PetaPixel

The Kúla Deeper is an Add-On that Makes Any DSLR 3D-Capable

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The 3D camera movement never really took off like some people hoped that it would, but that doesn’t mean 3D doesn’t have its merits. Many people still love the idea of capturing photos or videos in 3D, but they’re not necessarily willing to buy/carry around a camera dedicated solely to that purpose.

The Kúla Deeper side-steps this problem. It’s not a 3D camera in and of itself, but a DSLR add-on that enables your existing camera to capture 3D one second and 2D the next.

To be fair, the add-on doesn’t do all of the work, depending on the 3D format you want, the resulting snaps might have to be converted using the accompanying software. Still, it makes capturing 3D with your current camera and whatever lens you might be using just as simple as screwing on a lens filter.

Here’s Kúla’s short intro video for the Deeper:

As you can see, the Deeper is simply a frame that holds four high-precision mirrors. Those mirrors turn the single image your camera would normally capture into two sharp side-by-side images. If you’d like, you can experience the final product immediately as long as you have a stereoviewer around.

But those two images are more versatile than that. Using the Kúlacode software, you can convert the photos and videos you take using the Deeper into any 3D format you like — be that the old anaglyph format (the one you view with those red and blue paper glasses) or MPO for 3D televisions.

Now that Kúla has an idea, a prototype and working software, it’s come time to figure out a way to mass produce and get the Deeper into the hands of everyone who might want one. This, as you might expect, means crowdfunding.

kuladeeper2

The company has chosen to run its campaign via the Nordic crowdfunding site Karolina Fund, so head over there if you’d like more information or you’re willing to help out the project.

A standard Kúla Deeper, which fits lenses with a 77mm diameter, will run you 55 Euro or about $73. Adapter rings for 52, 62, 67 and 72mm diameter lenses are also available, but that’ll be an extra 25, 26, 27 or 28 Euros, respectively.

The campaign has only raised 1,778 Euros of the 55,000 it hopes to get in the next 38 days, so be sure to help them out if you feel the product is worthy.


 
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  • http://clintonblackburn.com/ Clinton Blackburn

    I was ready to add my support until I saw the return policy:

    For example some of the leads might for some reason fail where new leads have to be found causing the production to be delayed. Accordingly Kúla does not promise that the products will be delivered on given time or at all. Furthermore Kúla makes no warranties of the product. You assume all risk as to the delivery and performance of the products. You agree you will not seek a refund or other compensation from the company or by reversal or chargeback of your payment or by any other means whatsoever.

  • Alan Klughammer

    I seem to remember devices like this way back in the film era. They had the same problem then as now. How do you look at the resultant images?
    You can set up a dedicated viewer (each eye only sees one image) but these are awkward and not useful for group viewing. Printing is problematic, Red/Blue filters distort the colours and polarized display requires glasses.
    It seems like one of those ideas that should be cool, but the technical challenges far out weigh most artistic advantages…

  • Jason Wright

    If the mirrors fit onto the filter adapter whenever you turn the focus the mirrors will rotate.
    This will make it almost impossible to focus and/or keep the mirrors horizontal.

    Totally useless if this is the case, which it appears it is.

  • Mike

    Because all lenses on the planet have a rotating front element during focusing.
    Nope. Go away.

  • Mike

    When you have a source in the form of an image pair, you can do many things to them to adapt them for viewing in almost any method you want- whatever the current and future technologies can offer.

    Your question is like asking what point is there in raw image format if you need a dedicated software to do anything with them. But look at us now! We have great new ways to work with raw files.

  • Jason Wright

    My Canon 18-55 Kit Lens is exceedingly common, I think that needs to be considered when making a product for the mass market.
    I expect there to be a HUGE number of lenses that have this problem. Just because you can afford super top end lenses, the rest of us can’t.

  • hini

    Old technology.
    Maybe you find an old Pentax Stereo Adapter on ebay.
    Only problem they make portrait photos.
    No landscape.

  • Jason Wright

    A slightly different arrangement of mirrors DOES make landscape pictures, I have no idea why nobody makes an adaptor that way.

