Last modified (10th update): September 26th, 12.17 pm (local time, Cologne)
If you are planning to come to Photokina in Cologne, Germany, there are a couple of companies to visit. Below is a quick overview of some of the companies offering stereoscopic products and/or services.
Hall 1 / Visual Gallery, approximately in the centre: "skateboarding.3d" by Sebastian Denz
Sebastian Denz is the Award-winner of the 20th International BFF Promotion Award. He studies at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (Prof. Katharina Bosse, Prof. Dr. Andreas Beaugrand)
When the members of the jury first have to don 3D spectacles before they can view a work, then this is primarily a welcome change and something amusing. However, the critical question follows instantly: Is it just sensationalism? But the work by Sebastian Denz remains convincing even after viewing it repeatedly.
Not only because the photographer has been dealing with this technique in commissioned and non-commissioned work for several years now, but also because he puts it into effect with unique quality and, in addition, the dynamic topic of skateboaeding experiences a special visual correlation here. The precondition is a stereo camera, in this case a model especially produced by the company Gilde for the use of negatives sized 20x25 cm. The 3D picture is created from these negatives using the anaglyph process on the computer.
Beforehand, Sebastian Denz had already intensely studied the virtual worlds of video and computer games. The pictures were then created in Bologna, Paris, Le Havre, Marseille, Barcelona and Berlin and other places. We meet professional skateboarders in the 'real hyperreality' of high resolution 3D space pictures. Suddenly, the observer rediscovers himself in his virtual world simultaneously conveying authenticity.
A book release is planned for the summer of 2009.
Hall 2.1 / Booth A 41 / A 49: NOVOFLEX Präzisionstechnik GmbH
Novoflex has introduced a new range of focusing racks, Castel XQ. They are very precise and can be used for taking sequential stereo images, such as close-ups etc. Adjustable on two levels, it achieves a total travel of 380 mm, although its basic length is only 256 mm.
Hall 2.1 / Booth C 29: AP-Photo Industries
"The photographic frame trat transforms image to 3D". A prototype is on display, consisting of a fold-up photo frame. When you open the frame, single-sided front-surface mirror slides into place - and what you get is a very simple viewer using the "Pigeon" system. It is not digital - and the photos are fairly difficult to change. So it might not really be a product appealing to the masses.
Hall 2.1 / Booth C 42: Komamura Corporation
Komamura is still producing and selling its Horseman 35 mm rangefinder stereo camera. The camera has an electronically-controlled focal plain shutter with speeds ranging from 8 seconds to 1/1000th of a second and takes stereo pairs 24 x 32 mm in size on regular 135 film. The lenses are 38 mm f/2.8 with the closest focus at 0.7 meters.
The stereo base is 34 mm - and therefore suitable mostly for close-up photographs.
DX-coded films can be used - but the film speeds can also be set manually from ISO 25 to ISO 3200 in 1/3 steps. The film is transported by a motor-drive and there are three shooting modes: S (single), C (continuous) and M (Multiple Exposure). The latter does automatic bracketing.
At 166 x 82 x 66 mm, the Horseman 3D camera is fairly compact - but not a lightweight camera at approximately 900 grams.
Hall 2.1 / Booth D 43: Universal Electronics Group
This company is exhibiting two pre-production models of Holga Medium Format Stereo Cameras.
One model, the Holga 120 GCF 3D, has a 67 mm stereo base and an image format of approximately 54 x 53 mm (HxW). The lenses are cheap 1:8 f/60mm lenses
The second model, the Holga 120 PC-3D is a pinhole camera, with a pinhole of 0.3 mm and f 135.
Prices and availability are not known yet.
Hall 3.1 / Booth A 13a: Seagull
has stopped manufacturing and selling their 5-lensed roll-film camera.
Hall 4.1 / Booth C 50: VisuMotion GmbH
High-definition 3D Camera "Eye5" on a boom, with live transmission to autostereoscopic displays. They also offer Kiosk-style displays, as well as displays using LCD shutter glasses.
Hall 4.1 / Booth H 49 / G 31: Microsoft Corporation
Although not directly a stereoscopic application, Microsoft shows its so-far free "Photosynth" software. After uploading a number of photos of a place or object, a "3D cloud pattern" is calculated. With enough photos, a 3D model is calculated, which can be rotated.
At this moment, there is no stereoscopic mode - but there's potential for the future - maybe by uploading anaglyph stereo images. The bad thing: all uploaded images are viewable by the public and in the public domain.
Hall 4.2 / Booth A 10/B 19: Fujifilm Corporation
3D Digital Real Image System: "FUJIFILM FinePix Real 3D System", consisting of a 3D digital camera with fixed stereo base of approximately 78 mm, a 3D digital photo frame and lenticular 3D prints.
The arrival of digital photography over a decade ago opened up so many new ways of enjoying images, not only through capture, but also through manipulation, printing and display. Sales of digital cameras, and other devices like camera phones or webcams have raced ahead of what experts had expected because of the sheer scope of what has become possible in digital imaging. So many more consumers are enjoying photography through their cameras, PCs and prints than was the case in the heyday of film.
Fujifilm is determined to push those boundaries yet further, to produce devices which offer new ways to capture and process images, to expand consumer enjoyment of photography in ways that had hitherto only been imagined.
