Jump to content

Coin Microscope? It works well?


Prieure de Sion
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello... I don't have the nerve or the talent to build a larger photo studio here. Has anyone ever tried something like this? A coin microscope? It all reads so great - plug straight into the PC / Mac and save a picture of the coin. But for 79 euros? 

A good (macro) lens easily costs three or four times that. Just the lens. I don't know if it's really any good. Have any of you tested this device yet?

I have just ordered it. I will post pictures here that I have taken with the device. It will be delivered tomorrow via Amazon. I am curious. If it's no good - it goes straight back. I'm going to assume that it's no good. Simply because the price is too low. But maybe I'll be taught a lesson.

 

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B09CGP9BFQ/ref=pe_27091401_487024491_TE_item

 

image.png.4b58673826f58eaf81957877eaa25b48.png

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the example photos are mostly unlikely to be accurate, particularly this last one which has several photos of a quality you will definitely not obtain with this microscope. I venture to say none of them were taken with this microscope, the only one that might be is the first one of the coin, possibly also the bank note but I would guess not given all the others aren't from this microscope.

81czZ-RvHvL._AC_SX679_.jpg

 

The example image posted by one reviewer is closer to what kind of quality you will likely achieve. There looks to be a fair bit of purple fringing (chromatic aberration), soft details at the corners/edges, and limited resolving ability of the lens. In other words, par for the course for a macro/microscope camera in this price range. With a lens and image sensor so small and at this price, there's simply a limit to the quality you can get, so it's not surprising to see the results below.

That being said, this is me comparing the camera to the example images, which isn't necessarily unfair because I think the example images are misleading, but you may already be aware that the examples are misleading and instead be expecting something closer to the photo below. In that case, 80 euro seems OK for an all-in-one simple to use bit of kit like this. Though only you will be able to say whether it meets your expectations. In my opinion, it might be useful for exploring your coin close-up but I wouldn't think it will take particularly nice photos of coins in general (i.e. for sharing online). A modern phone camera would probably be better for taking general photos of your coins even though it wouldn't have as much magnification as this microscope camera.

71JaQ83X7KL.jpg

Edited by Kaleun96
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a similar microscope. The biggest difference that I see, between your microscope, and my microscope, is the height adjustment knob. On mine, the height adjustment knob is 2 large black knobs on the side of the stand. It looks like yours may have a small silver adjustment knob, on top of the stand. Both of our microscopes seem to also have a silver fine adjustment knob, on top of the viewing tube. Mine cost me $65 in 2018. It's worked very well, for me. It can even take photos, which I can save, on my desktop computer. I've taken many photos of coins. I connect it, via USB, to my desktop computer. I just run the Microsoft "Camera" computer program, which is a computer program that comes standard with Microsoft Windows, I think. Mine has an LED light, which shines on the coin.

It's not perfect. But for the price, it's worked very well, for viewing details of coins.

Here's what I bought, on Amazon, in 2018, for $65. It seems to still be available, for $75 these days.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005P40OXY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

51n+lIH87fL._SL1022_.jpg

Edited by sand
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Kaleun96 said:

In other words, par for the course for a macro/microscope camera in this price range. With a lens and image sensor so small and at this price, there's simply a limit to the quality you can get, so it's not surprising to see the results below.

I think so too - it just can't be, really. But I like to be positively surprised. Sometimes miracles happen 😄

A miracle!

 

 

8 minutes ago, sand said:

It's not perfect. But for the price, it's worked very well, for viewing details of coins.

That is interesting. I think the technology is the same from Asia. Only the construction is different. I am curious. If it's already better than my current iPhone with 4x zoom - I'm already satisfied 🙂 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

That is interesting. I think the technology is the same from Asia. Only the construction is different. I am curious. If it's already better than my current iPhone with 4x zoom - I'm already satisfied 🙂 

Another difference, that I see, between your microscope and mine, is that the top of the viewing tube, where it is connected to the cable, looks different. So, perhaps yours is a different brand, than mine. But, perhaps yours uses the same technology, as mine. Mine allows me to zoom way in, or way out, by adjusting the height with the black knobs, and then using the silver fine adjustment knob on the viewing tube, to focus. Hopefully, yours will too.

