Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Guy Ferguson, May 22, 2020.
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I bought one right off the bat. Cheap $15 one from amazon. It didn't do me much good learning to distinguish what was real and what was not, if you are crh'ing. What I will tell you is that they are worth the money if you know what to look for or are willing to learn. They have saved my eyes a number of times and for the price, it's well worth it in my book. I would say buy the cheap one as long as you fiddle around with it to get it to your liking, I think it will be worth your time and money.
For me, it's not my hands, it's my eyes.
In my opinion it's best to go with a DSLR with a great macro lens and a copy stand.
Before you go to a microscope and camera as a single instrument, what kind of lenses are you using now? We have had these discussions here often. You should Search and read them to gain some context before you buy. (Just to say, I am a technical writer and I spent a year at Zeiss. I have an array of lenses and two microscopes.)
See "Magnifiers" recently:
See "Recommendations, please" a while back
(Love your avatar. Hate cute kittens. Shared that one.) I do not know what "crh'ing" is. My advice is not to buy the cheap one--especially if you do not know what you need and moreover you cannot know in advance if you can "fiddle around with it." And I would not go to Amazon for technical equipment that I knoiw nothing about. I would go to a reputable seller. Google "microscope" and go to an optics company. Their advertising alone will tell you much and they will have "white papers" (technical sales literature) online.
Start with Fisher Scientific. They sell several makes and models across a range from students (kids) to professional
Most of them will not take a whole coin. I use mine just for 11-mm (quarter inch) diameter ancients. Like a US 3-cent or US gold dollar. For that, I recommend a lens or loupe.
DSLR= Digital Single Lense Reflex. What you see in the finder is what you shoot. The camera flips from the finder to the "film" (image surface). Old cameras had a finder and an image surface, like Kodak or Polaroid 1960. These days, it's not like that. DLSR is the default.
I agree that if you want to use a camera for imaging, then you want a macro lens. Also, your recommendation for a copy stand is on-target because Guy F said that his hands (not his eyes) are the problem. But the "copy stand" can be anything, even just a cloth or thick paper on a table where you can work.
That was two warnings. The stand that came with the Mustcam was too short to image a silver dollar. The stand you use came with a cheap model that failed.
Thanks for the advice.
I use a regular camera with the picture size cranked up to the max. I have been able to crop the small sections I have wanted have gotten good results.
That’s a really great job!!
$39.99 on Amazon. I would like to add that this is 10X to 300X. You don't want much more than that for coins.
I have recently started to work on my accumulation of ancient coins and sometimes I need help figuring out what a coin is. It helps me to post pictures and get expert advice.
@kaparthy's advice is good, and well-informed as always.
However, there is a big difference between speculating $40 or so on a broken-English-labeled plastic webcam that will let you see more detail on coins you're searching, and spending:
$100 or so on a copy stand
$500 or so on a DSLR
$500 or so on a good macro lens
$100 or so on lighting arrangements
...that will let you produce publication-quality images, but will actually slow you down if you just want to check for small hits or familiar varieties.
A lab-quality stereomicroscope would let you be quick and see very well, but those start at many hundreds of dollars, I think.
I don't claim to have The Right Opinion on this, but here's where I find myself these days:
First check is with my incredibly nearsighted eyes, probably equivalent to a 3x loupe. This is quickest and easiest.
Next resort is a 10x loupe, which is strenuous to use for long stretches.
Next step is sometimes to take a macro shot with my phone, then zoom in on it. It's not good enough to publish, but it can show more detail.
If that's not good enough, it's time to get the DSLR set up on the copy stand, get a light or two pointed at it, get the macro lens onto it, get the coin oriented under it, take some photos, pop the memory card, put it into my laptop, open the images, crop them, find a place to save them... this all ends up taking many minutes of overhead, and as a result I do it very infrequently.
I do have several lab-grade stereomicroscopes I bought at surplus. They're out in the garage. They're too big and bulky to stay on my desk. I haven't used one in years. (I feel bad about the waste. )
Bottom line: if I weren't so nearsighted (built-in loupe), I'd consider a cheap USB microscope as a first-line tool. I'd view it as a consumable, though, expecting to need a new one every couple of years. And I wouldn't rely on it for (say) eBay sale images. For that, it's worth bothering to build a better setup.
With my $40 scope above I find the results to be good enough for publication or eBay sales. In this example I didn't take time for lighting and focus. I just wanted to show that you can easily pull it up, view it and then photo the coin. All this in a mater of a minute or so. I find this to be the typical need for coin collecting.
It doesn't let you control the brightness of the LEDs (or turn them off completely)?
By all means, neither do I, even though I often write in short, declarative sentences. I think that the entire thread here is interesting and informative because it underscores the fact that your choice of anything depends on what you want it for. A thousand years ago, the fall of 1957 when the 1958 model year was on the car dealership lots, my cousin bought a 57 Chevy, and then put it up on blocks. My other uncle (not his dad) thought the kid was nuts: why would you buy a car and not drive it? So, as they say, your mileage may vary...
It makes a difference whether you want the lenses to snap photos for eBay sales or investigate die cracks.
I also note that some people have problems with equipment that other people love. One thing about consumer product design is that they can have the best designers and a hundred user focus group sessions. If you are not in the loop, then it may not have been designed, built, tested, approved, and marketed for you.
I bought these 4x dipoters just for looking at coins. Hmmm... no wonder they hurt: the one nose cushion is missing. Didn't see that before...
if I may say so.
I too, had an inexpensive set-up that worked great until Window 10 rendered
Would someone please recommend the perfect replacement that takes a picture of entire coin, while also having the ability to zoom in and capture DDO, RPM's, and other noteworthy details?
I still have my original stand, which may come in handy for the next set-up.
Thank you so much!
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