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Numismatic Photography Thread, I think that have decided on my camera / lens /etc -- in Miscellaneous Numismatic Information; Originally Posted by Jesh Need more light or two lights one at 10 other at 2. Also use the refine ...
  1. #21
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesh View Post
    Need more light or two lights one at 10 other at 2. Also use the refine edges tool when you make selection before cutting the coin:

    Color of the first seems like the WB is off, unless of course the coin looks like that in hand?

    Overall focus seems good but of course can be improved.

    Mark on rev of 2nd image is on slab I take it?
    White balance is way off for the first picture. The coin is not white, but it's not brown either. The mark on the 2nd image is on the slab.

    Ok, time to ramble. I need to get the whole setup level. This might be difficult since the desk where the thing sits is not very level itself. Space is really limited, so I don't have a lot of options there. I could move it to the floor, but the bad news is that I layed the tile myself. It's probably not level either I think I can get it under control, though, by perhaps shimming the stand itself or just making sure that it's relatively level. It's tonights first project to be sure.

    Next is that I need to learn how to properly focus on the coin. It's pretty neat that the live view software has an autofocus button which I can tweak after the fact. It's also neat that it has focus step buttons. The bad news: the step buttons are not granular enough. The live view window on the PC is small enough that it is hard to tell when the coin is completely focused. Manually adjusting is even rough since the adjustments need to be *really* slight and doing them bounces the image for a second or so. It's basically a lot of shoot-look at full size photo-shoot again. I am going to practice for a while and then I will start investigating a solution for doing micro adjustments to the camera height. Or screwing with the aperture might "fix" this. We'll see!

    Right now, I am doing zero post processing. The capture software doesn't do any, so I might still be on the hook to pick up lightroom.

    Photoshop -- I am terrible at photoshop. Without the isolation guide you wrote, I likely would have spent all night trying to do the poor job that I did. Thanks I can get back in practice, though, so I am not too worried!

  2. #22
    Administrator Jesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingot View Post
    White balance is way off for the first picture. The coin is not white, but it's not brown either. The mark on the 2nd image is on the slab.
    You can buy a grey card if you need to, they are cheap. If you are using the Beseler CSK-14 you can use the grey on the base as a grey card (it is not perfect but it works).

    Quote Originally Posted by mingot View Post
    Ok, time to ramble. I need to get the whole setup level. This might be difficult since the desk where the thing sits is not very level itself. Space is really limited, so I don't have a lot of options there. I could move it to the floor, but the bad news is that I layed the tile myself. It's probably not level either I think I can get it under control, though, by perhaps shimming the stand itself or just making sure that it's relatively level. It's tonights first project to be sure.
    This shouldn't be a big deal. If the stand is crooked, the camera is crooked at the same angle. In theory, you could have the whole thing angled 20 degrees (for instance), and it won't make a difference since the camera is also moving. Only problem would be is the coin sliding - if it's off it won't make a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by mingot View Post
    Next is that I need to learn how to properly focus on the coin. It's pretty neat that the live view software has an autofocus button which I can tweak after the fact. It's also neat that it has focus step buttons. The bad news: the step buttons are not granular enough. The live view window on the PC is small enough that it is hard to tell when the coin is completely focused. Manually adjusting is even rough since the adjustments need to be *really* slight and doing them bounces the image for a second or so. It's basically a lot of shoot-look at full size photo-shoot again. I am going to practice for a while and then I will start investigating a solution for doing micro adjustments to the camera height. Or screwing with the aperture might "fix" this. We'll see!
    Auto-focus is a problem because has two major downfalls: a) if you aren't using the micro-controller to tell it WHERE to focus, it might pick a high point, such as the rim. You need to use the controller to focus in the middle. b) it'll focus on the plastic sometimes. Best bet is to manually focus if it won't focus for you correctly, it will take some practice. What f/ stop are you shooting, because aperture makes a huge difference:




    If you need any help let me know.

  3. #23
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    I just made a long reply. And hit the "reply to thread" button at the bottom. BLEH.

    (Very) Abbreviated recap:

    Is there a way to get the camera itself to pick up the grey to balance or do I need to do this in post?

    I will make sure the camera is level relative to the copy stand. Should just mean I need to use a straight edge instead of a level.

    I only use AF in the capture program to get the camera to hunt for what is close to being focused and then use the ring to manually get it just right. Well, as close to just right as I can right now. I need a lot of practice with this.

