Below is a diagram of the camera slide apparatus that I made to aid in the taking of stereo photos. The slide bar and slider consist of a keyed rail and sliding block. The vertical support is bolted to the slider. The mounting screw is of standard size (1/4" x 20) for tripod mounting holes. I placed a piece of rubber gasket material between the vertical support and the bottom of the camera in order to provide a snug fit and to protect the finish on the camera. The tripod mount is tapped on the bottom to fit a standard size tripod. I ruled the lower edge of the back side of the slide bar in half inch increments in order to quickly set the camera to the proper separation distance. My camera slide is about 10 inches long and is useful for making stereo photos of objects up to 30 feet away using a 50mm lens. The camera slide also works with digital cameras that are equipped with a standard tripod mount but the separation tables given on the how-to page do not apply to digital cameras.
The keyed rail I used to make my slide bar and slider came from a broken telescope. Keyed rails may be hard to come by. Some places to look are used tool stores (aluminum bar clamps, saw tables, milling machine parts) and drafting supply stores. Edmund Scientific sells a ready-made slide, pre-tapped with tripod mounts. The rail I use is made of aluminum, steel rails may be too heavy for a camera tripod. The slide should move easily and not wobble. All of the other components can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Click here for a photo of my camera slide
How to Make Your Own Stereo Photos
Stereo Photography Page
All images ©1999 Daniel Moore