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PCGS Trueviews - What the heck is going on?

I had a PCGS order of 10 coins delivered back to me weeks ago. Prior to shipment, 8 of the 10 coins had Trueviews posted, didn't think too much of it. I am now weeks later, still lacking Trueviews on the last two coins. One coin in particular I was really hoping to get photos on as I have difficulty with proofs (1875 1C PR64RB). In addition, the quality of the 8 Trueviews I do have is subpar to where they have been in the past. I reached out to PCGS, no response.

What the heck is going on here? I know they lost Phil to Great Collections, so I understand there might be turmoil with photos right now, but I paid for this service with my order with the Gold Shield. Come on!

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Comments

  • OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Contacting customer support is good, they usually fix this kind of stuff. Photos of the true views would be great. :)

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

  • DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2024 10:06AM

    Trueviews are simply not going to be of the quality you've come to expect with Phil's departure. He was the golden standard... Is the golden standard for numismatic photography. That said, you can try reaching out to [email protected] with your complaints and see if they can help you out. They'll definitely help with the missing images.

    I've noticed the white balance is completely off on lots of stuff recently. Shame. I'm not sure most folks know how difficult it really is to produce the kind of quality Phil did so consistently for years on end.

    Just as an example, the reverse of this coin is mostly white. The color is more vivid than these pics show, they need to either cut the exposure a bit or bring the brightness/highlights down in post a tad to really let the color show. They're blowing it out, basically, with too much light.

    The eBay sellers images do a better job of showing it... and that says a lot.

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    I might add that all the photos seem overexposed and make the coins look cleaned. They are all much deeper brown in hand.

    1869/69 F15 - my coin

    Same grade via coin facts...

    1873 Doubled Liberty VG10 - My coin

    VG8 from coin facts.

    My coins all look overexposed to the point where you cannot see detail at all.

    AU58 1902 with Die Gouge
    Again, just overexposed. This photo is just not an accurate representation of the coin.

  • DelawareDoonsDelawareDoons Posts: 3,166 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2024 10:17AM

    Just to drive the point home, here's the same TV's with some 30 second adjustments in Photoshop. Still way too bright but I brough back some of what was blown out...

    Professional Numismatist. "It's like God, Family, Country, except Sticker, Plastic, Coin."

  • OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That 1873 looks terrible. Disappointing.

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "True" view has a been a hit and miss for me on circulated seated quarters. Some look like the coin in hand, some don't.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    Here is a more accurate depiction of color. Just taken with a very basic camera and 10 seconds of editing just to get an elliptical image....

    Im really disappointed.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2024 10:39AM

    Here are more coins from the submission....
    1871 shallow N VF20 (I am missing the photo of the 1871 Shallow N VF30)

    My obverse photo:

    1882 Snow-6 MPD

    Everything is just overexposed.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    1858 Small Letter High Leaves - MS63
    Trueview:

    My pics prior to grading:

    Im not as disappointed with this, but it is still not an accurate representation of the color.

  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Ownerofawheatiehorde said:
    Contacting customer support is good, they usually fix this kind of stuff. Photos of the true views would be great. :)

    I’m sure that they will do their best to help if they’re contacted, but there is a serious decline in quality that needs to be addressed as a whole by PCGS. “Contact customer Service” is not going to work as a long term solution.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    It doesn't even look like the slug is in focus.....what a shame.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,598 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A lot of these issues have nothing to do with the presence or absence of Phil. For a long time, TVs have been of inconsistent quality. This is what you should expect when there is a large team producing a large number of photos in a small time, where the talent level and aptitude varies within that team.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    @OriginalDan said:
    Speak with your wallets, people. I for one will not be submitting nearly as much, if at all until the photos get fixed.

    Me as well......I won't be submitting anything anytime soon. NGC and CAC photos are running circles around PCGS photos right now.

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

    @redraider said:

    @OriginalDan said:
    Speak with your wallets, people. I for one will not be submitting nearly as much, if at all until the photos get fixed.

