Author Topic: Evolution of Coin Photography With Smartphones and other Handheld Tablet Devices  (Read 19896 times)

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Offline SANDAC

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Color cast caused by artificial lights is easily corrected in digital photography.  There are several ways to do this:
1.  In-the-camera with the appropriate white balance selection for the light sources.  Typical options are daylight, incandescent light, fluorescent light, flash, etc.  This option is not available for iPad, I don't know about iPhone.
2.  White balance selection in post-processing software.  Many (most?) software have white balance menu where the appropriate light source can be selected for a picture.
3.  Calibrated white balance.  Take picture of a calibrated card next to the object.  The post-processing software samples the calibrated card and apply the color temperature and tint for the entire session with the same light condition.  I use Lightroom for initial photo processing.  It has a sampling "eyedropper" that can be positioned over a calibrated card and reads the color temperature and tint which can be applied to the rest of the session.  Color rendition is critical in flower photography so I use a X-rite color checker as the calibrated card (I also use a calibrated monitor), but for coin photography a white printer paper serves just fine as a calibrated card.  If you mix light sources, such as daylight plus fluorescent light, then the calibrated white balance method is necessary.

Offline KeepOnTrying!

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This is one of the iOS/Android device camera remote shutters on amazon.com and eBay.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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Got some indirect daylight shots: Chen Jian Medal. Compare this with the photo posted in Reply#1 above.
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Offline KeepOnTrying!

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The 2014 Silver Beijing Imperial Palace (World Heritage Series) medal is another one that can be used to put iOS and Android device cameras through their paces. This is a preliminary study with the iPad Air in diffuse room daylight conditions.
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This is one of the iOS/Android device camera remote shutters on amazon.com and eBay.

Just occurred to me that you could ask Siri to take a photo. Is that possible? Has anyone tried that? I could try but Siri doesn't seem to like my voice!  N8
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35th Anniversary PRC Box photo taken with the iPad using "natural light" bulbs and an oversized light box.
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Cheap macro lens on ebay and amazon.com. I have tried using it. I don't know how useful it is given that you can get pretty close to coins and medals with the iPhone/iPad. May be useful for studying parts of a coin at higher magnification. We'll see!
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The Dr. Norman Bethune commemorative coin set. One was minted in China while the other was minted in Canada. Problem with photographing proof (reflective) coins noted here; you can see the iPad in one of the coins. I have tried tilting the camera to avoid this but the resulting photo is dysmorphic. Which other ways or strategies can eliminate this problem?
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1982 1/10oz Gold Panda Coin/Medal still in OMP after all these years! It was possible to photograph the coin through the OMP without reflection/light scattering. Will try the macro lens on this to see if any difference.
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COA of the 20th Anniversary Shanghai Bank Silver Coin (2015) is quite clear with vibrant colors coming through despite my having to reduce the file size in order to upload it. Photo taken with the iPad Air.
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20th Anniversary Shanghai Bank Silver Coin (2015) photographed with the iPad Air. The problem with shiny coin surfaces reflecting whatever is above the coin, is noted here (iPad and white light box fabric).
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The Dr. Norman Bethune commemorative coin set. One was minted in China while the other was minted in Canada. Problem with photographing proof (reflective) coins noted here; you can see the iPad in one of the coins. I have tried tilting the camera to avoid this but the resulting photo is dysmorphic. Which other ways or strategies can eliminate this problem?

I noticed that of my various two coin sets of the 1998 Norman Bethune commemorative silver coins only the coins minted in China have rim toning while the Canadian minted coins are pristine. Different manufacturing processes and quality control? Look at your OMP sets and see if you notice the difference. Interesting.  N20
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This is one of the iOS/Android device camera remote shutters on amazon.com and eBay.

This device is not working; it is unable to do the bluetooth linkup with my iPad. Will have to return it!
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There doesn't seem to be too much science in using smartphones for coin photography but the process is a bit finicky! I guess that's where the art comes in; learning by experimenting. You have to move the lights around until you get the best lighting conditions. Light reflection off the smartphone unto the coin can be reduced by encasing it in a black device holder or shielding the edge of the phone from light.

Attached are studies of the 2015 Summer Palace Gate medals with the iPad Air. Due to file size issues I may have to upload in batches.

Starting with the gate side of the medal: Proof and Antique silver.
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Gate side; Brass and Colored Brass medals.
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