Coin Community Family of Web Sites
YourCoinBox is offering a stress free way to appraise and sell your coins from the comfort of your home. Our goal is to create an ultra transparent and no pressure experience for finding out what your coins are worth and what to do with them.
Like us on Facebook! Subscribe to our Youtube Channel! Check out our Twitter! Check out our Pinterest!
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?


Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some coins?
Our coin forum is completely free! Register Now!

Critique And Improve Numismatic Student's Coin Photo Setup

 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 407Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  3:11 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi to all fellow collectors. I was really unhappy with my original coin photo setup as my results were increasingly subpar. My OG setup was sparse but workable. I used an LG G3 phone which took awesome pictures using the setup below, but when I switched to a Samsung S21 the results were disappointing. I prop the phone over a box looking down on the coin on a black surface. There is an incandescent lamp that is covered with a coffee filter, lights the coin at an angle and that is how I took pictures for many years.



Since the results pretty much sucked, I looked for another way. There was a professional photographer on youtube named Bill Lawson, I watched his video and followed his instructions.

lflzUgd6NKc


It took me a few tries, but I think I got some good results. Bill was also extremely helpful, guiding me through troubleshooting his setup on his channel comments.

My new setup is as pictured below.



and using his setup, I got the results below:




I would appreciate any and all thoughts to improve my setup and results photographing my babies. Thanks!
Bedrock of the Community
Learn More...
United States
15610 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  3:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes , much better than your early photos .

In Memory of Butch L.
and Jim U. rest in peace .
Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  3:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Equipment used:

13 year old Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR Camera
Canon 18mm-55mm Macro Lens
Meike TTL SpeedFlash from Amazon
Generic Canon-compatible TTL SpeedFlash cord
Cheap tripod from Amazon
Boxes and soup cans wrapped in black paper to prop up coin base
Boxes to prop up TTL SpeedFlash
Sheet of black paper as backdrop
Sheet of white printer paper as diffuser

Camera Settings:
Auto Focus
Auto White-Balance
Manual Mode
Shutter speed 160th
Aperture F/11
ISO 100
Image Quality: M (2816x1880)

The free Canon EOS Utility allows me to connect my camera to my computer and my huge 50 inch monitor so I don't have to look through the viewfinder or press the shutter to snap the pic using remote shooting from my computer.

I also use the free open-source image editing software called GIMP.
Edited by numismatic student
06/14/2021 5:43 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  3:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks T-BOP
Pillar of the Community
United States
3247 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  3:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The focus is not as sharp as it could be. With that lens, there probably needs to be at least 10 inches from the coin to the sensor. You might try backing up a couple inches and refocusing, even if it means cropping your final image.
Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  5:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Zurie. I got this about 10" to the sensor but don't know if it is better. Pretty close to the earlier one I think. This one came out significantly overexposed and had to adjust the light level post-photo. Thoughts?


Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  5:39 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Shot this in RAW format rather than M(2816x1880). Still slightly out of focus. I don't see too much difference.


Pillar of the Community
United States
3247 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  5:47 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
A couple other thoughts. Try turning off autofocus and manually focus using the LCD screen on Live View, after zooming in on the coin. Then when you take a shot, use a 5 sec shutter delay to eliminate any motion from pushing down the shutter button. You should be able to get much sharper photos with that lens. Also, you might want to replace that mauve background with a black sheet, because the color is reflecting onto the coin (see the bottoms of Liberty's chin and neck).

And maybe try going to 11 inches from sensor to coin, to make sure you're past the minimum focus distance.
Edited by Zurie
06/14/2021 5:48 pm
Pillar of the Community
United States
4808 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  6:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Looking good. Consider that the sensor of a 13 year old Rebel XS is rather limited in pixel count--10mp? That will contribute to generating lower resolution images, which in-turn, could degrade the sharpness of the subject (if focus isn't an issue). Reducing the image size to meet the file limits imposed by the forum doesn't help.

Agree with Zurie's suggestions.
Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  6:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Z. I will try to get a darker black background sheet. I've been adjusting distance and this seems to be the best I can get. I don't press the shutter on the camera, I use the remote utility and press the trigger with the mouse on my computer. ill fiddle more later. The first RAW images seem sharpest so far. Appreciate all the help!

Pillar of the Community
United States
7836 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  6:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add numismatic student to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks ijn1944.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3247 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  6:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Zurie to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is it in a capsule? Maybe the plastic is fooling the autofocus. Try manual focus or a coin not in plastic.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3673 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  7:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add hfjacinto to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Also shoot at F8, most modern lens (except the L type) give maximum resolution at F8.
Pillar of the Community
United States
3349 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  7:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure why the photos are a bit fuzzy. Could be focus issue, a vibration issue, or aperture setting. Your raw image is much better than the rest but raw vs jpg won't make that much difference. You did something else different when you shot those and you should figure out what it was and reproduce it.

For lighting, I'd recommend masking-off the bottom part of the diffuser paper, and shining the flash on the upper part. I'd suggest masking-off the bottom 75% of the paper with a piece of cardboard. This will force light to only come from higher angles.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
Pillar of the Community
United States
3349 Posts
 Posted 06/14/2021  7:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add rmpsrpms to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oh, and it looks like you have purple paper behind the coin?

edited to add: you can see the reflection of the lights off the purple paper, giving the coin a purple caste especially on the lower highlights. If you want a piece of something there to block stray light, I suggest a piece of Doodlebug Beetle Black, or any similar black velvet material, or even just a piece of black construction paper. If you are trying to reflect light off that piece of paper to act as a fill light, I recommend not doing that, or if you absolutely must, then mask it off (with Beetle Black or construction paper, etc) like I suggested above up to about 75% of the distance to the lens, then use a piece of aluminum foil, or bright white paper, above that.
Contact me for photographic equipment or visit my home page at:
http://macrocoins.com
Edited by rmpsrpms
06/15/2021 1:22 pm
  Previous TopicReplies: 14 / Views: 407Next Topic  
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.





Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Coin Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Family- all rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Coin Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Contact Us  |  Advertise Here  |  Privacy Policy / Terms of Use

Coin Community Forum © 2005 - 2021 Coin Community Forums
It took 0.44 seconds to rattle this change. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05