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Coin photography with an iPhone

Started by Overlord, March 26, 2017, 04:54:43 PM

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Overlord

The setup:
iPhone 5S with earphones (to serve as remote shutter)
Flat panel light (for background illumination)
A torch (for illuminating the coin)
Mini tripod (or the phone could be kept on top of a small box, book, etc.)




This coin was photographed indoor using the above setup.



Globetrotter


Figleaf

How do you use earphones as a remote shutter?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

malj1

The same set-up could be used with the Samsung, but with this a voice command operates the shutter; just say smile!

[snapped directly from the screen]
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Overlord

Quote from: Figleaf on March 26, 2017, 10:17:38 PM
How do you use earphones as a remote shutter?

Peter
When the Camera app is open, pressing either of the volume control buttons on the earphones takes a picture. There are Bluetooth-based remote shutters available, but I think this solves the intended purpose (avoiding camera shakes) without additional hassle.

One can also use Siri, which is similar to what malj1 suggested, but Siri and I don't get together too well.

Overlord

#5
Another easy setup. Using a CD spindle to eliminate background shadow. The phone is kept over a pile of books, eliminating the need for a tripod.


Jostein

Dear overlord, congrats, great results with your system...where can i buy an small Flat panel light like yours?

Best,

Jostein.
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" - John F. Kennedy

http://www.bimetallic-coins.com

Overlord

#7
I got mine off Amazon India:

http://www.amazon.in/18W-Surface-Mounted-LED-Panel/dp/B01LYPUDJL?_encoding=UTF8&deviceType=desktop&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

However, the CD spindle achieves the same objective (removing the shadow) for free under natural sunlight:




Globetrotter

Hi,

so any black background would work, wouldn't it?

Ole

Overlord

Quote from: Globetrotter on April 22, 2017, 03:42:41 PM
Hi,

so any black background would work, wouldn't it?

Ole
It is not really about the background colour (you could put a white paper disc through the spindle to change the background colour), but putting distance between the coin and the background so that the coin does not cast a shadow. If you take the photo under indirect sunlight, even the little shadow cast by the stem won't show up.

Figleaf

Works great, Overlord. I used two whiskey glasses as a stand and late afternoon sunlight, with my desktop as backdrop. The glasses are the same size, so they provide a completely stable support for the iPhone, plus they are translucent. Siri took me to the camera, but I couldn't get it to take the picture. However, the iPhone was so stable I could use the shutter button (I never use the earphones, don't know where they are).

Adjusted size, colour and saturation, cut away superfluous background and lowered resolution with Graphic Converter on a Mac. This coin was impossible to scan correctly, but with the whiskey glasses stand I now see more on the picture than on the coin. Wait till Bushan sees this. Maybe I can even convince my wife I need the whiskey in the glasses for a colour effect ;)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Overlord

Great result. You can even do this without the computer. Cropping can be done on the phone itself, and there are free apps/websites that allow you to resize the image.

Figleaf

Found another trick. You can use a small blocnote to put the coin in a slanted position. You can achieve any angle by using as few or as many sheets as you want to get the coin in the exact right position and folding the rest away. This trick is handy for hard to photograph coins: the shadows will reinforce what is visible on the coin. It also helps for transparent tokens. See below for an extreme example.

Peter

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Quant.Geek

Quote from: Overlord on April 22, 2017, 06:27:12 AM
Another easy setup. Using a CD spindle to eliminate background shadow. The phone is kept over a pile of books, eliminating the need for a tripod.



Brilliant!  Didn't think about that!


Ram
A gallery of my coins can been seen at FORVM Ancient Coins

Overlord

#14
Coins that have too reflective a surface are difficult to photograph at times. Even in indirect sunlight, legends come out unreadable and fine details such as hair are not captured. In these circumstances, I find it helpful to place my palm between the coin and the sun.