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NathanB

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  1. Congratulations, Furry Frog and family! Some ideas for names: Victor (as per FFIII) Marcus (as in Nerva or Aurelius, but not as in Antony!) Julian Xenophanes (my personal favourite!) Parmenides Diogenes Really, though, I suggest naming him for someone or something who means a lot to your wife, such as a family member. Or you could go my way and give him an Irish name. They are pretty much evergreen, while also beautiful.
  2. Thank you, @Severus Alexander! I appreciated your remarks regarding the design of the wooden copystand. I think I can roughly picture it now. One thing I still don't understand is how you connect the camera to the bolt. Will this be the same size bolt as the kind on the tripod that goes into the camera bottom? I also read with interest your note about a waxed nut supporting the coin. I have a very thin wooden dowel that elevates my coin above the black velvet. But the coin will either wobble, not be level, or fall off. So I use some sort of putty-like substance that someone recommended back on Coin Talk. Unfortunately, when I was learning in the beginning, I was working a lot with a Julia Domna denarius--taking it off, putting it on, and so on--for many days. After a while, I noticed that the surface of my coin in one place was not as nice. So now I barely press the coin into the putty-like stuff (I forget what it's called), but I have a residual dislike for it. Can I ask how you get your coins level on the nut with so many of them have (compared to modern coins), such a high relief? Oh yes--you asked about a remote shutter release. I don't have that, but I do use a timer. You take really beautiful photos! I love the first one, in particular. I guess I really like that soft, matte look!. The image has a kind of painterly quality to it. That said, in real life, we see metal reflecting light a lot, so I think the reflectivity is more realistic. It would be nice to learn how to do your methods of lighting. I saw your comment about cancer. I'm so sorry, my online numismatic friend! I remember before when you announced you had it, and then after a while, it seemed like it was gone or all better. I hope you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible--from a selfish perspective, I would miss you if you weren't here. Your cheerful spirit is very well communicated through your writing, and you are a pleasure to read. And in person, I'm sure, to be around. Anyway, please feel free to either address this, or not, as you prefer.
  3. Thank you very much, @Kaleun96! You are a good teacher and explainer! I think I got most of what you were saying, and I'm going to reread it a number of times. I feel like this is my best chance to understand this stuff! About the magnification ratio, you helped me to understand something I hadn't understood before when I saw it popping up in various places online. The working distance and minimum focusing distance is a little trickier for me to understand how they operate in tandem. I think I understood you to say that a macro lens that has a longer focal length can see the object even when it is farther away--as opposed to a regular lens which would have trouble seeing it farther away. On the other hand, a macro lens also can get closer to the object, making lighting easier. In terms of getting closer to the object, I think that's called increasing the depth of field (or is it decreasing?). In my own photography with my 14-42 mm lens, I like go get as close to the coin as possible (as long as there is adequate lighting) because the magnification ratio is so very low. But often I find that I can't get close enough because the camera can't focus on the coin when it's too close. The extension coins definitely helped that a lot, but I want more. So now, once I can motivate myself to set everything up again, I will try my "new" cheap used Olympus M. Zuiko 12-50 mm lens that I just got. At first, I was worried--50 mm is only 5 mm larger than my maximum of 45 mm on my kit lens. I am hoping that because it can be a macro lens, that I will get more than a 10% larger image. (Unless perhaps it's not a true macro lens? I see that there is a button on it for a macro setting, but there are also settings on it for other things.) One other thing I am still confused about is focal length. A macro lens at 60 mm and a non-macro lens at 60 mm are so different--like the proverbial apples and oranges. So how is the focal length of the lens useful to a photographer when it means two such very different things? Feel free not to answer--I don't want to abuse your generosity. But if you are willing, I'm definitely all ears!