Edited by sand
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, sand said:

Another difference, that I see, between your microscope and mine, is that the top of the viewing tube, where it is connected to the cable, looks different. So, perhaps yours is a different brand, than mine. But, perhaps yours uses the same technology, as mine. Mine allows me to zoom way in, or way out, by adjusting the height with the black knobs, and then using the silver fine adjustment knob on the viewing tube, to focus. Hopefully, yours will too.

Now I'm really excited about tomorrow. It's like the day before Christmas 😄 .... I'm excited. 

(Like Christmas before - where I thought I was getting a great Märklin train set and it ended up being just a plastic train set from the supermarket).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some photos, that I've taken, using my microscope, of some of my coins. I don't think I zoomed in, as far as I could. These are just photos, that I had lying around on my computer. If I remember correctly, for my larger coins, I wasn't able to get the entire coin to fit in a photo. Perhaps it has a difficult time focusing, when I'm zoomed all the way out. I don't remember for sure. Also, when I'm zoomed way in, it will focus at one level. So, for example, I can focus on the devices, but the fields may be slightly out of focus. You choose the level on which to focus, by adjusting the silver fine adjustment knob on the viewing tube.

Here are photos of one of my Roman Republic Janus As coins.

Roman Republic. Anonymous AE As. 211 BC To 206 BC. Rome Mint. Sear 627. Crawford 56/2. 32.0 mm. 36.69 grams. Obverse Janus With "I" Above. Reverse Ship's Prow With "I" Above.

First, here are photos using my digital camera (not my microscope).

image.jpeg.2a960c22da594dc3d59a01613ae42608.jpeg

And here are some photos, using my microscope.

image.jpeg.6b55d3a9cc866777b5e62da0962088ef.jpeg

image.jpeg.179c183abde5bb85be0e49b7098bcb20.jpeg

And here are photos of my John VIII stavraton.

John VIII : AR Stavraton. 1425 AD To 1448 AD. Constantinople Mint. Sear 2563. 23 mm. 6.76 grams. Obverse Jesus Christ Bust Facing Front With Halo. Reverse Bust Of Emperor Facing Front "IWAN" Greek For "John" In Outer Legend Clockwise Starting At 12 O'Clock.

First, here are photos using my digital camera (not my microscope).

image.jpeg.34f543799daff35cb1c48421c59bc248.jpeg

And here are some photos, using my microscope.

image.jpeg.285bdfa845e27d423d2f756bfb76c4f8.jpeg

image.jpeg.317a3ab279dd3708932bade675173df3.jpeg

image.jpeg.298791e7d730480e4f717af43ee10f32.jpeg

image.jpeg.ca8b39738129cd755ed8a54dca6ab38c.jpeg

image.jpeg.4de5722b7142162666cbdefb855c5fa1.jpeg

image.jpeg.de5bde652ff133c7618f836e4679bb4d.jpeg

 

Edited by sand
  • Like 10
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some more photos, using my microscope. This is a Chinese Ban Liang coin, which I suspect may be a fake. But I'm not sure. I haven't been able to find a similar Ban Liang, in any of my Chinese coin books.

Note that all Chinese coins, which were created before 1889, were cast, not struck. That makes it more difficult, to detect fakes.

Also, for cast Chinese coins, except for the very earliest coins, the edges were often filed, after the coins were cast, in order to make the edges relatively smooth, and to remove the casting sprues. This is why the Chinese coins had square holes, perhaps. Perhaps, after the coins were cast, they were placed on a square rod, with the square rod going through the square holes. Then, the edges of the coins were filed. The square rod prevented the coins from rotating, while the coins' edges were being filed, perhaps. This is another thing, that makes fakes of Chinese cast coins, difficult to detect, because authentic Chinese cast coins may have file marks, on the edges.

In these photos, I don't think my microscope was zoomed all the way in. These are just photos, that I had lying around, on my computer.

