Frans By: Frans
fotoopa_D100_0871 macro 3D high speed setup

Update 2012:


There is a new version 2012 with beamsplitter:


And of course the first results:


High speed macro 3D portable unit with optical extern focus detector using 2 DSLR camera's and front side type mirrors.


First pictures of the portable 3D setup. The picture show only the mechanics parts. The electronic box need to added into the next days. This unit is realy difficult to make. There are a lot of fine pices to calibrate. The 2 camera's D300 and D200 are inline and can be adjusted direction mirrors. This is needed because the AF105/2.8D macro lenses d'nt have a fix lenght. The mirrors can be moved into the other direction on a slide. On top of this slide there are the 2 mirrors. They can turn a little to adjust for the keystone effect and to center the pictures on the frame. At the bottom on each side the IR lasers are mounted. The IR lasers can turn into X-Y-Z direction and are finetuned via separate screws. On the top of the unit the AF60/2.8D macro lens record the reflected IR lasers signal from the objects infocus. Into the body of this macro lens there is the AVR controller circuit to measure this IR light. This information goes to the central hardware controller for further action.

The 2 mirrors are protected for most of dust via the 2 nikon 62mm diameter filters. Just near this filters there are 2 powerleds to work at night. The 2 flashes are on the top and on both side there are the green lasers. The green lasers are used for me to point the unit to the objects. Even in full sunlight is see this green pointers. They are crossed mounted into the ideal focuspoint. The IR lasers are also crossed on this same point.


On the otherside I have mounted an optional calibration slide tool. See:


The testcard stay on this slide at the correct position and can be moved forwards and backwards. The textcard is used to calibrate the hole unit and to adjust them for the desired frame format. Moving the testcard d'nt change the high of the object, so this is a very helpfull tool to adjust and calibrate the hole unit.


The weight of the unit is near 8.5kg inclusief the electronics parts. This is very heavy to carry into the field but the results of this hightech detection system and 3D are so promising. I try now to cut down as many as possible alu parts to lower the wight. But the unit must stay stable. The load into the field is very heavy for all the parts.


Update 22 March 2010:

The setup is now ready and works perfect. Frame size is set at 100mm horizontal. Flash powers set in TTL mode at nominal value of 1/32 power. Pictures are taken at F29, ISO200, T=1/250. Burstmode set at max 3 pictures/second. The IR laser detection works perfect, need 40usec for the detection cycle. The detection signal goes from 10 units (black object) to 50 units (white object). The triggerlevel stay at 3 units, so all levels above this 3 units will give a trigger. I d'nt have an external shutter on this 3D version. The shutterlag from the 2 different camera's are 53.5 msec (D300) and 58 msec (D200). The controller synchronize this 2 camera's, first the D200 goes on and 58-53.5=4.5 msec later the D300. On the 58msec delay the flashes are fired. This time stay very constant over the time, all pictures are well lighted.


The first results from 2010:


There is a new version 2012 with beamsplitter:


And of course the first results:


  • Victor_Brasil 5y

    The Best Macro and Closer Photography

    Congratulations !!
  • Gerardo De Santiago 5y

    you sir...are crazy!
  • Bleh forever 5y

    Hey! very interesting!!
    What kind of mirrors do you use???

    Best regards..
  • Frans 5y

    The used mirrors are the frontside mirrors from Edmund Optics.
    Best regards
  • Naomi | Warren 4y

    Nice Macro :)
  • Willem de Voogd 4y

  • speedracer0088 4y

    Wild set up!
  • aquaphotoboy 4y

    OMG! and I was proud on my DIY ring flash!! LOL, this is great!
  • Sebastian Rasch 4y

    How did you get the SB-80DX to work in TTL? Since that speedlight is dTTL and the D300/200 are iTTL.
  • Frans 4y

    @Sebastian Rasch,

    I drive the SB-80-DX flashes myself via my hardware controller. The camera has no control over the flashes because the IR detector decide all timings and control, even the flashes. To control the flashes you need 2 signals, the X contact and the Q contact. The X signal give the startpoint of the timing, the Q signal the end point. Changing this timing gives full control over the flashes. This timing is done into the CPLD hardware chip. Max 3 flashes are now supported but this is not a limit.

  • Kevin Maes 4y

    freaky :)
  • LDM58 4y

    Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge and in such great detail. I keep handing my computer to my husband (an engineer) asking if he can build the circuit boards. :) Thanks again!
  • Peter 4y

    two thumbs up!
  • wewerethere 3y

    That is some serious piece of kit! Some excellent engineering in there and fantastic results. Well impressed!
  • Charly 3y

    WOW! Very professional. Ingenious built.
  • Jan 3y

    this is absolutely brilliant!
  • ermione3 3y

    > Ciao Frans, E possibile vedere una fotografia di te mentre stai fotografando in 3D con questa straordinaria attrezzatura? Grazie, cordiali saluti, Fabio.
    > Hello Frans, You can see a picture of you while you're shooting in 3D with this unique equipment? Thank you, best regards, Fabio.
  • robgrom1 2y

    This is a sweet looking camera! I have been on the look out for fusion splicers, and have not found one yet..
  • Rick Webb ( PRO account Holder ) 2y

    sir , once again i tip my hat to you , truly inspiring , :o)
  • Allan Andrew 2y

    Hi Franslove the photo, just touching base as I am interested in licensing this photo. Please contact me via for details. Regards, Allan Andrew
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