Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

Photography update 3 (I think?)

spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 13, 2023 9:09PM in U.S. Coin Forum

I have made a long distance friend who I sometimes purchase coins from, and have started submitting some of his coins for him to PCGS and NGC (since I have memberships at both). I have had the opportunity to try imaging several different coins that I've never had before. Some are more challenging than others!

In no particular order (I selected several so not sure what order they uploaded):

1861 Quarter
1875-S 20C
1901 Morgan
1927 Buffalo Nickel
1936 Blue and Grey Commemorative 50C
1934 Peace Dollar
1921 Peace Dollar
1908 Indian Cent
1861 3 Cent Silver

Any feedback is appreciated!









Comments

  • Options
    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    To avoid the Frankenstein look direct light from above and downward.

    Also, if you cannot tether to your computer or a monitor to compose and focus before shooting, take numerous pix with slight focus adjustments. The IHC and silver 3-cent are off.

    Sorry. I don't mean to be harsh. I hope this helps.
    Lance.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkeigwin said:
    To avoid the Frankenstein look direct light from above and downward.

    Also, if you cannot tether to your computer or a monitor to compose and focus before shooting, take numerous pix with slight focus adjustments. The IHC and silver 3-cent are off.

    Sorry. I don't mean to be harsh. I hope this helps.
    Lance.

    No appreciate the feedback. I no longer have the 3cs or ihc unfortunately. I do use the tether method but I probably didn't check focus good enough on those. Those are older snaps than the others.

    Not sure what you mean by the Frankenstein look. I have 2 lights that I move around until I like what I see, sometimes straight down sometimes at an angle depending on the coin, sometimes one angled and one straight down, but almost always at around 4:30 and 7:30. Sometimes I use a third mass light to help light up more.

  • Options
    gumby1234gumby1234 Posts: 5,428 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coin photography can be tough. Practice moving the lighting angles and how far away the light is from the coin as well.

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

  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Those are really great pictures. I am not qualified to critique them beyond basics. Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    @lkeigwin said:
    To avoid the Frankenstein look direct light from above and downward.

    Also, if you cannot tether to your computer or a monitor to compose and focus before shooting, take numerous pix with slight focus adjustments. The IHC and silver 3-cent are off.

    Sorry. I don't mean to be harsh. I hope this helps.
    Lance.

    No appreciate the feedback. I no longer have the 3cs or ihc unfortunately. I do use the tether method but I probably didn't check focus good enough on those. Those are older snaps than the others.

    Not sure what you mean by the Frankenstein look. I have 2 lights that I move around until I like what I see, sometimes straight down sometimes at an angle depending on the coin, sometimes one angled and one straight down, but almost always at around 4:30 and 7:30. Sometimes I use a third mass light to help light up more.

    Remember playing around with a flashlight as a kid, and directing it up from below your chin? Gave your face a spooky look.

    That is the Frankenstein look. Apologies if I was confusing.

    Look carefully at the images posted and where the light and shadows are. The red arrows (below) show the direction. Lighting should come from the opposite direction.
    Lance.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @lkeigwin I see. Yeah I did have a hard time getting a decent look on the peace dollars. The concave surface is new for me. I will try moving the lighting around a bit and/or adding some more. Most Morgan's and other coins I can usually go from the bottom right and left and maybe one more global light but it seems I need a different tactic for the peace surfaces.

    I'll give it another shot tomorrow (Sunday). 👍

  • Options
    The_Dinosaur_ManThe_Dinosaur_Man Posts: 839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Your highlights are a little overexposed, they're showing up with a purplish tint. This is most noticeable on the three cent silver. Continue adjusting the lights, the aperture, and the shutter speed to mitigate and avoid the effect.

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

  • Options
    lkeigwinlkeigwin Posts: 16,887 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A good starting point for lighting it to direct it from 10 and 2 o'clock. Compare the lighting with this example.

    FWIW, it is not just the Peace dollar that is uplit. So it the IHC, the Morgan, buffalo nickel, commem.
    Lance.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the input. I'll take a few more some time today trying different angles.

