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How Do You Photograph Your Coins?

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 22 / Views: 2,153Next Topic Page 2 of 2
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Canada
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 Posted 04/11/2019  8:58 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rocky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i like to use the sony A7R mark II. attached to enlarger stand. that stand is about to change. I am going to build a unit to shoot horizontal. my lens of choice is the rodentstock 90mm N . mounted on a nikon pbs 6 bellows. I also have a 10 x mitutoyo. these are alway ready to go. see if you put the right adapters on the end of your bellows. you can switch lens in seconds from 1 to 1 mag. to 10 times mag.
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United States
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 Posted 04/11/2019  9:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
rocky has described the big advantage of bellows for macro photography. With standard macro lenses, you are generally limited to 1:1. But with bellows you can make a quick lens change and go to most any magnification you want.
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United States
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 Posted 04/12/2019  1:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For most full-coin shots, I use something functionally equivalent to the CCF "$400 setup", but with a Pentax M42 bellows, a Canon T6s, and the 75mm APO Rodagon D1x lens.

For full slab shots and for very large coins, I just use the Canon T6s with an Olympus 50mm f/2 macro lens attached by EOS-OM adapter (no bellows).

For very small coins or closeups, I use a bellows-attached Canon 35mm macro/bellows RMS-threaded lens. Manually-stepped focus-stacking is usually required.

For real closeups, I use 4x, 5x, or even 10x infinity-corrected microscope objectives attached to the Canon T6s via a Thorlabs tube containing the 200mm tube lens. (It goes without saying that focus stacking is required.)
Edited by pepactonius
04/13/2019 12:29 am
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United States
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 Posted 04/12/2019  9:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
pepactonius...what do you use for manual focus stacking?

FYI for anyone interested in adding automated focus stacking to their system, internet seller mjkzz has a voice coil motor system which works perfectly for coins. I have put this system to good use at 20x and it is the best (and cheapest) stacking solution available for small movements appropriate for coins.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
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 Posted 04/13/2019  12:24 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
pepactonius...what do you use for manual focus stacking?


My setup uses a microscope focusing stage from an old Zeiss Ultraphot. There are two ways to measure the focus steps:

- Use the 2-micron markings on the fine focus knob. The fine focus has a travel of only 2mm on the Ultraphot, so this doesn't work well for curved coins like the Apollo or baseball coins.

- Attach a depth gauge which has 25 mm or so readout range, but only 10 micron markings. Then use the fine and coarse focus knobs to do the focus stepping, basewd on the dial readings. I've never needed anything close to 25mm of focus stack travel.
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 Posted 04/13/2019  08:19 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
2mm is usually sufficient. This is similar to what the VCM system can do. Also note that you don't need calibrated steps unless you're doing 3D rendering. When I am doing 2D manually I just watch the screen and step focus until I get the key features in focus. At 5x this usually means focus on 4-5 planes. Sometimes this even works better since it guarantees that my areas of interest are in best focus.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
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 Posted 04/13/2019  09:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
2mm is usually sufficient.


In all but a few cases, yes.

It looks the curved 5-oz Apollo coin will need several mm of focus travel. The coin is about 75mm across, so magnification will be somewhat less than 0.2x, meaning that at f/5.6 with the 50mm Olympus, a 2mm stack increment should suffice.

Note - I usually step by computed stack increment, rounded down to something that's easy to step manually. I look at the screen to get the start and end positions on the depth gauge, and then quickly step from start to end without looking at the screen. I don't do more than 2 stacks per month, on average.

This coin will be hard to get a decent image of, since it's a proof. Perhaps some form of low-angle, well-diffused lighting will work? Let's hope the mint doesn't come out with more of these curved coins.
Edited by pepactonius
04/13/2019 09:11 am
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United States
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 Posted 04/13/2019  12:18 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm with you on hoping the mint does not make any more curved "coins".

For sure something like that will require more diffusion. I hate to say it, since in most cases they are not a good solution, but in this case a traditional light tent might do well.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
New Member
United Kingdom
11 Posts
 Posted 04/14/2019  7:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Canon 5D Mark IV & 100mm macro lens.

Off-camera flash with diffusion.

Tripod or c-stand depending on orientation of the coin.
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 Posted 04/15/2019  7:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hi MikeUK,

Welcome to the forum! Glad to see you chose to post in the photography subforum for your 2nd post.

I can't imagine a situation where I'd use a tripod if I already had a copy stand. Can you explain when you prefer tripod over copy stand? By "orientation" do you mean that if the coin is held other than horizontal, that you use a tripod? I'm just curious.

Ray
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
New Member
United Kingdom
11 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2019  2:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Ray,

Thanks for the welcome! :)

I don't have a copy stand and as much as I'd like one, I've never taken the leap because it seems like they take up a bit more space than I'd like.

For the most part my c-stand is for top-down shots but in the past I've had people request an image of the coin stood on its edge and I'll use a tripod for that.

Mike
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United States
3339 Posts
 Posted 04/16/2019  10:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
OK, then I don't understand what a c-stand is. Can you explain? I thought you were just shorthanding "copy-stand".
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
New Member
United Kingdom
11 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2019  10:36 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A c-stand is a multi-purpose stand with a free-roaming arm attached to the main stand leg. It can be used for strobe lighting or cameras.

It's very versatile for studio work and a variety of different photo compositions that you can't really achieve with a tripod.
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United States
3339 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2019  11:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ahh, I should have googled it before asking. It's short for "Century Stand" and used for cinematography lighting setups, but it sounds useful for holding a camera as well. I see there are small versions available too. Thanks for pointing this out, I would never have known!
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
New Member
United Kingdom
11 Posts
 Posted 04/17/2019  11:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add MikeUK to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You're welcome! They're very versatile indeed.
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