    Me as well......I won't be submitting anything anytime soon. NGC and CAC photos are running circles around PCGS photos right now.

    Indeed. Never thought I'd say this, but I'm looking hard at joining NGC for the first time ever, just for the good pics. Whoever the decision makers are at PCGS should not underestimate the importance of good photos to the (submitting) collector base.

  • OwnerofawheatiehordeOwnerofawheatiehorde Posts: 1,446 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DeplorableDan said:

    @Ownerofawheatiehorde said:
    Contacting customer support is good, they usually fix this kind of stuff. Photos of the true views would be great. :)

    I’m sure that they will do their best to help if they’re contacted, but there is a serious decline in quality that needs to be addressed as a whole by PCGS. “Contact customer Service” is not going to work as a long term solution.

    I was talking about the missing truviews then, but I agree that the quality of truviews are terrible. I could take a better photo with a Polaroid.

    Type collector, mainly into Seated. Young Numismatist. Good BST transactions with: mirabela, OKCC, MICHAELDIXON

  • clarkbar04clarkbar04 Posts: 4,916 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the first time in years I skipped trueviews on an economy order. If I have keepers on an order I'll just send them to @crazyhounddog for imaging.

    MS66 taste on an MS63 budget.
  • OriginalDanOriginalDan Posts: 3,707 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @clarkbar04 said:
    For the first time in years I skipped trueviews on an economy order. If I have keepers on an order I'll just send them to @crazyhounddog for imaging.

    Lately, the photos are sometimes so bad that I DON'T WANT a true view for my coins, because it makes them look ugly. Let that sink in. I say sometimes, because I did have a recent submission that was slightly better than the subs I got back in December.

    @HeatherBoyd can anything be done?

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    I think the part that really irks me the most is the fact I have missing true views. The fact that I made a request to get more info on why they are missing with no action is also pretty bad. I feel robbed, both in quality and quantity, of what I paid for. They have to do better here.

  • @redraider Skipping key steps is, unfortunately, pretty common now. I've had it happen as well. I've had coins come back missing TrueViews as well. Others have gotten slabs back that weren't sealed. And, as others have pointed out, more often than not the TrueViews we do get are now so far removed from reality that it's almost worse to have them.

  • brianc1959brianc1959 Posts: 327 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @P0CKETCHANGE said:
    I agree with many of the excellent points made by others. High quality photography and the TrueView service is one of the primary reasons that my collection is exclusively PCGS-holdered coins, as I view and share my collection digitally far more often than in-hand.

    If that’s no longer a reliable selling point of our hosts (or worse, it’s a net negative if making good coins look bad), the Registry and inventory management features of other platforms become much more attractive, which in turn will reduce my demand for PCGS coins and increase demand for others.

    I think this issue may have real business and/or reputation implications, and I hope PCGS takes it seriously.

    I completely agree with you, and I'm alarmed by this. I use the PCGS registry to view and keep track of my collection, and to-date I've really liked the feature of automatically uploading TrueViews into virtual albums. It would be really frustrating to have to spend lots of time avoiding TrueViews, and possibly switching to some other type of database software.

  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,239 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @DelawareDoons said:
    Trueviews are simply not going to be of the quality you've come to expect with Phil's departure. He was the golden standard... Is the golden standard for numismatic photography. That said, you can try reaching out to [email protected] with your complaints and see if they can help you out. They'll definitely help with the missing images.

    I am amazed and disappointed though that Phil was apparently unable to train his co-workers.

    @redraider said:
    I think the part that really irks me the most is the fact I have missing true views. The fact that I made a request to get more info on why they are missing with no action is also pretty bad. I feel robbed, both in quality and quantity, of what I paid for. They have to do better here.

    I've had that happen and I just emailed [email protected] and they fixed it. While they certainly can improve, I can't imaging what an organizational nightmare it must be to photograph and keep straight thousands of photos a day.

