Before the dawn of digital apps that can transform ordinary pictures into 3D images, there was the Nimslo camera. This unassuming little black box was able to create 3D photographs with the help of its unique 4 glass lenses and advanced technology (for its time).
The Nimslo took advantage of lenticular printing to create 3D images out of 35 mm film. Each photo took up 2 frames instead of the regular single frame (18 3D photos can be produced with a 36-exposure film roll). It was touted to be an advancement in photographic technology when it was introduced but sadly it wasn't received well commercially. Jerry Curtis Nims and Allen Kwok Wah Lo were credited for the creation of the Nimslo camera and its corresponding lenticular printing process (although other types of lenticular printing were also present during the time of its conception).
Four fixed focus glass lenses snapped two-dimensional photographs that varied in little in perspective but when spliced together, form a single 3-dimensional photograph. This is where the special printing process comes in. The Nimslo used a LED light to put a green dot in the exposed film that serves as a guiding point for the printer. The lenticular printer then cuts the images into vertical strips that create the desired 3D image effect.
The recent work of photographer and visual artist Josh Ethan Johnson featured the Nimslo and its 3D capabilities. His images-turned-GIFs offer a somewhat refreshing approach to portrait photography.
The Nimslo may seem like a novelty camera with its quirky four-lens setup but its charm still endures especially for fans of the 3D printing process and camera collectors. There's really more to the Nimslo than meets the eye.
Photos Taken by Our Community
Lens: Quadra Lens System: Four 30 mm, f/5.6, Air Spaced Triplets, with Coated, High Index, Optical Glass Elements Pre-focused 6' (2m) to infinity
ISO: from 100-1600 with provision for 1/2-step setting
Shutter: double lamellar type (diamond shaped) Automatic, Electronically Programmed Speeds from 1/30 to 1/500 Second
Exposure: automatic exposure set to be used with 100ASA and 400ASA film, CdS Cell measures light to program shutter speed and aperture size for best combination to achieve correctly exposed negatives
Film Type: 35 mm
Winding Mechanism: manual, manual film rewinding with button and crank
Dimensions: 137 × 74 × 43 mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 325 grams without case, 423 grams with batteries
Battery: three (3) No.386 Eveready or Duracell, Silver Oxide Batteries. Equivalent batteries are: Maxell SR 43W, Panasonic WL11 and Ray-O-Vac RW24/44
Explore our collection of Lomopedia articles from the Lomography Archives to learn more about films, cameras, lenses, and accessories!