Unveiling the 3D Printed Stereoscopic Macro Lens on 3DPrinting.com


Photographer Nicholas Sherlock has utilized 3D printing to develop a macro lens that enables stereoscopic 3D photography of minute subjects. This lens, compatible with full-frame and cropped sensor cameras, provides a 2x magnification and varies in field of view depending on the camera type. It incorporates a pair of 4x microscope objectives, adjusted to yield 2x magnification, and a 50:50 beam splitter prism for light distribution. Notably, Sherlock’s design integrates readily available components from AliExpress, and the 3D printed lens body design is accessible via free STL files for public use.

The lens offers a unique viewing experience, requiring viewers to merge two side-by-side images into one 3D image through a technique of eye convergence and refocus. This method, while challenging, is achievable with practice.

Sherlock’s project is a continuation of his previous work in creating affordable macro photography solutions. He previously developed a $20 4x telescopic macro adapter. The current stereoscopic 3D macro lens, targeting Sony E-mount cameras, has a budget-friendly design with a total cost around $70, excluding 3D printing and additional tools. The STL files and assembly instructions are detailed on Printables, providing opportunities for customization and adaptation to other camera mounts.

Stereo image produced with the 3D printed apparatus. (Image Credit: Nicholas Sherlock)

This development is a great example of the expanding role of 3D printing in enhancing photographic technology, specifically in macro photography. The ability to create complex and specialized equipment like the stereoscopic macro lens at a reduced cost and with broader accessibility hints at a future where customized photographic tools are more readily available, fostering greater creativity and experimentation in the field.

Source: petapixel.com

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