    The first photo was taken at 1/200 f/4.5 ISO200

  4. #24
    Administrator Jesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingot View Post
    I just made a long reply. And hit the "reply to thread" button at the bottom. BLEH.

    (Very) Abbreviated recap:

    Is there a way to get the camera itself to pick up the grey to balance or do I need to do this in post?

    I will make sure the camera is level relative to the copy stand. Should just mean I need to use a straight edge instead of a level.

    I only use AF in the capture program to get the camera to hunt for what is close to being focused and then use the ring to manually get it just right. Well, as close to just right as I can right now. I need a lot of practice with this.

    The first photo was taken at 1/200 f/4.5 ISO200
    Wish there were a way to remove that. Maybe I will do a custom jobber, because that is really annoying, I do it all the time. You can do the grey balance several ways: automatic, manually set it to current lighting conditions, or third manually set it to a preset grey point, like a grey card. You can also balance it in post processing, which is what I do. I shoot in RAW mode, so it is easier and more accurate then adjusting a JPEG image.

    When you step up the f/ stop to something like f/9 then the shutter speed will be slower, unless the ISO is increased, but then you introduce more noise. You need to know how to compromise basically since one setting effects all others.

    Also, the lens you are using, the 'sweet spot' will be around f/5.6-8 in that area (it's usually 2x wide open, which is f/2.8 on the sigma macro).

    By the way you using 2 lights?

  5. #25
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    I'll be playing around with the fstop/shutter speed/iso tonight. Last night I was really just playing. Not logging my results or making comparisons. Time to get more serious

    That was one light, halogen with a frosted glass cover. I am going to buy a few lamps tonight. Oh, nearly forgot, on slabbed coin I was also using a hand held flashlight in addition to the single lamp.

  6. #26
    Administrator Jesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mingot View Post
    I'll be playing around with the fstop/shutter speed/iso tonight. Last night I was really just playing. Not logging my results or making comparisons. Time to get more serious

    That was one light, halogen with a frosted glass cover. I am going to buy a few lamps tonight. Oh, nearly forgot, on slabbed coin I was also using a hand held flashlight in addition to the single lamp.
    Two lamps will do you good, don't think you'll need three although three works well on some coins.

    Try shooting in aperture mode and just choose aperture and test between 5.6 to around 11 and look at the results. It'll automatically adjust everything else. Then go from there.

  7. #27
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    I only plan to use two. Going to retire the halogen lamp from coin shooting, I think.

  8. #28
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    Nothing new tonight worth showing. Trying to get the hang of lighting. Bought a few different bulbs to play with. 2x75W reveals seem like they over light everything :/

    Oh, and aperture priority mode did wonders for me. So mcuh easier to focus at f/8. At least that is working out for me

    Ok, maybe one before I go to bad that didn't turn out terrible. Although I am worried about my lighting setup. Details tomorrow.



    Last edited by mingot; 01-18-2011 at 11:12 PM.

  9. #29
    Administrator Jesh's Avatar
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    Much better. 2x75w Reveal is fine it won't flood it. Are you shooting in 'raw' mode, or just regular 'JPEG'?

    Also, do you have a copy of Numismatic Photography, 2nd edition?

  10. #30
    Numismatic mingot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesh View Post
    Much better. 2x75w Reveal is fine it won't flood it. Are you shooting in 'raw' mode, or just regular 'JPEG'?

    Also, do you have a copy of Numismatic Photography, 2nd edition?
    Currently I am shooting in JPEG. I don't have any decent software to manipulate the raw files. I don't mind buying lightroom or the Nikon software to do post, but can you give me some ideas of what sorts of things they are going to help me do? Currently I just use photoshop for a final light adjustment of the JPEG. I do have a copy of this book, unfortunately it arrived at the same time as the camera, so I have not read the whole thing. Too busy taking pictures heh. I have skimmed/read quite a few of the sections, though.

    Here is the problem I *think* I am having. The lamps have pretty huge cones. They basically spread to about 8 inches. I find myself making HUGE adjustments to the angle of the lamp to get any results at all. Sometimes literally having to face the lamp away from the coin before I notice any difference. Perhaps I should bring them back and get something with a narrower cone so that I can have a more focused light source?

    Also, I bought a pair of reveals, a pair of soft white bulbs, and a pair of fluorescent bulbs. I was going to play with some of the others to see which ones I liked.

 

 
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