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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 Posted: 28 February 2021 at 23:24

Liquid nitrogen storage /stereo
NEX-7 | LA-VE1 | Vectis V 22-80 zoom

Two images using the so-called 'cha-cha' method and assembled in Stereo Photo Maker for parallel side-by-side presentation.
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bonneville View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 14:06
I rather think my clunky attempts at constructing a photo card using a photoshop template and trial and error placing of images are over, for I am now a new user of Stereo Photo Maker.

Reluctant to install a windows emulator on my MacBook I have been missing out on the Windows only program written some years ago by a Japanese 3D genius. So I decided to splash out on a refurbished Windows 10 PC so that I can run the latest version and didn't realise how affordable a refurbished machine with a guarantee is. I only downloaded it yesterday and had a quick play, to produce a sudo-old stereo card of our local garden centre taken the day before on the Fuji 3D W3. It isn't very good but represents for me a major step up in the world of Stereoscopic photography:



My next efforts will be better I feel sure, but compared to my previous posts I'm pretty chuffed with this program.

(I'd also forgotten what it was like in the Microsoft world )


Edited by bonneville - 01 March 2021 at 14:10
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 17:17
Great stuff Howard and Brian, as soon as I scale the pictures on my monitor to the right format they show nicely in 3D with my viewer.

At a photo workshop in 2018 the instructor had a 49 mm filter thread stereo contraption that you could put in front of a standard lens (45 - 55 mm focal length) and I used it for a few hours. It gives about two vertical half frames on a full frame sensor, only the dark stripe inbetween is not very sharp, so it needs quite a bit of Lightroom and Photoshop effort to create something presentable.

I have 38 frames that way and I'll post some here (the better ones).

This is the first one, a crucifix in the garden of the house we were staying for this workshop.



A7 + FE55/1.8 CZ + "stereo contraption"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 17:49
That works very well for my "free viewing" (once I reduce image size by 2 x Cmd-). Indeed there are multiple layers of depth to look at with the foliage. Comparing the two images there doesn't seem to be very much off set, refer to the structure at 10 o'clock against the left border. Yet as a stereo it works perfectly. And with a splitter contraption too.

(I enjoy looking at these, it is relaxing and today has been stressful as Ollie, my 7 year old Goldie is poorly and I'm waiting for a call from the vets to see if he is staying in overnight or whether I can pick him up this evening. He was given a steroid injection during our first visit this morning for an infected wound to which he seems to have had an adverse reaction and had to be rushed back. I'm sure he'll be okay.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 17:53
Sorry Howard, I thought I had commented on your Liquid Nitrogen

Indeed the comments I made for Pieter's above apply equally to yours. I love the "layers" of pipes and valves that really pop when the eyes capture the "middle" image.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 19:15
Thanks, Pieter & Brian - I like the depth effect in all these pictures, made in three different ways: one camera, one lens, and two captures; one camera, a stereo lens adapter, and one capture; and two lenses, one camera and one capture.

There is a difference between the two images that Pieter provides - you can see a yellow leaf just to the right of the upright of the Cross - it's nearly obscured in the left image and plain to see in the right. These cues are repeated throughout the image and contribute to the overall depth effect, I think.

TFS!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bharnois Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 March 2021 at 19:23
Cross your eyes just right and presto!! Cool.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 April 2021 at 22:08
Continuing my exploration, I have been taking some stereo photos handheld sequentially, using the so-called cha-cha method (moving the camera a small distance between shots), and then relying on Stereo Photo Maker to iron out the kinks.


New Biochemistry in 3D stereo

One consequence is that material surplus to the core stereo view gets disposed of, and in these cases I am left with a rather tall and thin portrait view.


Beecroft Building tree in 3D stereo

(You may need a viewing aid for the second pair.)

Finally an icon in British street furniture


Parks Road telephone box in 3D stereo

Rather sadly this box is losing its shine, though I like how the 3D works through in to the interior - with an actual landline telephone inside.

All NEX-7 and E PZ 16-50
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 April 2021 at 14:27

Tree /stereo | NEX-7, E 16 F2.8, VCL-ECU1
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2021 at 12:35
With apologies, Iíd like to continue documenting what Iíve done exploring stereo 3D photography with Sony Alpha cameras.

When I started this thread I had taken two NEX-7 cameras, equipped them with similar lenses, mounted them on a tripod bar, and used the infrared remote to trigger both cameras at the same time.



They would fire capriciously: getting the line of sight for the control is important, and itís easy to trigger one camera or the other and if you succeeded in getting both cameras to go at the same time there might be as much as a second or so between the shots. This is fine for still shots, but not good enough for pictures where there is any movement or action. You might as well use one camera, the cha-cha or sequential stereo capture, and leave it to Stereo Photo Maker to sort out later. If you want to capture movement you need better synchronisation or a dedicated stereo camera with two lenses like the Fuji W3 or a film-era camera like the Sputnik or Stereo Realist.

I had ambitions to use my two A7 bodies (A7 and A7M3), but I wasnít aware of a way to trigger them synchronously. A wired intervalometer with a Y-cable splitter to the MULTI terminals looked promising, but it doesnít trigger both cameras at the same time.