  • Alan Klughammer

    ok, so lets say I do take some photo pairs with this device (or anything similar) Now what do I do?
    Comparing to raw is a complete strawman. Shooting raw enables me to make a much better final image. Taking a pair of photos doesn’t give me any real advantage unless I produce a stereoscopic image. And my point is there is no convenient way to produce such an image with current technology..
    There may be better possibilities in the future, but until that time, I see this as very limited. It would be useful for a number of scientific uses, and I am sure there are some stereoscopic artists out there, but this type of device already exists for them. I am not sure what Kula Deeper brings that is new…

  • Stella

    With a rotating lens you just set the lens to a setting like 28 and attach the device. You won’t have the zoom option but just use the camera as you do with a fixed lens. Might not be for everyone but “totally useless” seems like an overstatement.

  • Jason Wright

    I didn’t even mention the Zoom rotating the lens. The FOCUS rotates the end of the lens and the filter adaptor on my Canon Lenses. Have I got faulty ones? Am I the only one this happens to? Are EF-S Lenses not common at all??
    Seriously, I do tend to do quite a lot of focusing when using my camera, having the mirrors rotate when I do is crazy.

    Right you guys made me unpack all my lenses and check!
    Canon Prime 50mm EF doesn’t rotate
    Sigma Prime 24mm EF doesn’t rotate
    Canon 55-250 IS EF-S lens DOES rotate when focused
    Canon 18-55 IS EF-S lens DOES rotate when focused

    So it looks like this adaptor is not for people who like their kit lens or EF-S lenses.

  • Jason Wright

    I can’t see anything new other than attaching to existing lenses rather than being a whole lens assembly.
    Loreo already made a mirror based 3D lens for DSLR, I know as I have one.
    The fact that all my EF-S lenses seem to rotate the filter ring when I focus makes this a complete no-go for me and I guess anybody else with a consumer Canon.

    Sorry, did you say there is “no convenient way to produce a 3D image” with current technology??? You are aware people watch 3D TV and Movies every day yeah?

  • Jason Wright

    There are places that print lenticular prints now, so glasses free full colour viewing.
    As far as “group” viewing goes, a small print is only really for one person at a time anyway! Certainly when I have a handful of prints it gets passed around person by person to look through, this would work just as well for lenticular prints as for normal prints.
    Nobody uses red/blue anymore. Most 3D monitors/projectors use a cinema like system with cheap disposable glasses so can easily be viewed as a group on monitor or projector.
    If they can do Movies at the Cinema in 3D I am sure that counts as a group.

    The only problem 3D has is the strange obsession with people not wanting to put on polarised glasses, which quite frankly are no issue at all as far as I am concerned.

    Would glasses-less viewing be better? Sure. Go lenticular. Or wait a few years.

  • renambot

    the separation might be a bit better here, compared to in-lens setup

  • renambot

    Mike is right: once you get a stereo pair, there are a lot of tools to process them. Convert them to MPO, put on USB stick to your TV. Photoshop and AfterEffects support stereo, Youtube supports stereo, just to name a few….

  • Alan Klughammer

    How many people have a 3d tv? especially when compared to a standard 2d…
    Someone mentioned Youtube, again, how many people have a 3d monitor?
    3d movies are a whole other thing, requiring special projectors and glasses.

    My point is that this is a very limited device. If you want anyone to see your results, you are going to have to supply a viewing medium. these are not common.
    If you want to set it up in your living room for your family and friends, great! Go out and buy a 3d tv and a bunch of glasses.
    I guess you could also rent a movie theatre if you have a lot of friends, and a lot of money. But then, why not get a real 3d camera rig?
    Lenticular prints are, in my opinion, not great. every one I have ever seen was more of a novelty than a photograph. I am not saying this is necessarily bad, but the technology has a long way to go.
    I still stand by my conviction it is a bit of a gimmick, rather than a real tool (whatever “real tool” means)

  • Elvis Vegas

    So its just a ripoff of the Loreo 3D adapter, but more expensive ???

    http://betterfamilyphotos.blogspot.com/2013/02/exploring-3d-photography-with-loreo-3d.html

  • Jason Wright

    They are very good points, but maybe not as bad a situation as you imagine.
    Most people buying a mid to high end TV in the last 2 years have had 3D forced on them if they wanted it or not. Almost all top end and most mid have it as a feature.
    There are a surprising number of people with 3D TVs.
    Lenticular prints have come on a lot in recent years. The ones I have seen are very good.
    You can easily buy a 3D projector these days too without needing a whole cinema.
    All that said, this 3D adapter is certainly not a “real” 3D tool. Anybody shooting serious 3D will need synced dual cameras.
    This is for the hobbyist or anybody interested in trying out making 3D easily with their own equipment.
    I won’t be backing them though.

