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Perhaps the first stereo SLR-rig for underwateruse, EVER?


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#1 Kimmeineche

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:34 AM

With the risk of beeing called something between totally mad and crazy I want to show what I've been experimenting with for the last 12months and dreamed about for more than a decade.....

Actually I've been dreaming of doing this since I meet my dear friend Søren Hertz-Christensen in 1997 http://www.sitecenter.dk/sorenhertz .

At that time, Søren was using his homebuild/modyfied Nimslo pocket-cam, doing underwaterstereophotography. I remember how impressed I was on this strange thing and words can’t describe the breathtaking feelings I went through when I saw his stunning stereoscopic images on the silverscreen showed and viewed through polarized filters and glasses with a double (homebuild) slideprojektor..... Totally lost in an almost unreachable dream of doing something like Søren, I continued to do normal underwaterphotography with my Nikon F90x. Learned a lot from a lot of other photographers, but the stereoscopic dream still ghosted around in my mind untill I bought a second Nikon D200 camera for backup. Suddently, some day......with two Nikon D200 housings in my hands, the dream could possibly become real... at least above the surface!!!. Googling words like “stereophotography”, “stereoscopic”, etc., for days and nights I found a suitable LANC-controller to syncronize my two D200 cameras with the strobes. A few days after I also bought two 18-70 optics, second hand and before I realized it myself I took my first real steps into stereoscopic photography! Pretty happy myself with the results from my “above surface stereo-rig” I almost lost interest for doing underwaterphotography for several months.
With just a little hope, I did some few experiments underwater with one camera, mounted on a slidebar..... coulden’t almost belive that this seamed to work as well, even it demanded quite good viz.
With a beathing heart I ordered a second Nexus housing with domeport for my second D200 to prove if my dream could stand. With priceless help from another very good friend of mine, I made an underwaterhousing for the LANC-controller. Stealing bulkheads, glands and cables from my old Ikelite F90x housings, and F100 Nexus housing I managed to connect the LANC-controller to the two D200’s in their Nexus-housings and the strobes.

Except from the first time I entered the water with my homebuild/modyfied rebreather I can’t remember any time being more excited than the day I left the surface with my underwater stereo-rig (2x16mm Nikon fisheyes behind FP170 domeports) for the first time.
Returning home from the testdive, I was flushed by an incredible feeling when I had the prove on the monitor, right in front of me! Some of the images was mounted in “Photostereomaker” (A free program that means the same for stereophotographers as Photoshop does for other photographers). I feelt so releaved........ YES.....it WORKS, it WORKS!!!!! FINALLY..... 10 years of dreaming had turned into reallity!!!! While I almost can’t wait to visit wrecks in the Northsea, Norway, Croatia, etc.... I was still not able to do stereo-macro-photography underwater.
More nights and days followed by googling and finally I found a suitable beamsplitter for separating the two cameras optics. Mounted with 2x60mm Nikkor Micro AFD2,8 optics I put the cameras into a macro setup. Full of happiness I discovered that this rig is working at least as well as my wideangle setup.

You might ask me if it worth it all but after all this I can only say YES, ABSOLUTELY!!!!! I know it’s a very heavy and bulky rig (About 14kg above the surface) but nothing I’ve ever seen in trade can do the same as my rig.....I’ve been dreaming for so long to put the wrecks and underwater wildlife from the dark nordic waters into Stereo/3D and now I fianlly have the tool in my hands!
May be something much smaller and perhaps even better might show up in the trade in the future but the happiness of building and developing something yourself is definately not included then!

More to follow will probably show up, but so far you got these images to cover my story!

