The quality of variety images depends mainly on the quality of the lens used to take the image, and also on whether a single image is used or a focus stack. The photographer must make a choice: Use a high quality objective and focus stack; Or use a lower quality objective and take single images. The first choice (high quality objective) will give the highest final image quality, but is much more work due to the need to shoot and focus stack multiple source images. The second choice (lower quality objective) gives more depth of field and thus no need to focus stack, but the image quality is not as good.

Click on the images below that show 3 lenses and 4 techniques used to take the "Money Shot" (Date and Mintmark of a Lincoln Cent) of a 1954-S RPM#4. The 75mm lens is normally used for full-coin images, but can be used in two ways to take variety images: by smart-cropping  the desired detail view; or with a 2x teleconverter. Both of these have sufficient depth of field, so focus stacking is not required. The image quality using these techniques is good, but not great, yet can be sufficient for many purposes.

The 35mm Details Lens is a Macro Bellows lens designed to take high quality images in this magnfication range, so the results are very good. The shot shown below was taken at f8, so the depth of field was sufficient to avoid focus stacking, yet the image quality is superior to the 75mm lens with Teleconverter or cropping.

The Nikon 4x Objective is very high quality and has very shallow depth of field. Single images are only sharp in some areas of the image, so a focus stack is required to get all levels of the image to be sharp. The image below required 5 images which were stacked using Helicon Focus software. The result is excellent and shows sharp details at all levels. There are many objectives available which can produce high quality variety details shots.

35mm Details Lens

Click on the images below to show them at full size

Overall Images of the "Money Shot"

Nikon 4x Objective 5-Image Stack

Crops of the MM Area to show Image Quality

Taken with different lenses and techniques

75mm Full-Coin Lens with 2x Teleconverer

Summary Table of Variety Details Techniques

75mm Full-Coin Lens Smart-Cropped