  • rnkmyer1rnkmyer1 Posts: 312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can only agree with all the posts here. Here’s a comparison in pics. First, my friend’s primo shots with his “rig”. Next, the truview. The coin does have pink highlights but much more subtle than the over saturated truview.




    “The thrill of the hunt never gets old”

    PCGS Registry: Screaming Eagles
    Copperindian

    Retired sets: Soaring Eagles
    Copperindian

  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,472 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have felt frustrated with the inconsistency with TVs for a long time. I choose to use @robec because he is very accurate and provides his customer with the opportunity to choose various shots from different lighting positions. Even though the shots are through the slab plastic, it allows me to have a choice in how best to represent the coin.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • ProofCollectionProofCollection Posts: 5,239 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For the example above, I wonder how PCGS CS would react to a request for new photos? I think they oblige and pay for the entire expense. If they get enough complaints someone at PCGS will "fix" things. A bunch of returns for bad photos will get expensive quickly.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    These are atrocious. That is a stunning pattern that just looks awful in the TVs. I do hope this thread makes it to someone internally that can see the big picture (pun intended, lol).

    I have a stack of old PCGS holders I wanted to send in for TVs and reholders. Thats not happening anytime soon I guess.

  • joeykoinsjoeykoins Posts: 14,754 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2024 3:53PM

    Just as long as they DON'T get to be looking like this!
    My Pics from "across the street!"
    :#




    :o
    Here's how they really look.


    "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.
  • DeplorableDanDeplorableDan Posts: 2,474 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @joeykoins said:
    Just as long as they DON'T get to be looking like this!
    My Pics from "across the street!"

    They already are looking like that, the examples posted in this thread are no better than those.

  • redraiderredraider Posts: 119 ✭✭✭✭

    Those NGC photos are way better than the recent PCGS ones.

  • JimWJimW Posts: 539 ✭✭✭✭

    I just got 2 TVs posted last week. Early copper... I thought the TVs did not look at all like in hand. I wish they would just delete them.

    Successful BST Transactions: erwindoc, VTchaser, moursund, robkool, RelicKING, Herb_T

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,608 ✭✭✭✭✭

    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-

    I believe the PCGS photography department is a victim of its own success, as well as cost-control measures by PCGS, in that the department has expanded in the number of personnel, the number of individual camera set-ups and has unfortunately expanded in the fluency of the photographers with what they are doing and what standard they are expected to maintain from PCGS clients.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

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

    image
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,861 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JimW said:
    I just got 2 TVs posted last week. Early copper... I thought the TVs did not look at all like in hand. I wish they would just delete them.

    Now there's that. You have a coin to sell and if a prospective buyer is going to look up the cert and see a poor TV that's not gonna be good. Can the owner of a PCGS graded coin ask for the TV to be removed?

  • fluffy155fluffy155 Posts: 219 ✭✭✭✭

    The overblown neon I've seen in some recent Trueviews is regrettable. Here's one of my coins... who looked at these images and thought they were acceptable?

    The coin in hand:

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,598 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RLSnapper said:
    From reading this thread it becomes obvious that Phil is a special talent that GC paid up for to address collector concerns about imaging quality. The GreatPhoto showcases Phil's talent. Our host obviously did not have an adequate succession plan in place in the Photo Department.
    That being said....there is talent available as shown in this very thread. It is time for PCGS to make someone an offer they can't refuse to solve these quality issues before they lose business. Six figure coins with 6 cent photos won't cut it for very long.

    They won't solve quality issues if they want to keep the volume they have. Huge volume requires an assembly line approach, which leads to an automaton mentality for something which needs to be done thoughtfully, which leads to a consistently mediocre product. They need a different approach as I mentioned above.

  • spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @fluffy155 said:
    The overblown neon I've seen in some recent Trueviews is regrettable. Here's one of my coins... who looked at these images and thought they were acceptable?