FAKE? Chinese Ban Liang. Weight = 7.18 grams, Width = 31.4 mm, Height = 30.7 mm, Maximum Diameter = 31.4 mm

Here are the seller photos. In the seller photos, the coin appears to have a green color. However, in reality, the coin is not very green at all. The coin is more of a black color, with a brass/yellow color underneath the black.

image.jpeg.a8d2e7700c9a26e2d160c0b4fa85fb79.jpeg

And here are photos,using my microscope.

image.jpeg.f46fcb12798847b45a4596ec3dd86f3d.jpeg

image.jpeg.649854400e31b60878fd305975ae83d5.jpeg

image.jpeg.71728c3549333d660ff24e7a5d80d03c.jpeg

image.jpeg.1a43c0329be872703a21467c707b86e7.jpeg

image.jpeg.8ceecbd71aa426d0572084d8258b907e.jpeg

image.jpeg.58a5d36611aa007cafef0c99b3230ad1.jpeg

image.jpeg.0596494ea965f589eb1c52ef0524efcb.jpeg

 

 

Edited by sand
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, shanxi said:

It seems like a nice tool for higher magnifications, but the images of a complete coin could be better.

Hello @shanxi The images of complete coins were not taken with the microscope. The Ban Liang complete coin photos are seller photos. The other complete coin photos were taken using my digital camera.

Edited by sand
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, sand said:

he images of complete coins were not taken with the microscope

Yes, I know. But even in the first examples, I find the light unfavorable for imaging the entire coins, which look flat and featureless compared to really good photos.

But as i already said. A nice tool for details. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, shanxi said:

Yes, I know. But even in the first examples, I find the light unfavorable for imaging the entire coins, which look flat and featureless compared to really good photos.

But as i already said. A nice tool for details. 

 

 

 

In the first examples, do you mean the photos of complete coins? In the first examples, I used my digital camera to take the photos of complete coins, not my microscope.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The detail shots don't interest me at all. For me, only the presentation as a whole is interesting - for my shop. If I have 5-10 coins that I want to put in the shop - then I want to quickly put each individual coin underneath, take a picture, next coin. And if the picture is the same or a little better than with the mobile phone zoom - then that makes my work easier. 

The alternative is a camera, a macro, a tripod and a small photo box. But that's also a question of space. I don't really want - if I can avoid it - to make a small photo studio. So if the micro camera is any good - I'm happy.

If it's no good for taking pictures of the whole coin - I'll probably have to use a camera, macro and tripod. But as I said - it doesn't have to be a work of art - it just has to be enough for a webshop.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These less expensive microscopes seem to give about the same results and have similar issues. Especially lighting. That circular group of led lights at the lens reflects on coin surfaces. 

20170326_KS-tax-token-obv-test1.jpg.b896e694d7deecdc1a60706b596cf6df.jpg

I bought a Celestron Pro cheap. It came with a steel pipe or rod, I replaced it with PVC pipe (which shook and drooped under weight) and eventually used a longer copper 1/2 inch plumbing pipe to have a higher distance from the coin to spread out the lights. The software came with the microscope is pretty easy to use on a pc. I still have trouble with true color of pictures. 

Then I bought a pair of inexpensive Jansjo lamps to light from each side. This helped, turning off the led camera lights and using the Jansjo lamps. I also experimented with a halo fluorescent light which works great on proof coins but had to hold it by hand. A stand for that would be nice if I took the time to make one.

20170325_microupdate.jpg.fad9dae90733a4fdb0cf849e836ec8a7.jpg

My best idea was to cut a plastic milk gallon jug and shoot the Jansjo lamps from each side and diffuse the glare.

20170405_milkjug.jpg.7b4fcdad4716a3e51fd3e42520680825.jpg

This all takes up some space, and mine has become cluttered. A dedicated area just for using the microscope is a must.

For me, I don't think that the quality of microscope is that big of a deal. I do think it's all about the lighting, practice and camera software and/or photo image editor you use.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Prieure de Sion said:

The detail shots don't interest me at all. For me, only the presentation as a whole is interesting - for my shop. If I have 5-10 coins that I want to put in the shop - then I want to quickly put each individual coin underneath, take a picture, next coin. And if the picture is the same or a little better than with the mobile phone zoom - then that makes my work easier. 

The alternative is a camera, a macro, a tripod and a small photo box. But that's also a question of space. I don't really want - if I can avoid it - to make a small photo studio. So if the micro camera is any good - I'm happy.

If it's no good for taking pictures of the whole coin - I'll probably have to use a camera, macro and tripod. But as I said - it doesn't have to be a work of art - it just has to be enough for a webshop.

