Coinage Takes a Beating, Folks

If you look at a small section of this, hard to tell if it's a coin or the surface of the moon

That is President Jefferson’s nose and eye on a well-worn 1999, Philadelphia Mint-made nickel.

The area on the side of his (never noticed before, but quite large) nose is what reminds of the moon through a telescope.

Technical info: Shot with my basic setup: StackShot for automated movement and shutter triggering, the Sony A7r IV, and the Nikon CFI 10x lens (but I’ve set it up for 8x, which it seems to do quite well). There is also a “tube lens” in the setup, something that “infinite conjugate” microscope objectives usually require to deposit focused photons on camera sensors or human eyes.

About conjugates: an infinite conjugate means that a lens is focused at infinity; the ‘object’ is what the lens is looking at; the ‘conjugate’ is the projected image at the focal plane. If you place the object at the conjugate, the image is produced at infinity—hence, infinite conjugate.

More here.

I took 75 images over 750µm, so 10 microns of movement between images. But only 22 were needed (the rest were pre- and post-focus), so the depth of the image is 0.220mm. Which tells us that the relief in the nickel’s surface is about a quarter of a millimeter.