The best greetings from.... Kim Meineche! :)


All the redish/blu-green pictures must be seen with the socalled anaglyph glasses

The "double-images" are socalled crosseyeviews for those who mastering the technique! :-)



http://www.photosub....09_0122_web.jpg











http://www.photosub.dk/wetpix/warig02.jpg

http://www.photosub.dk/wetpix/warigdok01.jpg

#2 echeng

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 12:52 PM

Kim -- that is FANTASTIC! Congratulations -- I look forward to seeing more of what you and your new rig are capable of producing.
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#3 rtrski

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 06:47 PM

Do I see a section in an upcoming WPQ that has me crossing my eyes? :)

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#4 stewsmith

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 12:08 AM

amazing stuff and i can only imagine those images really popping out of the screen 3D style. I need to get a pair of those glasses so i can see you results, i am sure my nephew has a pair somewhere so i will be speaking to him tonight. It must be so rewarding for you to have achieved this. It would be great to see a selection of you images printed at a dive show or gallery.

congratulations on your achievement

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#5 Jcdignan

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 12:13 AM

Hi kim,
Congratulation, it's a great job !

Can you tell us more about the LanC controller ? if you have a link...

Cheers

#6 PRC

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 03:32 AM

That is all such a cool story.

Congratulations.

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#7 Kimmeineche

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:35 AM

Thank you All!

Nice to see how interested you are in this subject! :)

The anaglyph way is not the best way of watching these images, but since a lot of people having a pair of these red/green-blue glasses it seems to be a good choice for the presenting of my project here on wetpixel. Compared to the polarized way the anaglyph is missing a lot of color and is quite sensitive to the socalled ghosting-effect in high contrast areas with big diversion in the image. Well, ghosting can also be a problem with the polarized way, but the colors are much, much better.

The LanC-controller is from www.Berezin.com (http://www.berezin.c...lr_shepherd.htm)
To use it for my underwater setup, I also needed an extra pair of cables, that was cutted in pieces the same day they arrived, and soldered with new connectors to fit the wires from the Ikelite and Nexus bulkeheads.

For those who are interested, the mirror for the macro setup is from www.stereoscopicmirrors.com
I bought the 50/50 1/8" mirror and so far it looks to resist the water..... To prevent it form dry salt, calcium, etc,. I do flush the mirror with freshwater and dry it with compressed air after diving..... don't know how much it actually can stand from drying it with towls, papers, etc. Have only been using (Gentely) a cloth that is meant for glasses and this kind of tool doesn't seem to harm the mirror.

It's another part of the story, but in these moments I am also finishing my new 3D display, consisting of 2 19" LCD monitors. To see what it's about please take at look at Uwes (German Genius) setup at: http://3dbruce.blogs...3d-monitor.html

With this I'll be able to watch my images directly on the mirror, with polarized glasses in top quality. Nice for a couple of people at the time......
For a bigger audience I got my digital images (After mounting them in "Photosteremaker") converted to slides and show them with 2 slideprojectors with polarized filters and glasses. This kind of view demands a socalled metalscreen/silverscreen because the light can't get polarized on a normal white screen. In the future I probably buy 2 DLP projectors, but at the moment, these are still outrageously expensive and still seems to miss a lot in performance compared to real slideprojection! :-)
Thanks to the new digital age, it is VERY cheap to buy slideprojectors of top quallity, second hand for a resonable price, since many of these seems to have retired over the last decade.

Well, I'll keep you informed with my projects... things are running pretty fast right now... Half part of me wants to finish the projects at my home and the other part wants to be in the water, using both the wideangle and macro rig to do some more stereoscopic underwater images! :)

Questions are more than welcome.

All the best.... Kim! :-)

Edited by Kimmeineche, 12 May 2009 - 10:41 AM.


#8 Hani Amir

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 02:20 AM

Man that stereo lobster one looks really cool! :)

Got anymore? :)

#9 Kimmeineche

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:39 AM

Hi Hani and all others who might be interested:

Hunting for more stereo-images and wanting to get more comfortable with my new macro-setup, I was out in my local area this weekend, but the viz was very poor (less than 2 meters) so all I can show you for now is these (in anaglyph):

http://www.photosub....d170509_035.jpg

http://www.photosub....d170509_072.jpg

http://www.photosub....d170509_009.jpg

http://www.photosub....d170509_022.jpg

http://www.photosub....d170509_030.jpg

http://www.photosub....d170509_031.jpg


The best greetings again from Kim! :-)

Man that stereo lobster one looks really cool! :P

Got anymore? ;)


Edited by Kimmeineche, 17 May 2009 - 12:18 PM.


