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Time to get serious about coin photography

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As I mentioned last year, I picked up a Nikon D40 DSLR for what turned out to be a disappointing eclipse.  Even so, it's a great camera, and I have plenty of old Nikon glass I can still use with it, even if I have to focus manually.  And long time readers will have read my despairing comments over the quality of my coin photography.

What I have is the D40 with the stock 18-55 auto lens and remote IR trigger, plus manual 50mm f2 and 85-205mm f3.5 lenses, and a bellows attachment.  And I think I'm forgetting another lens or two.  Also a 1.25" T-mount, but I don't think my telescope is going to be relevant here. :D  Also, pretty much any relevant filter (various NDs, circular polarizing, that sort of thing).

What I don't have is a tripod that will let me easily get directly over a platform, so I'm thinking I can set up something at an angle and aim at that, as long as I match the angle of the camera to the angle of the platform.  I do have an enlarger, but no copier stand, and I don't know that I can mount the camera to it.  I'm confident that I can cobble together something to hold a pane of glass at a 45° angle with equal amounts of trial-and-error and hot glue.

So I come now to the collective wisdom of CoinPeople.  I know I must be forgetting something, because there's always something I forget, so what am I forgetting?

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Nice tripods are not very expensive and will save you a lot of work and headaches. It needs to be sturdy but not backpackable and so the older metal models will keep the cost way down. 

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Oh, I have a tripod -- I have three, actually -- but none of them have the extender bit that will let me get the camera out a little ways so I can photograph straight down without having to deal with tripod legs.

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