Returning to the Nimslo

A few years ago, I purchased a four-lensed 35mm toy film camera.  The Nimslo was originally built so that the average photographer could capture four images simultaneously, then that film would be sent to a special lab to produce a three-dimensional “magic motion” print.

Although Nimslo’s lab went away, the camera is still a fully functioning shooter – and today, you can scan the film from a Nimslo shoot and turn it into your own three-dimensional image.  I’ve done it a few times, mostly with the lenticular print Lauren and the Leaves.

Then, for some reason, I put the Nimslo somewhere and I forgot where I put it.  I went to other photographic interests, and completely left the Nimslo out of my mind.

A few weeks ago, I found the Nimslo and put a pack of 35mm film inside.

And last week, I was on Clinton Avenue – and took a few “lenticular” shots with ol’ four-eyes.

Thanks to programs like PhotoShop, you can scan the developed film and combine the four images into an animated GIF.  The picture rocks back and forth, simulating the concept of depth.

The trick in usingthe Nimslo is – it’s essentially a four-lensed “point and shoot” weapon, so don’t expect anything complicated from it.  It’s as lo-fi as it gets.

But if you capture something great with the Nimslo – you can either turn the raw film into two slides for a stereoviewer or for a custom-made View-Master reel (I’ve done both of those in the past), or if you get four decent shots, you can send the film to a couple of custom-printing lenticular outfits (Snap3d.com and SnapilyPro.com) to get some swank imagery.

Case in point.  One of the shots I took was a snowy bush that was poking through a metal fence.

Just for comparison purposes, here’s the original film strip as it came out of the camera.

There’s four images here, and the little red dot above the farthest right image was a control dot for the processing lab that made lenticular prints from this camera.  Ah, the gold old days…

So – I scanned the film into my computer, took those four images and layered them on top of each other.  I looked for one key point – two tiny leaves on the fence – to match up all four images.  That would be the picture’s “pivot point.”

Then I combined the images into a six-frame animated GIF.  Six frames – because you’re going frame 1 2 3 4 and then back to 3 and back to 2.  So that the image has a seamless move.  I set the frame intervals at .05 of a second, to make the movement more fluid.

And here is what we have.

Bush and Fence on Clinton Avenue. Nimslo camera, AGFA Vista 200 film. Photo (c) 2019 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Okay.  Nice to know I can still do this.  Of course, a bush poking through a fence is great for test shots, but I’ll need something more elegant for Competition Season.

But it’s nice to know I’ve got my Nimslo at the ready again, should I need it.  Right?