#10 DuncanS

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:01 AM

Cool stuff, however I am getting funny looks at the dive centre sitting looking at the screen cross eyed!!!!

Good luck with your projects....

Duncan
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#11 allen

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 08:52 AM

I grabbed some glasses and these are fantastic - I love the 3d Lobster.

#12 Kimmeineche

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:13 PM

Thank You Allen and Duncan!


So far the lobster is my favourite macro-subject too... easy to get in position and very impressive in 3D with the claws and antennas.

When I do 2D photography I prefer to look at the subject from the side... when I do stereo-photography I mostly look at the subject from the front og from the back, making the subject come out of the screen. Quite a different way of thinking/looking! :-)

The best again from Kim! :-)

#13 Undertow

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 08:37 AM

that is some awesome work kim. i'm not too familiar with stereo images, can you explain what the polarizing filter is for? cheers,

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#14 Kimmeineche

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 09:49 AM

Basically seen every stereoscopic photo consist of two images. These images are shot at the same time with the cameras in line, separated in a distance which is very close related to the distance from the cameras to the subject.

To watch the pictures like one stereoscopic picture, it is necessary to sepparate the pictures to each eye and this is exactly what the polarizationfilters can do together with polarization glasses.... this makes it possible to watch only one of the pictures to one of the eyes and you get the 3D-vision exactly like you perhaps know from the cinemas with 3D movies.

unfortuanetly in danish only, but an ilustration on this site
http://www.geocities...projektorer.htm
should give you an idea!

Best greetings... Kim! :-)

Quite


that is some awesome work kim. i'm not too familiar with stereo images, can you explain what the polarizing filter is for? cheers,

chris


Edited by Kimmeineche, 21 May 2009 - 11:46 PM.


#15 Kimmeineche

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:29 PM

To those who want to see a few live-pictures of my macro-system I was on local television today to show my project and tell about my experiece in underwaterphotography!

http://www.tv2r.dk/r...x?id=485840&r=6

Unfortuanetly only in danish language!

Best greetings... KiM! :-)

#16 mexwell

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 04:36 AM

Hello Kim,

great results... Congratulations!

I read on some 3D webpages like http://www.rbt-3d.de...mp;changelang=4
that a 6,5cm clearance between the lenses is best.
How much has your setup? I read that a larger clearance has impact on how the 3D effect
appears and you might get a miniature-effect if it is to large.

Edited by mexwell, 02 January 2010 - 04:36 AM.

Best regards

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My Website with Pictures and HD movies Last update 01-2010

#17 Kimmeineche

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 08:01 AM

Hi Mexwell.

First of all, thank you very much for your commend!
You are right about the 6,5cm distance between the lenses, but this rule is basically connected to a setup with 35mm lenses in FX-formate.
Roughly said, the distance between the lenses (35mm in FX-formate) must be about 1/30 of the distance to the front of the subject.
More distance between the lenses will for sure result in socalled hyper-stereo with the miniature-look. But if you ask me and perhaps many other 3D-photographers, you can often get away with somthing quite far from this rule.... even this subject is discussed like a "religion" between some other people! :-)

My rig has 17cm between the lenes, but I use fisheyelenses (16mm and 10.5mm) which seems to compensate a lot for the bigger distance between the lenses.
I think the mathmatics in my case are rather complicated because of at least two things:

1: Affect from the domeport when getting underwater
2: The mathmatics on fisheye-lens is quite different from a rectangular 35mm lens?

Another thing is, that these fisheyelenses themselves can make big subjects like people, etc. looking small because of the big DOF.....it just depending on how far away they are in the picture.

It could be nice and interesting to see all the mathmatics on this subject on a pice of paper, but unfortuanetly I'm more a guy who goes to see if things works out in pratice so I just made some experiments and find it to work nicely.... see the results (For instance http://wetpixel.com/...t...3855&st=80) and judge for youself, if you like! :-)
I know that different people looks through different eyes so commends are more than welcome and should be interesting to discuss.

The very best regards from Kim Meineche! :-)


Hello Kim,

great results... Congratulations!

