Imaging my coins

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
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jlojek00
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:50 am

Imaging my coins

Post by jlojek00 » Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:31 pm

Currently I am using an old scanner. But I am looking to keep an inventory with sharper images. Does anybody have a suggestion on a newer scanner or camera I should use?

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messydesk
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Re: Imaging my coins

Post by messydesk » Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:57 pm

Scanners do not capture luster. Use a camera. As for what camera, as well as other equipment, that depends on your budget and goals. I could write a book on this, but someone else already has, and I have other stuff to do. Start with a smartphone camera, with the phone about 5" above your coins. Rest the phone on a box or something that will keep it parallel to the coin. Don't center the coin in the picture, but keep it close to the end of the phone where the camera is. Use a desk lamp for light. You may have to adjust the white balance on your camera. If that gets you what you want, you're done. If not then we start upgrading until it does.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

DHalladay
Posts: 2351
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by DHalladay » Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:16 pm

This is excellent advice on where/how to start!
Newer cell phones have remarkably good cameras, and it's not too hard at all to get surprisingly good images. Cascade Chris has taken some of the best phone images I have ever seen.
When in doubt... don't.

vambtym
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri May 21, 2021 10:02 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by vambtym » Sat May 22, 2021 7:37 pm

messydesk wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 4:57 pm
Scanners do not capture luster. Use a camera. As for what camera, as well as other equipment, that depends on your budget and goals. I could write a book on this, but someone else already has, and I have other stuff to do. Start with a smartphone camera, with the phone about 5" above your coins. Rest the phone on a box or something that will keep it parallel to the coin. Don't center the coin in the picture, but keep it close to the end of the phone where the camera is. Use a desk lamp for light. You may have to adjust the white balance on your camera. If that gets you what you want, you're done. If not then we start upgrading until it does.
just what i was searching for. thanks for the excellent advice.

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Kurt28
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by Kurt28 » Sat May 22, 2021 10:14 pm

Let me simply offer another choice for those that have a conventional digital camera.
I've been using this for a few years and it has worked well for me.

I start with an old Craftsman drill press, available at garage sales for no more than $15.
DSCN6826A.jpg
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Find a 1/4" nut and bolt to secure the camera to the portion that held the work table.
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Bellows are easily employed.
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LFCPs are easy, as well as details.
WhiteDuo.jpg
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I did add a couple of IKEA LED lamps at $9 each, but overall it was cheaper than a smartphone.
The only downside is that these tools expose my shortcomings as a craftsman.

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...kenny
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Location: Big Rock, New Hampshire
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Re: Imaging my coins

Post by ...kenny » Sun May 23, 2021 12:37 am

HOLY CRAP!!! I mean, nice set up... :lol:
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my.........Ahh........Uhmm........something, something, something..... :lol: :lol: :lol:

VamHelsing
Posts: 821
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:14 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by VamHelsing » Sun May 23, 2021 1:40 am

Thank you VERY much!! Wanted a cheap setup and you just provided it!

RogerB
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2019 2:30 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by RogerB » Sun May 23, 2021 3:36 am

Kurt28's setup is clearly strudy and effective (just don't drill a hole in the coin...). But the key to good photos is control of lighting.

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SilverToken
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 14, 2021 2:17 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by SilverToken » Sun May 23, 2021 1:01 pm

What Zoom lens is that?
When it's no longer fun, I think I'm done!

DHalladay
Posts: 2351
Joined: Wed May 30, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by DHalladay » Sun May 23, 2021 1:38 pm

That is a fixed focal length lens attached to a flexible bellows... very old school.
When in doubt... don't.

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Longstrider
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:12 pm
Location: Mojave High Desert

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by Longstrider » Sun May 23, 2021 2:49 pm

Sweet! Use it up, wear it out. Make it due or due without.🐍

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bob259
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:12 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by bob259 » Sun May 23, 2021 3:13 pm

"I start with an old Craftsman drill press, available at garage sales for no more than $15."

I have a photo copy stand that works exactly the same way.

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SilverToken
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri May 14, 2021 2:17 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by SilverToken » Sun May 23, 2021 3:37 pm

I have been struggling with the same crossroad in collecting, coupled with being thrifty and archival... We have a nice DSLR but the zoom was never good enough to catch the detail. I will dig through my lenses , build my "Stoodio" and re-start my digital records.

