about using a ring light to photograph coins

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by tartanhill, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. tartanhill

    tartanhill Well-Known Member

    I have been trying to improve the pictures I take of the coins in my collection and wonder how much success CT members have had using a ring light. I know some of you have shown pictures of coins you took using a ring light and some you took without it. I guess my request is for useful information on how to best set up a ring light for photographing coins. I will be using an iPhone SE with the lighting set up. Thanks for any help you can give.
    Pellinore, DonnaML and AmishJedi like this.
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  3. AmishJedi

    AmishJedi Well-Known Member

    DonnaML, galba68, Kevin Mader and 2 others like this.
  4. tartanhill

    tartanhill Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot, AmishJedi. This very helpful.
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  5. AmishJedi

    AmishJedi Well-Known Member

    My pleasure - I was really struggling as I got back into the hobby and wanted to photo-catalogue my collection in preparation to leave for my kids. This worked well for me, especially since I had so many raw coins to photograph.

    I will say that I did put a coffee filter (cut to the size of the ring light with the center cut out) to diffuse the light when it is fully charged - was almost too bright. I used a Coke bottle twist cap (plastic) to elevate the coin off the background to assist in focusing.

    Then, I use Photoshop to crop and save. Easy peasy. :)
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  6. Dialupsux

    Dialupsux Well-Known Member

  7. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    Check your local 99 cent stores. Mine has the one with one color temperature only and was $1.99. With some folded gauze from a large bandaid pad with lens hole cut out to change the intensity works well as color change can affect how the coin appears and can bring comments if using the photo for selling, IMO, Jim
    AmishJedi and tartanhill like this.
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    While there are coins that do not benefit from ring lights, enough do that I believe it is a worthwhile purchase for the ancient coin photographer. The model linked above seems to have all the desirable features for coin use but they come in many types and qualities. I was given one for my phone but rarely use it since I d prefer camera photos and have a decent ring for camera use. Those rings cost very little more than the ones for phones and also come in a wide varieties of levels. In many cases I prefer to mix the light from the ring with some direct light but a lot of that is a matter of opinion. 3p07light.jpg
  9. tartanhill

    tartanhill Well-Known Member

    Thanks, dougsmit. Seeing the comparisons between the direct light, ring light, and the combo helps. The one with the ring would do me well.
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