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Coin Photography

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I have a wicked hard time getting decent images of my coins for some reason. Scans are too small and low resolution, and my digital camera either takes a blurry picture or its too dark / light.


I've seen some great pictures of coins and I'm wondering how they were taken. Digital camera? Scan? What's the trick to getting a good shot?


Happy New Year!

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Hi 9Key,


What I do is set up un front of a window, put the coin on a colored background to make it stand out. Then I use my digital Canon PowerShot A95. Put it on auto, turn the flash off, turn on close-up and aim the camera using my wrists as supports. I can get as close as 2 inches from the coin and pictures turn out super.


Hope that helps. :antenna:

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I have tried several different ways to photograph coins. Always have trouble with the highly polished gold and silver coins from the glare.

My studio is the top of my pool table, using pool table light. Setup my Cannon G3 PowerShot in Program Mode & Micro Mode, attach camera to my tripod at shortest height on top of pool table. I don't use flash, use only light from table light. I also use a black felt background, this helps to take away the shadows.


That about it. We're outa here. :antenna::angry:

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On most coins, I don't photograph at all.  I scan them!  It works quite well.  The only time it doesn't seem to give me good results is on hightly textured coins (like the Tiki's) and on high gloss coins.


This is the same technique I use.

Same same. Import into Photoshop by scanning at 600 dpi, then make adjustments until I like the way it looks, rotate if needed, blur the number, resize to 1 - 1.25". Voila!


Agree about the really shiny ones like Compass Rose, Wisconsin, Delaware. Tough to work with by any method.


You can see the results on my coin listing pages. Use anything you see that you like with my compliments. A mention would be nice if you do.



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Scanning can work quite well, but I personally prefer not to scan hard objects that could scratch the glass of my scanner. I do know of some folks who have cut holes out of a sheet of white foamcore board, placed it on the scanner bed, then place the coin in the hole. They say that this helps keep the scanner focused close to the same plane as the coin surface. I don't know - I've never tried it. They later cut/paste the image using Photoshop.


These are only suggestions to try alone or in combinations on your camera and depend entirely on whether or not your particluar model can do any of this:


- Mount your camera on a tripod.

- Use the LCD display to preview the image. Don't use the viewfinder unless you have an SLR-type camera.

- Turn off autofocus. Autofocus can have a hard time with shiny objects.

- Use the macro setting to get close.

- If no macro, then use the zoom function.

- Manually focus the lens until the image displayed is nice and crisp.

- Use a nice, wide aperture (smallest number like f2.8).


Bring the image into Photoshop or some other image editing utility, and adjust the color and sharpness until you're happy with the pic.


Hope it helps!

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When you are using the scanner do you just place it on there and scan, or do you have some kind of paper with a coin size hole cut out?  I find that when scanning a coin the scanner of course don't close all the way and that dead space scans black.


I just set a piece of paper on top of them don't bother closing the lid. they turn out perfect every time... I have a Hp 1315xi scanner/copier/printer it cost me $70


the space around the coin just comes out white...



Edited by SunshineGang
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A trick I learned from my daughter the Professional Photographer is to use a product called Dulling Spray. It removes the shine but leaves the detail. It wipes off in seconds. Google KRYLON Dulling Spray. Its a great product and less than 10 dollars for a can that will last a very long time.


It pays to have a dark room in the basement :o

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