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TrueView's lackluster images - a new trend??

I switched from NGC to PCGS years ago primarily because of their superior photography. The Trueviews are the best images I have seen of coins. For me, that's a priority. NGC is playing catch-up and getting better, but I am still won over by PCGS.

Nevertheless, recent Trueviews are indicating a new trend. I am observing this dramatic change in the TrueView images since about the time Phil Arnold left for GC, but can't imagine that the photography staff at PCGS isn't using his amazing technique. For one thing, the new images aren't capturing luster, which is really surprising since luster is a critical factor to the coin's grade. Most noticeable is the color which is now significantly downplayed compared to past many years. Some folks may consider the amazing trueviews of years past to be less true to the coin's color appearance. I happen to love the colors captured by Phil's setup. Anyone who treasures toning I'm guessing may be disappointed with the new images.

I'm curious to know how many of you are noticing this new development, and if you agree?

Comments

  • OriginalDanOriginalDan Posts: 3,707 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2023 10:00AM

    I'm similar to you, one of the main reasons I went with PCGS for a long time was the great pictures. Unfortunately they've become really terrible in quality, not just the luster issues you pointed out, but also the color has been way off, mostly too orange in my experience. This began before Phil left, and although he never said it, I got the feeling that Phil wasn't happy with the quality either. Perhaps this is why he left for GC?

    On top of this huge drop in quality, NGC has upped their game and the latest photos over at NGC are actually quite decent. I don't know how to get through to the decision makers at PCGS, but sooner or later they're going to realize they F'd this up bad.

  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I found the opposite to be true, my most recent batch of trueviews were so over saturated with color and values that they barely looked like the same coins. I think quality control is varying more and more, depending who is at the helm that day.

    I'm BACK!!! Used to be Billet7 on the old forum.

  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’ve always been a PCGS guy, but I’ve been mightily impressed with the new ones NGC is doing.

    I'm BACK!!! Used to be Billet7 on the old forum.

  • BoosibriBoosibri Posts: 11,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Let’s see some Trueviews that are in question.

    I tend to agree with the sentiment and have been very impressed with the NGC PhotoVision quality.

    Here are some NGC examples








  • ELuisELuis Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2023 4:38AM

    I noticed some issues with my recent submittal, like getting a nose with three sections:

    Edit: added a nose closeup


    That obviously is not on the coin at all.
    Also those mark details on the left side of the wing or above the head, in hand the coin it is not easy to view that in that detail.

    This one i think does not bright as it is in hand, on the image I think is missing that.

    And to also wrong denomination:

  • ELuisELuis Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    And if one checks the coin PCGS#:

    My 1/4Oz is there.

  • atomatom Posts: 428 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 21, 2023 12:04PM

    Here's an example of a "Phil era" Trueview image vs recent image. The Phil-era image is actually a good representation of the coin's deeply toned appearance. Where has all the color gone?

  • ELuisELuis Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭

    @atom said:
    Here's an example of a "Phil era" Trueview image vs recent image. The Phil-era image is actually a good representation of the coin's deeply toned appearance. Where has all the color gone?

    Big difference for sure, just curios why the coin was re-submitted?

  • atomatom Posts: 428 ✭✭✭✭

    Original submission: Genuine - UNC Details (97 - Environmental Damage); Resubmitted: AU58

  • OriginalDanOriginalDan Posts: 3,707 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @atom said:
    Original submission: Genuine - UNC Details (97 - Environmental Damage); Resubmitted: AU58

    Now that's just funny. Unc to AU. Env damage to OK. It's just an opinion, I suppose.

  • atomatom Posts: 428 ✭✭✭✭

    @OriginalDan said:

    @atom said:
    Original submission: Genuine - UNC Details (97 - Environmental Damage); Resubmitted: AU58

    Now that's just funny. Unc to AU. Env damage to OK. It's just an opinion, I suppose.

    You’re absolutely correct. I have a hunch that there are novice graders unfamiliar with such coins which are often toned and softly struck.

  • bidaskbidask Posts: 13,812 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @atom said:
    Here's an example of a "Phil era" Trueview image vs recent image. The Phil-era image is actually a good representation of the coin's deeply toned appearance. Where has all the color gone?

    Uh oh

    I may have to stop submitting raw coins

    I manage money. I earn money. I save money .
    I give away money. I collect money.
    I don’t love money . I do love the Lord God.




  • coinkatcoinkat Posts: 22,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2023 5:00AM

    These are my last two and most recent Trueviews- Not sure about the timing and whether Phil was involved with these images before he left. I think they are good.

    Experience the World through Numismatics...it's more than you can imagine.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had noticed some less than acceptable, in my opinion, PCGS TrueView images well before the recent change in photography at PCGS. I reached out to a well-known member who did PCGS photography (name withheld, though many will know) and he sent color corrected or additional images to me and then changed what the image looked like in the PCGS database. My experiences tend to agree that some coins were over-exposed and had their luster zapped out completely, others were color shifted to yellow and orange an unacceptable degree and some had wild color over-saturation.

