Some time ago, I postulated the option of either getting a second Nikon Df camera, or ditching my current Df and going for a pair of Nikon Zfc mirrorless cameras. The idea behind this postulation was to go full-bore into three-dimensional stereoscopic photography, whether it involved creating custom View-Master reels, or standalone Holmes Stereo cards with modern equipment. I’ve dabbled with the concepts in the past, and the results have bordered between okay and meh.
I’m tired of okay and I’m tired of meh.
So I contacted B&H Photo in New York City (B&H is the equivalent of Disneyland for camera enthusiasts) and spoke with one of their experts. I told him my plans, and he said that if I had the original lens and the battery charger for my Df, I could get a nice trade-in for one Zfc and then purchase another one right there.
“Great,” I replied. “Now, can I synchronize the two units together so that they can photograph something at the exact same instant, or do I need to use two shutter releases, or what do I do on that front?”
He looked up the information. “Um,” he said to me – and I know that “um” is the equivalent of saying “You may not like this answer…”
Apparently there isn’t a connection that can slave two Zfc‘s together so that they can synchronize their shutters.
And in that moment … the Nikon Zfc option fell off the table.
I looked back at B&H Photo’s used camera section. No Nikon Df available. Nuts.
I looked and looked. EBay had some Nikon Df‘s available, but most of them were in Japan and I didn’t feel like getting a “grey market” model. Plus, shipping from Japan takes FOR-EV-ER. Nothing from any of the other camera sites – Adorama, KEH, nothing.
Then, just for a lark, I checked Amazon.
And found one. A Nikon Df camera, restored – silver chassis.
I can do this.
Now I need to get a synchronized shutter. I can’t stand between two cameras with my fingers over the shutter buttons. That’s not a successful option. Eventually I discovered that the Df can use a Nikon WRT-10 remote control, which can pair via Bluetooth with a Nikon WR-R11B component. But purchasing a remote AND two components would cost me $500 – AND they would take two months to arrive from Japan.
No, that’s not happening, either.
And I remembered … the Nikon Df can take a manual threaded cable shutter release. Remember, kids, the Nikon Df was built to resemble a classic Nikon F camera – it can take both vintage and modern lenses, and it can use electronic shutters AND threaded cable shutters. And get this – Nikon makes a single-trigger dual-thread manual shutter release. It’s a Nikon AR-7. All I need to do is thread both leads to the camera shutters, and I can press the button just like I’m answering questions on a quiz show.
One last thing. I needed to make sure that both cameras had identical lenses. Stereoscopic photos won’t work if the lenses don’t match. So I purchased two pancake 50mm f/1.8 “Nifty Fifty” lenses, one for each camera.
That, combined with a dual-mounting tripod rack …
And we’re ready for some stereo photo fun.
By the way … do you want to see the new baby?
Sure you do.
Now my personal rules. The silver Df must go on my right (stage left), the black Df is mounted on the left (stage right). Before shooting, both cameras must be specifically checked for white balance and shutter speed.
I even downloaded the free program Stereo Photo Maker, which will allow me to take the two images created by my Dfs and combine them into a printable Holmes Stereo card. Which works well for me. Hopefully I can get a few examples this weekend.
Oh, and I promise – if I share any combined images on this blog, I won’t use high-speed vibrating wigglegraphs equivalent to the ones I posted in the past. I will, however, show a slower speed wigglegraph so that I don’t give you wonderful blog readers a bad case of epilepsy. 😀
Trust me. I have to test this project out … before the big November event.
Yeah. You know what big November event I’m talking about, right?
Of course you do.
Congrats that Df duo will b fantastic! Friend of mine in England says of his paraphrase Charlton Heston “PRY IT FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS” his other is Leica X , my poisons are Leica Q and x1,x2 and Ricoh GR s, fixed lens rule for me!
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