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Coin Photography v2.0

lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

The last Christmas present to myself just got here... the copy stand... so I at least now have everything put together and set up. This has been a long journey for me...

My ver1.0 setup was literally a shop light with a secondary fluorescent light and a handheld digital point and shoot camera... think Canon Powershot 12Mp on "macro". On occasion, I could get the white balance figured out but it was wildly inconsistent and the great majority of my pictures were useless...

...enter v2.0... Canon T2i with 100mm dedicated macro lens and an Albinor copy stand with two Emart 45W white photographic lights. I put some white paper around the light fixtures since the bulbs protrude past the fixture and I didnt want to be temporarily blinded.

I'll be playing around with this set up and hopefully have some images this evening...

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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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    beautiful setup!!!

    i appreciate creativity and deviating from the norm a bit (being a big of a nonconformist) but i have to say this setup is pretty much the quintessential format that has the highest likelihood of success. (i mean position of the lights/camera etc, not necessarily just the specific equip)

    that being said, i did tend to have my lights about 2x that high or so but i didn't have them fixed, i just held them in my hand because of the amount of coins i was imaging and the diversity. while a bit of a pain, it sure helped speed up the process of hitting the sweet spot for each coin.

    also, i had the whole stand turned 180 degrees so i could see through the viewfinder. (i NOW painfully, wonder why i didn't raise the whole copy stand more so i didn't have to bend over. duh

    i never got around to tethering though and i did try but it just did never come together.

    it seems to be those type of hooded lights also significantly help get a nice amount of distributed light to the items being imaged compared to non-hooded lights.

    <--- 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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    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,701 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Have fun with your new setup! Looking forward to seeing your results.

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Looking forward to seeing the results! Not too far off from my setup. Download the Canon desktop software if you have a pc that you can connect to the camera, you can use it to control focus and shoot remotely.

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    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Nice setup!

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow.... I foresee some great pictures in the future. Nice setup indeed. Cheers, RickO

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    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,511 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkenefic looking good! Keep working on the lighting aspect and you should be able to make them pop even more!

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    VERY close. a couple tweaks and you'll be in business.

    if your lights are that close (cfls) and the images are that dark, also check your aperture setting.

    i would say do a reset but you are too close to FTW to do that. :)

    good size on them at around 1mb each at 1700x1700. pretty good man.

    you MAY want to swap the cfls out for regular bulbs just for argument sake to see how much of a difference they make. there are also some decent (surprisingly) led bulbs that fit in those sockets but i'm not trying to spend your money. ;)

    IIRC, my d90 nikon had some external brightness settings as well as some digital menu ones. that is one of the main reasons why once i got mine dialed in, i left it the heck alone. there are thousands upon thousands of different variations of settings and if you go a tinkering, you very well could get lost in the menu catacombs. oof

    <--- 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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    Great setup, and sharp images. Nice work.
    Increase the exposure time to get more luminance on the images.
    Use mirror lock-up, and the two second self timer shutter setting to avoid mirror shaking the camera when the camera fires.
    Keep your ISO at 100, and F-stop under 11, and adjust the shutter speed accordingly. You can get great shots with that lens/camera setup. Here's some good info on the lens.

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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. My first session was shot totally on Auto. I'm going to use the manual settings now that I'm getting a bit more familiar with the setup and where all the buttons are... and finding them before the camera shuts off! I'm still getting used to operating in front of the camera instead of behind it! It's an adjustment!

    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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    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do you have a tether cable or remote for the camera? Once I started using a USB tether with Lightroom, my results improved immensely. For some shots, particularly on higher relief pieces, I'll use a longer shutter speed to increase the depth of field but the camera needs to be immobile for such shots to work.

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

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @The_Dinosaur_Man said:
    Do you have a tether cable or remote for the camera? Once I started using a USB tether with Lightroom, my results improved immensely. For some shots, particularly on higher relief pieces, I'll use a longer shutter speed to increase the depth of field but the camera needs to be immobile for such shots to work.

    oh man. the day i started using a shutter release remote, the clouds parted and the sun was a shinin'!

    i have some ideas about tethering i never did when i had my d90 that should i ever do some dslr work again, i look forward to trying. (for my back and comfort sake) i used some great bulbs but they did get really hot for longer sessions.

    <--- 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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    hfjacintohfjacinto Posts: 766 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    in2Coinsin2Coins Posts: 239 ✭✭✭✭

    Pics are dark so you might need to adjust your “exposure compensation” accordingly.

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    leothelyonleothelyon Posts: 8,362 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's some work I've done with photography of late. The last being my latest but don't kow if I like it.


