3D Glossary


Here are some terms commonly used in Stereo Photography:

2 x 2 x2 Format (also known as twinned format, 50mm x 50mm)
2x2 is a method of mounting/viewing where the left and right film images of a stereo pair are mounted in separate 2 x 2 mounts as opposed to a Rochwite sometimes called Realist mount.  It has an advantage of  needing no special mounting (when starting with a conventional camera and twinning or using a slide bar) for the film when viewed in a 2 x 2 viewer.
An Achromat.Achromatic Lens
An Achromatic lens is a system of lenses joined in order to minimize color and shape distortions (chromatic and spherical aberrations) that are inherent in a single lens system.
This is a stereo image where the left and right images are color converted so that only one of the image can be viewed through a corresponding color gel.  The two colors used are complementary to each other, and the images are then put together on the same image base allowing the channels to be separated later by the viewer using so called 3d glasses (usually red/blue or red/green).  This is used in comic books, some movies and on computer screens.  Recently green magenta and blue amber (Colorcode) have been added. 
Stereoscopic 3d that does not require the use of a lens or glasses to separate the left from the right images.  The term generally excludes holography.  
'Cha-Cha' Method aka Rock and Roll
A method of stereo picture taking that involves using an ordinary camera and taking a picture for both the left and right views by shifting the taker's position from left to right. Due to the lack of registration it is sometimes hard to get good results. However good alignment can be insured by using a free program such as Stereo Photo Maker with digital files.
Cross-eyed viewing method
A method of free-viewing stereo pairs where the left eye image is placed on the right side of a stereo pair and the right eye image is placed on the left side.  It is generally believed to be easier to learn than the parallel method and can be done with substantially larger images.  However, it cannot be used on most stereo cards since they are printed in parallel format.
DLP Link Glasses
Shutter glasses that are specifically made for DLP link projectors and certain TVs.  The synchronization signal for these are sent from the screen using white light and not from a separate transmitter.
European Format
A stereo format which uses stereo pairs of 7 perforations (film sprockets) per image.  This is used with the Fed, Belplasca, and some other European stereo cameras. 
European Format.
European Format, (dimensions in mm) AutoCAD drawing courtesy of Ralph Johnston.
Free Viewing
Viewing stereo images (in stereo) without the benefit of a viewer.  May be done both in the cross-eyed and parallel viewing method.
Full Frame Stereo Format
A stereo format which uses stereo pairs of 8 perforations (film sprockets) per image width.  This would be the same as a conventional camera and is used on twin camera stereo photographs and with certain RBT cameras.  The Fed Camera can be modified to full frame.
Holmes Format
A format for stereo cards which are based on a stereoscope invented by Oliver Wendall Holmes.  This is the format for most antique cards and have image centers that are further apart than the human eye (3-1/2" x 7").  This is significant because any viewing device for such cards needs to have a mechanism for bending light before it reaches the eyes.   Most viewers are prismatic.  Later formats for cards were not as large.  Also called Keystone format named after one of the largest manufacturers of the cards. 
.Various Card formats.
Various card formats, (dimensions in mm) AutoCAD drawing courtesy of Ralph Johnston.
The stereo base (distance between the two taking lenses) is greater than the average distance between a persons eyes (~63mm).
The stereo base (distance between the two taking lenses) is less than the average distance between a persons eyes (~63mm).  This is usually achieved with a specialized camera or by using a single camera and a sliding camera bar.
Interocular adjustment (also known as variable interocular)
A provision in some stereo viewers which allows for adjustment of the distance between the lenses of the viewer to correspond with the image's infinity separation and in some cases the distance between a viewers eyes. 
JPS Stereo format
Stereo image extension, mostly used in Java where a stereo image is saved in a default cross-eyed image (*.jps) but could then be viewed on a web page in any format.  
Macro Stereo Photography
Macro Stereo Photography is stereo photography in which the image on the film is about the same size or larger than the true size of the image. 
MPO Format
A format for storing more than one image in a single file (*.mpo).  Used extensively for right and left pairs of stereo images, commonly shot with modern digital stereo cameras such as the Fuji W3. Also used less frequently for shots of differing resolution or size. 
Nimslo Format
A stereo format which uses stereo pairs of 4.5 perforations (film sprockets) per image width.  This would be the equivalent of a half frame and is used with Nishika and Nimslo stereo cameras.  Some cameras with beamsplitters use a 4 perforation format but this would not be called a Nimslo format.
.This is Nimslo format.
Nimslo (or Nishika) Format, (dimensions in mm), AutoCAD drawing courtesy of Ralph Johnston.
Ortho-stereoscopical Viewing
When the focal length of your viewer's lenses is equal to that of the focal length of the taking lenses of the camera in which the slides were viewed.  This is said to allow you to see the objects as being exactly the same size and with the same distance between each other in the viewer as in reality (ref. Ferwerda, J., The World of 3DThe World of 3D, p31, 1990).