    This 1904-S Barber half dollar originally had the top image as its PCGS TV and that image made me hesitate in purchasing the coin online, but I knew there were some photography QC issues (in my opinion) ongoing at PCGS so I took a shot. When I received the coin it looked little like the online TV image and I reached out to the photography department and they uploaded another set of images that were much closer to the in-hand look-

    The 1911 NFLD half dollar is another example of a coin with color-shifted values that appeared a bit peach and orange online, but I thought the color online was cartoonish enough that the coin was actually a soft white. The upper image is the one that PCGS had uploaded for the TV when I purchased it, but again I reached out to the photography department and a second set of images was sent to me that I said appeared much more aligned with the coin in-hand. Again, the second set is what is now on the PCGS site and the coin is actually a soft white with thick skin and luster-

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • I recently received some medals back from PCGS. The pictures have a flatness about them and do not show the luster of the medals. Was very disappointed in the quality of the photos. I put the medals under my night light by my bed and they look much better than the photos. I was going to write PCGS. They need to fix the problem. To me they are not using the correct lighting.

  • How do you reach the photo department?

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Beatty said:
    How do you reach the photo department?

    [email protected]

  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 22, 2023 8:54AM

    Below are a couple of the last trueviews from my collection that Phil imaged (early November). He set the bar pretty damn high.


  • SYRACUSIANSYRACUSIAN Posts: 6,444 ✭✭✭✭

    Maybe too high Roman?

    I’m certain that I’m not the only member here, who had noticed that a lot of the coins that were Trueviewed, especially the choice-gem examples with more or less colorful toning were “embellished” and therefore , quite often, much better looking than the coins in hand.

    As submitters, this did not bother us one bit.

    But assuming that we wanted to buy a certain coin, and for whatever the reason we couldn’t see the coin in hand, or have someone else see it prior to the auction, I personally always looked for a second set of images, most often by the auction house itself.

    So, we have some double standards here.

    Not all coins’ images were embellished, but unfortunately for me, the majority of what I bought fell into that category.

    Aaron (atom) chose wisely a particular coin, that proves the point that he is making. So did coinkat with his first example, although I’m not sure about the second. TomB’s choices are spot on.

    Current TVs leave a lot to be desired and they finally face some serious competition from across the street. I’m sure that they will improve in the near future, without ever reaching Phil’s personal style, but maybe this will be a good thing, all things considered.

    Dimitri



    myEbay



    DPOTD 3
  • TwoKopeikiTwoKopeiki Posts: 9,502 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SYRACUSIAN said:
    Maybe too high Roman?

    I don't think so, personally. It takes a lot of skill and experience to be able to capture color. While being a "glamour shot", it's still an important representation of coin's qualities that you would not see otherwise unless inspecting it in-hand. Most auction houses aren't able to show that side of the coin. They either don't have the required photography skill in-house, or their calories are spent on top tier coins only. If i'm unable to see the coin in-hand, i'd feel a lot better with both the TV's (to show the color and luster) and the auction house photos (to show surfaces and luster) when shopping. Ideally also a video of the coin thrown in for good measure.

  • BarberianBarberian Posts: 2,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Coin as it appears in reality on top. TrueView on bottom.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
  • atomatom Posts: 428 ✭✭✭✭

    @Barberian said:
    Coin as it appears in reality on top. TrueView on bottom.

    You’re showing two sets of images for the same cert#. Does that mean the bottom one was the first produced, and you requested a ‘fix’ to match the “reality” ?

  • BarberianBarberian Posts: 2,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @atom said:

    @Barberian said:
    Coin as it appears in reality on top. TrueView on bottom.

    You’re showing two sets of images for the same cert#. Does that mean the bottom one was the first produced, and you requested a ‘fix’ to match the “reality” ?

    No. I took the TrueView and edited it to be closer to reality.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,606 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm going to guess, and it is only a guess based upon the saturation and color of the images, that @Barberian photoshopped or otherwise edited the bottom image to reflect how the coin looked in-hand.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 560 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You guys posted those at almost the exact same time 😂

    I'm BACK!!! Used to be Billet7 on the old forum.

  • lordmarcovanlordmarcovan Posts: 43,194 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 25, 2023 6:47AM

    I've noticed a slight downturn in my satisfaction with the TrueView images over the last year to year and a half, though they're still very nice to have, and certainly better than most dealer images (and way, WAY better than anything I could produce myself).

    On the other hand, I have been very impressed with the quality of the NGC Photovision images, consistently. This- and the fact that more of my raw submissions are Ancients these days- have made me start using NGC more than PCGS.

    Photos are of primary importance to me since all of my collection-sharing is done online. There are no coin clubs in my area and I get together with coin collecting friends only once or twice a year at most.

    I daresay a good photo matters much more to me than the technical grade on a slab does.


    Explore collections of lordmarcovan on CollecOnline, management, safe-keeping, sharing and valuation solution for art piece and collectibles.
  • tcollectstcollects Posts: 732 ✭✭✭✭

    they at least owe us a grade on the photo as well as the coin

  • ajaanajaan Posts: 17,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes.


    DPOTD-3
    'Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery'

    CU #3245 B.N.A. #428


    Don
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