A first surface mirror (right) reflects the image without it passing twice through a layer of glass that distorts it and creates a double image (left). The result is a sharper image with less distortion.
David Lee's Hyperview uses first surface mirrors so you can view large images up to 11 inches wide or 22 inches for the pair. Courtesy of www.berezin.com
YouTube supports this viewing technique—calling it Mirror-split. Click to view a YouTube video on using this viewing technique.
One way to view large prints, and even movies, is with a mirror viewer. The basic idea is that the right eye sees the right image in a stereo pair directly. The left eye sees the left image reflected in a mirror. For this to work, the left image (or left image film track) to be viewed in a mirror must be flipped horizontally since its mirror image will be reversed.
The best mirror is 5 x 5 inches (125 x 125mm) and silvered on the front surface (called a first surface or front surface mirror). However, since these are hard to find, any ordinary rear coated household mirror will work—even a round shaving mirror. (Rear coated mirrors have the silver coating behind the glass which refracts the light slightly.) If silvered on the back the glass should be thin so it doesn't give a double reflection and add distortion, which degrades the result.
To view a stereo pair using a mirror, here is how the elements are arranged.
A 45° glass prism works better than a mirror because its reflection is bright, undistorted and works at normal viewing distances. To use one, hold it against the left side of your nose so your right eye sees the right image and your left eye sees the left image refracted in the prism. Adjust the angle of the prism until the left image is superimposed over the right image to fuse the images.
StereoPhoto Maker makes it easy to freeview side by side pairs with a mirror. Here's how to do it:
- Open the stereo pair and display the images side-by-side.
- Pull down the Edit menu, select Rotate/Flip image to display a submenu, then select Horizontal flip (Left) to horizontally flip the left image (it will be seen in it's correct orientation in its reflection in the mirror).
- Maximize StereoPhoto Maker so it fills the screen and press the E key repeatedly to increase the spacing between the images as much as possible so there is room for the mirror. At the same time rotate the wheel on your mouse to adjust the size of the images.
Here the stereo pair has been displayed, the left image flipped, and the image size and spacing adjusted.
- Place the mirror vertically against your nose and view the right image with your right eye.
- Focus your left eye on the right image (which is hidden
by the mirror) while adjusting the angle of the mirror so the reflected left-image merges with the right one and you are viewing the fused image with both eyes. Do not tilt your head and keep the mirror vertical. Alternately opening and closing each eye may help you align the two images.
STAINED GLASS SHOPS
A good place to find a first surface mirror is a shop that carries stained glass supplies. If they don't have it in stock they can probably order it.