  • Jason Wright

    No, It’s much worse because it fits ONTO an existing lens. The Loreo one (which I also own) is a whole lens assembly and doesn’t fit onto anything.
    That said, light levels and focusing are a major issue with the Loreo which may not be so bad with this adapter.

  • Spongebob Nopants

    Books are a technical problem because you have to, sigh, write them, then, sigh, print them then, sigh, devote time out of your day reading them. This book idea just has too many technical problems to take off. Why bother.
    And don’t get me started with this whole painting on cave walls fad. Total waste of time. You have to get the pigments…

  • Spongebob Nopants

    I think the best selling point for this is that it fits over existing lenses rather than being a lens in itself like the loreo is. You don’t get stuck with the image quality or secifications of the loreo.
    ——————
    If you put it over other lenses you get the various benefits of those lenses. Sounds simple but it isn’t. For one thing you can adjust stereo base by zooming or using different lengths of lens. 35mm will yield more pop in a subject if it’s the same size in the frame as when you use 85mm – because the mirrors will be physically closer to the sujbect. ————— The problem is that the w3 allows you to see the effect of the combination of zoom and distance from subject. This technology doesn’t. It’s too easy to take an image this way that won’t work in 3d and can’t be adjusted to work in software.
    ——————
    A fast lens can deliver narrow depth of focus and nicely blurred backgrounds. I’d be curious to see if that enhances or damages the 3d of an image.
    ——————
    The shooting controls of the fuji W3 are god awful because you have to go into the menue to change iso, f-stop and shutter speed. That makes using maunaul almost impossible. That iso 100 is only available in manual, and iso 400 is the lowest available in auto, is the icing on the crud cake. I’d love to have real manual controls on a 3d camera. This appears to solve that problem if you have a dslr.
    —————————–
    That it halves the resolution of an image isn’t a problem because at 20mp you still end up with 2808×3744 per image and that’s still larger than hdtvs display so you could easily crop it to whatever aspect ratio you like and end up with an image that is sharp on an hdtv.

  • Spongeob Nopants

    a 20 mp camera yields 5616×3744. This device would yield 2 2808×3744 images. You can crop that in half to 2808×1872. Bingo bango there’s your landscape. Still larger than hdtv and enough res for stereo cards.

  • Íris Ólafsdóttir

    This device makes it possible to capture stereoscopic pictures and videos. The software converts the images to the viewing format you prefer. If you don’t like the viewing methods available today, 3D is not for you.

  • Jason Wright

    However the Camera does not record VIDEO in that resolution.
    But yes, it’s still quite a respectable resolution even after cropping.
    Like I said, moving the mirrors would change the aspect to landscape easily anyway.

  • Alan Klughammer

    Jason, you may be right. Maybe I am just showing my biases. 3d has been an in and out fad since the 1800s. Maybe this time it will catch on, I don’t know.
    I still think holography is cooler (though more difficult)

  • WhoKnows

    It’s just a shame that Alan is also definitely going to be right…. 3D will never take off outside of the cinema. I work in advertising and the push into 3D ads was so short lived people barely noticed. Obviously there is a market for this product but in the grand scheme of things 3D is not a domestic product…..technology just hasn’t got far enough to make it comfortable viewing for our eyes. 4K and beyond 2D film is a safer market.

  • Íris Ólafsdóttir

    Very good analysis. Regarding the combination of zoom and distance from the subject, the optimal zoom range for Kúla Deeper is around 18-35mm which you use to center the subject on both sides and if you zoom even more the subjects goes out of the frames (cannot fit in both frames) which I think prevents you from getting completely wrong 3D pictures.
    A nicely blurred background helps a lot as you know where to focus. Here is a stereoscopic example, enjoy :)
    http://www.kula3d.com/flickr/set/72157634479160247

  • Íris Ólafsdóttir

    We have changed the return policy to prevent any misunderstanding:
    This is the first time Kúla Inventions Ltd. (Kúla) makes a mass
    production. The sourcing of components is complete, the process is very
    well planned and prototypes have been tested thoroughly. In this project
    like in other research and development projects there are several risk
    factors and we assume the highest risk factor to be the production
    process as many factories are involved. For example some of the leads
    might for some reason fail where new leads have to be found causing the
    production to be delayed. Accordingly Kúla does not promise that the
    products will be delivered on given time and makes no warranties of the
    product. You agree you will not seek a refund or other compensation from
    the company or by reversal or chargeback of your payment for delayed
    delivery. We will keep you updated on the process and do our best in
    delivering on time as that benefits all of us.