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Adventures in stereo photography

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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Adventures in stereo photography
    Posted: 06 May 2019 at 12:15
A niche subject, I know, but my interest was kindled when there was a talk by Denis Pellerin, curator of Brian May's photographic and stereoscopic collection and closely involved in May's London Stereoscopic Company, on the stereo photographs sold by Spiers and Son in Oxford in the late 1850s (https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson/whats-on/upcoming-events/2019/april/victorian-oxford-through-the-stereoscope).

I learned how easy it was to take stereo pairs with one camera (snap, move a bit to the right, and snap again) and how smartphone apps can translate the source pictures into side-by-side stereo pairs. Even better, Stereo Photo Maker (http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/stphmkr/) is a free program that does all the work and can use your own camera's images easily.

So here's an example: a pair of images taken on my OnePlus 3 phone and made into a stereo pair by the software:


Headington Cross stereo photograph

Then I thought, hang on, I've got more cameras than I can shake a stick at and, blow me, two of them are NEX-7s. I have a 16mm prime and a 16-50 zoom. On Amazon I found a Neewer twin-flash bracket for £8 and I'm away ...


Stereo NEX-7 setup

First up though, a manual stereo pair of the cameras on a monopod, taken with my A7 III and Samyang AF 35mm lens:


Stereo NEX-7 cameras

The advantage of the pair of cameras is that pictures can be taken at pretty much the same time because the good old knock-off Remote Commander you see in the picture above will trigger both cameras at the same time (more or less, it's not perfect), and with a 2-second delay you have the chance to get the remote out of the field of view.

So here are some stereo NEX-7 pairs of some scenes down by the river in Oxford:


Stereo alley down to the Isis


Stereo Head of the River


Stereo Isis at Oxford


Stereo musicians

I quite enjoy the layers of depth in the last pair.

I appreciate that this is quite arcane. Most people here won't have stereo viewers, nor will they be able to do that unaided viewing that some can do. If you're interested, a cheap viewer for cards or smartphones is the Lite OWL from May's company (http://shop.londonstereo.com/LITE.html), though it's out of stock at the moment. In Oxford they're selling a pack of the 19th century Spiers and Son stereo photos together with the Lite OWL for a tenner, which is good value.

Thanks for looking, and comments welcome. One question, does anyone know how to trigger two A7s at the same time?
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pegelli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 12:54
^^ Great Howard!

And easier also to see in 3D using a Loreo-Lite 3D viewer (but you need to adjust the magnification to have the size of the images in the right range)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 16:57


TY! GREAT SUBJECT! totally my cuppa T!
and nice results! (dug up the stereo glasses from under the dust. bit difficult to watch since your pics are displayed so largely -but hoping it's me-. ;-)
shame supposedly not everyone here has a drawer filled with 3D necessities. isn't there some sort of hack for stereo glasses? like certain dioptre reading glasses or ? ?).


if I recall correctly 'a bit to the right' should be 6.7 cm, the average distance between the eyes.
(many have a rig to prevent shifting. as that would really make you dizzy).
we also used to have the free 'anaglyph maker'. (and 'stereo-maker' indeed).

a great 3D pic can be so very cool. hard to beat a horse sticking his head about a meter into your living room (through the tele AND the 'stereo-frame') or to have a broomstick poking your eye out. ;-)
a brilliant experience!
my absolute favourites are phantograms though.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantogram familiar?
http://terryfic3d.com/Flowers_sku133.html
to be watched through red/cyan glasses -or transparant candy wraps or whatever- ).

after lots of digital DYI recipes (involving Sony cameras) through the dutch stereo-photo club and Loreo stuff, the 1st digi 3D cameras hit the market and we were in awe.
this is my gear, a Fujifilm W3 camera.
+ a 'WA' device
also have a digital Fujifilm lenticular photo frame.

hope you'll persue this venture? looking FW!


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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 18:20
Hi Howard. Really pleased you opened this discussion as my wife treated me to the LSC Victorian Gems Nest Box for my birthday last month. It is beautifully presented and exceptionally well made and has given me considerable interest in 3D photography. (I have even looked at the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 online but they sell for about £500 NOS on eBay).

I created a 3D template in PS and have dropped your images in to it and, with a little resizing and manipulation, they work very well using the OWL that came with my Nest.

Another door opens......

TFS

Brian
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 18:34
Thanks, both, for your comments and suggestions.

First, I find that I can view these best on a phone (if you follow the links through to Flickr and view from the Smartphone app with a 3D viewer, they merge well for me). My phone has a diagonal of 5.5 inches, which is better for the parallel viewing.

I have ordered some red-blue viewing glasses from Amazon - they tell me that for 73p they'll come all the way from China; then I'll try some anaglyph outputs and will look again at how well the 3D Sweep Panorama works in the NEX-7 camera.