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i don't know if you have tried but switch out your bulbs, temporarily and that will give a lot of info as well.

    it can be difficult to dial in various, jansjos, leds, cfls and other lights compared to some incandescent and probably needs a lot of camera settings adjusted to compensate.

    imo, the goal should be very close to ilkegwin's peace obverse above. i bet that image is VERY close if not spot-on to the coin in-hand. some people actually don't have that as a goal, just 85-95% and want their images very good quality but tweaked so their images are distinguishable to them.

    <--- 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 -

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC I have not tried different lights yet but I will consider that next. It may be true that while my lights may be sufficient, I may have to change it up to take it to the next level. They are relatively cheap amazon led. I will look for some high CRI lights and/bulbs for the next round.

    For those watching but don't know, CRI is a rating of how accurate the light is to show how it looks in real life. Most lights are at least 80+, 90 is good, 95 is great, and 100 is considered true to life.

    My goal is as close to in hand as possible as I have an ebay store. I want someone to see what they are buying beforehand (unlike a lot of notorious juicers on that platform).

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For clarification they are stand alone led lights that can't just be switched out (ie no separate bulbs). I can change between several lighting levels and color Temps, but I don't usually change the temperature.

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    For clarification they are stand alone led lights that can't just be switched out (ie no separate bulbs). I can change between several lighting levels and color Temps, but I don't usually change the temperature.

    awe crap. i was playing the odds as most of these light housings do permit switching but i have seen some that were fixed.

    you can try a couple lamps sitting up kinda high. i'm a big fan of having the lights up higher (at least to try) as oppose to lower and also a lamp works just fine to convey accuracy. (most of the time) i have turned over my iphon6s at 10k++ images (along with a few other cameras) and most of those are taken with just 1 light but i really have my technique down. (if i am not lazy or having a bad photo day) BUT they will not compete with a dslr/macro lens.

    <--- 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 -

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2023 11:54AM

    just to give you an idea.

    1 iphone 6s, 1 lamp (this time) with an LED bulb but it REALLY is close to an incandescent for brightness, temperature etc, so the brightness for the camera is MORE than enough, just even with one light. it can be onery sometimes though.

    cameras, ESPECIALLY camera phones do better with more light so long as it isn't reflective and/or so bright it starts washing out. i mean, really the quality just goes through the roof and the instant the light starts fading (from my experience) the image quality just turns to crap. perhaps newer models do better with fading light?

    some of my kitty pics around dusk or even a little before, really start suffering most of the time, as well as other things in the world i've imaged with the iphon6s.

    image

    <--- 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 -

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    I'm considering these, 95CRI
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/225340839753

    Thoughts?

    imo, if you buy something outside the average of what people are using whom are getting good results, most likely the more difficult it will be for you to get your setup dialed in. (those lights in the ebay setting look neat but i don't recall seeing anything like those in the top image takers photo setups fwiw)

    now there is always X. those led lights may be a great solution but if they aren't, you have more seemingly useless lights and no closer to your goal.

    there are some very talented photographers on these boards but my advice, is to look at your cameras manual and perhaps some youtube vids for your camera. once you learn about your iso, aperture, various brightness settings, etc, the better off you will be.

    it takes some tracking on your part but one of the things i did was to take a few images on one setting, make a note, change a/some settings, take a few more pics etc, then evaluate them on my pc.

    ALSO, one of the top ways, maybe a little hard on the back, is to look through the camera's viewfinder after changing settings but NOT taking an image. more or less, what you see through the camera's screen is what you are going to get from an image. :)

    hope it helps

    <--- 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 -

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC I do have my camera tethered so that will help my back 😅

    My one concern with those lights is the flexibility is somewhat limited. With my led's I have now I can manipulate them into basically any position up to 18 inches or more off the surface... I suppose I could make a platforms of some sort of necessary to raise them up. I do like the high CRI rating though which I don't recall anyone talking about.

