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Everything posted by Silverlocks

  1. 1869 Wyon Portrait (Young Head) Victoria, Shield Reverse (1,280 px)
  2. 1876 Wyon Portrait (Young Head) Victoria, G&D Reverse (1,280 px)
  3. 1887 Boehm Portrait (Jubilee) Victoria (1,280 px)
  4. 1895M Brock Portrait (Mourning) Victoria (1,280px)
  5. 1907S Edward VII (1,280 px)
  6. 1918S George V (1,280 px)
  7. 1966 Gillick (1,280 px)
  8. Here are a couple of coins at the full size of the photos. When I take them with the camera about 15cm away from the subject, the coins come out about 1,200 pixels across; I've cropped these to 1,280 pixels in total. At highest quality the JPEGs are about 2MB each; here are a few examples compressed small enough to get an obverse and reverse per posting, so I've made up several posts. @Iannich48 - here are some larger images, hopefully big enough to see the detail on your device. 1974 Machin (1280px)
  9. I think they would be quite small if you were viewing them on a phone. The screen on my Samsung Note 10 is about 400 dpi, so these images wouldn't be much more than an inch across on it.
  10. Here are a couple at a larger size for @Iannich48 - A George V and a 1959 Gillick. These are resized to 960 pixels and may be a bit easier to see. At this compression/size you can get 4 images or so in a posting. 1918S George V Never mind. This is clearly not going to work for reasons I have no control over and I've run out of patience for troubleshooting it.
  11. They're 512 pixels across. If you're looking at them on a phone they might be a bit squinty but they look ok on a PC. I've got some nice high-res ones but they're too big to upload onto this site. I'm not sure why, but it only allows 500k per posting. There are some 800 pixel ones further up the thread. They're higher quality but you can only get one obverse and one reverse per post.
  12. You can adjust the amount of detail to keep. Some programs use different algorithms to analyse the detail, which can be more or less efficient. The trick is to adjust it to just before the point that the detail being thrown away becomes visible. Some programs also use more or less efficient compression algorithms. Photoshop seems to err on the side of quality, others (you can get online or desktop apps) seem to be better at throwing out detail and making smaller file sizes. I also tried a free app called Caesium, which seems to use a more size-efficient approach. It has a slider that lets you select the level of compression. The pics in the Victoria and Ed postings were done with that. On other forums like TSF they don't have the size limits, so I just post larger images.
  13. Thanks. These are the nicest (or perhaps the most photogenic). So far I've only done sovs and a bit of modern silver, although I shall probably do some other gold coins at some point.
  14. Edward VII Sovs And, as we ran out of space on the previous post, here are a couple of Edward VII sovs. 1903 Edward VII 1907S Edward VII
  15. Victoria Sovereigns Here are some nice Victoria sovs. 1869 Sheld Reverse 1876 George & Dragon Reverse 1877S Shield Reverse 1887 Jubilee Portrait 1895M Mourning Portrait
  16. Thank you. Finally splashing out on a camera made all the difference. You can't really light them like this with a smart phone.
  17. I tried running it through an online compression tool called compress or die and knocked about a third off the file size, so one could probably get half a dozen coins into a post. Before After
  18. The Gorgeous Georges, Part I Here's an attempt at shrinking the JPEGs down to small enough to make a small photo essay fit into the image allowance in one post. The photos are re-sized to 512 pixels across and saved with the lowest quality before the detail loss becomes significantly noticeable ('2' on Photoshop, with baseline optimised scanning). Most of the images are about 60K or so. 1913 George V Sovereign 1915 George V Sovereign 1925 George V Sovereign 1927SA George V Sovereign
  19. 1930P George V Sovereign I think this is a weak strike - if it was a forgery I'd expect the rim to be much more blobby and poorly defined.
  20. 1918S George V Sovereign
  21. My macro lens is the F3.5 30mm - https://www.wexphotovideo.com/sony-e30mm-f35-macro-lens-1526009/. It was about £180 or so. I think the images look fine - certainly sharp enough. A bit of specular reflection would certainly bring up the lustre, especially if you've got some where the original finish is substantially intact (I got to cheat a bit as Gillick sovs were never circulated so tend to be in good nick). According to the interwebs the A5000 also supports tethering (see below) and the sensor has a native resolution a little bit smaller than the A6400 (about 20m vs. 24m pixels). With my setup at about 15cm from the subject a sovereign comes out at about 1,200 pixels across natively on the sensor, which is plenty. A crown should be something like 2,000 pixels wide on yours at the same distance. The spot was a Smallrig RM01, which was about £30 off Amazon IIRC. The double ball joint things were made by Neewer https://www.wexphotovideo.com/smallrig-double-ball-head-with-cold-shoe-mount-14-screw-1709974/ and can be gotten from your choice of vendor. Suitable tripods should be amenable to a little google-fu. If you've already got a ring light it's probably fine. What I got in the example above was just the result of a few hours tinkering, including the frigging about to get everything set up and working. I don't think it should be hard to do at least that well. I do suggest that you experiment with tethering software - Sony makes Imaging Edge available as a free download and it works fairly well. Adobe makes a free RAW conversion utility that will convert ARW files to DNG that Photoshop will import. If you haven't got Photoshop Darktable will import ARW files, and according to the interwebs there is a plugin for GIMP that will read DNG files. The big win for me with tethering software is that you can zoom the image from the camera up to the whole screen so even with my aging, decrepit eyesight I can see if it's in focus. It also makes it quick to tweak and round trip the results. TL;DR: You can get much the same results with the camera you've got and maybe a few bob spent on extra lighting.
