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3D stereoscopic images - a journey of discovery

#Stereoscopic images when viewed correctly create the illusion of depth and can be quite startling in their effect.

From a small boy, I have always loved these images spending hours in my primary school viewing images from around the world and getting lost in them.

It has been, therefore, a natural progression from my work with antique cameras and processes to explore the world of 3D image making and viewing using not dissimilar cameras. However the price of a reasonable antique example is high - and getting higher following the trend of a growing interest in the field. So I set about making my own - adapting my largest field camera - a 10x8" 'New Countess' from c1890.

The first problem was finding two identical lenses. I solved this by taking the objective lenses from an old pair of binoculars. With a focal length of about 4" these were to work quite well.

The second problem was making a divider or "septum" to keep the two images separate from one another on the film/plate. A sliding black-paper arrangement worked out well.

The third problem was to make a shutter arrangement of suitable speed.

For the X-Ray film I use (ISO100) this would be approx 1/30s.

However using photographic paper as film with its much slower speed (ISO4-6) allowed me to use a method of covering and uncovering the lenses for several seconds.

To achieve the 1/30s speed I employed a strip of wood with two equally sized slots in that could pass behind the lenses and expose the film. Add an elastic band gave the arrangement the necessary speed.

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