35mm Film Twin Rig #capturing #nonDigital #howto #twinrig #3d-cameras


Dave Ross
 

Hi all. I'm new to the group and looking to discuss an old topic: building a 35mm film twin rig. I'm sure many of you have experimented with this over the years (or maybe not for many years), but any input would be appreciated.

I've been shooting Realist, Viewmaster and chacha 35mm for about two years. My preferred format is slide film, and my preferred viewer is an 8p Realist viewer (recently modified by George T.). Making a hyper/slidebar rig with some form of simultaneous triggering seems very doable, but I'm more interested in the 60-80mm stereo base. Looking around at auto-advancing SLRs and even point and shoot cameras quickly reveals that the mechanics of camera bodies won't allow for the lenses to be much closer than ~110, even with one flipped. There are some compact point and shoot cameras from companies like Olympus that would probably be the closest I could get. Has anyone made attempts at this?

The Canon T70/80/90 SLR would be my ideal choice so I could reuse my favorite FD lenses, but that would be in the area of 115mm minimum stereo base. I'm not sure I want to buy a twin rig specifically for hyperstereo at this time. Belplasca and RBT seem to be creeping slowly nearer..........


 

Hi, Dave. Not quite what you are looking for, but I have previously used Olympus om-1n pairs in a hyper sbs arrangement with 135 mm lenses for close wildlife. Winders were used that could be plugged together with a common audio cable for good synchronization. Because of the winders, the setup would not lend itself to getting closer spacing by going base to base, and I don’t think you would gain much if anything with a zbar aRrangement. 

I also recall a twin rig made of two very small Olympus film cameras, back in the day. These were wired together and I don’t recall the model. Joel Alpers may have built these?

But the bottom line is that for trouble free normal base 35mm stereo, you might be far better off if you can find an RBT, or a realist 2.8 that has been widened. I am not sure if this can be done all the way to 8p, but definitely to at least 7p (European format). 

But if you are really set on a twin rig, then a pair of the smaller compacts by Olympus might be the ticket. Synchronization is always the challenge. But a double cable release or even “fingertip” synch will be better than cha cha. Good luck. Linda N


On May 26, 2020, at 6:35 PM, Dave Ross via groups.io <lcv_dave@...> wrote:

Hi all. I'm new to the group and looking to discuss an old topic: building a 35mm film twin rig. I'm sure many of you have experimented with this over the years (or maybe not for many years), but any input would be appreciated.

I've been shooting Realist, Viewmaster and chacha 35mm for about two years. My preferred format is slide film, and my preferred viewer is an 8p Realist viewer (recently modified by George T.). Making a hyper/slidebar rig with some form of simultaneous triggering seems very doable, but I'm more interested in the 60-80mm stereo base. Looking around at auto-advancing SLRs and even point and shoot cameras quickly reveals that the mechanics of camera bodies won't allow for the lenses to be much closer than ~110, even with one flipped. There are some compact point and shoot cameras from companies like Olympus that would probably be the closest I could get. Has anyone made attempts at this?

The Canon T70/80/90 SLR would be my ideal choice so I could reuse my favorite FD lenses, but that would be in the area of 115mm minimum stereo base. I'm not sure I want to buy a twin rig specifically for hyperstereo at this time. Belplasca and RBT seem to be creeping slowly nearer..........


 

The old twin rig that I was remembering was two Olympus XA2 cameras. I think they were hard wired in some way. Another user of this rig might remember. I am not sure what the width of the camera is, and what the minimum lens separation would then be in sbs orientation.

I had missed your parting reference to Belplasca and RBT earlier. Belplascas are nice too, but I personally preferred my modified Realist when I had one of each. I suppose that you would like an RBT that would accept your Canon lenses, if there is one. My RBT X4 uses Pentax mount lenses and I am not familiar with the details of other models. An RBT S1 is a marvelous camera without interchangeable lenses, but probably quite a bit more expensive (and rare) than other RBTs.  Linda


Michael Cosentino
 

Olympus XA2 was a popular wired twin rig. I still have mine.
Mike C.

