Tips and Tricks

One of the exciting things about using a stereo camera is that it opens up a whole new area of thinking about shot composition. Ideally you would like to have a foreground, middle and background in your shot. I find myself laying on the ground a lot to get some foreground in the shot, and it always makes for a nice dramatic photo.

Watch you distance. Objects closer than 5 feet that make contact with the edge of the frame can be jarring.  This is often referred to as a Stereo Window Violation. An object such as a tree that is closer than this will look cut off at the top and bottom and appear to float. If it's at the edge of the picture and appears in the right hand side of the right eye, it will not appear in the right side of the left eye and this is extremely jarring.

Being aware of where your stereo window is (about 5 feet from the camera) you can try to take advantage of "though the window" effects when appropriate and avoid Stereo Window Violations.

Like every camera, this one has it's own quirks, especially if you are used to shooting a modern 35mm camera.

The first things you will notice is the narrow aperture and shutter speed ranges as compared to a modern camera. Also no zoom or focus (it has a fixed focus lens).
When taking 3D pictures you want to try to use the small apertures so that everything is in focus. This allows someone's eye to roam around the scene and focus (or really converge) on objects near and far. Since the camera has a short 25 mm lens it has a generous amount of depth of field and you just have to worry about close objects. If the objects are all static (like a landscape), it's best to use a tripod and shutter release cable. This way you have a wider choice of shutter speeds while stopping down the aperture to 11 or 16.

The fastest shutter speed is 1/100th of a second. This is fine for most pictures, but can limit you when you want to take fast actions. Also this can be a problem on bright days when your subject is relatively light in color, but you can use Neutral Density Filters to give you a couple of more stops to work with.

Use a light meter when possible, you will get much more accurate exposures in tricky light situations. My favorite meter to us with the camera is a classic Sekonic L-VI

When taking close ups try to keep your aperture at 8 or 16 and try not to have a background that is at infinity (very far away). The wide deviation may be hard on the viewers eyes. Also use the close-up attachment if you have it so viewing the main subject doesn't require you to cross your eyes.

BEWARE of winding the film aggressively. When taking pictures in rapid succession this is a natural tendency, but I have found that a strange light leak can occur when doing this on some cameras. My suggestion is to just look out for this leak and if you notice it, start winding the film in a slightly slower and deliberate manor.

Maximizing film use (tip from Joseph Kearse)
Normally you will loose a couple of pairs at the far end of the roll when you switch from A to B, but you can get those back by doing the following:

1) Switch to 'B', just as you would normally do. 
2) Wind the film, just as you would normally do. 
3) Take one dummy picture into your pillow (make sure there is no light of course and DON'T wind afterwards). 
4) Switch to 'A'. 
5) Wind the film (but don't shoot on 'A'). 
6) Finally, switch to 'B', and you are in position for that first picture on 'B'.