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Photographing Modern Slabbed Proofs

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1148 Posts
 Posted 07/22/2018  11:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The conical diffuser just screws into the lens filter ring:

pepactonius,

I'm always game to try different lighting methods, and I had a half sheet of Opalux laying around, so, I made a conical diffuser and gave it a try. Used 5 Jansjo lights in a pentagon shape around the cone, each at around 45 degrees to the camera lens. Here's my result



My Ike isn't in as good of shape as yours, but I think the picture is at least acceptable. This was a raw coin and I took it out of my Whitman 2x2 snaplock, which is a bit scratched up.

I attached the conical diffuser to my lens with just a few slits on the inner circle of the cone and a rubber band to keep it on the lens. I didn't have anything laying around to make your inner blackout ring. Perhaps having that would improve the photo.

Previously, I had just used a flat ring of Opalux attached between a UV filter and the lens, or ping pong balls directly on the Jansjo lights. I'll have to try this for while and see which diffuser I like better, or if one is better for some coins versus the other.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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United States
7561 Posts
 Posted 07/23/2018  12:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looks like your diffuser must already have a blackout zone by default, since the fields in this photo are black. Is this coin in the slab-like plastic OGP?

One thing to try is to move the lights around, turn some off, move them closer/farther from the diffuser, etc. to get the best results. Most coin photos I take use a lens-attached diffuser, but no blackout rings (for unslabbed coins).

BTW -- you can thank rmpsrpms for the general concept of the lens-attached diffuser for coin photography.
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United States
1148 Posts
 Posted 07/23/2018  08:12 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
BTW -- you can thank rmpsrpms for the general concept of the lens-attached diffuser for coin photography.

Yes, Ray is very knowledgable and helpful. He pointed me in the direction of using a lens mounted diffuser as well, it's just I was using a flat circular shaped one.

My Ike was
Quote:
This was a raw coin and I took it out of my Whitman 2x2 snaplock, which is a bit scratched up.
I don't have any Ikes in slabs. Mine are all raw.


Quote:
Looks like your diffuser must already have a blackout zone by default, since the fields in this photo are black
I don't think you necessarily need a blackout ring to achieve black fields with modern proof coins. Below is a photo I took last month to post in a thread in the US Commemoratives and Non-Circulating Coinage (NCLT) Including Grading, Varieties, and Errors forum. There are some nice photos of everyone's commemoratives (classic and modern) in the thread if you want to check it out. This photo was taken with Jansjo's with ping pong ball diffusers on them ( I don't recall the exact setup though) and I was able to get fairly black fields. I posted several other photos of modern commemoratives in the thread. All taken with Jansjo's with ping pong ball diffusers and all of them pretty much have black fields.


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6041 Posts
 Posted 07/23/2018  08:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add muddler to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Other than the fine dust this is a typical result using the image optimizer provided by our sight.



Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 07/25/2018  11:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ring light arrived tonight. I played around with it for about 1 hour. It is a little trickier to figure out than I expected. I removed the diffuser and am trying to find a good stand for it. I will have to fabricate a wood stand since my current one (bent wires) is not good to say the least. Here is an initial trial shot.

Not sure how I can clear up the fields.

Edited by ngs428
07/25/2018 11:29 pm
Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 07/26/2018  5:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ray, did you use any diffusion on your angel eye ring lights?
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Canada
1690 Posts
 Posted 07/27/2018  8:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rocky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i use a diffuser on the cobb angel I have. they work great. I also wired up a dimmer switch. here is an image I took using cobb angel eyes. one thing good you can tape off spot on the ring to create light patterns hope this helps


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United States
3198 Posts
 Posted 07/27/2018  9:05 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Ring light arrived tonight. I played around with it for about 1 hour. It is a little trickier to figure out than I expected. I removed the diffuser and am trying to find a good stand for it. I will have to fabricate a wood stand since my current one (bent wires) is not good to say the least. Here is an initial trial shot.


Looks like you could go a little higher and probably eliminate the surface issues, improve the mirrors, and get a more even lighting on the design elements. Exact angle is critical to optimize everything.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 07/27/2018  11:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I added a felt reflector shield around the lens of the camera and stabilized my light ring stand. I adjusted until the cameo seemed the best. Fields are still not black.. More experimenting..


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440 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2018  04:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add mamastinky to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
ngs428, does your Canon have the option to do manual selection spot metering? Or else, at least a variety of metering options? I have found that depending on the subject, metering mode can dramatically change the contrast between the fields and the devices.
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359 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2018  08:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
ngs428, does your Canon have the option to do manual selection spot metering? Or else, at least a variety of metering options? I have found that depending on the subject, metering mode can dramatically change the contrast between the fields and the devices.


@mamastinky, my Canon T2i has Evaluative, Partial, Spot and Center Weighted Average metering.

I will give spot a try. Thanks!

Edit: Tried the different modes. I don't see a difference. I can change the setting in the remote live view window, but the coin appears the same on the screen.

I did some reading and it stated "In Live View mode, evaluative metering is always used to determine correct exposure, though exposure compensation is available."

from: https://www.imaging-resource.com/PR...LIVEVIEW.HTM

Not sure if this is true or not...

Edit 2: Here are some pics of my setup.. Thoughts?





Edited by ngs428
07/28/2018 10:29 am
Pillar of the Community
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1148 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2018  10:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BadDog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Fields are still not black.


ngs428,

Did you do any post processing to those pics?

It looks to me like the fields are pretty black now. I believe that with a bit of post processing (contrast, levels or color curve adjustment(s)) that you could get the deep black that you're looking for.
Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2018  11:01 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Bad dog. No post processing done. I was trying to get as black as I can with the unedited shot. I may have to touch up in an editor.
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3198 Posts
 Posted 07/28/2018  11:14 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
For sure you WILL need to adjust levels push the fields to black.

It also looks like you have a hotspot in the middle of the image. This may be caused by reflections inside the extension/helicoid. You might try adding some black flocking material to the inside of the helicoid to see if it helps. Ringlights tend to bring out hotspots much worse than other types of lighting.

Regarding the exposure modes, they are actually disabled when you go into Live View. I am not sure why they even make them available for setting. When in Live View, the camera does "evaluative" exposure across the whole region of the white box used for the 100/200% zoom view. So just make sure the zoom view box is placed over the brightest part of the image (to avoid over-exposure) and that's the best you can do.

You also seem to be over-exposing some highlights. I'd recommend setting the Exposure compensation to -2/3 EV. This will push the fields more to black, and if it goes too far you can reduce the in-camera contrast.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
Valued Member
United States
359 Posts
 Posted 07/29/2018  09:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ngs428 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks again for the replies.

For those of you using ring lights. What have you found for a good adjustable stand. These lights need a precise location (height off the coin..

I am still working on the flocking material and the new image. For the levels, I adjusted the black slider up from 0 to 30 to get the fields more black. This in turn decreased the brightness of the image.




It looks like I may be able to counteract that by reducing the contrast.



Let me know if I am way off base here. I can't say that photo editing is one of my strong suits. I don't see that I will be able to get rid of the white in the fields, just reduce them.
Edited by ngs428
07/29/2018 12:24 pm
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