Cinematography Mailing List - CML

3D Macro Rig


Hi All,

I've got a project coming up that requires some extreme macro work - shots of insects less than 1". I've never done macro work in 3D, but I am concerned that larger beam-splitter rigs could be an issue due to their size preventing getting the lens close enough. Not to mention shadow issues. Also the inherent shallow DoF of macro work could be a negative in 3D yes? We are considering shooting 2D and converting, also a process I have not done before. I'd love suggestions as to rig/lens/camera combinations for macro as well as conversion advise.

Thanks in advance to all you CML'rs.


John Tarver, csc
DP lost somewhere in Peru.

You could try a common objective rig. (Two cameras coupled to one lens.)

Try this company, they are not listed for macro on their site but I think could help.

Dave Blackham
Esprit Film and Television

Ask Mr Streather.

Bugs3D was full of excellent macro work. They developed specialty equipment too

Argyris Theos
Athens Greece

You must shoot with very small inter-axial settings. Millimetres apart. So, you'll need a beam-splitter. Stereoscopic Macro can look fantastic. The rig will depend on what cameras you want to use.

Stereo paired Probe lenses or fibre optics may also work depending on how macro or micro your shot needs to be.

Andrew Parke, S.O.C.

>> Ask Mr Streather.
>> Bugs3D was full of excellent macro work. They developed specialty equipment too

I love this guy. Of course I think he is right!

The combined talents of specialist optics designer Peter Parks, stereographer Sean Phillips and director Mike Slee have made Bugs! an enduring 3D success story and the macro/micro bar to jump for.

For very small stuff, a few mms across, you need to use a converted stereo microscope. Fellow Brits Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas have had recent success here with Last Reef. Peter Park's Micro Zoom Bench still exists and resides in Cornwall.

The killer ap for macro photography is not a pair of macro lenses on a mirror rig (very useful though that is) but some sort of snorkel system. Peter Parks built us one of these for Bugs! and is part way through the build on the next gen.

I have the optic and metal design complete on a PLF snorkel that will be an incredible f4 at Super 35 and a mouth watering f1.7 at 2/3". These snorkel systems have a very deep apparent depth of field and a much smaller front end than a mirror rig. This makes it easier to get close to small things and then easier to light them.

Phil Streather
Stereo 3D Producer
The Old Vicarage
Leigh on Mendip
Somerset BA3 5QG

Tel: +44 1373 813301
Mob: +44 7771 783603


Copyright © CML. All rights reserved.