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Old Feb 10, 2004, 3:29 PM   #1
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Default Photographing coins

A friend of mine in our Digital Camera Club has a unique problem. He buys and sells coins on E-Bay. The type of coins he sells come in sealed plastic cases. When he tries to photograph them with his Nikon 950, He gets a glare from the on board flash. He has tried using different types of lights set a about a 45 Degree angle to the coin and case. This reduces the glare, but he loses the luster of the coin. He says that luster is important in the price of old coins. Any ideas on how to light the image? Low cost would help.
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 4:06 PM   #2
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I think I might experiment with polarising filters - the type you can rotate in front of the lens or the 2 lenses from a pair of sun shades if you just want to test the idea before buying a filter. Never tried it, but the next step might be to try to polarise the light source with plastic sheet polariser and match it with the lens polariser. Its the sort of technique which might take some fiddling to begin, but since this sounds like a permanent setup, shouldn't be too difficult to repeat. VOX
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 10:15 PM   #3
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Default Try Outside

This might not work for him, but outside lighting has solved some of my reflection problems when photographing small reflective metal objects. A slightly cloudy day or partial shade usually works great and natural sunlight is hard to be for color.
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Old Feb 10, 2004, 11:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Photographing coins

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Doctor
A The type of coins he sells come in sealed plastic cases. When he tries to photograph them with his Nikon 950, He gets a glare from the on board flash. He has tried using different types of lights set a about a 45 Degree angle to the coin and case. This reduces the glare, but he loses the luster of the coin. He says that luster is important in the price of old coins. Any ideas on how to light the image? Low cost would help.
The on-camera flash is the worst lighting for reflective subjects. You friend should consider a better lighting equipment. I just took the following with my 4500:

The lighting equipment used was Nikon Cool Light SL-1 and Samigon Halo Right Light FRL-1. But, I found the FLR-1 plus its snoot provides better results as shown above. Note that the above is simply a snapshots and carefully lighting would make the reasult much better. If effect like the above is what your friend wants, go get a FRL-1 for about $110.00 and he will not have any headaches in shooting coins. SL-1 and FRL-1 are discussed on the 950/990/995/4500 user guide. My 10$ coin does not look good. A better and fresh coin would look much better and 3D.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500/5700 User Guide
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