhone 10


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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mr_Spud said:
    I used to use a Nikon Coolpix and then a Canon Rebel DSLR with a macro lens, but these days I just use my iPhone. Here’s images from each
    Here’s the Nikon
    The iPhone is by far the easiest, I don’t even remember how the use the others anymore, but the Canon is better if you want to enlarge the image real big without losing the image resolution.


    GREAT and simple write-up and comp for 3 very common methods of imaging coins.

    i took almost the exact path. coolpix (no idea what i was doing and the camera is NOT for macro imaging), then the nikon d90/sigma lens (A BEAST) then now just using my iphone 6s, fast, easy, economical, pretty good.

    while the 6x is pretty quick and easy and far more economical, hands-down, without question, the d90/sigma macro (as fast as i was with it) is #1 in my book between the 3. there isn't even any contest imo. and rightfully so. we're talking specialty equip vs non.

    i kinda wish you had your post in it's own thread so i could bookmark it and show it to those asking about coin photography. :)

    :+1:

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @cmerlo1 said:
    My mess, er, photography rig. Canon EOS 80D, 180mm macro lens, 100mm macro lens, antique Polaroid copy stand.

    I picked up one of those stands for myself in the past year. It's amazing and so much better than any tripod or other stand I've had to use.

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

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    bigtime36bigtime36 Posts: 961 ✭✭✭✭

    Got the microscope in mail, I just took out and took a quick phone shot as I've not yet connected to computer for picture storage or lighting it has. But can't wait to really mess with it.

    Collect raw morgans, walkers, mercs, SLQ, barber q. Looking at getting into earlier date coins pre 1900s.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FullHorn said:
    Made purchases after reading information from board member rmpsrpms. Then added the ring light that can turn off half of the ring. Tethered to the computer.

    I've found the ring light only really useful in certain circumstances. Some coins just get blown out by it but it does help with some.

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    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had a Sony Mavica as my first digital camera back in 2002 (for family and climbing photos).
    The 3.5" disk was cool.
    Flash cards sure fit a lot more photos now, though.
    And sensors have come a long way as well.
    You have a nice shot of a big proof coin with good lighting.
    It wouldn't work to look at die cracks on a half dime, though.

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    MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's cool- I don't want to look at die cracks on a half dime.

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    ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,540 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @keyman64 said:
    I’ve been a professional photographer nights/weekends for over 20 years so I take my own photos when coins are raw or in NGC holders but get True Views when submitting. Photos are $5 with PCGS. It really doesn’t get cheaper than that. Heck, ATS even offers a decent photo service now. There’s no reason to NOT have good photos these days. The only reason why someone might not have photos is an old holder and people are not willing to spend the time or effort to get someone to take quality photos. It really bothers me when I go on Instagram and you have these YN selling quality coins with no photos and trying to get top dollar, saying the coins are sure to upgrade and all they offer is a stupid cell phone wiggle video. It’s terrible. They submit coins ATS, don’t get photos to cut costs and rush through things. Then if you buy it and cross to PCGS it almost always downgrades.

    Here’s a recent photo of mine when this coin was in an old fatty NGC holder. I crossed it at ANY FB grade at Winter FUN and am waiting for the True View to post. The only problem with my photo here is I rushed and messed up the lighting a little to where it doesn’t show the FB…but it is FB. This one didn’t downgrade. :wink:

    That is a beautiful coin! Curious as to why you would cross it - even if it gets PCGS 67FB, it would probably still be worth more in the NGC CAC Gold Fatty given the market mania over CAC Gold stickers.

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    JWPJWP Posts: 17,671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use what I can afford, an Android phone. It is just a picture for a hobby. The pictures may not be great, but they aren't that bad either. B)

    USN & USAF retired 1971-1993
    Successful Transactions with more than 100 Members

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    keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,456 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Connecticoin said:

    @keyman64 said:
    I’ve been a professional photographer nights/weekends for over 20 years so I take my own photos when coins are raw or in NGC holders but get True Views when submitting. Photos are $5 with PCGS. It really doesn’t get cheaper than that. Heck, ATS even offers a decent photo service now. There’s no reason to NOT have good photos these days. The only reason why someone might not have photos is an old holder and people are not willing to spend the time or effort to get someone to take quality photos. It really bothers me when I go on Instagram and you have these YN selling quality coins with no photos and trying to get top dollar, saying the coins are sure to upgrade and all they offer is a stupid cell phone wiggle video. It’s terrible. They submit coins ATS, don’t get photos to cut costs and rush through things. Then if you buy it and cross to PCGS it almost always downgrades.

    Here’s a recent photo of mine when this coin was in an old fatty NGC holder. I crossed it at ANY FB grade at Winter FUN and am waiting for the True View to post. The only problem with my photo here is I rushed and messed up the lighting a little to where it doesn’t show the FB…but it is FB. This one didn’t downgrade. :wink:

    That is a beautiful coin! Curious as to why you would cross it - even if it gets PCGS 67FB, it would probably still be worth more in the NGC CAC Gold Fatty given the market mania over CAC Gold stickers.

    It crossed as a 67+FB which justifies the price I paid when you factor in the hefty color premium. I was hoping for a 68FB. My collection lives in PCGS plastic with True Views and I will one day have a PCGS Registry of Mercs but for now I settle for a showcase. It allows me to share the collection with others easily. It’s the way I enjoy my coins together. In a showcase I can also have multiples of dates. I have three beautifully toned 1943-D examples so this works for now. The value of this coin is no different than the week prior. For the people that collect plastic and sticker combinations, sure, to them the value was destroyed. I get that. I’m a coin collector though and my focus is on the coin. I think plenty of others think the same. Having it in PCGS plastic with True View allows me to have a uniform method of sharing everything together. I like that. To each their own, right? If you think all the value was destroyed, you would be mistaken. There are plenty of others willing to give me a profit if I was selling.

    Now, if this coin was in an NGC Black slab, no…I would not have cracked it. I’m not completely nuts. Lol

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
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    ConnecticoinConnecticoin Posts: 12,540 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 9, 2023 8:46AM

    Agree with you totally, keyman. Frankly, I am tired of the plastic/sticker game (especially now with the CAC regular tier suspension and new grading service), and only do it because of market realities. Glad the coin got 67+ FB!

    Would like to see your Merc showcase - can you post a link to it?

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    keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,456 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Connecticoin said:
    Agree with you totally, keyman. Frankly, I am tired of the plastic/sticker game (especially now with the CAC regular tier suspension and new grading service), and only do it because of market realities. Glad the coin got 67+ FB!

    Would like to see your Merc showcase - can you post a link to it?

    The two 67FB coins are in for regrade along with one other coin. The True View for the 42-S has not posted yet and a couple of coins in the showcase could stand to be upgraded from a color or grade perspective but it's a work in progress. There are three 1943-D examples in there.
    https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/collectors-showcase/toned-coins/keyman64s-toned-mercury-dimes/13270

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
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    tahbb143tahbb143 Posts: 91 ✭✭✭

    @bigtime36 said:
    Got the microscope in mail, I just took out and took a quick phone shot as I've not yet connected to computer for picture storage or lighting it has. But can't wait to really mess with it.

    Got a link to the scope?

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