Acquiring stereo images for 3d display can be achieved many different ways, and need not always require special equipment. A regular camera used with some skill and patience can produce very nice 3d images. As the theory and technology for image acquisition continually advances, I will post about these subjects. Search the blog posts for the latest information about techniques or equipment (theory and gear tags).
Some options in general:
Cha-cha: A technique for using a regular, single-lens camera to obtain stereo images. Also sometimes called a “sequential” stereo. It can be done with the camera hand-held or by using a slide-bar on a tripod. (Or simply shooting out the side of a moving vehicle or airplane).
Twin-rig: A more or less sophisticated stereo contraption assembled from two separate ordinary single-lens cameras. A common way to get started. My first stereo camera was two disposable color negative film cameras (remember those?) taped together and “synchronized” with the two-finger technique. Twin-rigs can be a wonderful solution to the problem of vintage stereo cameras, or modern stereo cameras that are too expensive, or modern stereo cameras that do not produce adequate image quality. Twin-rigs are also a great reservoir of technical challenges that can keep you and your soldering gun entertained for years! Many of my blog posts will have something to do with twin-rigs, and much of my photography is produced with twin rigs, both film and digital.
Vintage stereo camera: These will be cameras that shoot negative or positive (slide) film through two lenses, ideally synchronized in shutter speed and aperture and focus. Vintage cameras sometimes don’t work right or small parts will wear out or break or… like twin-rigs, these have their challenges. But they also have their advantages.
Modern stereo camera: These are most likely digital, though some dedicated stereo film cameras were made up until about 2012(?). Two problems usually found with modern stereo cameras: they are either very expensive (film cameras), or they do not produce very high quality images (digital). I call these modern, even though as of 2015, I believe all production has stopped even on the (known) digital stereo cameras. However, many remain available as “new old stock” at very good prices.
Siamesed stereo camera: These are stereo cameras physically “hacked” together from two (usually) modern regular single-lens cameras. Some of the modern stereo cameras are of this type (“RaumBild Technik” or RBT is one such company/brand that made siamesed 35mm film stereo cameras for many years).