Author Topic: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot  (Read 3448 times)

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Offline SANDAC

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2019, 10:52:06 AM »
The focus stacking technology has changed a lot.  Microstepping stage like that was custom hardware and exceedingly expensive just a few years ago.  I am using Helicon Remote that does not move the camera but only change the focus plane.  It knows about the circle of confusion for a specific camera and can calculate the necessary focus steps and take the pictures.  It is fine for artistic applications, and I think it may be OK for a shallow focus depth with a dozen of so images.  Probably have to re-educate myself about focus stacking technology again.

Offline dynamike51

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2019, 08:45:57 AM »
I use an old Nikon D5200.

Thank you, Frank.  I'm using a Nikon D800 and 60mm micro lens. My challenge is getting (even) lighting on the surface of coin Would love to listen to suggestions.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2019, 10:03:34 AM »
D800 and micro Nikkor 60mm are great combination, certainly better than what I have.  You need a camera stand, few clamp-on lights with diffusers (I use old diapers) and remote shutter then you are ready for coin photography.

Offline dynamike51

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2019, 11:15:50 AM »

.... (I use old diapers) ....


"Old diapers" ... hmmm, that could be a problem. It's been quite a few years.  :lol: :lol: :lol:

Offline dynamike51

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2019, 11:22:59 AM »
D800 and micro Nikkor 60mm are great combination, certainly better than what I have.  You need a camera stand, few clamp-on lights with diffusers (I use old diapers) and remote shutter then you are ready for coin photography.

The challenges I encountered with 60mm lens is that the distance between the lens and the coin is merely a few inches. Getting proper lighting on the surface sometimes can be difficult.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2019, 11:48:22 AM »
"Old diapers" ... hmmm, that could be a problem. It's been quite a few years.  :lol: :lol: :lol:
There are plenty of alternatives, such as facial tissue, plastic bags, ping pong balls in half. I use pieces from my old white undershirt for diffusing.

Offline SANDAC

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2019, 11:52:46 AM »
The challenges I encountered with 60mm lens is that the distance between the lens and the coin is merely a few inches. Getting proper lighting on the surface sometimes can be difficult.
It been many years for me as well, but I'm a pack rat so I still have them.  With a diaper you can surround the coin with it and shine bright lights all around.  Light will be diffused but still white.  I have a X-Rite Colorchecker for white balance, but lately I use the free color sample card from Lowes' kitchen counter section, "Wilsonart Designer White D354-60".  It is close enough.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2019, 11:53:03 AM »
The challenges I encountered with 60mm lens is that the distance between the lens and the coin is merely a few inches. Getting proper lighting on the surface sometimes can be difficult.
Did you try the Ikea Jansjo lights? I normally use those for lighting as the neck is really long and the head is very small. Both are needed for proper lighting.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2019, 12:05:40 PM »
It been many years for me as well, but I'm a pack rat so I still have them.  With a diaper you can surround the coin with it and shine bright lights all around.  Light will be diffused but still white.  I have a X-Rite Colorchecker for white balance, but lately I use the free color sample card from Lowes' kitchen counter section, "Wilsonart Designer White D354-60".  It is close enough.
So you are surrounding the coin with the diffuser. In that case, a cut plastic milk bottle will do, too. I diffuse my lights instead. In your kind of lighting, there is the risk that the light source is too low. That's what Dynamike is referring to in his post, I think. Please refer to my post in Chinese here: http://bbs.shouxi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=20487&extra=page%3D1. I wrote a number of posts on coin photography on that forum.

Offline Agpanda

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2019, 02:43:41 PM »
So you are surrounding the coin with the diffuser. In that case, a cut plastic milk bottle will do, too. I diffuse my lights instead. In your kind of lighting, there is the risk that the light source is too low. That's what Dynamike is referring to in his post, I think. Please refer to my post in Chinese here: http://bbs.shouxi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=20487&extra=page%3D1. I wrote a number of posts on coin photography on that forum.
Did you try the Ikea Jansjo lights? I normally use those for lighting as the neck is really long and the head is very small. Both are needed for proper lighting.
I use 4 of them to get good lighning

Offline dynamike51

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2019, 07:17:18 PM »
Did you try the Ikea Jansjo lights? I normally use those for lighting as the neck is really long and the head is very small. Both are needed for proper lighting.

 Frank,

That's exactly what I have.  :lol: :lol: :lol:  It works for the most part (and it's inexpensive.)

Offline PandaCollector

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #41 on: February 20, 2019, 09:03:22 PM »
So you are surrounding the coin with the diffuser. In that case, a cut plastic milk bottle will do, too. I diffuse my lights instead. In your kind of lighting, there is the risk that the light source is too low. That's what Dynamike is referring to in his post, I think. Please refer to my post in Chinese here: http://bbs.shouxi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=20487&extra=page%3D1. I wrote a number of posts on coin photography on that forum.

FWIW to anyone, my own approach is to lighting is a combination of low angle lights and semi low-angle lights. In general, I think that high angle lights flatten out the depth of a coin image, but that is only personal opinion. I tried the Janso lights several years ago. I found them difficult to control and retired them in favor of small lights that include barn doors.



Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
NGC Consultant
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 3
www.pandacollector.com

Medal courtesy of Tim Hergert

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2019, 11:01:57 PM »
FWIW to anyone, my own approach is to lighting is a combination of low angle lights and semi low-angle lights. In general, I think that high angle lights flatten out the depth of a coin image, but that is only personal opinion. I tried the Janso lights several years ago. I found them difficult to control and retired them in favor of small lights that include barn doors.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
NGC Consultant
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 3
www.pandacollector.com

Peter, I noticed the angles of your lights when viewing the photo you sent me of your studio. I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of different angles of lighting in the link above (in Chinese). Low angle lighting does provide more shadow, and more depth. On the other hand, it is not as good as high angle lighting in bringing out the color of toning or the details. Mark Goodman showed the effect of high angle lighting on color representation in his book. By lowering the light by a few degrees, colors can look pretty different, as in the first picture below. So it is a matter of what to emphasize in the photo.

One of the mistakes I noticed of novices shooting coin pictures (myself included) is the extremely low angle, which hides the details of the coin, like the second picture below.

Offline fwang2450

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2019, 11:07:45 PM »
Actually I was discussing with a coin buddy in China about the photo of a toned coin earlier today. The attached photo was taken with axial lighting, which is 90 degrees to the surface of the coin. The color is represented very nicely. The details are superb. But then the devices look flat and the lighting of the landscape looks unnatural.

Offline PandaCollector

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Re: Chinese Coins: Take Your Best Shot
« Reply #44 on: February 20, 2019, 11:36:11 PM »
Actually I was discussing with a coin buddy in China about the photo of a toned coin earlier today. The attached photo was taken with axial lighting, which is 90 degrees to the surface of the coin. The color is represented very nicely. The details are superb. But then the devices look flat and the lighting of the landscape looks unnatural.

Reflector cards and other devices at higher angles can complement low-angle lights to provide fill lighting and control contrast. It is not an all, or nothing choice, but a decision must be made about what the main light source will be. The Berlin medal is a challenge to photograph as there is lots of contrast from the three metals, each with its own color and reflectivity. There is  toning on the matte copper area, while the brass has a polished proof surface that can easily drop off to pure black and hide its texture. The texture of the panda's fur can easily be lost, too. Lots of fun with lighting here.

Best wishes,
Peter Anthony
NGC Consultant
China Pricepedia — Chinese Coin Prices and More
The Gold & Silver Panda Coin Buyer’s Guide 3
www.pandacollector.com