    I'll give it some more thought.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2023 12:32PM

    Holy heck... I want to say other more choice words by why didn't anyone tell me to switch between 4 and 8 and 2 and 10 before now?? (I could have misunderstood but I was under the impression to get the 'X' like view on the shiny surfaces, to use 4 and 8).

    Anyways, what a difference!!! This is without any extra global light other than the main office light.

  • Options
    ctf_error_coinsctf_error_coins Posts: 15,433 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2023 12:36PM

    I am late to this thread.

    When imaging a coin with a portrait on it, light the coin like you would do "portrait lighting" by key lighting the face and highlighting the hair. Same with Bald Eagle reverses.

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    Holy heck... I want to say other more choice words by why didn't anyone tell me to switch between 4 and 8 and 2 and 10 before now?? (I could have misunderstood but I was under the impression to get the 'X' like view on the shiny surfaces, to use 4 and 8).

    Anyways, what a difference!!! This is without any extra global light other than the main office light.

    at this point, i honestly think it is better for people to just read threads here on photography as there is a lot to say and it isn't always going to get said in each thread and it has ALL been covered thoroughly, spread across many threads.

    i've made the 10 & 2, x pattern, move your lights comment probably more than any other, although i'm not sure i said it in this thread.

    glad you are making progress. :+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 -

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A few updates based on feedback on a few of the coins above @LanceNewmanOCC it's possible you may have said it in another of my own threads and I just missed it... at any rate appreciate the continued feedback!




  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:
    A few updates based on feedback on a few of the coins above @LanceNewmanOCC it's possible you may have said it in another of my own threads and I just missed it... at any rate appreciate the continued feedback!

    you aren't far off fwiw.

    sharp, well lit images, good presentation. once you either change your lights and/or figure out the camera setting(s), you're gold.

    <--- 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 -

  • Options
    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The colors are a bit wonky on some of those. If you are adjusting saturation in post-processing, back off. If you are adjusting contrast in post-processing, you may need to desaturate the image a bit after increasing contrast. You also need to have the white balance exactly right or the color cast will become more pronounced.

    On the 3c silver, you also have some pink color fringing that is probably due to longitudinal chromatic aberrations when high contrast subjects are not perfectly in focus. Increasing contrast and/or saturation accentuates these. When you see pink, the camera is too close, when you see blue, it's too far away. The distances I'm talking about here are typically less than 1 mm.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:
    The colors are a bit wonky on some of those. If you are adjusting saturation in post-processing, back off. If you are adjusting contrast in post-processing, you may need to desaturate the image a bit after increasing contrast. You also need to have the white balance exactly right or the color cast will become more pronounced.

    On the 3c silver, you also have some pink color fringing that is probably due to longitudinal chromatic aberrations when high contrast subjects are not perfectly in focus. Increasing contrast and/or saturation accentuates these. When you see pink, the camera is too close, when you see blue, it's too far away. The distances I'm talking about here are typically less than 1 mm.

    Yeah I don't have the 3cs to practice on anymore but I know what you are saying.

    Mostly sharpening filters and auto contrast, in post processing, not much else. I'll play with the saturation a bit as you suggest.

    Thanks!

  • Options
    messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,704 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spyglassdesign said:

    Mostly sharpening filters and auto contrast, in post processing, not much else. I'll play with the saturation a bit as you suggest.

    Thanks!

    Don't use auto contrast. It doesn't know what the coin looks like. Make gentle adjustments using the curves tool if you have it in your photo editor.

  • Options
    spyglassdesignspyglassdesign Posts: 1,514 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @spyglassdesign said:

    Mostly sharpening filters and auto contrast, in post processing, not much else. I'll play with the saturation a bit as you suggest.

    Thanks!

    Don't use auto contrast. It doesn't know what the coin looks like. Make gentle adjustments using the curves tool if you have it in your photo editor.

    Alright, I will start doing that. Usually it works pretty well but I played with the saturation a bit like you said and I can see what you are saying. Thanks for the tips!

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file