Over/under Format

Over/Under format involves using a mirror system to separate the left and right images which are placed one above one another.  Special mirrored viewers are made for over/under format.  The most common one is the View Magic.   Another is the KMQ viewer.Parallel Viewing MethodViewing a stereo image where the left view of a stereo image is placed on the left and the right view is placed on the right.  This is the way most stereocards are made as opposed to cross-eyed viewing



Simulated 3D effect based on the phenomenon of dark and clear lenses. The image through the dark lens reaches the brain slightly later than the image through the clear lens, creating the illusion of 3D. It works with objects or scenes moving horizontally across the field of view. The Pulfrich method of 3-D is used for TV, video and computer screens. 
Although it is not authentic 3D it gives the illusion of depth and can be fun to use when watching sporting events and videos which are specially made to take advantage of the effect.  For Pulfrich glasses.


Viewing of stereo pair with images the depth or relief of an object is reversed.Realist FormatA stereo format which uses stereo pairs of 5 perforations (film sprockets) per image width.  This is the most common stereo format and is named after the camera made by the David White Company.  It is used with the Kodak, TDC Colorist I and II, TDC Vivid, Revere, Wollensak, Realist, along with many other cameras too numerous to mention.Realist format as seen on the film.





Realist Format, (dimensions in mm) AutoCAD drawing courtesy of Ralph Johnston.


Rochwite Mount

Rochwhite mount, realist format.This is the name sometimes used to delineate the 41 x 101mm, 1-5/8" x 4" (outer dimensions) mount used for almost all North American stereo slides.  Mounts of these outer dimensions are made for the Realist, European, Nimslo, and full frame formats. Named after Seaton Rochwite, the inventor of the Realist Stereo Camera.Slide BarDevice used with a single camera to make stereo photos by moving the camera between shots.  It is more accurate than Cha-Cha and can be used to produce 2x2 stereo format slides.  We have a page that outlines how to make a homemade slide bar.  We also offer some slide barsStereo BaseThe distance between two lenses or two cameras when taking a stereo photograph.  A normal stereo base is considered to be one which is similar to the distance between one's right and left eyes (~65mm).  A hyperstereo base would involve lenses separated by more than that distance. More information on selecting the correct camera spacing.

Teco Nimslo

A film camera which uses the Nimslo format but has been modified by Technical Enterprises to expose only two frames per exposure as opposed to the four frames per exposure needed for lenticular processing.

Twin Camera Stereo PhotographyTwinned Fed cameras

Stereo photography using two monoscopic cameras, usually with shutters and other components connected internally or externally using mechanical or electronic means.   This photography has advantages that include using common formats (e.g. Full frame, medium format...) and being able to achieve a variable stereo base.  Drawbacks include difficulty matching cameras, film and getting normal stereo bases.  Camera bars can be used to help achieve more consistent results.

View-Master Personal FormatAn empty View-Master Personal reel.

The format used with a Viewmaster Personal Camera.  It produced 2 rows of chips of around 18 x 10mm per roll of 35mm film. These were used in conjunction with a cutter to make View-Master reels for personal use.  It is not the same method that is used for mass market reels produced by Fisher Price.

Wall-eyed Viewing MethodSee parallel viewing.

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