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Tricloptic TLR Camera Only Takes Bicloptic Pictures

Tricloptic TLR Camera Only Takes Bicloptic Pictures

Triclops Camera

By Evan Ackerman

When I first saw this camera, I got all excited thinking that somehow it would be able to take pictures in some kind of extra super realistic 3D. I mean, you can take a normal stereo picture with two lenses, so maybe three lenses lets you see around corners. Or through clothing. Or back in time! But alas, the 3D World 120 Tri-Lens stereo camera is not capable of any of these feats. The third lens at the top seems to be used only for viewfinding, as it’s identical to the other two lenses (80mm F2.8) but has nothing behind it. The bottom lenses are fed 58mm x 56mm stereo film, with 6 image pairs per roll. This completely manual setup promises to be popular only with very serious stereo photographers… Very serious and very rich stereo photographers, that is, since although the price is still unknown, medium format 80mm lenses cost something like $1,500. Each.

VIA [ Impact Lab ]







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  • Anonymous

    not to nitpick, but that’s not an SLR (Single Lens Reflex).

  • tastewar

    Geez, do you know what the S in SLR stands for? *Single,* dude! There used to be TLR’s (twin lens reflex), and I guess this could be, too, if you substitute triple for twin.

  • Rick Keir

    Judging by the styling of the camera, with its cheerful but plastic “3d World” top, it’s not going to be a $1500 camera, let alone a $4500 camera.

    At the moment, new medium format SLR 80mm (i.e., “normal”) lenses cost $1500 because, at the moment, the only significant market for them is a high end, specialist market that wants to see names like “Zeiss” on the lense.

    But that doesn’t mean they can’t be made far more cheaply: in the heyday of the medium format twin lens reflex they were a common choice for vacation snapshots. Even Sears sold TLRs under the “Tower” brand name, and they were definitely not $1500 lenses on them. (Another comparision point: you can buy used 80mm medium format lenses in “excellent” condition from reputable dealers like KEH for under $100 these days.)

    The 3rd lense that you use for focusing and sighting can be far cheaper, since the image will not be enlarged for printing. That means you don’t need exotic glass, aspherical surfaces, and all the other tricks that push the price of “taking” lenses up.

  • http://www.evanackerman.com Evan Ackerman

    Oops… I just sort of associate “SLR” with “not a point ‘n shoot,” you know? But I stand corrected. I’ll fix the title.

    @ Rick: that’s certainly true. So you think that the current cost for a good new 80mm lens is due to the lack to demand and a specialized market? I guess in my experience, good glass is always expensive, new or used, but maybe not $1500 expensive for an 80mm prime.

  • Bethany K Ford

    nice article! nice site. you're in my rss feed now 😉
    keep it up