Gear Review // 3D Camera, Kalimar by Cameron Bond

A few weeks ago Simon was pressing me for info about how I create the 3D .gif's on my blog. I showed him the camera is use and he suggested I do a product review for it, so here it is.

As an avid tumblr user I remember starting to see little animated images like this a couple of years ago. These "jiggle images" communicate a lot of information about a scene and turn an ordinary portrait into something quite striking. A notable example is Mr Gif (http://mr-gif.com/post/29448486969) who attends important events and snaps photos of celebs with his little 3D camera. I did some research into the camera he uses and alternatives, and ended up buying one of my own. 

 

Cameron Bond

Cameron Bond

Cameron Bond

The camera:

The intended use for these cameras was to make holographic images by taking a photo from 3 or 4 different angles. These photos are printed side by side in thin strips and thin plastic lenses placed over the top to create the 3D effect. More detail here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_printing)

This printing is quite expensive, but with personal film scanners so cheap these days, one can just scan the film at home and work with the images themselves. 

I found a cheap plastic 3-lens lensticular camera on ebay. It's brand is Kalimar, but there are many better alternatives available such as Nishika and Nimslo, and all differ in quality and size. 

The Kalimar is small and light (full plastic body and lenses) and has an in-built flash. It takes 3 half frame images at once, which means i get about 18 shots out of a 24 exposure roll of film. The image quality is fairly average, quite similar to a cheap disposable camera. However I quite enjoy the roughness of the images, and treat it like a disposable camera by taking to to parties and throwing it around. 

 

After owning the camera for a year i'm still taking it out a few times a week. Its lightness and size are it's best features, and i can feed it the cheapest of film and still get great results. But don't think you need to go out and buy one of these cameras to create the effect, you can do this easily with a digital camera with a burst mode, or even convert a short video to still frames in photoshop. Here's one below I made with two frames on a digital: