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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-07-2020

coin size item photography

Hello,

I am new to the board and new to my camera. I have a Canon eos rebel T6 with an ef 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III lens and an efs-s 18-55mm zoom lens that came with the kit. My question is that before I spend the money for a macro lens, can I in the meantime take photos of coins size items. This camera may be over my head, but I bought it with the plans of tethering it to my pc and taking photos on a camera stand of small items, coins included. I am just beginning to learn the menu and selection process so I am truly a newbie. Thanks in advance for your help.

Jim 

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,181
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: coin size item photography

You 18-55 has a fairly short focusing distance and should at least get you started with macro photography for your coins.  A camera mount/stand and proper lighting will be very beneficial.

 

At very close distance, the depth of field will be very shallow which normally isn't a big issue with a very flat item like a coin.  But it does mean focus must be PERFECT to achieve a good image.  Increased lighting allowing you to step down the lens from wide open will increase depth of field and the lens performance will improve somewhat when you aren't shooting wide open so proper lighting will be the single biggest low cost improvement that you can make.

 

Rodger

 

 

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-07-2020

Re: coin size item photography

Thank you Rodger. I have a camera stand with three ott lites, and two incandescents. My granddaughter Ellie decided I needed to move up to a dslr when she picked up and dropped my PowerShot SX530 HS on a concrete floor and it has never came on since. My fault for having it accessible to her. It broke the lens and pretty much ruined the camera. So, I am learning to enter this realm of photography and I'm old so here goes.

Jim 

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Posts: 10,710
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: coin size item photography

You could buy a set of extension tubes to get started. As noted above, DOF will be very when you fill the viewfinder with a coin sized object. The need to focus stack several images in post is a certainty.
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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,181
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: coin size item photography

JIm,

 

Good luck, you will do fine with the DSLR!  Ellie didn't realize it when she dropped your PowerShot but she was helping you move up to a more versatile system Smiley Happy

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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Posts: 13,287
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: coin size item photography

"You could buy a set of extension tubes to get started."

 

You can certainly do that and it will work. I mean you will get close and you will get a picture.  It is not the best approach if you want top quality results. You do not have a lens that is great at, well, anything but certainly not at macro photography. You do need a true macro lens. A macro lens is corrected for macro photography. Most regular use lenses are not. A very inexpensive choice is the excellent Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens at $350.  A super choice is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro Auto Focus Lens at $700.

 

Second to a true macro lens is Photoshop.  It is mandatory if you are wanting the best result no matter which lens you decide on.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-07-2020

Re: coin size item photography

Yeah, I originally thought as much, so I bought a chinese knockoff just to try it out. I know thats not the way to go about it, but just didn't have near enough available funds. Thanks,
Jim
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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎01-07-2020

Re: coin size item photography

Showing my ignorance I was not familiar at all with extension tube until you mentioned it. I read about them and after I receive my macro lens(china knockoff) I may delve further into them. 

Thanks to everyone for the great information and help.

Jim

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Posts: 10,710
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: coin size item photography


@jesbroken wrote:

Showing my ignorance I was not familiar at all with extension tube until you mentioned it. I read about them and after I receive my macro lens(china knockoff) I may delve further into them. 

Thanks to everyone for the great information and help.

Jim


A quick word about using extension tubes.  There is a trade-off to everything in life.  What you gain in being able to bring the lens closer to a subject, you will lose the ability to focus on objects at a distance.  You might not even be able to focus on the other side of the room!  But, who cares about that when your purpose is to focus on something right in front of the camera.

 

If you ordered a 3 tube set, you may have noticed that they come in diffferent sizes: i.e.: 12mm, 20mm, 35mm.  You can stack any two to create a single longer extension tube.  But, which size should you use with your current lens?  The general rule of thumb says not to use an extension tube that exceeds 25% to 33% of the focal length of the lens you using.

 

Why can't you use all of them at once, so you can get super close?  Because of the basic trade-off in the physics of how they work.  Normally, a lens focuses from some MFD, Minimum Focus Distance, out to infinity.  I am going to call that Focusing Range, FR.  

 

When you use an extension tube, the MFD decreases.  Meanwhile, the FR decreases, too.  This goes back to what I said earlier about no longer being able to focus on distant objects when you use an extension tube.  The longer the extension tube, the sharper the decreases in both MFD and FR.  

 

When you use too much extension, you can actually move the MFD so close that it is actually inside of the body of the lens.  When this happens, the FR will usually shrink to the point where it, too, is inside of the lens body.  This means that with too much extension, you will not be able to focus on anything!

 

I know you are on a tight budget, but the 18-55mm kit lens really has poor image quality compared to other Canon lenses.  Canon's least expensive lens is the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, which you can pick for around a hundred bucks.  It is great portrait lens on an APS-C sensor body camera like the T6.  It will also produce MUCH cleaner images than your kit lens when used with extension tubes.

 

Hope this helps!  

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,181
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: coin size item photography

I agree with Ernie that for best results, a macro lens is what you want if you are going to concentrate a lot on macro photography.  I have the earlier non-IS version of the 100mm macro that he recommended and it is a versatile lens that is a lot of fun to use. 

 

The photos below were taken shortly after I bought my first 1 series digital back in 2005.  There used to be far more honey bees in the area and they were very cooperative models except they were a little TOO friendly landing all over me while I was taking their photos.  I don't dislike bees but with them swarming all around me, image stabilization would have been useful to help steady the image Smiley Happy  My daughter and I have both had a lot of fun using this particular lens.

 

Rodger

 

NZ1W1098.JPG

 

NZ1W1098.JPG

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
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