Revenant

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Group Photos and re-imaging

Entry posted by Revenant1 · - 277 views

Whenever I get a new coin for a set, provided it’s a smaller set that doesn’t require pulling out 20+ coins, it’s always fun to pull out all the coins in the set and look at them together. It can be a lot of fun with the larger sets too but it can also be a lot of work to find them all amongst the other coins, get them out and, eventually, put them all back.

When I get the new coin in for such a set I try to get new pictures done and this usually leads to new pictures being taken for the whole set.

Even if the pictures themselves aren’t the best in the world I think it makes the presentation overall a little more appealing if the pictures are at least done consistently with each other. The quality of the photos is something I’m still working on in this regard.

I’m not bad as a portrait photographer and have been paid to shoot tradeshow images for oil field services companies and symposia photos for universities. I have a really nice micro lens that I’ve used to take great shots of small figures in a light box. Coin photography is something I still struggle with. The reflective surface and the while holder with NGC just makes things hard.

Looking at the group of coins together, it’s pretty easy to see that I’ve been favoring older holders – old “fatty” holders in particular - with this set. I had been doing it mostly to make the set a little more visually consistent across all the coins in it – not always easy given how much the NGC slab in particular has changed over the years. I've also at time really liked the idea of building the set mostly with coins with 9-digit serial numbers mostly starting with 195 or 196. I had to give up on that a little bit when this 1888 came up for sale. Beggars can't be choosers in such cases. I was just thrilled to see a high grade 1888 at all and there's no way for me to even know if there is an 1888 out there in an old fatty holder still (if there ever was).

On of these years, when the set is complete, I’m hoping I can send them all in for re-holdering. It would be great to get them all into the same type/generation of slab, with the same label design, with the same invoice number and numbered chronologically from -001 to -010 (or -011 if I actually ever manage to find an 1877/9). I think that would be the ultimate way to show off the set visually. It might even be fun to have a custom label made for them at that point.

Given a long background in art and photography, presentation is and probably always will be important to me I think and when getting the coins graded the slabs themselves inevitably become part of the discussion of presentation.

Since I have tomorrow off for president's day I'm probably going to take some time and try for new pictures of these things. I guess we'll see how the pictures come out.

Maybe it's me, and maybe it's just the visual effect of having less white and more space around the coin, but when I saw the 1888 in the new holder it almost made it look bigger than the others.

 

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Personal preference, but I like the look of the old "no-line" holders better than any of the new versions.  More focus on the coin and less on extraneous stuff (graphics, logos, bar codes, etc.).

When I have sent NGC-certified coins for re-holder, they came back in new plastic with the original cert numbers. Maybe they will also issue new numbers on request? 

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Coin photgraphy is a lot of trial and error. Lighting is key. My rig is centered around an f4 enlarger lens on a bellows. After many years of hard work, some coins still give me problems. My lighting is based on diffused LED bulbs. I don't know what I'd do without digital cameras. 

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1 hour ago, gherrmann44 said:

Coin photgraphy is a lot of trial and error. Lighting is key. My rig is centered around an f4 enlarger lens on a bellows. After many years of hard work, some coins still give me problems. My lighting is based on diffused LED bulbs. I don't know what I'd do without digital cameras. 

The last time I attempted this I think I just used a standard prime - probably a 50 or 85 mm - and a lamp. This time I'm going to take a dofferent approach: 105 mm macro lens + 2x teleconverter to let me get extremely tight shots of the coin while staying far enough away to not block my lights. Lighting will involve my YN560 mkIV speedlites and the softbox my step-father gave me for Christmas one year because he knew I had the macro lens and love macro shots. This set-up is usually my go-to for photos of things smaller than 3 inches tall/across when I'm not feeling lazy.

Edited by Revenant1

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7 hours ago, CBC said:

Personal preference, but I like the look of the old "no-line" holders better than any of the new versions.  More focus on the coin and less on extraneous stuff (graphics, logos, bar codes, etc.).

When I have sent NGC-certified coins for re-holder, they came back in new plastic with the original cert numbers. Maybe they will also issue new numbers on request? 

Thanks. Good to know about the cert#s. That might actually be nice in it's own way because it preserves the history of the coin/leaves a record of the fact that it was graded a long time ago, so I might actually like that if it's an option. I thought it wouldn't be. I know it might seem odd to some to talk about the original cert# and the time-frame in which it was originally graded and encapsulated as history worth preserving but at the same time that's pretty much what this whole hobby is built on - the love of the history of the things, what they've seen and how they've come down to us.

I don't know that I have much of a preference on the new vs old holders so much as I like having all of them look the same with a set like this. I can't get the coins in newer holders put in old fat slabs because they don't make them anymore so if I want to harmonize the set I have to put them all in the newer slabs that are in use at the time.

You make a great point about the older slabs seeming less "busy"/"cluttered" in appearance and I can see how some would prefer that. At the same time, I love the way the new edge-view holders let you see the rim details of the coin and they feel like they give the coin more room to breathe in the holder.

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