I am new to the idea of phantograms - they look intriguing. Coincidentally, I was looking at a book today (Amazon link) that has an accompanying app that displays AR illustrations that I can now see might be rooted in the idea of the phantogram.

Yes, I want to go further with this - trying out other focal lengths and indeed using full frame bodies.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 18:39
Brian, that's a good viewer - they had plenty on show at the talk I went to last week. An upgraded version has a magnetic plate at the back that will hold your phone while it displays the stereo pairs. I think handled with care the standard OWL will do the same - modern smartphones are not hugely different in size from the cards used in viewers of a century or more ago.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 18:54
Originally posted by angora angora wrote:



TY! GREAT SUBJECT! totally my cuppa T!
and nice results! (dug up the stereo glasses from under the dust. bit difficult to watch since your pics are displayed so largely -but hoping it's me-. ;-)
shame supposedly not everyone here has a drawer filled with 3D necessities. isn't there some sort of hack for stereo glasses? like certain dioptre reading glasses or ? ?).

Ine, most browsers will react to "crtl"- and "crtl"+ to change the zoom ratio. "crtl"0 will put it back at 100% default.

At least that's what I use with my viewer to get them to the correct size
Pls. all vote for the April Foolishness exhibition here All members can vote!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bigsi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 19:42
Well my eyes are a bit fuzzy now but I managed to to view these very well! In fact I found your photos with the nex 7s easier to see than the phone with the software, they are really effective, super work!
You win or you learn....
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 May 2019 at 22:59
Originally posted by pegelli pegelli wrote:

Ine, most browsers will react to "crtl"- and "crtl"+ to change the zoom ratio. "crtl"0 will put it back at 100% default.

At least that's what I use with my viewer to get them to the correct size

TY Pieter!
I thought of that ...later!
it's a fact though that stereo pairs are usually presented much smaller. unless it's for people with huge eyes?
perhaps accompanied by a large 2D pic?


500 quid for a Fujifilm W3? still?
(I just saw https://www.amazon.com/Fujifilm-FinePix-Real-Discontinued-Manufacturer/dp/B003ZHV70M ).

it is in the original price range of more than 500E. bought mine through Marktplaats (the dutch Ebay) for E250.
brandnew. because it came as a prezzie with 1 of the very 1st pricey 3D television sets. since then many more 3D cameras were launched.
(lots of effort -from Fujifilm- to provide me with the last lenticular photo frame in the country, originally developed for the W1 camera.
-and therefore unable to display 'the better' W3 videos-. set me back E365. :-S).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2019 at 10:01
To answer my own question, I have just discovered that the A7 bodies have an IR sensor and of course that these can be enabled. This now raises the prospect of a dual A7 Mk I/Mk III stereo camera setup, assuming I can find appropriate pairs of lenses (and that the Remote Commander knock-off is compatible).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2019 at 18:59

it's a shame, Brian -and Howard?-, that it's a long swim that separates us. as you would be more than welcome to use my 3D stuff. (needless to add it's quite addictive? ;-)). it's a rather small camera that produces enchanting sounds when opened/closed. ;-)
output is good (10mp), even more since no one needs 42mp for stereo pairs. only anaglyghs can be blown up?

taking a stereo image requires a mind set. technique is basically to do all that is 'not done' in photography, unless you are a postcard shooter (you know, pictures framed by tree branches n such). more is more!
creating depth through foreground interest is crucial.
when I finally bought my 1st DSRL in 2011, I really had to get used to those flat 2D images. ;-)
biggest trick (MO) is to shoot things going through 'the stereo frame', to make the kind of images that really pop (out). a thin line.


there are several digital 'real 3D' cameras on the market. lost track because I'm no longer a member of the dutch 3D club, unfortunally. they tested them all and provided us with info and reviews.
of course, you should be able to find all info on the WWW?
a few things to bear in mind though?
many of us like to view our images on a huge tv screen. in that case the output is important. my W3 saves images as MPO + jpeg files. which for instance a Sony tv is not able to display, not the MPO that is. actually the number of 3D tv's that are also able to display 3D images is very limited. (!)
(so after our 2nd Sony tv went to heaven -they don't last long-, I bought an LG (in 2011). it came with a set of nice 'normal' glasses, not the battery loaded light flashing supersonic kind that can easily drive you mad). it's not capable of showing 3D videos though.
about the obvious revival- there seems to be a blooming market for ancient stereo stuff. and loads of stuff as well. seen many auctions on Catawiki?
and lots to be found on the internet nowadays.
back in 2006 the world of 3D was THE book on the subject.

turning images into lenticulars can be pricey. 1st of all you need software that 'shreds' and prepares both images. had an address in Denmark for lenticular sheets. (you know, the ribbed plastics on - often curling- 'instant 3D cards' or on the small cards that 'flip'). we could also order cards through Fujifilm in London. they charged E5 per lenticular card.
(the lenticular photo frame is a normal glass frame that shows pics in 3D -think Harry Potter? ;-) - ).


you just can't pair up any 2 cameras to shoot in 3D Howard? (I think? ;-)). distances are crucial.
initially Co van Ekeren was the wizard, responsible for the rocket science behind the synchronization of shutters.


phantograms are essentially (mostly) anaglyphs that pop up. like anamorphic trompe l'oeils...
https://www.julianbeever.net/index.php/phoca-gallery-3d
https://www.boredpanda.com/44-amazing-3d-sidewalk-chalk-artworks-by-julian-beever/
https://kurtwenner.com/pavement_gallery_1.html
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2019 at 20:41
Lots to mull over there, Ine. And yes, do call me Howard.

