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Anyone Tried Tilt-Shift For Coins?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 4 / Views: 345Next Topic  
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 Posted 04/01/2020  5:46 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CaptainFwiffo to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently discovered that Canon's 50mm, 90mm and 135mm tilt-shift lenses support 0.5x macro. That's an awesome feature for product photographers, but has anyone tried them with coins?

The manual lists their specs when used with extension tubes, so I presume they perform well with them. That plus the APS-C crop factor will give them enough magnification for even pretty small coins.

It could allow some pretty neat tricks - getting reflections off of slabs, taking images of coins at oblique angles without narrow apertures or focus stacking, lighting configurations that simulate axial lighting without a beam-splitter, etc.

(the drawback is that they're expensive, special-purpose lenses)
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 Posted 04/01/2020  6:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have not used a tilt-shift lens, but I do occasionally use a tilt adapter between bellows and camera to achieve "pseudo-axial" lighting. The adapter can be used with any lens or bellows, and is pretty cheap. The one I use has 8-deg of adjustment range, and pairs nicely with goniometers with +/- 8-deg of adjustment range.
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 Posted 04/01/2020  11:12 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add pepactonius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've tried bellows with a tilting and shifting front standard. One consideration is that you need at least a medium bellows extension for this to work, meaning you need to use a longer-than-normal enlarger/bellows lens.

I never pursued this very far, since I just do regular axial lighting when needed.
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 Posted 04/02/2020  10:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
You do need to be careful when using tilt and/or shift with coins since both methods will create some perspective distortion. Go too far and it becomes very obvious. Most folks who tilt their coins to get a little axial reflection only do so a little bit because of this. Folks using longer lenses have the advantage here...longer lenses have more working distance, so the coin needs to be tilted less to get the direct reflections. I've always preferred smaller setups and thus shorter lenses, and have developed lighting techniques around this paradigm, but there are certainly some advantages to having a uniform axial illumination for some types of coins. If I did a lot of proofs I'd probably use the technique much more, but it's also useful for getting the "deep colors" out of toned coins. Anyway, just be careful when doing this to minimize the amount of tilt or shift to stay away from visible amounts of distortion.
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 Posted 04/02/2020  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add coinphotofan to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Shift is my favorite way of taking coin pictures, especially with proof coins, because it lights up the field, and, unlike axial lighting, you can control how much of the field is lit up:



Shift works well with business strike coins, too. In this case the whole field is brightened evenly:



(One filling light was added at 11:00 to bring back the 3D look.)

I use Minolta Auto Bellows III with 75 ARD for shift shooting. I also tried the Kipon shift adapter, like this one:



It functions well, too.
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