If I remember correctly, I had trouble taking photos of the complete coin, for large coins. Because I wasn't able to focus properly, when zoomed all the way out, if I remember correctly.

However, for smaller coins, I was able to take photos of the entire coin. For example, I took photos of a complete coin, which was 22 mm in diameter. I don't know, what was the maximum diameter of a coin, for which I was able to take photos of the complete coin. I just remember, that I couldn't take complete photos, of my larger coins.

However, perhaps your brand of microscope, will work better, for taking complete photos of large coins.

As others have mentioned, the microscope LED light, may not be the best, for taking nice photos of complete coins. However, on my microscope, I can turn the LED light off, and then use other lighting. I can also dim the LED light.

Edited by sand
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, thenickelguy said:

These less expensive microscopes seem to give about the same results and have similar issues. Especially lighting. That circular group of led lights at the lens reflects on coin surfaces. 

Oh, thats bad news 😞 

16 minutes ago, thenickelguy said:

For me, I don't think that the quality of microscope is that big of a deal. I do think it's all about the lighting, practice and camera software and/or photo image editor you use.

I'm really looking forward to the first tests tomorrow. I hope the Amazon person comes early - I'm excited like a little kid 😉

Image editing I have a lot on board on the Mac. I don't want it to fail because of that. I will take some pictures. Of gold, silver and bronze coins and put them here unedited. Afterwards I will edit the pictures.

Let's see what's possible. I say yes. We will be surprised. Or disappointed. I still assume the latter, because I actually know that quality in some areas simply comes from a lot of money. And it can't be that a 79 EUR microscope camera takes pictures like a 500 Euro macro glass lens. It is simply not possible. 

But it doesn't have to have that quality either. In the shop, pictures with a maximum size of around 5-10MB come in at 1500x750. They don't have to be high-resolution images for glossy posters. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, sand said:

However, for smaller coins, I was able to take photos of the entire coin. For example, I took photos of a complete coin, which was 22 mm in diameter. I don't know, what was the maximum diameter of a coin, for which I was able to take photos of the complete coin. I just remember, that I couldn't take complete photos, of my larger coins.

That would still work, since 99% of coins are 18-20mm in diameter. 

4 minutes ago, sand said:

As others have mentioned, the microscope LED light, may not be the best, for taking nice photos of complete coins. However, on my microscope, I can turn the LED light off, and then use other lighting. I can also dim the LED light.

That would not be a problem either. I have an adjustable LED desk lamp here. I can dim it - but I can also make it so bright that it makes you snow-blind. I can also adjust the colour temperatures. If the camera LED is no good - then I use the desk lamp.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had a coin microscope for three years now. There are three things to consider,

1/ 5MB or above is preferred , less leads to over pixelisation when zoomed in.

2/ A model with a high enough vertical support to enable imaging of full coin.

3/ Never use the internal lighting, independent and adjustable lighting gives much better results.

Look forward to seeing your test results

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daylight lighting also works but light changes during the day and is different on different days. What window you use might make a difference. When I took a picture of one side I had to be fairly quick to take another of side B so they would match.

Now I have to go take a picture (or two)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, not such a good example

OK so I quickly just now took these two images of a very worn & difficult coin to photograph and they came out very yellow/amber with my microscope using two indirect Jansjo lamps.

If I had taken an image of a silver coin, it would have been much more accurate.

All my images seem to come out yellow with any artificial lighting except fluorescent.

Using daylight they come out as seen in hand.

I saved the pictures and opened them in Photoscape.
I only made one "tweak" with AUTO LEVEL (high) in Photoscape. 

These coin photos came out closer to what color it looks like in hand after making the "tweak" which removed most of the yellow/amber original color. But this coin is actually more gray/green than yellow/brown as I present here.

Antiochus VIII - Eagle

o.jpg.571cb4574aff704dd0c7bd5779d4fcaa.jpg

 

r.jpg.7387295f6a3ba0fee885e91419708de7.jpg

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My microscope came with a CD-ROM which a part is adjustment of white balance, color, brightness and many others. Also you might need to look at how the contrast and screen color settings on your PC are set. These can make a big difference to how your images appear on screen

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...