The company has a strong research program currently running to improve every aspect of capture and output. This is based on the broad concept of producing images as lifelike as possible, or more simply, 'capturing an image exactly as your eye sees it.' The 'Real Photo Technology' program is determined to improve key quality metrics for each generation of camera, like 'high resolution with low noise,' 'expanded wide dynamic range,' 'intelligent scene recognition,' 'intelligent flash,' 'face detection' etc, culminating in the announcement this September of a new type of sensor, Fujifilm Super CCD EXR, which will take image quality to levels hitherto undreamed of.
Previous 3D systems were hampered by poor image quality, and a cumbersome user experience, which often meant the need for special 3D glasses. One major benefit of the FinePix Real 3D System is that for digital camera LCD playback, display and print, the consumer can enjoy the image just as it was originally seen with the naked eye
The same research team is determined to use these key technologies to open up a new market with 3D imaging. The new 3D image system features advanced image signal processing and micro-component technologies, and is so far able to demonstrate a camera, a viewing panel and a 3D printing system.
'Built-in 3D auto' determines optimal shooting conditions from both sensors. 3D auto means that as soon as the shutter is depressed, key metrics for the image, such as focus, zoom range, exposure, etc, are synchronized. The camera is also fitted with built-in synchro control, giving 0.001-second precision for shutter control and movie synchronization.
The processor uses the very latest technologies of high sensitivity and high resolution as the newest 2D processors. Special identical high quality compact Fujinon lenses have been developed for the 3D system to ensure complete conformity between the left and right images.
The LCD monitor system has also been completely revised. The camera is fitted with a 2.8 inch, 230,000 pixel- LCD. Thanks to a new engineering approach, screen flickering and image deterioration, thought to be difficult to overcome, are reduced to an absolute minimum to achieve beautiful, natural 3D images. The screen will also resolve 2D images as any other camera LCD.
The camera prototype itself has a size of approximately 120 x 66 x 30 mm (Width x Height x Depth) and contains two 6 Megapixel Super CCDs. The lenses equal approximately 35 mm focal length, with a 3x optical zoom.
According to the developer of the camera, the native storage format is one side-by-side stereo pair in one file, also containing a header area in which extra information is stored. This format is called "Multi Picture Format" (MPF), and is standardized by CIPA, the Camera & Imaging Products Association of Japan. An English translation of this very new standard ("Stereo Still Image Format for Digital Cameras") is available for download: http://www.cipa.jp/english/hyoujunka/kikaku/pdf/DC-006_E.pdf
A new 8.4 inch, "FinePix Real 3D Photo Frame" with over 920,000 pixels has also been developed. The LCD monitor on the camera and the stand alone display panel share similar technologies in that the problem of screen flickering and image ghosting, which has beset earlier developments, has been solved, giving crisp, high resolution viewing of images in glorious 3D or standard 2D. A newly developed "light direction control module" in the back of the LCD controls light to right eye and left eye direction. This light direction control mechanism enables easy and high quality 3D viewing without special 3D glasses.
There are no firm plans for commercialization yet.
Hall 4.2 / Booth B 12: Dr. Gilde
located on the stand of Linhof, Dr. Gilde presents a new one-of-a-kind large format stereo camera, called the "4x5 3D". This cameras uses two sheets of 4x5" film. Prisms and mirrors are used to move the image path by 90 degrees, so the film packs are located on the left and right side of the camera, respectively. An accessory with one lens and two diaphragms allows to take macro stereo photos.
Hall 4.2 / Booth F 11: Sanyo
Animated phantogram projection (color anaglyph), using Sanyo's new Ultra-short Focus Projector, PLC-X251.
Hall 5.1 / Booth A 32: Fraunhofer IIS Institut für Integrierte Schaltungen
A brochure shows a fairly simple 3D modelling system. An array of four slightly tilted mirrors is placed in front of a regular camera. The resulting stereoscopic images are then analyzed and a 3D-mesh calculated. Unfortunately, the actual product is not on display.
Hall 5.2 / Booth D 21/E 29: Sony
15 minute Stage presentation with a 7 minute polarized back projection segment. Shows are approximately every 30 minutes, successively in English and German.
Unfortunately, the show is not very convincing and there are also at least two short scenes in pseudo-stereo, i.e. depth-inverted.
Hall 6.1 / Booth A 48/B 49: Cheung Yun 3-Dimension Technology Int'l Ltd.
Company listed in the catalog - but cannot be found at that location.
Hall 9.1 / Booth A 42/B 49: Loreo Asia Ltd.
Company listed in the catalog - but cannot be found at that location.
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: Changshu De Vere Photo Machine Factory
This company displays several quite well-made lenticular images. This company will take your digital files and output them on lenticular material - from small to large production runs. The maximum size they can produce is 1.0 x 0.8 meters.
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: S3D Expo / 3D-CC / DNS Consult
A whole booth full of 3D - showing state-of-the-art technologies, including a 42" autostereoscopic display, 3D Home Cinema, synchronized cameras, Lenticulars etc. - including still, animated and interactive phantograms by Achim Bahr etc.
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: digi-dat / Werner Bloos
Werner Bloos presents his excellent camera rigs for still and video photography - both for linked digital still cameras (Canon, using Stereo Data Maker) and digital movie cameras.
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: 3D-Images Harald Lutsch
Advertising lenticular images.
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: Infitec GmbH
This company promotes their interference filter projection technology, based upon the the so-called "Wavelength multiplex visualisation".
Hall 10.1 / Booth D 20/E 21: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Stereoskopie e.V.
The National 3D Association of Germany is represented in a tiny corner of the S3D Expo booth.
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