Friday, May 12, 2006

Pentax Stereo Adapter "D" Set - for *ist DSLRs

One of the accessories Pentax Japan released for the Pentax *ist DS2 camera is the Pentax Stereo Adapter Set D, an updated version of their classic tool, designed to take 3D pictures with the lenses the average Pentax *ist user owns. This is presently specified as a Japan-only product, but hopefully it won't be hard to order in the US or Europe before too long.

Photo copyright 2006, Pentax Corporation.

It works like this: you attach the lens adapter to a 52mm filter thread (like the one on a Pentax 18-55mm AL kit lens, their 50-200mm ED AL lens, or a step-up ring), and it splits the image into two seperated perspective angles that match the average persons' stereo eyesight. You'll likely choose an aperture on your lens that gives you sufficent depth of field. The new 2 piece kit is made of light plastic. There's no software involved and the image splitting still allows the camera to auto-focus and auto-exposure if you're careful. After you print the photos out onto 4"x6" paper, you use the Pentax Stereo Viewer to gaze into the picture, and voila! It's a 3D perspective.

Photo copyright 2006, Pentax Corporation.

This is alot easier than the "3D" setting in some of Pentax's Optio cameras, for which you have to take two consecutive pictures and move the camera horizontally a few centimeters for each shot, a process which begs for a tripod. And just because the new version is labelled "D" it isn't only for a digital SLR - remember you can use it with any 52mm filter thread. In the past, Pentax's original SLR stereo adapter sets have been pretty expensive for most consumers, almost prohibitively so ($300 US if you're looking for a new one right now). On top of this, the most common older sets are tailored for a 49mm filter thread and slide film. This was okay when most people shot with the average fast prime lens which used that common thread, but zoom lenses have infrequently used that measurement for many years now. And suffice to say, I'm not shooting slide film for fun that much anymore.

Links: The Pentax Stereo Adapter D Set, News Link at, Older Stereo Slide Adapter at, and Mike K.'s 3-D Photography page


Anonymous said...

I live in the UK and I have tried to get the Pentax Stereo Adapter 'd' Set but it is neither available in the UK or Europe, in fact Pentax UK tell me that the item is discontinued - I think they are muddling it up with the film camera version that is definetly not available. Pentax website for Japan (in English) show it as available. Can any one throw some light on this and perhaps even tell me where it is available - Thanks very much.

Schorschi said...

I've been wondering that myself. Just the other day I posted a question in the Pentax SLR forum on

One person pointed out that a store in Australia has it for sale online, though it seems they don't deliver it overseas. Japanese sites must have it too, but I don't read Japanese, so no way for me to get it.


Schorschi said...

I found it. Since 1/1/2008 it can be ordered from a small webshop run by a German photographer who lives in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that schorsi, I did write to Pentax in Japan re the adaptor and possible supply but haven't had a reply yet (about 3-4 weeks ago). Will wait a short while longer and if no reply will contact the German dealer in Japan.

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