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Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2012  10:07 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Well, I began collecting coins a few years back, and now in position to start upgrading some of my collection. I have decided to document my current coins for easier comparison. In the next couple of weeks I will start putting together a photo setup and will try to upload my progress to this web site.

I have already purchased Vivitar Bellows, B&L A-stand, and Spiratone 35mm macrotar macro lens with T Mount adapter. I already own Nikon D5000. Next on my list is a 75mm enlarging lens and couple of Jansjons lights.

My goal is to document my collection first, since I don't own too many varieties, this setup primary purpose is to take good pictures of full coins from small pennies / dimes to large dollars.

I would welcome any suggestions / past experiences or critiques you may offer.

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 Posted 01/31/2012  10:35 am  Show Profile Check oih82w8's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add oih82w8 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like you are setting yourself up for success! I don't know what all the aforementioned equipment does, I will stick with 5.1 mega-pixel digital camera with copy stand. I need to work on my lighting. I have heard lots of positive chatter about those Jansjo (Ikea for about 10 dollars?) LED Lamps.

How about some pictures of your set-up?
oih82w8 = "Oh I Hate To Wait"

"I tell her coins keep me off the streets and out of the bars." Moe145

"WOO-SAA...WOo-SAa...Woo-Saa" (calm down)
Edited by oih82w8
01/31/2012 10:45 am
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16965 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2012  12:09 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
My suggestion: Make your next investment into software and not optics. Especially if you're documenting an existing collection - lots of pics, in other words - you will be well-served by tethering software to control the camera from the computer, and the ability to focus from the monitor using Live View.

I would literally be unable to achieve the modest results I'm capable of without Live View on the monitor - the camera's can't show enough detail to focus the image. Without a monitor-size image, it would be hit-or-miss all the way.

Setting shot parameters from the computer is a vast improvement over fiddling with the camera before each shot, as well.

The downside for you is expense, shooting Nikon. Canon ships this software free with their cameras; Nikon expects you to pay for that privilege. Furthermore, Nikon's Camera Control Pro 2 does not support Live View on the monitor for your D5000. However, Breeze Systems' NKRemote does, and I can personally attest to the quality of their software.

The only question in your case is, are the additional capabilities worth $170 of your money?

Another possibility is TetherPro, available for one-third the price:

http://www.oxfordeye.co.uk/tetherPr...therPro.aspx

It claims to be able to utilize Live View as well, but I know little about the software and found no reference in its' manual to using Live View. For $50, it may be worth some research.
The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

Catman, Gary Burke, Bigg Fredd, numismo - CCF members emeritus, now part of Heaven's Own Coin Club.

Our members sell on eBay!
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2012  12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you, Dave for this info. I was looking into the "live view" type of functionality, cause I figured it would make my life much easier to see the image before the capture. I will definitely check out the link, but wouldn't mind purchasing Breeze Systems NKRemote if you recommend it.

How do you organize your images?
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 Posted 01/31/2012  1:25 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
How do you organize your images?


Before I answer this, understand that I'm somewhat a geek at heart. I build my own systems, and I'm an accredited adult education instructor qualified to train PC technicians (something I've actually done for a living).

I manage my images strictly within the Windows file management system, rather than using third-party software. Each issue (Morgans, Lincolns, etc.) gets its' own folder, and each individual coin has a subfolder. With Morgans, and soon with Lincolns, each issue year gets a subfolder inside which individual coins get folders. Dupes get modified folder names relevant to variety or date acquired. I shoot dozens of images of each coin - RAW + jpeg, the jpegs being used for quick previews to choose which RAW files I actually want to process - and prune the non-keepers later. So every coin you see me post here has been whittled down from a bunch of possibilities.
The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

Catman, Gary Burke, Bigg Fredd, numismo - CCF members emeritus, now part of Heaven's Own Coin Club.

Our members sell on eBay!
Pillar of the Community
United States
1568 Posts
 Posted 01/31/2012  10:22 pm  Show Profile Check rmpsrpms's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely agree with SuperDave on getting the camera tethered. In fact I just assumed you were doing this without asking, but since you didn't say it I now assume I was wrong...

