View Full Version : Sinar /Winnek 8x10 3D Scanning Camera

4-Jul-2008, 11:02
This is my camera - It was willed to me after the inventors death. Doug Winnek is well known in the history and development of Autostereoscopy - 3D with the unaided eye.
I worked with him, his wife and this camera and its predecessor, an 11x14 scanning camera, for 15 years in the Carmel Valley, CA.
Its a Sinar P 8x10 back and bellows with a Burke & James Lensboard with a Packard shutter. A 12 inch Kodak Ektar Commercial Lens. The Back and lens travel on a track, offset from each other according to the focus plane of the subject. A screen is imposed on the film during exposure, also travelling.
I am in the final stages of restoration and am ready to shoot soon. It produces amazingly detailed 3D images right out of the camera. I have done portaiture, architecture, landscape, product and computer graphics, including MRI in 3D with this camera.
Is anyone familiar with this process, or any large format 3D applications?

Some images:


2-Aug-2008, 10:42
Sorry, pics & video removed. Here's the patent:


Bob Shrader was the engineer who built Doug's camera design.

150+ views and no replies....

Bruce Watson
2-Aug-2008, 10:53
Is anyone familiar with this process, or any large format 3D applications?

Not a clue. Post some images; show us what it does. Might be interesting.

Ben Syverson
2-Aug-2008, 11:30
Yeah, I'm curious as well...

7-Aug-2008, 09:38
Thanks for your interest.
The images this camera produces require viewing in person with both eyes to perceive the stereo effect. I prefer to exhibit them as backlit transparencies, but can also be viewed as reflective prints. The Winnek camera belongs to a general family of 3D scanning cameras. A similar design, the "Bonnet camera" also moves during exposure, although it travels on an arc, creating distortion in background subjects with good 3D in the main subject. The Winnek Camera travels in a straight line, with true distortion free perspective from 3 ft to infinity.

7-Aug-2008, 09:56
That sounds really interesting. Can you post an image made by that technique?
A monitor is like a backlit image. Or do you need a lenticular lens to view them?
What I dont really understand is how does it prevent the image from smearing while the
camera moves?

11-Nov-2008, 13:04

Drew Wiley
11-Nov-2008, 14:52
3D prints have been made in the past called Vectographs. Dupont made a special film
for this application, for direct viewing (no colored glasses needed). A complicated process requiring precise registration.

11-Nov-2008, 17:38
Actually Vectographs used the polarizing filter effect to isolate the left and right views, but needed to be viewed through polarizing glasses.
Seen here:

11-Nov-2008, 18:12
Can't you pls. post some images of what the camera does? Sounds incredibly interesting.

Nathan Potter
11-Nov-2008, 19:09
Still not a clue!

The first independent claim seems to be incredibly awkwardly written and thus not clear on what is actually being patented. It appears that this is a three dimensional image formed using a diffraction grating. By moving the grating some fraction of an inch (250 micrometers is cited) two images displaced transversely can be formed on a single sheet of film but precisely how this yields a 3d view is unclear. Is this some sort of version of the famous Nimslo camera? It does sound interesting. Are there any LF 3d whizzes around?

Nate Potter, Boston MA.

13-Nov-2008, 10:28
The camera captures a 3 dimensional image on a single sheet of film. The camera bed moves during exposure - the lens moves at a different rate, depending on the bellows draw. The image is not "smeared" due to a moving screen over the film during exposure. The screen is used to view the processed film image in 3D. Lenticular material can also be used for viewing.
Here's a clip of the camera in motion:

13-Nov-2008, 11:02
Thanks for your interest - patent claims are a different language, agreed.
The thing that distinguishes this system from traditional 2 image stereo, and more recently Nimslo type 3,4,5 and beyond multiple image cameras, is that it captures a continuum of image data between the 2 points of travel, the travelling grating exposing the constantly changing scene to fresh unexposed film along the way.
I hope this helps. This is the only camera of its type to my knowledge, and I'm the only person proficient in its operation. I would be thrilled to change that situation!

16-Nov-2008, 13:32
Trinar, interesting thread, interesting 3d concept. I have a lot of stereo photography knowledge... I will share a few thoughts... I would appreciate your comments....

First, this camera can only effectively shoot static subjects. As it appears the the lens re visits the same subject area several times, to gain added perspective points, which is recorded onto the film. This of course limits the applications greatly vs. multi lens cameras which can fire all its shutters at once. This could be a collection of cameras on a slide bar, or a Nimslo type camera...(based on subject distance)

Second, if the subject is static, today, with digital cameras, you can move a single camera on a slide bar in pre measured increments and take continued exposures. In the end, a simple 10MP camera will yield more pixels of image quality than this 11x14 single piece of film. Of course the reason is, the number of shots is almost limitless..... the limitation of image capture, will exist in the display method. In your case, the 11x14 piece of film is reduced into many low-rez snap shots, all interlaced. So as for 3d image quality, by todays standard, I would consider it marginal at best. Remember, the lenticular grating over the film is further degrading image quality, in addition, LF lenses in general are low resolution vs. smaller format lenses.