On Tue, May 26, 2020, 7:48 PM Linda N <ljnygren@...> wrote:
The old twin rig that I was remembering was two Olympus XA2 cameras. I think they were hard wired in some way. Another user of this rig might remember. I am not sure what the width of the camera is, and what the minimum lens separation would then be in sbs orientation.

I had missed your parting reference to Belplasca and RBT earlier. Belplascas are nice too, but I personally preferred my modified Realist when I had one of each. I suppose that you would like an RBT that would accept your Canon lenses, if there is one. My RBT X4 uses Pentax mount lenses and I am not familiar with the details of other models. An RBT S1 is a marvelous camera without interchangeable lenses, but probably quite a bit more expensive (and rare) than other RBTs.  Linda


Bob Karambelas
 

>>  I'm not sure I want to buy a twin rig specifically for hyperstereo at this time. 

Well, for the sake of filling in info, Canon T70's work great and they are cheap. I never paid more than $30 for the bodies on eBay. I just hauled out a pair and it looks like the minimum base is about 135mm in a Z, and 150mm side by side. Not what you're after, but if you have some FD lenses, it's worth keeping in mind. Don't mess with T90's, I've read about a lot of problems with those as they age.

Anyway, I love the T70's for mild hypers and I still use them from time to time. Sync was always excellent, I've shot lots of baseball/football/trains/planes/cars with them and rarely notice any sync artifacts.

One caveat with any film twin rig, make sure the vertical alignment is good. Since you need to mount slides, there isn't as much room for adjustment as there is with digital.


timo@guildwood.net
 

Plenty of possibilities, all with positives and negatives.
Best choice would be an RBT, if you can find one. I had so much fun  with mine, I was forced to sell it. I took way too many pictures most of which I never mounted.
Many SLRs can get good synchronization but to get minimum lens separation, bottom to bottom mounting, you have to shoot portrait. They also make for a very heavy and clumsy rig.
You could also move to medium format. There are excellent, lightweight, antique Roleidoscope cameras, more recent but sketchy Russian made Sputniks, or good quality Chinese made TL120 cameras, with through the viewfinder metering and excellent glass.
There are also a couple of folios still floating about with MF slides and fairly enthusiastic members.

Lots to think about.

Timo

Sent from BlueMail

On May 26, 2020, at 7:35 PM, "Dave Ross via groups.io" <yahoo.com@groups.io target=_blank>lcv_dave=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi all. I'm new to the group and looking to discuss an old topic: building a 35mm film twin rig. I'm sure many of you have experimented with this over the years (or maybe not for many years), but any input would be appreciated.

I've been shooting Realist, Viewmaster and chacha 35mm for about two years. My preferred format is slide film, and my preferred viewer is an 8p Realist viewer (recently modified by George T.). Making a hyper/slidebar rig with some form of simultaneous triggering seems very doable, but I'm more interested in the 60-80mm stereo base. Looking around at auto-advancing SLRs and even point and shoot cameras quickly reveals that the mechanics of camera bodies won't allow for the lenses to be much closer than ~110, even with one flipped. There are some compact point and shoot cameras from companies like Olympus that would probably be the closest I could get. Has anyone made attempts at this?

The Canon T70/80/90 SLR would be my ideal choice so I could reuse my favorite FD lenses, but that would be in the area of 115mm minimum stereo base. I'm not sure I want to buy a twin rig specifically for hyperstereo at this time. Belplasca and RBT seem to be creeping slowly nearer..........


Ray M
 

Linda commented:
I also recall a twin rig made of two very small Olympus film cameras
There is a comprehensive step-by-step article with detailed photos on hard wiring a pair of compact Olympus XA1 cameras. These are amazing cameras with very high quality 35 mm f2.8 lenses

The resulting rig is very compact with lens separation from 100 mm (4 inches). The wider separation made this a great landscape/city scape camera.

