View Full Version : Can soft/pictorial lenses be used on stereo cameras?

Steven Tribe
20-May-2010, 13:15
Something completely different!

Has anyone thought about, or experimented with, soft lenses on a stereo camera?

Background is that I have a 13x18cm plate camera with the facility for mounting the separation septum.

I know most of the soft lenses available are biggish and the chances of owning two identical are almost zero. The camera I have is with a sliding board so a single objective would suffice but limiting subject choice, of course. I was thinking of small petzvals and landscape meniscus.

Does anyone have any idea of what the viewed image would look like? Perhaps it would only give the viewer a headache?

20-May-2010, 13:30
I think it would be different dependent on whether you use black and white or color, if you are using non color corrected objectives.

Peter K
20-May-2010, 13:40
Does anyone have any idea of what the viewed image would look like?
Like a stereograph taken with a softfocus lens. :D

Why should such an image give the viewer a headache?

20-May-2010, 13:52
Like a stereograph taken with a softfocus lens. :D

Why should such an image give the viewer a headache?
For the same reason a shallow depth of field can give the viewer a headache in stereo, for example!
But it's definitely worth a try! You can always 'fake' to see how it looks like by adding soft focus effects to a stereo pair you already made, just to see..
I'd be curious to see how a stereo petzval image turns out with swirly bokeh...

Steven Tribe
20-May-2010, 14:00
I thought that perhaps the time lag (when using a single lens) which must result in some change in the position of leaves etc. and the slightly different location of highlights/halo in the second exposure might create an even more "disturbed" viewed image.

20-May-2010, 17:34
the cooke soft focus lenses in f5.6 and 6.5 are fairly small......so arethe wollensak series II.....

20-May-2010, 17:50
i have a polaroid 500 portrait camera that shoots 6 or 8 images on a sheet of film
and i have made stereo images with it. the lenses are single cell ( like a landscape meniscus )
and it doesn't give a headache when viewed.
i don't think you will have trouble.

have fun !


Steven Tribe
21-May-2010, 01:40
I had forgotten that software is available to pair up images (standard photoshop?). So some kind of sliding mount ( 65mm) would allow experiments with larger lenses on a single tripod/stand position?

Ernest Purdum
27-May-2010, 12:09
You don't even need Photoshop, just a divider or some way of covering one then the other side of the film while you move the lens.

Jay DeFehr
27-May-2010, 13:32
I've been thinking about this, and I'm confused about a few things and hope some of you learned gentlemen might educate me. I understand moving the lens to approximate the eye positions, but I'm confused about the purpose of the divider/septum. If a single lens is to be used, couldn't one make one exposure on one full sheet of film, slide the lens, turn over the film holder, and make the second exposure on a separate, full sheet of film?

8x10 user
27-May-2010, 13:44
I swear I saw a soft focus stereo camera one time a few years back.

27-May-2010, 16:01
The triplit lenses used in Realist and cheaper stereo cameras such as Kodak in the 1950s were (unintentionally) soft focus, even when stopped down to f:8. Check out some of the slides from those days and you'll see what you're missing.

Steven Tribe
27-May-2010, 16:11
You are right of course Jay. But as they are viewed in pairs, the general idea was to save on material and have the registration of the 2 "halves" approximately correct - ready for contact printing. You would have to make a special viewing system for 8x10 stereo pairs , for example, as Victorian and newer system used much smaller images.

Jay DeFehr
27-May-2010, 17:17
That makes sense, Steven. Thanks for the clarification.