Back to playing with cheap cameras with plastic lenses. This time with the stereoscopic Holga camera from the lomography mob. According to wikipedia the Holga was originally manufactured in the early 1980′s as a toy, and an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events.
The camera takes medium format “120″ film, and the crazy one I purchased, has 2 lenses exposing onto one piece of film to create 2d images. The idea is the two lenses are positioned at a similar distance appart as human eyes, so when viewing the images with one isolated to each eye, your brain simulates a 3-dimensional image.
I have recently learnt that you can actually view these images without a stereoscopic viewer to help you eyes isolate each image. This is achieved by swapping the left for the right image so you can view them in a cross eyed manner -much like you would when viewing a “Magic Eye” image. You just need to know how to trick you eyes. This link does a pretty good job of explaining how to achieve the 3d image.
Here are a couple of images I have taken with this camera. Click to view at a larger size that is easier for your eyes to achieve the 3d image.
This first image was shot with 100 iso fuji colour negative. The picture was shot at dusk. It’s funny, since scanning the negatives, I have not done any colour grading on this at all and it has turned out looking like its a strange picture from the surface of Mars or something. I was really happy with it:
This second image was shot with 100 iso slide film, at Lake Elizabeth in Victoria’s Otway Ranges.
I do really like the way these lenses lose focus on the edge of frame and vinget in the corners a bit. Its funny to think with these ‘imperfections’ the images still line up quite well.
For anyone wanting to try and play with the stereoscopic imagery I have found that there is definitely an ideal subject distance range where you will get the most out of the 3d appearance. Images to close to camera can be a lot for you eyes to focus on and the image your mind forms feels very fabricated. Objects to far from camera have a similar parallax so they look too similar and no sense of 3d dimension is felt. So, in my opinion, objects distributed in varying mid ground depths best sells the 3d effect.
This example shows the images from each lens laid over each other, with each of the images assigned to a different colour channel. If you have a pair of the more old style red and blue glasses hanging around you will be able see a monochromatic 3d image from this example. Im not as interested in this method of 3d viewing because of the colour loss, and you must have glasses to see the image.
For further reading here’s the wikipedia page on stereoscopic viewing, which is more technical and thorough.