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New Patents: Olympus stereo lens and Panasonic liquid lens


The japanese blog Egami (Click here) keeps looking for new patents and found that weird Olympus stereo idea. The second stereo lens gets attached on the hot shoe and works together with the “normal” m43 lens to create a stereoscopic image. I am not aware of the advantage such an idea can give to you. The only thing that comes to my mind is that you can sue any m43 lens to create a 3D image.

And Panasonic published a patent which describes a Liquid Lens (Click here). Also Olympus filed such a patent a few months ago.
Reminder: These are the advantages of liquid lenses: -non-movement glasses for zoom or AF
-less glasses inside the lens
-faster electrical response
-non-motor on the glass
-silence AF mode

  • Frederic Hew

    No, obviously you cannot use any (m43) lens because both lenses need to have the same focal lens, same aperture and same rendering properties.

    I can think of a few (theoretical) advantages:

    1. The two lenses are further away from one another (compared with the Panasonic 3D lens).

    2. Since the “main” lens illuminates the entire sensor, there’s a resolution advantage – this depends on the resolution of the attachment lens. The way it looks, it has it’s own sensor (!).

    3. The attachment is articulated. This should help to establish a better 3D effect, much the same way as our eyes work.

    • TheEye

      A 3D image differs very much from how we experience 3D in nature. Our eyes focus at a particular distance, and the closer we focus the more our eyes converge. If you look at a 3D image, your eyes have to focus at a particular distance, eye-to-image, but they must converge at yet another distance (which is not a “real” distance). That’s why 3D feels unnatural and comes with eye strain. Our brains can’t really deal with the discrepancy between actual distance and the eye’s convergence required for a simulated distance. My point is, 3D imagery does not work all that much like our eyes and especially not like our brain. It is the latter that processes and creates what we see.

      • Frederic Hew

        Well, an optimal solution then would have the lenses converge as a function of object distance. The Olympus patent, at least in theory, can allow for it.

        • Jim

          yes especialy with focus by wire tech, the camera knows the distance to focus… so 1+1=2… other than this, just keeping them parralel is ok for anything 20x the distance of lens seperation….

  • MantisBoy

    Haha, sue any m43 lens :D

  • TheEye

    My lens’s water just broke.

    • Mr. Reeee

      +10 :-)

      Mommy, is that where contact lenses come from? ;-)

    • Esa Tuunanen

      They better make those water proof or lens elements are going to flow out through cracks.

  • st3v4nt

    WTH stereo lens are for….? making 3D gimmick? why don’t they create new adapter of 4/3 PDAF to CDAF translation chip for fast AF of ZD lens on m4/3 body??

    As for water lens, I think the only reasonable explanation is Panasonic Phone in Lumix brand, those where the water lens going to applied….

    • Jim

      even better have the usb port allowing 2 cameras to be combined into 1 machine – setup on 1 cam – settings ported to 2nd cam – trigger of master cam operates 2nd cam perfictly in sync… job done – sell 2x the camers too! – and the resulting 3D image will be tip top – full res, full light per eye!

      And yes they need PDAF soooo bad!

  • Frank

    Maybe that second lens is for autofocus???
    Like in a rangefinder, but not a second lens beside, but on top of the camera. Maybe it is a tracking autofocus second lens for following moving objects in focus. I think this is a possibility …

  • fta

    so all photographs would have to be taken in portrait mode for proper 3D?

    • Jim

      No funnly enough 3D will work in both directions – its kinda like turnigh your head side ways still gives 3D – its the displacement of both lenses that makes it work…

      This happened with the old stereo realist cameras – if you shot portrait inadvertantly and then developed and looked side by side you still got good 3D!

  • Anonymous

    If panasonic and Oly want to impress the user of m4/3 ,..just give us more Fast High Quality Glass both fixed or zoom,..and also improve the DR and High ISO,..
    ,.I ‘ve already tired with a lot unnecessary feature and innovation ,,just make it simple but solid both camera or lens,..look @ Leica ,Nikon and Canon manual , simple but yet a lot of people love it

    • Jim

      Then job done – you can get a canon, nikon, leica already?
      (although leica – come on – the only reason they are talked about is because they are sill price… if they were £800-£1000, as they should be, no one would give them a look)…

      Olympus is and should be about inovation – they are by far the most forward thinking and bravest camera company… although now sony is in town, who knows?

      Still DR, Resolution, ISO, fast Glass are all very very welcome :)

  • Vromopodarix

    If Leica where £800-£1000 as you say everyone and their dogs would have one. Ok I am exaggerating a bit. All photographers and their dogs would have one.

    A photographer needs aperture control and shutter control and nothing else. Want innovation ? Autofocus, fps, sensors, metering systems.

    Why do you think the NEX7 is so lusted?
    24MP ? Naah most people want less
    High ISO ? No the NEX5 is better
    It is because of the form factor and the Tri-navi thingy which allows the photographer to change the important settings on the fly just like a Leica.

    I compare Leica to the sharks who have not evolved at all because they were created perfect and dont need any more evolution.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > A photographer needs aperture control and shutter control and nothing else.
      And historic relics like you don’t need anything else than stone tablet and chisel.
      Both equally true statements.

      Unlike in analog mechanical film era there’s need of controls for ISO, drive mode+submodes, metering and focus mode and exposure compensation just for start. Neither can square brick give good ergonomy even when without bigger lens.
      So you’re welcome to come and try swap my cameras to retro boxes because I’ll make you and your Leica intimately familiar with fine adjuster we call as Leka:

      NEX7 has only couple settings directly available and after that it’s plain P&S menu surfing gaming and worser than in entry level DSLRs which at least give direct buttons for activating adjusting of most used settings.

      And your wrong about sharks not having evolved, whole groups of shark species have gone extinct and current shark species are successors of development during only later part of existence of sharks.
      In short current sharks are as similar to first sharks as modern cars are similar to T Ford: Certain basic features are same but details have changed many times and will keep changing.

  • Peper

    Have been curious for some time why I’ve seen nothing as far as I know of from that fluid focus project at Philips:

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