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Coin Photography Cameras, lighting, and techniques for photographing coins.

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Old Mar 10, 2009, 09:26 AM   #1
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Microscope or camera?

I'd like to upload pictures of my coins but I don't have the means to do it. So I wonder. Should I order a usb microscope or a camera? The camera of course has the benefit that you can use it in many other applications. But Is the result good in either case?
Also, does anyone know if devices like this take good coin pics?
"Handheld Dino Lite AM211 USB Digital Microscope PC Cam" (ebay it or google it)
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Old Mar 10, 2009, 10:59 AM   #2
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A microscope isn't really a good option for taking pictures of whole coins - the magnification is unsuitably high for that purpose, and the lens-to-object distance unsuitably short to allow decent lighting. If you prefer not to use a camera then the best alternative is a document scanner(!) which many people use; some models are better than others for this purpose so you'd want to ask around if that was something you were interested in. The advantage of a scanner is simplicity - no other equipment required and no learning curve.

A camera has the potential to take much better quality (& also worse quality!) pictures than a scanner, but will take some time learning how to use if effectively. The big advantage of a camera is the flexibility in lighting it allows (vs the fixed lighting of a scanner), which is enormously useful for bringing out the 3-dimensional aspects of coins, and making the best of worn coins with low relief.

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Old Mar 10, 2009, 12:25 PM   #3
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I use a flatbed scanner. They are cheap and work well for coins.

I had trouble using a camera -- my hands were not steady. I bought a copy stand and special lighting but still had trouble getting good pictures.
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Old Feb 6, 2010, 12:42 PM   #4
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Hi Hummell I use a Veho USB microscope - I find it very good for close ups. It cost a lot less than a digital camera although I do have a digital camera but I dont seem to be able to get a good clear picture. here's an example of a recent coin find if it's of any help.


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Old Feb 6, 2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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I use a digital camera with macro mode. The macro setting takes close up photos of coins, flowers, insects, etc.
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Old Feb 7, 2010, 03:04 AM   #6
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Dear Hammy

Does the USB camera have built in lighting?


The meek shall inherit the earth - so buy a meek
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