  4. Oof! Feeling a little called out. 😉 And sometimes I don't even post the weights! 😄 That said, I think that's only when the picture is an illustration of something other than the coin--e.g., in the photography thread. That said, I do think it useful to have the diameter of a coin noted--especially when buying. And for rooting out fakes, you really need both diameter and weight (as well as knowledge about the coins fabric, striking, design, and so on). But I have seen silver modern silver coins faked with metals that get the weight more or less exactly right--but the diameter is completely off. More commonly, though, it's the other way around. One thing I have often wondered was how to measure the diameter of a coin. I've often assumed that I should go with the widest diameter, but I think that Heliodromus's post above has a good idea. Another thing to remember (assuming my memory is correct--someone more knowledgeable than I is welcome to correct me if I'm wrong!) is that quite often with ancient coins, a particular weight of liquid metal was supposed to be poured out so that each flan could have the same weight. But the flans weren't necessarily the same size. Furthermore, once you have the dies coming together in the hand-striking process, then no two will be exactly alike. So a weight is a closer, more objective measure of what the coin is and what it was supposed to be. It also has the virtue of indicating more or less exactly if something is missing. With diameter, meanwhile, who here measures the circumference of their coins in order to get an average diameter? And if you go with the widest diameter, that doesn't provide as usable a mental picture of how much of the coin is there in the same way that indicating the weight does. I don't know why I wrote any of that. From now on, I'll try to remember to post an approximate diameter by at least one method of calculation. 😉
  5. Steppenfool, those are great photos! I used to very occasionally use a microscope camera when I worked in a coin shop years ago. Normally, there was a more senior colleague who used it, and neither he nor I were even remotely happy with it. Yours produces far superior results. I didn't know that they had gotten that good! I'm curious how you got the black background on the last coin, by the way. Was it with the microscope camera, or did you add it later with software editing?
  6. Thank you, Severus Alexander! I like your idea of the homemade wooden copystand. Unfortunately, I'm not much of a wood worker, and have no tools apart from a hammer and screwdriver. That said, my dad has quite a bit of material. The only thing I don't "get" about your copystand suggestion is how to attach the camera to the bolts that go in the holes. Thank you also for the lighting and jack suggestions. I regularly need to elevate the coin stand--and also the Coleman battery-operated camping lights I used. I've been using books and cardboard boxes. It's a very cumbersome process and not easy to remember in a way. I feel like each time I set up things, I'm starting from scratch. Nice photos, by the way. I noticed that you put up black ones. I like the "Doug Smit"-style black background. (Doug's got a background effect named after him now! 🙂) I think I want to stick with black right now--it's what I know, and I like the look--but someday I might be interested in going to white. Can you post a few coin pictures photographed using your new setup?
  7. Thank you very much, Ursus! I would say you are getting a lot of bang for very little buck! 🙂 Also: nice educational image of your setup. Your setup is actually similar to mine, except that I added an LED light (until it broke) and one or two Coleman battery-powered lanterns. I have shot in both daylight and in darkness (except for those lights).
  8. Thank you very much, Kaleun96! That was a very thorough post and I was glad to read it. First things first, I think you identified that struggling with the set up equipment, including the lighting, is the single biggest reason that I have become discouraged with my coin photography. Now that I know that, I can try to concentrate on those two areas. Notwithstanding that, I'm a sucker for sexiness and I bought a used lens this morning hoping that it will be better than my current one! (It's an Olympus M Zuiko Digital 12-50 mm lens with a macro switch. It seems to be fully functional. That is to say, a copy stand is not as sexy as a lens, I guess, so this may have been a bad decision on my part. But I think that at $150 CAD (about $110 USD), the price was right. But I am definitely on board with going the copystand route, and I can see that that is actually what I should be focusing on (pun unintended!) right now. About lenses, my original post may have led you astray. For my coin photography, I only use my kit lens (14-45 mm) with extension tubes. I have not found a way to get my 45-150 mm lens to work at all for coin photography. Part of the problem there is that I really don't understand the theory of photography, including what those numbers in millimeters even mean. I've tried in the past but somehow never seem to "get" it. I will have to try again. I have also not understood the difference between a non-macro lens and a macro lens with those designations. (For instance, Aidan uses a 60 mm macro lens. I have non-macro lens with 45-150 mm, but can't seem to make it work for macro work at all.) So I have a lot of learning to do. Back to the copystand, I appreciate your suggestions. The cost of the (incomplete) copystand and the macro rail that you mentioned is still too much for me right now, but I will make them a medium-term goal to work towards. I will have to think about lighting, still.
