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Coin Photography Lighting Shootout image

Coin Photography Lighting Shootout



I?ve always chosen halogen lamps for my coin photography because of their small size and white light. It seems to me that I get good color and detail with them, so I?ve never had any reason to change. But as you know, everybody seems to have a favorite lamp or bulb that works well for them. All this made me ask the question: Is there really any difference between the various lights when photographing coins? That?s the question that I?ve set out to answer. My gut feeling at the beginning of the test was that there would be very little difference between the various lights when white balance is taken into account.

Gut feelings don?t cut it, so I went out and acquired as many bulbs as I could find and all those that are popular with the photographers. The list includes:

75W Soft White bulb
75W Reveal bulb
75W PAR30 halogen lamp
20W fluorescent bulb
20W halogen desk lamp
13W Ott light
300W halogen lamp
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