  22. This is how I set it up. The camera itself is mounted on a little desktop tripod, with an adjustable gantry that lets you twiddle the position of the camera. In practice the gantry isn't really necessary. The ring light is mounted on a tripod with a double ball joint dohickey, and the spot light is mounted on a smaller, flatter tripod with the same type of double joint. The ring light gives you a relatively flat base lighting and the spot gives you the specular reflection and anisotropic reflection from the surface finish. The stack of books just raises the subject, and the copper bar is a paperweight to keep the books flat. I'm using black construction paper as a background - I bought a packet of it off Amazon. Other folks like microfibre cloth or velvet, or you could do a light background with white paper or card. You'll have to provide your own sovereigns. The PC screen in the background is significant as I'm using the camera through tethering software. Sony provides a tethering application for their cameras called Imaging Edge - in fact, the primary reason I got a Sony camera was that it had good support for tethering. In theory the A6xxx series should also play nicely with open source photo applications, but I haven't been able to get Darktable to mount it (although it does recognise the camera). Imaging Edge is free and seems to work fairly well with a few limitations. It doesn't have support for automated focus bracketing, as far as I can tell. There are third party apps that theoretically do this. Currently I haven't thrashed out a solution for this. You would need this to do focus stacking if you wanted to take a coin from any angle other than straight on. Photoshop will do the focus stacking if you have the images, but I haven't worked out a way to do this with the A6400 under tethering control yet. It will export to JPEG, but only at relatively high grades (i.e. images too big for the measly size allowance supported here). I had to import the files into photoshop and then re-save with a lower detail setting. Fortunately you can still get decent image quality at settings that will produce images small enough to upload here. Sony's native raw format (ARW) isn't directly supported by Photoshop, although it is supported by Darktable. Fortunately Adobe publishes a conversion utility that will export DNG files that Photoshop can read through its RAW file importer. On the plus side, it works well with the lighting and it's far easier to get decent pics with than the smart phone. The camera cost me £650, which is about as cheap as I've seen it. I got it from a grey market box shifter but you might pay closer to £1,000 from a real camera shop. The lens was £185 from another online retailer. In practice a secondhand A6300 would do the same thing just as well, and I did seriously consider getting one. You can get those for about £350-400 off Ebay or other secondhand vendors. The tripods and lights would be about another £200 or so in total, although I have some other lights as well not being used in this setup. I think the price for this sort of setup could be kept to about two sovereigns if you went with a secondhand camera body.
  23. Music to my ears. Doing lighting like this was next to impossible with the smart phone, but dead easy with this camera. The holy grail is showing off both the detail and lustre while flattering the coin and not highlighting scratches and contact marks too much. Pure axial lighting makes the coin look too flat - even the ring light does that a bit. Being able to get the spot in from the side (hard to do for various reasons with the phone) lets you illuminate the coin and show the detail with the ring light while showing off the lustre with the specular lighting from the spot. The problem with the smart phone is with its macro lens attached, it wouldn't focus more than a few cm away. I've got the camera sitting with the lens about 15cm away from the subject, and a ring light that just fits over the end of the lens. This gives incident lighting at just off axis but with a low enough incident angle that it doesn't reflect too much off the edges of the effigy and make for a ghostly effect. As there's now no phone body in the way, I can get the spot in at the right angle and distance. I've been wanting to do this lighting setup for a while and it works every bit as well as I hoped it would.
  24. I didn't acquire this coin, but I did acquire a new camera - A Sony A6400 and a macro lens that works quite well for sovs. Here's a 1958 Gillick. Lighting is a small ring light held about flush with the end of the lens, and a little LED spot shining in from about 10:30. Enjoy.
  25. Silverlocks

    Using acetone to clean coins

    The red spots are gold oxide formed through (I think) electrolytic reactions involving impurities on the surface of the gold. They decompose at 160°C. If you hunt around on the interwebs you can see videos showing you how to gently heat a coin up with a blowtorch and get rid of them. I did try this with a sov that had a red spot and it does work. Just don't overheat the coin. I used a butane torch of the sort you can buy off Amazon for melting the sugar on creme brulee (should cost about £20 including a few cans of butane), and a jeweller's charcoal soldering block to put the coin on; you can get these off ebay for about 10 quid.