Next.... since you must view the image with a lenticular grating, the camera itself is not performing a specific task which is not easily reproduced today with multiple cameras, stereo cameras, swing cameras on an arm, or even new high rez "moving" video capture. View the "Human Eyes" web site, it will provide you with all the modern tools and techniques to accomplish these same tasks for under $1k. They also sell the lenticular grating and software to make all this work effectively. Even today, the lenticular gratings are the limiting factor of final resolution.... Lenticular gratings have other shortcomings, such as viewing angles. The beauty of todays systems is, you can print any size image you desire. With software, now you can convert 2 images into great lenticular shots...as the number of perspectives are not that great in number.... there is specialized software on the market that performs these tasks, with user assistance.

So as I see it....what this inventor did was....he created a single camera system (vs. multiple cameras) that captured a "static" subject in 11x14 lenticular format. The film you processed was the film you viewed with the "same" lenticular lens type used in the capture. This provides you an instant 3d effect with min. work. This method eliminated multiple shots, multiple film rolls/sheets, multiple processing, registration, printing, etc. etc. and, you got a decent size 3d image when it was done. As I see it, this was the systems claim to fame.

However, IMO, today all these benefits have been completely trumped by newer technologies. In addition, as you probably know, 11x14 color tranny film is no longer made, so now the image would be reduced to 8x10 at the largest. If the system has any merit today, it would be its ability to produce very cost effective "one-up" 3d lenticular images of static subjects. This assumes the lenticular lenses are readily available today, without a significant investment into new molds. And even if they were, how big is the "one-up" lenticular market?

So, unless I am missing something, I see no practical use of this "lenticular capture" method in todays world. Like most inventions these days, they are superseded by technology is a VERY short period of time. But I must admit, it sure is a clever camera system.

My suggestion is, keep the camera, it will be a collectors item someday, as most "one-up" cameras have become....

BTW, Fuji has announced and shown this year at Photokina, a new stereo digicam. It addition to stereo digital capture of non static subjects, the software will take the two images, send it to Fujis new lenticular printer (consumer models $500) and print lenticular images about 8x10 or maybe up to 11x14. With this system, you snap, download image into PC, press print...and you will have a "one-up" lenticular image. Pretty amazing, huh....These products will be released mid 09 based on Fujis press releases.

18-Nov-2008, 01:25
Thank you for your input!
Once I got into the stereo imaging world, I became familiar with the whole family of cameras dedicated to capturing the third dimension. Sounds like you got the 3D bug too! From Realist through Nimslo and beyond into multi-digital capture systems. Video too. Friends of mine have dual 6x6 rigs - one is for underwater stereo. Speaking of Nimslo, a friend of the Winneks and mine and a 3d icon, David Burder in the U.K., made a 12 lens camera out of 3 Nimslos and gave it to me.
I do not argue with your points against the camera. Its a cumbersome beast that is best suited to still life and static subjects due to the time of the scan - although, Ive produced some stunning portraits. Some people can sit still for 10 seconds. However, anyone that views these images does not argue that it is simply the best, most real, clear, perspective correct and incredibly detailed 3D image they've ever seen. The distinction this camera has over other multi image systems is contour - countinuous, uninterrupted flowing change of parallax information within the scene. (The details of the cameras unique ranges of motion are contained in the patent referenced above) You really see way around things. Similar to a holographic image, but the advantage of regular full tonality photography. It just looks real. And the film size (8x10, not 11x14) allows me finished print sizes from 8"x10" to 4'x6'. Im having some 28" x 35" prints made for 40 LPI lenticular. Thats only a 400% enlargement from 8x10 film. So sharp and detailed it will talk to you. No grain, no pixels, ever.
I agree with you on the limitations of lenticular material. Doug designed and pressed his own. I am finding some quality custom sources lately, and have been impressed with the samples Ive seen. Personally, I prefer viewing trasparencies through a grating. Reflective prints must be viewed with lenticular.
On the future commercial viability of this or any 3D imaging system, there are some interesting developments in cost effective offset reproduction - always a stumbling block for publishing in 3D. Kodak has a "KODAK FLEXCEL NX Digital Flexographic System" That apparently handles lenticular registration well. In my constant search for new advances in 3D, I have been disappointed in what trends I've seen regarding content. Basically flat cutout 2d images, floating in a processed lenticular space. Tacky and disposable. No contour to say the least. Or, as you referenced, 2-image stereo processed and tweened to fill out a full lenticular ridge. At least the image was stereo to begin with. But no real contour, again.
So... you know, I am so happy with my "One off" images, and Im developing a lot of local interest in portrait sessions. I'll be taking it to Yosemite next spring. I want to do the statuary in Italy. Its a lot of fun having the only camera of its kind in the world, and I would invite anyone in or coming through CA with an interest to look me up and come over for a viewing.

