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Coin Pics W/ Cheap Equipment

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Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/08/2011  10:04 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I've posted this on other forums as a teaching aid for members who need to photograph coins but don't have access to high-end equipment.

The pics I've taken below were shot quickly just to illustrate the point that even without expensive equipment it is still possible to get relatively decent shots.

Had I taken a little more time, used a tripod, a couple of lights, I could have had far sharper pics. But the whole idea was that if I was a novice, there is still a way to get suitable pics for posting on the forum.

They are uncropped and the only adjustment was the contrast setting.

I've got a Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 (9.1) and a Kodak CX6330 (3.1). Because I'm familiar with my Kodak, that's generally what I use for taking my pics for posting.

What I've done here, just to show what is possible with a cheap camera and a loupe and a eyepiece from a broken video camera. I took these pics quickly without a tripod and only one desk lamp with a 60 watt bulb.

Pic #1 was taken with the macro setting at the widest angle (no zoom).



Pic #2 was taken with the macro setting at maximum (optical) zoom:



Pic #3 was taken with macro at maximum zoom through a 2.5X loupe:



Pic #4 was taken with macro at maximum zoom through an eyepiece from a broken video camera:



This is the equipment:



My lighting set-up for most shots:



A few other examples:









Pillar of the Community
United States
737 Posts
 Posted 04/08/2011  11:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rsxtacee to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great shots ikandiggit!

Goes to show that proper lighting, a little ingenuity, and knowledge of what your gear can do, can often yield amazing results. Well done!
Valued Member
United States
56 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  12:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gwcregger to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
WOW! I am truly impressed with that simple set-up, and the pics are great. Now, I just need to find a broken video camera for a eyepiece and I am all ready to go!

Thank you for sharing!
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  08:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks.

When I originally posted this thread last year, it was out of frustration of looking at tiny blurred pics
from members who were asking specific questions about their coins. The poor quality pics were blamed on
inadequate equipment. I just wanted to show you didn't need to have a $1,500 camera to get pics that were
"good".

My pics aren't cyrstal-clear but for internet forums, they are good enough and in most cases that is all
that is needed.
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1551 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  09:30 am  Show Profile Check KenKat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KenKat to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great post and super pics!
My 7070 US Type Set
My 7100 Lincoln Cent Set (pics a little out of date - ok, really out of date...)
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United States
722 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  11:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add OneBowl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice. Wish I could get close to that. All I have in the house is an iPhone and it's not mine.

Anyway, my definition of cheap in this context is about $25. Anything possible with that?
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  12:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The camera I use is about 6 years old. The battery compartment cover is broken. The tripod mount is cross-threaded
and the flash works when it wants. Occasionally, the lense cover doesn't open all the way. I've seen the same
model (better conditon) on Kijiji and Craiglist for around $30. The loupes that I use, I've had for ever but they
can be bought for a few dollars. The eyepiece was salvaged from a broken video camera.

I don't know if you could shoot through a loupe with an iPhone. I've never tried it. That's something someone
will have to experiment with.

Btw, I do also have a Sony Cybershot with macro but this beater gives me shots the Sony can't. So this is what
I use the majority of the time.

Pillar of the Community
United States
1036 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  3:23 pm  Show Profile Check specksynder's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add specksynder to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Okay, you inspired me to experiment. Here's what I got with a tripod and magnifying glass. Very simple setup for adequate web pics. With the tripod, everything's on a stand and I can swap out the coin, flip it over, etc. no problem.


I think these are more than adequate for eBay photos, for example.

By the way... on the iphone, you should be able to photograph through a loupe. There is a company that sells macro lenses that attach to the outside of the iphone (photojojo) but they are VERY macro and I was not able to capture an entire coin... would be good for details like die doubling or large date/small date.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  3:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Excellent pic! Nice even lighting showing all the necessary details.
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 Posted 04/09/2011  3:48 pm  Show Profile Check SsuperDdave's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SsuperDdave to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm loving life. You guys warm my heart.
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9104 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add biggfredd to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I will disagree with the OP about one point. Zoom is not important to coin pix. A good macro, however, is.

This was taken with an expensive camera that didn't have macro:



This was taken with a 1/3 MP Sony Mavica 75, $500 new, prolly around $25 today:



That's a fully functional set of three 14K abacuses, as cufflinks and a tie tac.
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  3:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
We have the best moderators on this forum!
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1166 Posts
 Posted 04/09/2011  4:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikandiggit to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I use the zoom when shooting through a loupe or the (video) eyepiece:

Without zoom:



With zoom:

Valued Member
273 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2011  9:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Changeless to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
(1)building the collection, (2) growing the knowledge, and (3)growing the tools of the trade. Usually one step at a time. Thanks for the post.
Valued Member
United States
405 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2011  9:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add nybird to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Awesome thread, it just shows a little time spent getting to know your equipment can pay rich dividends in quality photos.
Valued Member
United States
260 Posts
 Posted 05/08/2011  1:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HeadsIWin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ikandiggit, you have very steady hands. How many shots does it usually take to get one that you are happy with?
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