Thanks- I am closer now thanks to Kmart from 1984...
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When it's no longer fun, I think I'm done!

bhinkle
Posts: 528
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:34 am

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by bhinkle » Mon May 24, 2021 1:23 am

WOW! I been struggling, with my Canon SX120IS and no stand and by holding it over my coin and just bracing it in hand, '
as best as I could.
It has the macro close up option, but I seem to always get bad results.
Never capture the luster.
I always save the seller's photos, as a result..
What kind of camera do you use and can that flexible bellows attachment be fitted on any camera?
Does the flexible bellows have a lens?
I'm going to be looking for an old drill press stand.
GREAT post, Bert

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Kurt28
Posts: 256
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:00 pm

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by Kurt28 » Mon May 24, 2021 6:32 pm

1) Yes, lighting is key. With proper lighting, you can make a pinhole camera work. My choice is a couple goose neck LEDs. Tissue over the bulb diffuses the light. I also us the timer so that I am not touching the camera.
IKEa.jpg
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2) Attached directly to the camera is a Sigma Macro 50 mm. For the bellows, 95% of my pictures are taken with a Rodenstock, EL-OMEGAR 75mm. For close-ups I use a Nikon, EL-NIKKOR, 50 mm. I also have Rodenstock OMEGARON, 90mm and a Nikon, EL-NIKKOR 105 mm but almost never use them.
3) The camera is a pentax K-x. If you can change lenses on your camera there is a good chance there is an adaptor for a bellows. I chose the Pentax simply because I had a bunch older film camera lenses from Pentax. Retro fitting them to the new body is easy.

There was a lot of use for surveillance and copy lenses from WWII until the computer age, and much of that equipment is available at bargain prices. Every thing I have shown, except the lamps, was purchased used on ebay. I'm not suggesting this is the best route, it just works well for me. (I don't have a smart phone, and every time I get tempted, I buy a coin instead.)

Geseas
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:49 am
Location: West Michigan

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by Geseas » Tue May 25, 2021 9:45 pm

I would like to share a method of coin photography I have been experimenting with. It is a different direction, literally than @@Kurt28 great method illustrated above. I am talking about coin photos taken horizontally.
Luck and natural light are factors in this method:
coin photography.jpg
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The key element is this thing:
wooden disc.JPG
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It is just a wooden round with a toothpick wedged into a crack of the wood. Two very small rubber bands hold the coin perpendicular to the table and parallel to the camera lens surface. (This point is very important I think when attempting clear LFCP's.) Adjustable mirrors reflect light from our only skylight above the dining room table onto the coin. Everything is very adjustable. All angles of light to coin, coin distance from the camera, the toothpick with the rubber bands can be tilted both ways, and the distance of coin off of the table; critical to the height your lens is off the table; or not. I do use artificial light at times because JB told me to. :D

Caution: This is a very shaky, 'balancing type' set-up, and takes some practice. A coin can get free of its rubberbands easily and roll right into your camera lens! I installed a filter to the outside of the lens for some protection against this. A good filter isn't cheap but it is a lot cheaper than a lens. The 60mm 2.8 macro I use allows a nice distance between the subject and camera when you're in close on those detail-type photo shoots.
:D
I will set this up on our dinner table and do other things until the right light shows up. I am surprised at how many times a day this can happen. I should mention here an understanding wife is important for this method to work.

A work in progress; it changes all the time with different angles, light, reflective surfaces, and backdrops..etc.
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...a lot seems to be lost in the 'translation.' /transmission of the two above photos when compared to my computer. Every time you move a digital photograph around you may take a hit on its quality. It also could be my RHole perspective acting up again.
Last edited by Geseas on Thu May 27, 2021 3:24 pm, edited 6 times in total.

VamHelsing
Posts: 821
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:14 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Imaging my coins

Post by VamHelsing » Thu May 27, 2021 12:34 am

What kind of bellows do I need for my Nikon D3100?

Thanks!

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Kurt28
Posts: 256
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Re: Imaging my coins

Post by Kurt28 » Fri May 28, 2021 12:31 am

I would star with a little research.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bellows+for+N ... 6-1&ia=web

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