18-Nov-2008, 01:54
Trinar, do you have any samples you could sell? I have a lot of lenticular prints, some up to 40", some back lit, front lit, etc. I would like to see one of yours, assuming you have enough lenticular screens to offer such...

On the lenticular front, the industry is getting very close to making some breakthroughs in grating resolutions... from what I have heard, resolution could double in the next 2 years. This would be huge. However, lenticular still has many issues that have always prevented it from becoming more main stream. It should be interesting to see if Fuji's new lenticular printing overcomes many of these issues...it will certainly bring the technology down to the consumer level.

As for the lenticular images appearing like floating 2d images.....this is a condition called card-boarding effect, as it appears the subjects are cardboard cut-outs. For lenticular, this is hard to avoidas their is a limited amount of perspective positions the grating can display. If this new hi-rez grating technology becomes feasible, this will greatly reduce this issue. For portrait work, since the subject is close, and their is relatively shallow Depth of Field, this shines the brightest light on your type of lenticular.... as you can get very distinct perspective changes during capture. Clearly the sweet spot of your camera.

If you really want to see some awesome 3d imagery, for very low cost, try a Med. Format viewer. they also make MF stereo cameras...



18-Nov-2008, 02:23
The sweet spot of this camera is from 3 1/2 feet to infinity. I can focus on the hyperfocal distance and everything from infinity to 1/2 the distance to the hyperfocal distance is in stunningly sharp 3D with an uninterrupted, continuous plurality of perspective image information.

18-Nov-2008, 02:32
Medium format stereo is truly awesome, especially when projected. (Polarized)

18-Nov-2008, 02:35
> The sweet spot of this camera is from 3 1/2 feet to infinity.

The purpose of the camera is to produce 3d effect. This effect is produced by subject deviation by the different perspectives the lens captures, at different positions. From your video demo, the lens separation, or perspective positions are limited. Due to the limited number of gratings on the lenticular lenses, if all the perspectives do not produce deviation, you will be viewing a 2d image at certain angles. The lens spacing vs. distance relationship is what creates the deviation.... at infinity, or anywhere near infinity, you will have no deviation. This is true of all stereo cameras, hence why they all require relatively close subjects to create sufficient deviation that your visual system can recognize and interpret as depth. This is why I suggested your camera is very well suited for portrait type distances.

As a general rule, subjects beyond 60 - 100 fl's will not have much 3d effect....specially when the resolution is low, as the deviations become so small, they are down to pixel level or grain level....

18-Nov-2008, 02:52
Yep - traditional stereo rules apply here. Somewhat. We have one lens travelling a distance during exposure. I can vary that distance from 3 to 12 inches. A lot of stereo pair, multi image concepts need to be put aside to begin to understand whats happening here
In mounting traditional stereo images for viewing as you probably know, you determine the "window" -that plane in the image which neither resolves in front or behind. This camera determines that window during the exposure. I agree there is a point of diminishing returns stereo-wise as subject matter recedes into the distance, but again, this camera records it faithfully. The 3D photographer has the added joy of composing his shots on the Z axis as well as X & Y. The operator of this camera sees the full scan in the ground glass before exposing film.

18-Nov-2008, 11:49
I woke up this morning thinking of the irony of defending my analog film photography over digitally processed images on a Large Format forum!
There are a lot of neat digital imaging gizmos out there and in the works, and I love them all. I take zillions of snapshots with my beloved Olympus digital. But film is the palette of photography for me.

20-Feb-2011, 21:39
Harold, ...hope you are still available. I just saw your post from 2008 about Doug Winnek's camera.

I happened to be doing some historical research for a new web site I'm trying to put together and I though that Doug might belong on my list of visionaries and contributors to the art of 3D and lenticular imaging.

And so I'm in the process of trying to write a bio on Doug, having never met him, only heard a few stories from people like Bill Cunnally and Dave Roberts.

You sound connected, ...I think you said you worked with him, ...and of course you have one of his cameras.

If you have some time, or you're in a generous mood, I'd appreciate some input from you on my project, ...it would be greatly appreciated. Maybe someone already has a bio of Doug readily available ...!?

Anyway, anything you can contribute or add would be great. You can contact me here or at john@lpc-world.com