Is there a "correct" distance from coin to camera?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by expat, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    The recent posts from @Denis Richard and the responses from some very talented photographers have been fascinating to follow.
    However, as someone new to DSLR photography, I have a basic question.
    I read often in related posts about "focal depth" and similar, but how do I determine the optimum distance from coin to camera?
    I have a Sony a330 with lens SAL 1855. On the lens casing is 3.5-5.6/18-55 SAM and between that and the focusing ring is 18, 24, 28,35 and 55. And a switch for changing between AF and MF.
    There is a measuring mark on the body of the camera as identified in the manual, but from there how far away should the coin be? (Obviously depends on the subject but I am interested solely regarding coins as the subject).
    I couldn't find this in the manual or on the Sony website but, admittedly, it might have gone over my head.
     
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  3. Rick Stachowski

    Rick Stachowski Well-Known Member

    It all depends on how many MP the camera has .
    The more the MP(s) the further you can stay away from the coin ..
     
    expat likes this.
  4. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    It has 10.2 mp
     
  5. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    You have a zoom lens. There is no set distance.
     
  6. kanga

    kanga 65 Year Collector Supporter

    My skill as a photographer is a bit shaky but it would seem to me that the distance to the coin should be a function of:
    -- how close you can get and still see the whole coin
    -- how close you can get and still be able to focus the whole coin
    -- how close you can get and still get adequate light on the coin.
     
  7. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    This is perfectly correct.

    Especially with a zoom lens. I have an adjustable copy stand, and for small coins I often put the camera closer to the coin so that it takes up more of the image, and back it off for larger coins. If you're too far away for a small coin, you'll be taking an image of a lot of wasted space that you're just going to crop out.

    So, there is no "correct" distance for everything - there is a right distance for each coin.
     
    expat and Dynoking like this.
  8. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    Thank you. So I adopt the same basics as I was doing with my phone. Coin filling as much of the viewing screen while still in focus
     
    -jeffB likes this.
  9. nuMRmatist

    nuMRmatist Well-Known Member

    My iPad and my iPhone have a square in the LED.

    Optimally, if you can get the whole coin to the edges of the square, you'd accomplish the 3 objectives (no pun intended) as kanga posts...
     
    expat likes this.
  10. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    OK, I will look through the manual for the camera again and try to find how to show the borders on the live view screen
     
  11. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Three words to remember; fill the frame.
     
    expat likes this.
  12. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    But only if you can do so and still be in focus.
     
    nuMRmatist likes this.
  13. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    The best way to learn a new camera is to practice. Play with the camera. Take notes of the settings used for each image. I would not use auto focus.

    Start with the zoom setting. Shoot several images at different settings. You have from 18 to 55 to play with. You will probably find that something in the middle is best for your lens. Don't use the zoom to fill the frame. Move the camera up and down to fill the frame. With good notes you will find the sweet spot that works best for coins.
     
    expat likes this.
  14. expat

    expat Remember you are unique, just like everyone else

    Excellent practical advise, thank you
     
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