I read on some 3D webpages like http://www.rbt-3d.de...mp;changelang=4
that a 6,5cm clearance between the lenses is best.
How much has your setup? I read that a larger clearance has impact on how the 3D effect
appears and you might get a miniature-effect if it is to large.


Edited by Kimmeineche, 02 January 2010 - 08:05 AM.


#18 echeng

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:05 PM

Kim -

I'm also interested the separation distance between lenses (and what has worked best for you). I've tried shooting topside with dual SLRs and have had problems because the separation of lenses is so great -- around 5" is the closest I can get them, that that is shooting both vertically. They are even further apart when shooting horizontally.

It would be fine if I were shooting large objects from very far away, but I've not found a way to get the lenses close enough together to shoot typical subjects that are close. Of course, it is easy to shoot 3D with two point & shoot cameras...

This is all topside -- the optics may change underwater, of course...

Also, my tests were with 20mm, 24mm and 35mm lenses. It may be that fisheye lenses are required with such great separation distances between lenses.

Congrats on your success in shooting digital 3D underwater!
eric cheng
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#19 cjmoranuk

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 12:18 PM

I asked CJ to get his 3-D specs from out of his Guiness Book of Records. His first reaction was Wow! Stuff the DSLR Dad. I want to shoot 3-D...

Have you any idea how a 12 year old u/w photographer can haemorrage a bank account...? :-)

(posted in error on CJ's profile)

Edited by cjmoranuk, 02 January 2010 - 12:19 PM.

Sea & Sea DX 8000G, Sea & Sea glass and a pair of YS-25 strobes

#20 Kimmeineche

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 03:13 PM

Hi Eric!

I just measured the lensdistance (center to center) on my top-side rig to be 16,4cm, which is also consisting of 2 x NikonD200 like my underwater rig. That said, all my topside stereopictures so far are taken with dual NikonAF-S 18-70mm 3,5-4,5ED, mostly between 18 and 35mm with a distance to the subject between 1,5 to 10 meters..... look at this webpage and go down to the gallery of "Kim Meineche: Frigate Jylland 2008": http://stereoskopklu...eobilleder.html
These are all pictures from my early topside setup and shooted vertically.... later I mounted the cameras side by side on a homemade aluminiumbar which can be switched by a henge for vertical photography in a second. My underwater rig has the camerahousings mounted inside the underwaterhousings at the moment and I'm too lazy to take them out, but tomorrow I can get hold on a 5th. camera to take a picture of my topside rig.... then you can see how it's all made.

Are you sure your problems aren't connected to the mountingpart of the pictures.... it's very important that the pictures are mounted correctly, so the front of the subject on both pictures match each other.... that's here you get a very big help from the "Stereophotomaker", the free program, that will more or less find the socalled stereo-window automatically when it retceives the left and the right picture that you take from the start.... go an take a look at this webpage from were you can also download the "photostereomaker": http://3ddigitalphoto.com/make3d.asp

If you still have problems, just feel free to send me some of your sets of stereopictures and I will mount them and save them in singlepictures before I return them to you. It's very very easy as soon you know how to do it.

Underwater I mostly shoot in distances between 1 and 1,5meters and as I menssioned, this works quite good as well with fisheyelenses... I think there is a big difference in using a rectangular 20mm lens, compared to a circular 10.5mm fisheye .... but again.... ALL my pictures goes through a mountingprocess in the "Stereophotomaker" before they can be seen as an exact stereopicture!

Best regards again from Kim! :-)

Kim -

I'm also interested the separation distance between lenses (and what has worked best for you). I've tried shooting topside with dual SLRs and have had problems because the separation of lenses is so great -- around 5" is the closest I can get them, that that is shooting both vertically. They are even further apart when shooting horizontally.

It would be fine if I were shooting large objects from very far away, but I've not found a way to get the lenses close enough together to shoot typical subjects that are close. Of course, it is easy to shoot 3D with two point & shoot cameras...

This is all topside -- the optics may change underwater, of course...

Also, my tests were with 20mm, 24mm and 35mm lenses. It may be that fisheye lenses are required with such great separation distances between lenses.

Congrats on your success in shooting digital 3D underwater!


Edited by Kimmeineche, 02 January 2010 - 03:41 PM.