Anyway, I'd recommend ControlMyNikon software. It works almost as well as CCP2 and it's quite cheap, $9.95 I believe. I do have CCP2 and use it on my D7000. However, it DOES work in Live View on the monitor on my D5000 as well, so if you want to shell out $150 or so you can go that route. But CMN will give you what you need.

Ray

Builder of Custom Coin Photography Setups. Email me with your needs.
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 Posted 01/31/2012  11:31 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Holy cow, Ray. I'd not heard of ControlMyNikon - that's some powerful stuff for $20.
The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

Catman, Gary Burke, Bigg Fredd, numismo - CCF members emeritus, now part of Heaven's Own Coin Club.

Our members sell on eBay!
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 02/01/2012  10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ray, I will definately check out ControlMyNikon, it looks sweet! Thank you for all your suggestions so far. I should be getting my stand and bellows in couple of days, so pictures will follow shortly after.
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 Posted 02/01/2012  12:05 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Even if it's not perfect software, I'd risk $20 on finding out.
The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

Catman, Gary Burke, Bigg Fredd, numismo - CCF members emeritus, now part of Heaven's Own Coin Club.

Our members sell on eBay!
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 02/01/2012  7:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I received my B & L stand today and after taking it apart here is what I have. The hoop was already broken, but I had no use for it anyway.



I am still awaiting my bellows to come in the mail, but meanwhile my next step is to get some aluminum bar stock from a local store. Oh, and I did get two Jansjos today, my wife picked them up at IKEA.

Ray, do you have any use for the side wheels? Are they functional on your setups?
Edited by kamorka
02/01/2012 7:29 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
1568 Posts
 Posted 02/01/2012  10:35 pm  Show Profile Check rmpsrpms's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Kamorka...yes, the side wheels are what you use to adjust fine focus with. They raise and lower the bellows mount. The procedure with the Vivitar bellows is to adjust the magnification using the bellows extension, and then adjust focus by adjusting the stand/mount height...Ray
Builder of Custom Coin Photography Setups. Email me with your needs.
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 03/04/2012  7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
First of all I would like to thank everybody for helping me to start documenting my coins. Ray, Dave, your comments and recommendations are simply the best. Here is what I was able to do so far.

I have picked up all of my things from eBay. First I got B & L stand, however the wheel mechanism was really worn out, but the seller was nice enough to send me a replacement mechanism.

Then I picked up Vivitar bellows (came with focus rail - not sure if I will be using this though).

I have also picked up Spiratone Flat Field Macro lens (75mm) and after modifications suggested by Ray here is what I have:









After playing around with lights (Jansjo) and settings on my Nikon D5000 my first pictures are ready. I have a shutter speed at 1/100, Aperture on Spiratone is at 5.6, ISO is at 200, white balance is at "fluorescent" setting with exposure delay.












Obviously, I would like to improve on these images. Any suggestions?

pavel
Edited by kamorka
03/04/2012 7:16 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
1568 Posts
 Posted 03/04/2012  7:40 pm  Show Profile Check rmpsrpms's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pavel...what's wrong with those images? My only complaint is I'd like to see them bigger, and are a bit dark but that's easy to fix. If you want more critique on them, email me the original jpg full size and I can provide some more insight. They are too small to tell how sharp the full size pic is...Ray
Builder of Custom Coin Photography Setups. Email me with your needs.
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 03/04/2012  7:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ray, the site will not allow me to attach larger images. My email address is pavelslavin at hotmail dot com. If you can shoot me an email, I will send you my full sized images (apparently I am too new to contact you via email from this site)
Valued Member
United States
51 Posts
 Posted 03/10/2012  09:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kamorka to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ray, have you ever experienced problems with ControlMyNikon in live view? I am getting a sporadic rotation of the images (from landscape to portrait) while in the live view mode, however a picture is displayed properly (5 sec after the shot, in landscape mode). I can't find a way to change it back to the proper setting, until it decides to do it on its own...
Pillar of the Community
United States
1568 Posts
 Posted 03/10/2012  11:31 am  Show Profile Check rmpsrpms's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When your camera is looking straight down, sometimes its rotation sensor will decide it's tilted and cause an auto rotation. Go into the camera menu and turn auto rotate off, or find that setting in CMN, and that should solve the problem...Ray
Builder of Custom Coin Photography Setups. Email me with your needs.
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