    The coin in hand:

    First, they are shooting the coins in the raw, not through a slab, so with that, one can take image that one can't through a slab and capture some colors that would only result in glare on the slab shot. Second, I see no 'neon' colors at all. The colors I see are those one can get if one tilts the coin into the light just right w/o having the issue of a slab causing light glare........... Same coin, different views under the light. Now if you prefer the grey scale colors instead, that is another issue but that is not what you stated. So these are likely to be acceptable images for a specific orientation under the light.


    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk hit the nail on the head. The TV’s have been deteriorating for a number of years. I have stopped using the service.

  • messydeskmessydesk Posts: 19,598 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @spacehayduke said:

    @fluffy155 said:
    The overblown neon I've seen in some recent Trueviews is regrettable. Here's one of my coins... who looked at these images and thought they were acceptable?

    The coin in hand:

    First, they are shooting the coins in the raw, not through a slab, so with that, one can take image that one can't through a slab and capture some colors that would only result in glare on the slab shot. Second, I see no 'neon' colors at all. The colors I see are those one can get if one tilts the coin into the light just right w/o having the issue of a slab causing light glare........... Same coin, different views under the light. Now if you prefer the grey scale colors instead, that is another issue but that is not what you stated. So these are likely to be acceptable images for a specific orientation under the light.

    Perhaps, but you also have to ask yourself which sets of pictures would result in a sale? Which sets would result in a coin being returned? When we look at our coins, we are taking in the overall look from many orientations under whatever light is available. We aren't trying to find the one optimal orientation for maximizing one feature of the coin at the expense of all others. That rule seems to be lost on some of the people taking TV pictures.

  • spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @messydesk said:

    @spacehayduke said:

    @fluffy155 said:
    The overblown neon I've seen in some recent Trueviews is regrettable. Here's one of my coins... who looked at these images and thought they were acceptable?

    The coin in hand:

    First, they are shooting the coins in the raw, not through a slab, so with that, one can take image that one can't through a slab and capture some colors that would only result in glare on the slab shot. Second, I see no 'neon' colors at all. The colors I see are those one can get if one tilts the coin into the light just right w/o having the issue of a slab causing light glare........... Same coin, different views under the light. Now if you prefer the grey scale colors instead, that is another issue but that is not what you stated. So these are likely to be acceptable images for a specific orientation under the light.

    Perhaps, but you also have to ask yourself which sets of pictures would result in a sale? Which sets would result in a coin being returned? When we look at our coins, we are taking in the overall look from many orientations under whatever light is available. We aren't trying to find the one optimal orientation for maximizing one feature of the coin at the expense of all others. That rule seems to be lost on some of the people taking TV pictures.

    Very good points which I fully agree with............

    Best, SH


    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
  • InlanderInlander Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    I recently sent in a few of my NGC coins for PhotoVision Plus... not happy with the results at all. My copper coins came back looking dull and nothing like they look in hand.

    I've noticed the quality issues with TrueView the last few years as well-- and also had to email them when some were missing.

    I need to start getting back into coin photography now.

  • BigtreeBigtree Posts: 192 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2024 9:16PM

    Just to share a data point - last week I did a poll on Instagram about folks’ experiences with TrueViews in the post-Phil era. More than 60 people responded.

    The results - while not at all favorable to PCGS - were actually slightly better than I expected. That said, I’m still holding on submissions until things get better.

  • HillbillyCollectorHillbillyCollector Posts: 484 ✭✭✭✭✭

    >
    Here’s a nice one! Someone said the other day that the TV looks nothing like the slab shot. I said, you think?😂



  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,125 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bigtree said:
    Just to share a data point - last week I did a poll on Instagram about folks’ experiences with TrueViews in the post-Phil era. More than 60 people responded.

    The results - while not at all favorable to PCGS - were actually slightly better than I expected. That said, I’m still holding on submissions until things get better.

    What’s your IG name?

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