Mirror Stereo

Mirror Stereo



      Mirror Stereo is a stereoscopic taking and viewing system, developed by Steve Hines in 1974, that adapts an existing camera and uses a single frame of film, without impacting the film processing or printing operations.  To view the photos in 3D, the pictures are inserted in the viewer.  The Kodak Handle instant film camera is shown fitted with a Mirror-Stereo adapter.  Note the appearance of two lenses, one real, and one reflected in the mirror.  The stereo base is the distance between the real and reflected lenses.  At the time this project was underway, Mirror Stereo was applied to instant film cameras and viewers, 35mm and 110-format film cameras and viewers, Super 8 movie cameras and viewers, and microfilm and microfiche viewers.  The technique is equally suitable for digital cameras.


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The left eye sees the left image directly.  The right eye sees the reversed image reflected in the mirror.  The two images appear to be a single image, however in 3D, on the user’s left side. The viewer supports the mirror and eyepieces, and provides a slot in the base for the photo.  The baffle hanging down part way forces the right eye to look toward the mirror.

Sample Mirror-Stereo pictures.  The left portion is slightly wider and can be viewed as a conventional two-dimensional picture.


35mm Single Lens Reflex camera adapted for Mirror-Stereo photography:

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      When the mirror is attached to the lens, there appear to be two camera lenses, which take the left and right images.  The reflected image will be reversed on film and will be corrected when viewed in the mirror of the viewer.       The threaded rod behind the mirror can be turned to adjust the angle of the mirror, and therefore the convergence distance of the two images. This adjustment pulls or pushes the image in or out of the print toward the viewer.


110-format Pocket Instamatic camera adapted for Mirror-Stereo photography:

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Kodak Pocket 40, 110-format film camera fitted with offset mirror.  The reflected lens can be seen in the mirror.  The actual lens can be partially seen. These “two lenses” take the stereo picture. Rotating the threaded rod swings the mirror to alter the convergence distance of the real camera lens, and the reflected camera “lens”.


Super8 movie camera adapted for Mirror-Stereo photography:


      Manufacturers of photographic equipment are invited to contact us to arrange a demonstration. This project is shown only to demonstrate inventions created by Steve Hines, and no products are being offered for sale.  Similar innovations are available to clients on a contractual basis.

Glendale, California, USA
email: Steve@HinesLab.com