Coin Photography Question

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by gsimonel, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I took the photo below a couple of weeks ago with a Nikon Coolpix 4500 4.0 mega pixel camera in its macro mode. I shot it outdoors on a sunny day. It was raised up from the background, which was an old piece of black construction paper that ends up looking pearly gray in bright sunlight.
    If I wanted to improve the quality of my photos, what do you think would be the best and/or most cost effective way to begin? Should I get a better camera? If so, what kind? Do I need an SLR? (I should mention that I don't own a smartphone, so using a phone camera isn't an option.) Would it be better to buy some lights and shoot indoors? If so, what kind light(s) should I get? Is one enough? Do I need a reflector? Is there something else I haven't thought of?

    I'm sure that there are many things that I can do to improve my photos. What the best first step? Thanks for your suggestions.
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  3. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    If you were after a black background, you can use a program such as to give it any color background desired.
  4. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Active Member

    Don't let the bastards wear you down, Indeed & Degustibus non disputatem est.
    Great photo suggestion to gsimonel,
    Bing likes this.
  5. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks, Bing. I've played around with background replacement software and gotten good results. (Actually, I've found through a lot of experimentation that a light blue background looks nice.) But what I'm most interested in is the quality of the original shot - new camera, lights, or something else?
  6. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

  7. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    A couple of months ago I purchased a Samsung S10 cellphone. The picture quality is much better than my Olmypus point and shoot. Normally, it requires several shots in varying lighting with the camera. However, with the S10, one or two shots seem to capture an image with which I am happy.
  8. Numisnewbiest

    Numisnewbiest Well-Known Member

  9. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Outside or inside near a window, avoid the harsh light of the direct sun in favor of indirect light in open shade or from a north facing window.

    A camera with a larger sensor (not number of pixels but size of sensor) and better lens will outperform a toy camera or phone. A full frame dSLR will outperform a 'crop' camera (1.6x, 4/3 etc.). I am seriously considering upgrading my 12 year old Canon 5DmkII and getting a Canon RP mirrorless BUT the improvement would NEVER be seen on CT or images small enough to be emailed. I have 20x30" prints from my camera but a phone will work for tiny online images. There also is the problem that half of the buyers of good cameras never learn how to use them properly. Buying a better camera will never fix the problem of from stupid decisions on its use.
    Numisnewbiest likes this.
  10. J.T. Parker

    J.T. Parker Active Member

    Hi Doug,
    I completely agree w/ your last statement having taught photography at the Houston Museum of Art's Glassell school many years ago. I own a Nikon camera system w/ about 6 different AFS DX-G lenses,(Never used) a Hasselblad digital camera (Ditto) & 2 Panasonic Lumix cameras, one being the FZ150. (The FZ150 is the one used most often)
    However, for super close-ups I also have a 4-mega pixel Dino-lite Digital microscope
    mounted on a stand. (The pic of the 'Lion's Head & Tuny' Tet, just to your left & used as my avatar, was taken with it.) 4 mega-pixels can indeed go a long way if you know how to use them.
    "What badges....We don need no steenkin' badges"
  11. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I can not support use of those little digital microscopes with glare from built in LED's and poor resolution. They limit the photographer too, too much.

    At least on super close ups, you don't see much background.

    If you feel the need to maximize the 2:3 proportions and include minimal background, you can always do a tilt.
    Bing likes this.
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