If anyone is interested, just contact me direct and I will get a PDF copy of the 22 page 5 part article to you

Ray Moxom
Sydney, Australia


Bob Aldridge
 

Just for accuracy, there were a range of Olympus XA cameras. The XA was the original camera and had the excellent f2.8 lenses. The XA1 was a more budget camera with less options and f4 lenses. But it was more than a match for other cameras that could be similarly twinned. The basic connection was just to connect the two shutter releases in parallel I think David Burder and I were competing for who did it with XA cameras first :-)

And, somewhere, I have a siamesed XA camera...

Anyway, there were far more twinned XA1 rigs created - Martin Willsher in the UK would always have one or two ready to go that he offered at reasonable prices.

The other cameras in the XA range were also twinned occasionally.

Of course, at that time we weren't looking for sub-millisecond sync, but they were usually "good enough"

Bob Aldridge

On 27/05/2020 13:15, raymoxom@tpg.com.au wrote:
Linda commented:
I also recall a twin rig made of two very small Olympus film cameras
There is a comprehensive step-by-step article with detailed photos on hard wiring a pair of compact Olympus XA1 cameras. These are amazing cameras with very high quality 35 mm f2.8 lenses

The resulting rig is very compact with lens separation from 100 mm (4 inches). The wider separation made this a great landscape/city scape camera.

If anyone is interested, just contact me direct and I will get a PDF copy of the 22 page 5 part article to you

Ray Moxom
Sydney, Australia




Michael Cosentino
 

There were lots of Olympus XA2 rigs the XA1 was more difficult to hot wire for sync.
Mike C.


On Wed, May 27, 2020, 7:53 AM Bob Aldridge <Bob@...> wrote:
Just for accuracy, there were a range of Olympus XA cameras. The XA was
the original camera and had the excellent f2.8 lenses. The XA1 was a
more budget camera with less options and f4 lenses. But it was more than
a match for other cameras that could be similarly twinned. The basic
connection was just to connect the two shutter releases in parallel I
think David Burder and I were competing for who did it with XA cameras
first :-)

And, somewhere, I have a siamesed XA camera...

Anyway, there were far more twinned XA1 rigs created - Martin Willsher
in the UK would always have one or two ready to go that he offered at
reasonable prices.

The other cameras in the XA range were also twinned occasionally.

Of course, at that time we weren't looking for sub-millisecond sync, but
they were usually "good enough"

Bob Aldridge

On 27/05/2020 13:15, raymoxom@... wrote:
> Linda commented:
>> I also recall a twin rig made of two very small Olympus film cameras
>
> There is a comprehensive step-by-step article with detailed photos on
> hard wiring a pair of compact Olympus XA1 cameras. These are amazing
> cameras with very high quality 35 mm f2.8 lenses
>
> The resulting rig is very compact with lens separation from 100 mm (4
> inches). The wider separation made this a great landscape/city scape
> camera.
>
> If anyone is interested, just contact me direct and I will get a PDF
> copy of the 22 page 5 part article to you
>
> Ray Moxom
> Sydney, Australia
>
>
>
>
>




Pierre MEINDRE
 

In the '80 some people in the French Stereo Club were using a twin rig made with two tiny Minox 35.
The minimum base is the same as Ray described: 100 mm.

The trick to get an very good synchronization was to modify the battery cover so you don't have to open the cameras.
Take out the lens cover, drill a hole in it.
Solder two wires to the inside of the cover. The other end of the wires is attached to a push button so electricity is applied to the camera only when you press the button.

Now to take a picture:
- advance film on both cameras
- press the two cameras shutter buttons, no picture is taken at this time
- frame your subject and press the push button, both cameras fire with excellent (so I was told) synchronization.

They have good lenses and I think these Minox 35 can be found on the used market for a good price (below 100 € each).

Pierre.


----- Mail original -----
De: raymoxom@tpg.com.au
À: "P3D groups.io" <main@Photo-3d.groups.io>
Envoyé: Mercredi 27 Mai 2020 14:15:19
Objet: [Photo-3d] 35mm Film Twin Rig

Linda commented:
I also recall a twin rig made of two very small Olympus film cameras
There is a comprehensive step-by-step article with detailed photos on hard
wiring a pair of compact Olympus XA1 cameras. These are amazing cameras with
very high quality 35 mm f2.8 lenses

The resulting rig is very compact with lens separation from 100 mm (4
inches). The wider separation made this a great landscape/city scape camera.

