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Light Cube, With A Nikon D810 With 105mm 2.8 Macro Lens

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New Member
United States
1 Posts
 Posted 08/06/2019  2:00 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add deerpark432 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm on a limited budget but I do have a setup described in the subject. But I try to turn the coins to get different angles of light, but they still come out flat. I have two softboxes from above and a Hensel 500 strobe from behind me to trigger the softboxes and I rigged up a LED light fixture to put below where the coin is, with the coin setting on a dark microfiber cloth. What could I add to get the "natural" coin look?
Pillar of the Community
United States
3109 Posts
 Posted 08/06/2019  3:08 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Softboxes and light cubes don't work well with coins.

Most folks want their coins to look in photographs like they do in hand. Think about how a coin is lit when you view it in hand. Are you immersing it inside of a light cube or softbox when you view it? No, you are generally looking at it with a single light high above the coin, and then moving it around to let that light hit the coin from different angles. Unfortunately, any single view of the coin that you could take a snapshot of would be unsatisfactory, so folks try to make a compromise that looks sort of like the in hand look but is more evenly lit and appealing. That compromise is usually to use two lights, coming in at different angles, such that the coin is more evenly lit, yet still show good color and luster and such.

edited to add: forgot to say...welcome to CCF!
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
Edited by rmpsrpms
08/06/2019 3:08 pm
Valued Member
United States
98 Posts
 Posted 08/29/2019  8:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sasquatch to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I also use a Nikon with a macro lens.
A nice cheat I use is an grey t-shirt under the coin. This evens out the camera metering of your camera.
In the olden days with film cameras photographers would use grey cards in front of a camera to lock in the exposure before taking the picture.

Another trick is to set your camera to the senic mode, this turns off your flash and gives you a greater depth of field on your exposure.

I don't use flash at all, just LED daylight bulbs and an LED desk lamp for highlights.
As long as you use a tripod with remote, you will get a natural colored in focus across the entire coin.
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