Forum-worthy photo my coins...How-To?

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by KeyHunter, Nov 29, 2021.

  1. KeyHunter

    KeyHunter Supporter! Supporter

    I REALLY loved everyone's shared pics from their collections.

    My question is: How does one go about a Basic Setup to do this without being to know, Coin Imaging for Dummies? My skills don't extend beyond the vintage Polaroid-instant and current Nikon Coolpix.
    Marsden, Mr.Q, expat and 1 other person like this.
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  3. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    IMG_20211129_033609370.jpg Do you have a Smart phone?? That's all need, really. :)Ohh, Also a can or jar and one coin.
    Indianhead65 and expat like this.
  4. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I am like you. My photography skills ended when disposable cameras went out of fashion. But if you have a smart phone even dummies like me can take forum acceptable photos. Like Sal said above. Just a way to rest your phone so it will remain still and you too can have photos like these! :p

    7FF2B488-424E-4004-A3A7-04375BD95B7A.jpeg 9F987F3B-D886-4C87-93EF-153D72DCC899.jpeg F3D7D88B-626B-4D61-A52E-7EC949F577EC.jpeg
  5. SensibleSal66

    SensibleSal66 U.S Casual Collector / Error Collector

    Remember: Lighting and distance make a difference. :snaphappy:
    KeyHunter likes this.
  6. Dafydd

    Dafydd Supporter! Supporter

    For a more technical approach, although a smart phone might be adequate for your needs, check out the website of member Doug Smith here ;
    furryfrog02 and expat like this.
  7. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    As stated, use a can or coffee mug for support, have at least two light sources at 10 and 2 o'clock. Use a background that is sympathetic with the coin metal finish. Set the timer on the cam phone to two seconds to avoid any camera shake.
    Instead of zooming in to the coin, raise the coin on something until it fills the screen to avoid slight pixelation.
    Experiment with lights, for example brightness, distance and position.
    Randy Abercrombie and Spark1951 like this.
  8. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    If you don't have access to a fancy digital camera - remember, you probably have one in your pocket. Cell phone cameras take pretty dang good pictures. If you use it plus something like @SensibleSal66 showed, you can take pretty good pictures.

    These were taken by me with my iphone6. They were held in my hand though so there is a bit of blur. I just used natural sunlight so I didn't need the fancy cup and extra envelope lol.

  9. Mr.Q

    Mr.Q Well-Known Member

    My pictures suck, now you know why I don't post pictures.
    Marsden likes this.
  10. messydesk

    messydesk Well-Known Member

    Watch this video. It's 10 years old, but is geared toward your desire to make half-way decent pictures and not spend much money. You can ignore the discussion about specific camera models near the end.
    KeyHunter and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  11. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Collecting Since 1948 Supporter

    I tried some of the methods described here but am terrible at stacking tin cans. I have setup that costs about $50 total. I don't get publication quality, but I think my photos are good enough for showing the details I am after. I have a USB Microscope mounted to a post that has a rack and pinion to make minute adjustments. It is feed directly to my desk top monitor.

    Here is a photo of my set up. The Morgan Dollar is on the platform below the USB Microscope and the coin is displayed on my monitor.

  12. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    My microscope setup is similar. But just for example purposes, this was set up in about 10 seconds. I didn't bother with correct lighting as this is just for info. The phone is on a plastic pot and without any zooming a silver dollar fits the screen. After cropping the image and choosing full image in your post you are ready to post.
    20211129_195342 (2).jpg
  13. Inspector43

    Inspector43 Collecting Since 1948 Supporter

    @expat I know the phone photos work very well. But I can't take a picture of a horse with one, let alone a coin. I have tried.
  14. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else Supporter

    It is not for everyone. You have a system that works absolutely fine, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.
  15. KeyHunter

    KeyHunter Supporter! Supporter

    This is absolutely wonderful advice and tips...Thank You!! I have a Android phone camera I use for work images in the landscape...with likely the longest learning curve known-to-man. Big fingers and techy-handicapped is my middle name BUT this is a good project to work on over winter down-season.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  16. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I just got a Samsung S20. it takes amazing pictures. I don't do anything besides use natural light.
    expat and Randy Abercrombie like this.
  17. CoinCorgi

    CoinCorgi Derp, derp, derp!

    What's this a picture of?
    Etcherman likes this.
  18. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    They actually make a little tripod for cell phones that I used before I got a camera. Get 2 lights at 10 and 2. I use an old CD holder with a sunglasses polishing rag (black) with a slit to fit over the spindle with a felt dot on top to balance the coin. This is important as it helps your camera focus on the surface of the coin and not the background such as the table. Use the self portrait timer so you are not touching the coin or the phone/ camera when the shutter snaps. Use your camera app to rotate and crop to the edges. Focus and lighting are your main issues to overcome. Always post full images here. 20211129_184450_HDR~2.jpg DSCN3331~2.JPG DSCN3332~2.JPG DSCN3334~2.JPG
    Tamaracian likes this.
  19. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    Enough lighting and position of that lighting is key. Just about any device can be set to AWB (auto white balance) to take out the blue or yellow hues depending on the light source. Once that's set the key is just getting the right amount of light on the subject matter, usually at a high angle. And the ability to use a camera to capture the image without casting a shadow or getting glare.

    I use a copy stand with 4 standard LED bulbs. I rarely use all 4 bulbs anymore as I've learned a lot of coins can have too much light on them and get washed out. You're trying to eliminate dark spots and shadow areas without washing it out and losing detail.
    Oh and did I mention auto white balance? Use it.
  20. Vess1

    Vess1 CT SP VIP

    4000k LED bulbs, coins on white paper- No AWB:

    2021 ASE TY 2 combined.jpg

    Same bulbs with AWB on:
    2021 ASE Rev Proofs Rev.JPG
  21. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    The lighting can really make a difference. This DCAM proof coin has hazy fields, and looks totally different depending on light position and angles as above. DSCN3291~3.JPG DSCN3294~3.JPG DSCN3292~3.JPG DSCN3293~3.JPG
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