Also the stereo base, the distance between the two lenses was getting too wide for normal stereo photography. A rule of thumb for creating images that are comfortable to view is that the closest object in the stereo image should not be less than 30x the distance between the two lenses. The two lenses above are about 13cm apart, and the set up pictured ignores one thing - the MULTI terminal is between the cameras, pushing the separation out to 16 or 17 cm. So a recommended close distance of 4m becomes 5m.

As I started to read about the subject and dived into online 3D photography groups I realised that the issue had been solved by Sony and had been taken up by different photographers over the last few years. A key event recently has been the release by Sony of the VMC-MM2 cable to link an Alpha camera to an RX0 action camera, a facility devised for event photographers. When the cameras are connected and the shutter on the main camera is pressed the so-called SUB camera fires at the same time. Undocumented by Sony, but promoted in the 3D world, is the fact that many Alpha and other cameras with the MULTI terminal will behave in a similar fashion. Some claim the synchronisation is down to less than a millisecond with identical camera bodies.

So far I havenít invested in the cable, because it costs £50 (which seems a lot). I have lots of stuff lying around and it seems sensible to see what I can do with what I have before taking that step. (You can sense I may yet buy this cable Ö .)

/contd
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2021 at 12:39
So, while exploring options I have for the moment improvised a MULTI to MULTI cable system using the detached ends of intervalometers for the cameras. Typically at one end of the cable is a 2.5mm mic-style plug. Ideally two of these would connect via a 2.5mm Female to Female cable, but no one seems to make this. Briefly a Female to MULTI cable was sold (ĎDSLRKIT Shutter Remote Terminal Convert Adapter Cord E3F-S2Mí on eBay and Amazon, link), but this is not currently available.

My personal breakthrough came when I realised that the Intervalometer would complete the circuit and provide the linked functionality.



When I press one shutter the other fires at almost the same time. Itís better than the IR controllers but still not good enough for action or movement. I suspect the Intervalometer might have something that could delay the signal, or it could be that the response times of the two cameras are different.

A different problem comes to the fore now - itís not very portable! Two cameras, two lenses, a camera bar, a monopod, it all adds up.



And itís a shame I canít use the Intervalometer to fire both shutters. However, it seems to work and with Stereo Photo Maker it is relatively easy to make the stereo pair, here presented for side-by-side parallel viewing.



/contd
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 April 2021 at 12:40
Then my second lightbulb moment came - I have other cameras with MULTI terminals. Sadly the NEX-7s are ruled out, but I do have an ILCE-QX1 and my wife has a DSC-HX90V, and these can be linked via the MULTI terminals. First time out I got it wrong



Look at the gap forced by the cable ends. A quick switch



and things are much better. The stereo base is down to about 8cm, which is good for subjects 2.4m or more away



Of course the sensor sizes and the image quality of the two cameras are very different, but when viewing in stereo the differences are less apparent when the brain fuses the two images together.

When I took the photos both cameras were set to make standard JPGs and P or iAuto was used to determine the exposure. Zoom was set to 24mm equivalent in both cameras and after minor adjustments in Lightroom were output to similar sized JPGs. Stereo Photo Maker does a fantastic job in aligning the two images and setting the stereo window in the right place. It is possible to crop the stereo image to fit a desired output aspect ratio or to remove differences in the 3:2 and 4:3 source photos.

Synchronisation is not perfect, but better than with the two A7 cameras at the top of this post. In one pair of test shots with the smaller cameras (see https://adobe.ly/2Qx8QJn) I photographed a car passing straight in front of me. The two captures suggest the car travelled around 60cm between them, and if the car is travelling at 30 kph that means thereís a difference of 72 ms between them (given all the guess work involved the actual figure is between 50 & 100 ms, I suspect). As I mention above, some users claim a synchronisation of 1 ms or less when the VMC-MM2 cable is used.

My next aim will to be to go on to the street and see what results are like there with people walking about, not cars zipping by.

Thanks for looking and following these ramblings and musings. Comments, queries and corrections will be most welcome.


Edited by Howard_S - 16 April 2021 at 12:45
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bonneville View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2021 at 08:43
Howard, your exploration knows no bounds. The last one of your garden works perfectly although they all fit the bill of creating a 3D effect. It really is amazing how far back stereo photography goes but equally amazing that it remains very much a minority genre. Thank you for keeping it going and experimenting with alpha cameras and lenses.

I took my 3D W3 with me for a brief visit to Peterborough the other day and managed a couple of late afternoon shots of the cathedral which I hope to post here later today. Time to fire up the Windows PC and run SPM
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Post Options Post Options   Quote bonneville Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 April 2021 at 16:40
And here are a couple of samples from the front of Peterborough Cathedral. They are quick and dirty by loading the MPO files into SPM, auto-aligned and without any cropping or processing saved as classic side by side stereo cards. Reduced in size for Dyxum post.





Taken with Fujifilm Finepix 3D W3 digital camera

I'm on a mission now to try mounting two Sony RX100iii cameras together and fired via the Pixel TW-283 remote.



Edited by bonneville - 18 April 2021 at 16:43
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