If anyone is interested, just contact me direct and I will get a PDF copy of
the 22 page 5 part article to you

Ray Moxom
Sydney, Australia


 

In the '80 some people in the French Stereo Club were using a twin
rig made with two tiny Minox 35.
My first twin rig was a pair of the Minox 35 cameras. I was already
using the Minox 35 as my daily carry camera, so it was natural to just
get another one for twinning. But I did not know about this clever
trick to wire them together; I did finger sync.

Be aware that there were a couple of different variants over the years
(EL, GL, GT, etc.).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minox#Minox_35_mm_cameras

They have good lenses...
I agree -- it was nice to have a 'serious' pocket camera with image
quality that rivaled my SLR.

These are aperture priority auto exposure, and manual focus. Set the
aperture and focus for the hyperfocal distance and off you go. The
moderately wide angle lenses are good (IMHO) for general 3D.

...BC


Ray Cash
 

You might keep an eye out for a Twinned Yashica FX-3 Super 2000. Yashica/Contax lens mounts; 78mm lens separation; exposure light, otherwise manual everything. I bought mine on eBay for a fraction of what an S1 would cost. It's my go-to film stereo camera now.

Ray
Petaluma, CA


Depthcam
 

You are about 35 years late to the party !

Back in the early eighties, some of the members of the European 3D clubs - especially the Dutch and the French - made their own spliced SLRs.  One of the French members offered them for sale at one point and I contacted him to discuss a project of mine.  As we were exchanging, we heard news of a new Minolta model called the X-500.  So I chose that model and, as soon as it became available, it was turned into a 3D camera that I consequently used for many years.  I still have it today but haven't used it in years.

Just before I got into 3D in 1979, I had bought an Olympus XA as my pocket camera.  From the time I got into 3D in 1980, I always had in the back of my mind the goal of purchasing a second one and pairing them.  But I only got a second one when I came across one at ten bucks at a flea market around 2005 !  It was mint and working fine.  But I never got around to pair the two.

I think it's only when I got on the internet that I found out some people had also spliced some of the cameras in the XA series to make compact stereo cameras,  A few of these did show up on eBay at some point.  From what I heard, the sync wasn't very good.

Francois


George Themelis
 

You are about 35 years late to the party !
LOL, yeah, he is late, but not 35 years late! Maybe 30 :)

George


Dave Ross
 

Yes, I love it! Do you have any more photos of the joined Minolta? And do you mean that the French club member modified your two camera bodies together themself?

Seeing rigs like this is really inspiring, though I have no idea where to begin even to learn more about the mechanics. I suppose those enthusiasts you encountered in the 80s must have started somewhere by pulling apart junk cameras and collecting reusable parts. If I could change the subject of this thread I would make it "35mm Film Twin Rig or custom ortho stereo cameras I'm scared to buy and too unskilled to build please help". :)

Dave


Depthcam
 

> LOL, yeah, he is late, but not 35 years late! Maybe 30 :)


I was referring to the time when I had the splicing done.  The member only did it for a very short time.  But of course, later Frans & Hermann Miller and RBT did something similar.


> Do you have any more photos of the joined Minolta?


See attached.  It shows the camera with a flash bracket system that I designed so as to be able to mount a Metz flash in a variety of ways.  All of the silver parts including the lens link were designed by me and made by a local machinist.


> And do you mean that the French club member modified your two camera bodies together themself?


I'm in Canada.  The French club member bought the two cameras in France and spliced them himself according to my specs, which included a built-in stereo window - something he did not normally do.


> I suppose those enthusiasts you encountered in the 80s must have started somewhere by pulling apart junk cameras and collecting reusable parts.


Each had a different background.  As I recall, the person who did mine was an aerospace engineer.  Most people did these for themselves only.  But a few made small series.  I have seen quite a few of these over the years but not all had interconnected shutters.

Francois