  9. Hi Aidan! I was hoping you might chime in. I remember you posting that medallion on another forum another time. Honestly, I'm completely gobsmacked by it, and your photo of it. It just draws the viewer in deeper and deeper into the image. The effect is like walking into a building and then walking and looking deeper into it. I actually have a visceral emotional attachment to that piece of yours, but I won't ever be able to make you an offer on it! 😄 I think your remarks about having a stable mount and good lighting are probably where I need to focus my attention. Unfortunately, it seems that copy stands are quite expensive. I definitely want one, though. Regarding lenses, I have a particularly embarrassing story--possibly two! The reason I got my Panasonic 45-150 mm lens is because I thought "oh, the range of macro lenses fit right in the middle." And so of course I bought a lens I can't use for macro photography. But I kept it too long before trying to use it, and so missed my return date. 😞 If I had a lot of money, I wouldn't care, but it wasn't good stewardship of my very limited resources. I will try to sell it soon. Meanwhile, your and Rasiel's and others' remarks about a good quality lens moved me to make an impulse purchase this morning. I looked up used micro four thirds macro equipment on Craigslist and Facebook marketplace. I was not able to find anything I could afford, except an Olympus M Zuiko Digital 12-50 mm lens with a macro switch. The price seemed excellent at $150 CAD, so I went and bought it. If it turns out not to be the right lens for me, then I will have to try to sell it, too. I will be trying to sell my Panasonic 45-150 mm anyways. Now, though, I have to learn how to use it. Until now, I've never used anything other than my kit lens (14-42 mm with extension tubes). But I really can't spend any more on a lens right now. Oh yes: you asked what camera I use. I don't think it will be as good as yours, but it's not too bad. It's a Panasonic G3. I've had it for many years.
  10. Thank you so much for responding, Rasiel. Regarding the penny, I have only a very few hidden away somewhere in a closet, and in my country they no longer circulate. But I have ancient bronze coins sitting right out beside my computer. 🙂 I appreciate all of your remarks, and especially those about continuous lighting vs. flash. One small clarification, though: extension tubes and close-up filters are quite cheap. I think either can be had for $20-$30. Regarding a macro lens, one thing I don't understand at present is what the numbers mean (e.g. 30 mm, 60 mm, or 100 mm). As for a pic of my set up, I was too lazy to take one today as I do not have a permanent set up. But I do use a tripod. I have a small wooden box that I bought for about $5 from a Winners store, and got some black felt that enclosed a few coins I won in an online auction a year or two ago. I also have a thin dowel that brings the coin above the surface of the walls of the box, and thus fairly far above the felt.
  11. Reverse of Menander I Soter drachm showing Athena Alkidemos standing left, holding shield and thunderbolt. I have an micro four-thirds camera with a 14-42 mm kit lens. I have taken some decent pictures of not-tiny coins (like the one above) with it using extension tubes. Unfortunately, while I can kind of find my way around my camera, I really don't understand much photography theory. I also find it slow and cumbersome to take the photos. I just use a small USB LED light and one or two Coleman battery lanterns that are actually intended for camping and power outages. I'm also familiar with using a flash to "freeze" the image in place. Unfortunately, my camera's built-in flash does not produce good images of coins. I would like to get better images if possible--more detailed, and sharper. Of course, I'm on a budget (hence this post). So my three "dumb" questions are: Would a close-up filter help me? And could it be combined with one or two extension tubes? Is there any way of using a 45-150 mm lens to improve things? Is the only way to really get better images to buy a macro lens? And if so, what would be the cheapest macro lens that you would consider worthy buying for someone on a budget? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions. I guess part of this is really me trying to motivate myself to take some coin pictures using my camera. It's been so long. My little LED light broke and I need to buy a new one. I find it hit-and-miss in terms of getting the background to be truly black, and getting an image that's not too blurry. The last seems harder to do now that we moved more than a year ago. And I absolutely hate fiddling with my cheap tripod and my little coin stand.
  12. I thought for a second I read: "An excellent example of a coin with honest wear, where the loss of the fine detail is compensated by a moral quality in the remaining design." The sentence still seems to work quite well!
  13. Interesting read. I've had similar experiences with dealers when I've sold coins and even books. I think some dealers get tired with age. Others, despite their age, stay young and alert. Just as a general rule of thumb: always show a potential buyer who is a dealer more valuable stuff first. On another note, and this is from my very limited view, I get the impression that empress coins are actually very sought after.
  14. I have heard that the Roma auction house was the very best place to go for provenances. 🤣 Sorry, I really couldn't resist, and being the poor guy I am, I have little else to contribute.
  15. Capital bit of humour there in the thread title, Ryro! I'm at work on a break but burst out with a chuckle! 🤣 Also, I hope @TIF makes an appearance! 😉
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