    Leo

    The more qualities observed in a coin, the more desirable that coin becomes!

    My Jefferson Nickel Collection

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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great idea for the lengthy bulbs. I have the same bulbs and they extend out past the lamp shades and I did not think of this quick repair. Thanks. Nice stand. Where did you get it and how high will it extend, if you don't mind?
    Jim


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

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:
    Great idea for the lengthy bulbs. I have the same bulbs and they extend out past the lamp shades and I did not think of this quick repair. Thanks. Nice stand. Where did you get it and how high will it extend, if you don't mind?
    Jim

    Thanks... one of my more experienced photography friends did this years ago, so I cant claim originality. ;)

    The copy stand is an Albinor stand from Amazon. It extends to 28 inches high. I signed up for Prime over the holidays and got free shipping... I believe this unit was $229... I found cheaper used on ebay, but shipping costs made them prohibitively expensive. Hope this helps...

    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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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkenefic said:

    s... one of my more experienced photography friends did this years ago, so I cant claim originality. ;)

    The copy stand is an Albinor stand from Amazon. It extends to 28 inches high. I signed up for Prime over the holidays and got free shipping... I believe this unit was $229... I found cheaper used on ebay, but shipping costs made them prohibitively expensive. Hope this helps...



    if you don't mind sometime, tell me what are the dimensions of the base. the piece of wood. length/width. t.i.a.

    <--- 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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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Good question, Lance, looks like 18x20 but could be 24.
    Jim


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

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jesbroken said:
    Good question, Lance, looks like 18x20 but could be 24.
    Jim

    i'm just wondering if it will fit cubic-rate. while the max dimensions are 18x18x18 before the cost goes up a lot or having to swtich to ups/fedex, a thin board like that can go diagonally and be larger than 18 and so long as all of that stuff is under 20 pounds, i can ship it for $8-15 bucks. just depends on zip code. i shipped an 18x18 15 pound box a state over for under $8. blew me away.

    <--- 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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    jesbrokenjesbroken Posts: 9,303 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Oh, I see your point now.
    Jim


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

    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.....Mark Twain
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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From the website...

    Description
    The Albinar C082L Copy Stand with lights consists of a 19”x15.75” large baseboard, a tripod mount Head with Quick Release Plate for your camera, and 2 Lights with adjustable brackets. This is great for product photography of small to medium items such as coins stamps, etc. Maximum Copy Size is 40X48 cmPerfect for macro shots with digital compact cameras & DSLR or for copying artwork.Includes: Baseboard Column with Adjustable Camera Base Tripod Mount Head with Quick Release Plate 2 Lamps (w/o Bulbs) 2 Adjustable Light BracketsSpecifications:Baseboard (WxHxD): 40 x 2 x 48 cm (15.75 x 0.75 x 19 in.) Column height: 71 cm (27.95 in.) Max. Load: 1.8 kg (4 lbs.)Model: C082LMax Copy Size: 40x48 cmBaseboard Color: White

    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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    BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,164 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the record, parts for this DIY version run about $255 at 80/20 plus under $100 for the remaining bits. If you wanted to make it 36" tall instead of 24", add $36.

    https://petapixel.com/2022/06/11/how-to-build-a-diy-t-rex-stand-for-macro-photography/

    I haven't built it, but I keep thinking about it. I'm also thinking of upsizing the rails from 1545 to 3060.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
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    lkeneficlkenefic Posts: 7,828 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 30, 2023 8:27PM

    OK... I'm playing around with manual settings... here's 1/125; F5.6; ISO: AUTO

    The white balance seems ok... the color on the copper seems accurate... but the silver seems a little over-exposed??

    Thoughts, opinions, comments, and constructive criticisms welcomed... Thanks, Leo








    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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    BryceMBryceM Posts: 11,733 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 30, 2023 10:47PM

    I have the exact same copy stand, I think. I set mine up a bit differently, but it's the same idea. Try to get the lights as close to the lens as possible (high-angle lighting). I use halogens and they tend to get hot. I've had them close enough to the camera body at times to worry about frying it. So far, so good, but I did melt a slab gasket once. Oops.

    image

    A tethered connection and direct power source for the camera really make it easy. The software allows for shutter lock, white balance, focus preview, and the ability to tweak just about every camera setting. Once you try it, you'll never go back.

    Here's the last few coins I've photographed:

    image
    image
    image

    You should be able to show luster like this:

    image

    and sharpness / detail like this:

    image

    Settings for the Peace dollar photos are:

    f/6.3, 1/2500 sec, ISO-400. The halogens are bright and I'm a huge fan of quick exposures.

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