Several of La Sardina's features make her a great choice for doing stereographs. Read on to find out what I did with my La Sardina.
La Sardina is a super-fun camera that’s great for doing lomography. Some of the same features that make her a great choice for lomography also make her a great choice for doing stereographs. Stereographs require two images – one for the left eye and one for the right. There are lots of ways to view them and there are free programs available that let you convert a stereo pair of images into various kinds of stereographs. My favorite program for converting stereo pairs into stereographs is Stereo Photo Maker which is available here in English, French, German, and Japanese
There are several ways to make the stereo pair of images. The most basic way is to take a picture, move the camera over by about the distance between two human eyes, then take another picture. One problem with this method is that if anything moves between the pictures it will not line up properly and will flicker in the stereograph. Another problem is that difference in the angle in which the picture was taken will make it more difficult to line up the pictures. Another solution is to use a stereo camera like the Holga 3D Stereo Pinhole camera or many others available. Those are a good solution, but some of them can be very expensive, and they tend to be big and heavy. Many stereo cameras produce half-frame pictures which lack the resolution and quality of a full-frame picture. They also produce images with a narrower horizontal field of view than a standard 35mm camera which almost defeats the purpose of a stereo camera. Yet another solution is to make or buy a stereo mounting bracket which allows you to mount two identical cameras on a tripod. This is a good solution that lets you obtain great 3D images. The problem with this solution, however, is that it’s big and bulky.
There is another solution that can also yield pretty good results if you happen to have two identical cameras and they happen to fit together nicely. You can just tape them together and operate the shutters simultaneously. That’s what I did with my two Sardinas:
I mentioned before that La Sardina has a few features that make her a good camera for doing stereographs. One is her shape. She has nice flat sides that fit flush against each other. It’s difficult to tape together cameras have have rounded sides like most new ones do. Also, when you tape them together like this you can still attach both flashes like this:
That eliminates the problem of having to synchronize both shutters to one flash. Flashes placed like this actually enhance the 3D effect when the images are combined. I also experimented with taping La Sardinas together like this:
This placement still allows you to attach both flashes, but it makes the assembly more compact. Even though this assembly was easier to hold, it was more difficult to fire the shutters simultaneously and it produced pictures with a narrower horizontal field of view, so I ended up preferring the first setup.
Another convenient feature of La Sardina for making stereographs is that she comes in many colors. I always shot with Cubic on the right and Domino on the left so that I wouldn’t get confused. Before I shot any stereographs I took a picture of the accordions that came with each one so that I would know which film strip was shot with which camera:
I put a spirit level on top of the cameras in the picture because it’s important to keep stereographic cameras level, but I ended up not using the spirit level for most of the pictures.
Some more features that make La Sardina very convenient for stereography are the extremely wide-angle lens and the large depth of field which means that everything is in focus. That’s important for creating the illusion of depth where you want to take pictures of things close up and far away.
These are the pictures I ended up with after I organized the stereo pairs and processed them using Stereo Photo Maker:
The following pictures are red/cyan anaglyphs. You’ll need red/blue stereo glasses to see these in stereo:
I think I got pretty decent results without much effort. Even the portrait mode stereographs came out OK because the extremely wide lens had an adequate horizontal angle of view even holding it sideways. I could have gotten even better results by using a tripod, shutter release cable, and spirit level to reduce blur and make the pictures line up a bit better, but this would have defeated the purpose which was to make a light, compact, easy to use stereographic camera.
Overall, I was pretty happy with the results. What do you think? If you happen to have two Sardina’s you should give this a try.
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