While I don't plan to pair up *any* two cameras, I am interested in getting similar ones to work together. I'm curious what happens when L and R lenses use different apertures, or perhaps when the two lenses are of different focal lengths. This is what happens in twin-lens smartphones now and I'm interested if playing around in photoshop can produce single images with an unusual bokeh, or whatever. I imagine these programs can't do anything like the hard-coded smartphones of today, but has anyone tried? Links welcome!

The NEX-7 saves 3D Sweep Panoramas as MPO and JPEG. I don't have a 3D TV so that avenue for viewing won't be open for me. But I can turn the MPO into an anaglyph (the side by side is too wide for viewing, I find). I like side-by-side pairs becaude they are simple to view and effective on a smartphone.

I appreciate the offer to try out 3D gear. I do come to NL once or twice a year (my wife is Dutch) and it would be just a question of telling people early enough and finding a day that works in a limited window of opportunity. I've seen the Fuji W3 for sale used on Amazon for £299.99, which is too much for me. I'm keen to open up these new things with as little extra outlay as possible!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2019 at 14:46
don't know what else to call you? except perhaps Howard_S? (but usually very polite ).
what I meant with 'any' 2 cameras was rather '@ any distance', since distances -between lenses- seem to be crucial? (since you can never see in 3D with just one eye). while hyper-stereo requires a different set up.
found some rocket science though?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereo_photography_techniques

I think the use of different FLs and/or apertures is a recipe for dizziness. (unless it's the base for a 2D pic, as you said).
anaglyphs are always nice, if ghosting isn't too bad? red/green - red/cyan glasses are (cheaper and) easier to get? (and to hand out).

you made me curious about that NEX! about the Fuji W3 (the very 1st 3D Fuji was the W1 btw)- just before the big 3D revival, we had to buy 2 of everything. cameras, lenses, film. and then all had to be synchronized. going digital meant finding (on the 2nd hand market, thus 'cheap') and buying 2 identical Sony cameras, which set me back E 500. not much later the 1st digi 3D cameras were launched and we were over the moon!


my initial quest was to find a recipe for 2D > 3D conversions.
3D advertures began here shortly after the death of my husband.
because of the unavoidable 'circus' after a death, financial affairs and much more, (leaving one not a sec to mourn), I was in Middelburg. after having dealt with whateveritwasthistime, I was totally fed up with the matter, (thus f.i.n.e.! as my friend L. from Sedona would say: "frustrated, irritated, neurotic AND emotional, so yes, I'm fine!" ;-)) and ended up in a bookstore.
where they had amazing cards on display.
it was december 1, 2005 and I was in awe.
and kept thinking how nice it would have been to have 3D photos of Tur, my husband, as well. and of my father, our rabbits, dogs and so on.
and recalled my father telling how he got overrun by in train at the movies as a youngster. during the previous 3D hype).

the following years I totally immersed myself in 3D. all 3D, not just pics. (also 3D models + my fave proggie Eon software's 'Vue Infinite', that was 1st used to create backdrops/lush scenery for 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and later became part of the Disney toolbox and was used for the scenery in all of the later Indiana Jones movies and so on.
and got a job as beta-tester (for 3D content: models, morphs, textures, scripts and 2D PS content) for a company in Buffalo, NY). hence my interest in 3D? so addictive. ;-)


where is your wife from? i.e. where do you usually stay?
(small country, but still? ;-)). recall you met up with Jet in Gouda?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 00:26
I wasn't very clear about using two different focal lengths - I meant in making a single image, merging the two components. Some Smartphones do this for example to improve bokeh in close-ups. I can't imagine I would have much success!

When my red/cyan glasses arrive I'll make an anaglyph with the NEX-7; in the meantime if you search for 'nex-7 3d sweep panorama' you'll find some samples on various sites presented as stereo pairs - which can be used as the basis of further conversion.

That's a fascinating personal 3D history, and great to be involved in creative aspects of the industry.

We used to visit my wife's family town of Hoorn in the Netherlands, but more recently take in other locations as friends and family have moved around the country. Yes, I did meet Jet in one of the smaller Dyxum mini-meetups (just the two of us!), but I was glad to see new corners of a town I didn't know that well. There's plenty more to visit yet.
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