This setup uses two SONY DCS-V1 digital cameras which are controlled by the LANC SHEPHERD electronic controller. The intent of this article is to describe the physical brackets used to hold this set up, rather than comment on the cameras or controller. For the source and a detailed description of the SHEPHERD, see the following:  For a review of the cameras see:

The bracket is the result of several early prototypes I made, and finally settled on the current model. Like anything else, it is a compromise between flexibility, practicality and accuracy. The brackets are machined precisely and made of aluminum. The photos show different angles of the bracket. Another bracket is also described below. People planning to make brackets similar to the ones described here should consider the following improvements that can be made to the brackets:

1. Ease of adjustment. You will find that while the V1 cameras take nice shots at 5 Megapixels, the mechanical housing and components are not ideal. This is reflected in the fact that the outer housing of the cameras  is not necessarily square and perpendicular to the surface of the imager. In other words, placing the camera on a perfectly flat and horizontal surface, is not a guarantee that the lens points perfectly parallel to that surface. The remedy to this is to tilt the camera slightly up or down. While this has no consequence if one uses a single camera, when using two on a bracket, simply placing both cameras on the same surface and pointing to an absolute perpendicular surface, is not a guarantee that they will aim to the center of a horizontal line on that surface. This is true whether both cameras are oriented the same way or one is inverted upside down. The remedy to this, after the cameras are held in a solid bracket, one has to shim slightly one camera. This of course defeats the purpose of precision machining, something I made sure I did... A better solution would be to have an angle adjustment screw that can tilt one of the cameras up/down in relation to the other.

2. Quick release of cameras from the bracket. While I made my bracket in such a way that I don't have to dismantle those from the bracket for access to the Memory Sticks or the batteries, they are secured to the bracket with a screw. It's not difficult to use a screwdriver, but  it would be nice to have a way to release the screws without a tool. This is possible with a screw with a larger head or something similar to a wing nut, but those will take more space.

3. The feature which I lack the most is a universal bracket that transforms it from a horizontal to a vertical mount. The reason for this is the frequent need to take close range stereo shots, which is of course impossible with a separation of 85 mm between the lenses of the cameras on the current bracket. This is practically the closest distance that one can get with one camera inverted. To remedy this, I made a second bracket which holds the cameras bottom to bottom allowing to get the lenses as close as 68 mm, which is about the same as the lens separation on a Stereo Realist camera (70 mm). The problem with this is that you need two brackets, and of course you need to take apart one set up and remount in the second.

4. Finally, I did not make a shoulder strap holder, which is something that could be easily remedied by providing an anchor point on the top of the bracket.

Many of the pictures show the set up with the white handle placed in a wooden base. This base is not part of the set up, but is used simply to hold the bracket up on a table. The white handle can be unscrewed from the base so that it can be attached to a tripod.

You are welcome to contact me for further explanations by emailing to shab at easystreet dot com and referring the number of the photograph in your email. Click on a number to see the photograph.

The first set of numbers shows the main bracket for two side by side cameras. The second set with a "B" letter after the number, shows the bracket used in the base-to-base set up. Photos 12B through 18B show how the base-to-base bracket can be opened and used for a side-by-side mount where both cameras are oriented upside.

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1B  2B  3B  4B  5B  6B  7B  8B  9B  10B  11B  12B  13B  14B  15B  16B  17B  18B  19B  20B

UPDATE: In August of 2005, I upgraded my set with the LANC PRO. The LANC PRO has two new ports which allow connections to an external flash, either a Sony model or a generic flash. The port for the generic flash allows also to connect a radio transmitter which sends a signal to studio strobes. I use the set up for that purpose, with a radio transmitter and powerful studio strobes. Here are a few pictures of the setup.
For detailed information about the LANC PRO, visit Rob Crockett's site:
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