TDC Stereo Vivid
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Why bother with a twin?
With a slide board and a single camera, you
can create stereo pairs. This is ok for still-lifes, but any motion
between the two exposures leads to flickering in the final images. With
the long cycle times of digitals, flicker from moving leaves, birds, mice, and
people is very likely. The solution is to capture both images at the same
Capturing two images at the same instant requires two shutters, two apertures, two lenses, and two "film planes". In the film world,
stereo cameras have been made for years, and there are many models from which to
choose. Unfortunately, there are not yet any digital stereo cameras on the
market. If you want a digital stereo camera, you will have to build it
yourself. Inspired by notes I've found for twin Olympus XA, a Kodak
DC-20 twin built by David Grenewetzki, a DC-20 based stereo camera by David
Burder, and (later) a Kodak DC3800 twin built by
I chose to "twin" a pair of cameras rather than
trying to build an honest-to-goodness stereo camera. Using one controller
to perform focusing, metering, and shutter control would result in the best
possible images. It's much easier
to grab a couple of still digital cameras and fire them at the same time.
If they are both the same cameras, their metering and white balance should come
out fairly close to the same.
What camera to use
|For my first twins, I chose to use a pair of Canon A5
compact digitals. The A5 was introduced in 1998 and operates at
resolutions of either 1024x768 or 512x384.
||For my second twin, I chose to use a pair of Canon A100
compact digitals. The A100 was introduced in 2002 and operates at
resolutions of 1280x960, 1024x768 or 640x480.
||For my third twin, I moved up to a pair of Canon A200
compact digitals. The A200 was introduced later in 2002 and operates
at resolutions of 1600x1280, 1024x768 or 640x480.
|Built late in 2000 - In retirement
||Built 7/02 - Lost or stolen
||Built 10/02 - In use
twin A5 story
||The twin A100 story
||The twin A200 story
A5 Version 1.1
- narrow wooden mounting rail
- 1/8" jacks
- solid core wires
- separate handle
A100 Version 0.9
- "packable" form factor
- strictly portrait orientation
- fixed spacing
- no external jacks, wires, or switches
- rubber band tension members
A200 Version 1.0
- Higher resolution than A100
- Precision alignment
- All other features of the A100 twin
A5 Version 2.0
- extruded aluminum rail
- stranded core wires
- molded 1/8" plugs with strain relief
- tripod mount
- attached handle
A100 Version 1.0
- 3M 5200 adhesive
- not quite right alignment
A5 Version 2.1
Version 2.0 with the following additions:
- third mounting hole for left hand camera to allow for very hyper
- integrated wrist strap on right hand camera
- integrated spirit (bubble) level under the rear edge of the bar, aligned
with the right hand LCD
- thumb screws to hold the cameras to the bar
|I no longer have my twin A100. I accidentally left
it in the trunk of a rental car in Burlington Vermont. By the time I
called back (three hours later) the car had gone back out and the camera
was never seen again.
If you see my twin somewhere, please let me know. I