This “wigglegram” trinocular lens creates vintage cinematic looking stereograms and is made from a combination of 3D printed parts and reclaimed disposable camera lenses.
Wigglegrams, or stereograms, are those low-res cousins of the gif that involve photos made up of two or three layers. When put together, they give the illusion of depth and slight movement. They were a mainstay of the 2010 Tumblr aesthetic and that’s how Magic Eye puzzles work and PetaPixel Featured a wigglegram film camera lens built in 2021. They have also been featured in music videos: artist Kirby Gladstein has also become very well known for its three-dimensional gifs.
There are several ways to create wigglegrams, such as using apps that combine images, but the Seattle-based photographer Alex Field decided to take a different approach and build his own for his mirrorless camera.
“Having seen multi-lens cameras from the 80s, I wanted to see if it was possible to achieve a similar effect with a custom lens on my mirrorless camera,” says Fiel.
“The original cameras simultaneously exposed multiple images at once, capturing a moment from slightly different perspectives. Edited together in a gif, by bouncing between images, you can achieve a really interesting ‘moment in time’ effect.
The three-part concoction of mount, focus ring, and slider began with a Sony E-Mount lens.
The results, examples of which Fiel shared from a recent trip, replicate the wigglegram motion many are familiar with. His examples add prominent vignetting reminiscent of disposable cameras, which were actually used in the making of the wigglegram lens.
Below are some “raw” wigglegrams that Fiel created that show what they look like before the animation.
Fiel added that he was inspired by the creations of other photographers, such as George Moua’s Level and a DIY build by Joshua Bird.
“This lens absolutely shines in scenes with a lot of depth. The flash helps tremendously with this, the crisp shadow it creates moves noticeably between frames and adds a lot to the final image. Field continues: “Also…everything is vertical. Realistically, you can rotate the camera to capture wider scenes, but it also changes the direction of movement. I haven’t experimented much with it though… I’m pretty happy with the long vertical shots!
Of course, taking the picture is not the end of the job. Fiel noted that there was a lot of editing done in Photoshop to put each piece together, though some automation seems to speed things up.
A large gallery of Fiel’s wigglegrams can be found on his site. He also shared the entire design and construction process to create his lens on Instructables and added the STL files which allow anyone to imitate the process on printables.
Picture credits: Alex Field