Testing is complete and the results are all positive. With this new cast lens material it will now be possible to produce consistent results and have predictable outcome. This hasn’t been possible with extruded material which often times requires testing of over 10 lenses to find one of sufficient quality. My experience has been that extruded lens material has a certain amount of variation where both optics and lens alignment quality is inconsistent.
The new cast lens material has a tighter (narrower) viewing angle with very little image overlap. Essentially, this produces better 3D because each eye receives less cross talk and the brain can fuse images that more accurately depict different perspectives.
I am writing about this because it means that producing product with predictable outcome and price is now much easier and in some cases possible for the first time. This opens up many opportunities that haven’t existed in terms of producing what looks like a photograph with the addition of true to life depth. And that is my goal. For years, I have wanted to believe that it was possible to create a photograph that looks like a photograph with the additional component of depth. I didn’t want to look at a photograph with stair step artifacts and corduroy patterns going through it. I didn’t want to have to tell people to stand back five or ten feet. And I didn’t want to be limited to small sizes. This new cast lens material gets me very close to that goal. The results are truly amazing.
Why this push for quality? Because there is a difference between an immersive visual experience that accurately mimics reality and a visual that is an extension of a parlor trick. Viewmasters are fun. Stereoscopes are fun. 3D content has been produced for enjoyment and fun. It has been produced with the mindset of shoving 3D’ness in your face. To wow and amaze.
My goal is different. My goal is to capture what I see with my eyes and turn that into a photograph. Just as you see into the reflection of a mirror, so too I want you to see into my photographs.
For all of the reasons we enjoy photographs. With the invention of color people didn’t look at the photograph and say “wow, I’ve never seen color before”. They accepted it as being more accurate… more representative of what they saw in real life. As photographs got larger and achieved higher resolution again this was accepted because once again the photograph provided more realism and accuracy. Photograph technology that has strayed away from the march toward realism and accuracy has never gained a strong acceptance. It is like any other novelty or curiosity. Interesting, but not essential. The goal has been and always will be about matching our frame of reference. The images our eyes see in the real world. This is our frame of reference.