I'm just catching up on the forum replies to my coin question. You may like the site I built, http://www.themarylandmint.com/ and you can see on the cover shot the gold coins photograph. I covered the reflection of the camera by putting more coins from other shoots on the photo. We used an angled piece of glass precariously set to catch the light and an overhead camera. In the early days, you could see my fingers in the coins...what a hoot. My customer even bought a camera like mine (Nikon P510) but is still sending me coins -- he doesn't like the results he gets.
I am a numismatist (which is a fancy name for a coin collector) and have photographed coins of all types for years. My suggestion is to photograph them in the sun and hand hold the camera. This gives you more opportunity for different angles. A velvet background works well. I also have had good luck using close up lenses. These can be found in a set of four for less than 20 bucks. If you do not have a DSLR, I have had good luck just using my point and shoot camera. This set up works well for a small to medium amount of coins. Hope this helps. --- Mark ---
I am a numismatist (which is a fancy name for a co... (show quote)
B & H seems to have something called a "pop-up" light box (or photo box) for photographing small objects at about $50 (which is a lot cheaper than say a Canon ring light at $549). I've never used either and am not an expert, but if you were only going to take a small number of pictures, say for a coin set done for a client, the ring light might be a waste of money. In addition, the search keys used for finding these things may be causing confusion regarding the correct terminology.
The coins are replicas, but still, they pick up everything from finger prints to everything in the background. Plus I want them to look shiny.
Knowing nothing about coins I would have suggested one of those white photo cube a thread and a small piece of wax. Hang from top at the angle you want and use a macro lens. The white thread won't show up. If it does easy to clone out.
Of course if the coins are very valuable I realize they may not want you to put even a tiny piece of wax on the coin.
I built a website for a client, www.themarylandmint.com and take a lot of his photos for his coins now. Its just as tough as can be because it seems that I always get a reflection of the camera in the coin. Has anyone ever had to take photos of gold coins?
I'm not a professional photographer, but over the years I have had to pick up photography knowledge for my work. I use a Nikon P510 now and have learned a lot. I take passable product shots, but now want to take passable interior and exterior shots of homes. I don't want to go to a removeable lens camera because that is really crossing the monetary lines into being a pro, so I'm trying to squeeze as much as I can out of the P510. That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!