3D Photography using a camera with a bit missing.

When most people do photography they use a camera with a bit missing (otherwise known as a single lens camera). However, single lens cameras reduce the 3D world around us into a single plane of a screen or piece of paper; the images are flat. Flat photography can be impressive, but images become amazingly real when you see the depth in an image when seen in 3D. You see the image exactly as it was when you pressed the shutter. It brings back memories of holiday photos so much more vividly when you see the depth in an image. 3D photography is more complicated than flat photography, but in my opinion, it is so much more rewarding.

3D photography is much simpler with a twin lens camera, but you can use a single lens camera for 3D photography by taking sequential images. You need to take 2 images, moving the camera about 65mm (2.5”) to the right between shots. Keep the camera at right angles to the imaginary line between the lens and subject. It is much more reliable to use a slide bar to move the camera across the field of view and the results are more consistent. The closest object in the image should be no closer than 2m (or 30 times the lens displacement), if you include subjects at infinity.

Processing the Images.

Download the free software StereoPhoto Maker from http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/index.html. Transfer the images to the computer, open StereoPhoto Maker and open the pair of images. They will appear side by side on the computer screen. Click on Auto Align and then Save. 

Viewing 3D images on the computer.

Full screen side-by-side images can be viewed on a computer screen using prismatic spectacles. I use a pair of NVP prismatic specs from http://www.nvp3d.com/en/shop, (approx. £10). Adjust the positions of the prisms so that your left eye only sees the left image and your right eye sees the right image and the images jumps out in 3D with amazing depth.

Glasses-free 3D Viewing.

Some Smartphones have a barrier screen which allows 3D viewing without using a viewer, eg the RoKiT IO PRO 3D, DoogeeY6 Max 3D, or the Elephone P10 3D. Simply transfer your side-by-side images to the SmartPhone and see them in glorious 3D. Some of these phones may no longer be available, but they come up on Ebay regularly.

Using a simple viewer.

For images from 130 to 175mm wide (5 to 7”); you will need a simple 3D viewer such as the Lite Owl designed by Brian May available from; http://shop.londonstereo.com/LITE.html, £4.50, or the Loreo Lite viewer from; https://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/loreo-lite-fold-flat-3d-viewer-one.html.

Take your 3D viewer (Lite Owl or Loreo) and adjust it to the correct distance so the image is in focus, align the viewer so your left eye sees the left image and the right eye sees the right image and the image should jump into 3D. Try it out; it really is very simple.


Looking at the side-by-side images on a computer; adjust the image to appear no wider than 130mm (5”) and try to defocus your eyes so that they look straight ahead, with lines of sight parallel, as if viewing Magic Eye photos. You may see 3 images; if so, concentrate on the central image, which should appear in 3D.

For further information on 3D photography see the Stereoscopic Society website; http://www.stereoscopicsociety.org.uk.

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