View Full Version : Taking Pictures - Axial Lighting...

04-15-2012, 07:17 PM
Axial lighting is a little-known technique which I think has great application in coin photography. In this technique, the light path travels straight back and forth along the same axis as the direction of the camera lens. Primarily used with microscopes or forensic photography, axial lighting can produce shadowless, yet high-contrast images with startling levels of detail.

An Axial Lighting Setup

As shown below, an axial lighting setup requires a flat and clear sheet of glass which is placed at a 45-degree angle to both the light source and the camera lens. Most of the light hitting the glass passes through it, but a significant portion of light is reflected downward at the subject—in this case, a coin.

You will notice I've used a small black object to shield the coin from any direct light. I've also darkened the room to avoid any stray reflections in the glass. Therefore, the camera lens sees only the light reflected from the surface of the coin.


I just shot some pictures using this method of recent finds... I just used glass from a picture frame... a carpenters square.... and a clip on light...




More information and original source >> http://www.sigma-2.com/camerajim/cjgcoins.htm
^^ Scroll down about 3/4 of the way for Axial Lighting...


04-15-2012, 07:27 PM
Excellent tip Paul! I will have to try it out with my current setup.

04-15-2012, 07:35 PM
very nicely presented Paul , i've been meaning to make this setup maybe once i finish my detecting mancave . thanks

Fire Fighter 43
04-15-2012, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the tip, very nice.

04-16-2012, 09:43 AM
And... just so you know... I use a 3 year old 8mb Nikon L19 Coolpix... I used a small piece of glass from a picture frame... and did this about as low tech and inexpensively as you can... The L19 does great Macro was my reason for choosing it...

04-18-2012, 05:22 PM
Thank you, there may be hope for my pictures yet |:cheering:

04-19-2012, 05:43 AM
Very good tip!!