Sherlock tells PetaPixel that his creation delivers 2x magnification and offers an 18×12 mm field of view on full-frame cameras or a 12×8 mm FOV on cropped sensors. Within the printed body are a pair of 4x microscope objectives, which are “underclocked,” so to speak, to deliver 2x magnification. At the front of the device is a 50:50 beamsplitter prism that splits incoming light, bending half to each attached camera.
All the optics that Sherlock has used are off-the-shelf components from AliExpress, while the 3D-printed lens body is available for anyone to make, thanks to free STL files.
Viewing 3D images on a 2D display is challenging, to say the least, but Sherlock has provided side-by-side images captured with his device.
“If you hold your finger up in front of your face and look at it, your eyes converge (cross) in order to both point at it. If you now move your finger towards you and away from you, in the background you will see the two side-by-side photos cross over each other more and less, respectively. Move your finger until both images in the background fully fuse together to form a third image in the middle of your field of view,” the photographer explains.
“The trick is now that you need to keep your eyes at the same convergence (still crossed to point at your finger) but you need to refocus to look at the monitor. This takes some practice, but once you get good at it you can cross your eyes at will without using a finger. The fused third central image will now appear to be 3D.”
Comprehensive step-by-step instructions for printing and building the stereoscopic 3D macro lens and a detailed parts list are available on Printables. Not counting the cost of 3D printing and the required tools, like a soldering iron, the stereoscopic 3D macro lens should cost around $70. It is designed for use with Sony E-mount cameras, although there is no reason why someone could not tweak the design for other mounts.
Image credits: Images courtesy of Nicholas Sherlock