Nishika N8000 3D Camera - Quadrascopic Magic

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: September 23, 2019
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Nishika N8000 3D Camera

The Nishika N8000 is a quadrascopic stereo 3D lenticular camera. By taking 4 different images at once, it was possible to create "3D" prints.

Unfortunately, the Nishika company went out of business, and the last printer capable of making the 3D prints is broken. Instead of 3D prints, the camera can be used to make "3D" animated GIFs.

The N8000 can be thought of as a successor to the Nimslo 3D camera. Nishika bought the assets of the Nimslo company after they went out of business.

Price & Where to Buy

Prices for the Nishika N8000 have continued to go up for several years. This is from the growth of analog photography and that there are few 3D film cameras to choose from.

Thankfully, the N8000 is not difficult to find. You can find copies of the camera on Amazon and on eBay.

Camera Battery - 2x AA

Nishika 3D Camera Batteries AA

Two AA batteries are used to power the "light meter." I tried using rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, and the light meter worked.

Batteries are not required for the camera shutter to fire.

Shutter Speed & Aperture

N8000 Aperture Control Switch
Switch to control the 3 aperture settings on the camera.

The owner's manual lists the shutter speed as fixed at 1/60 second. Due to the age of the cameras and construction quality, the shutter speed may not be accurate.

There is a selector next to the lenses that controls the 3 apertures.

Sunf/19
Partially Cloudyf/11
Cloudy / Indoorsf/8

Lenses

The four lenses are fixed in place, which means the focus is fixed in place. Everything 5.5 feet away or further will be in focus.

At the smallest aperture of f/19, you're also likely to see the effects of diffraction. Though it might be a mute point as the lenses are triplets.

You should not expect razor sharp images from the camera.

ASA/ISO Setting

Recommend ISO and Exposures per Roll of Film

The Nishika N8000 has no way to change the ASA/ISO of the film the camera will meter for. It was designed with the use of ASA/ISO 100 35mm film.

If you're comfortable with manual exposure, a light meter like the Minolta Auto Meter VF, can be used instead of the built in camera meter. With a handheld meter you will be able to use any film you want.

Due to the limitations of the shutter speed and apertures, a flash is going to be nice to have. The Twin Light 3010 is only going to work with ISO 100 film. A flash with manual controls will be a better choice.

Viewfinder

The viewfinder has more than 100% coverage of the image area. There are 4 frame indicators in the corners showing the area that will be covered by the four images.

I'm not sure if the viewfinder would be considered a rangefinder, because you have no control over focus.

The important thing to note is that you're not seeing through a lens, like on an SLR. Due to this, you might encounter a parallax error if you're taking photos of a close subject.

Metering

Pressing the shutter half way down will activate the camera's meter.

The light meter on the N8000 will show a green dot in the viewfinder if the camera thinks the film will be exposed properly. A red dot will show if the image would be over or underexposed.

The meter is taking ambient light reading at the location of photo diode, next to the viewfinder. This is different from the through the lens metering found in SLRs.

Expect the camera meter to be far from accurate. You will get better results, and have the ability to use film speeds other than ISO 100 with a handheld light meter.

Camera Features

3D Film Negative Showing 4 Half Frames

Every shot taken with the Nishika N8000 uses 2 frames from a roll of 35mm film to produce 4 images. Each image takes up half a standard frame (36mm x 24mm). You'll end up with 4 18mm x 24mm images.

Using 2 frames means that you'll get half as many shots than what is stated on a roll of film.

35mm Film Roll Size# of Nishika Shots
36 Exposures18 Shots
24 Exposures12 Shots
12 Exposures6 Shots

Turning Images Into GIFs

After digitizing the four frames they can be aligned and turned into a animated GIF. This will give a "bullet time" effect.

My problem has been on figuring out how to align the 4 frames with each other, how long the delay should be in the animation, and the time involved in the creation of a GIF.

Currently, it requires more work than I care to do for results I'm not happy with. Once I figure out a efficient workflow, I will replace this section with it.

Accessories

Nishika Twin Light 3010 Flash

There were a bunch of cheap accessories originally sold with the Nishika N8000. Other than the Twin Light flash, don't go out of way to get them.

  • "Professional" Strap
  • Deluxe Camera Case
  • Tripod
  • Lens Cleaning Kit
  • Nishika branded color film
  • VHS instructional tape
  • Owner's Manual

Nishika Twin Light 3010 Flash

Back of Nishika Twin Light 3010 Flash

The Twin Light 3010 has a two flashes. One is front facing, while the other can rotate 90 degrees up and down. The idea being to bounce the upper flash off of a ceiling and the lower flash will illuminate the subject.

There is a ready light, on/off switch, test button, and flash to subject distance chart.

Alternatives Flashes

My Yongnuo YN560 IV Speedlite did not work with the camera because it had problems fitting into the hotshoe. However, the YN560-TX wireless flash transmitter did work. So the YN560 IV will work as an off camera flash.

The Nikon SB-24 and SB-28DX both worked on the camera's hot shoe.

I also tested a handful of cheap third party flashes, which all worked. Unfortunately, they did not have a way to adjust the power output, which will make them difficult to use.

Case

Camera Case

Owner's Manual

Nishika Owner's Manual

Mini Camera Review

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Can you put a price on fun?

Yes, and the Nishika N8000 comes with a rather large one for what you get. If the camera was widely available for $25, it would be a 5 star camera.

Is it worth the price? That depends on if your willing to work around some of the deficiencies the camera has.

The camera is larger and bulkier than it needs to be. I'm not surprised that they later came out with the N9000, which is similar in size to the Nimslo.

Compared to the Nimslo 3D camera, it lacks the automatic exposure mode and range of shutter speeds. This may or may not be a problem for you.

I don't mind because knowing the shutter speed and apertures make it possible to use with different film speeds when paired with a hand held light meter.

Keep in mind that the one shutter speed and 3 apertures means you are most likely going to need to use it with a flash. If you're not comfortable with that, this is not the camera for you.

Alternative Cameras

There are a few alternative 3D cameras with three of four lenses that you may be able to find. The stereo cameras are older, better built, but only take 2 images.

  • Nishika N9000
  • Nimslo 3D
  • Minitech Quadra Lens
  • ImageTech 3Dfx, 3D Wizard, 3D Magic, Kalimar 3D
  • Trio Automatic

Stereo Cameras:

  • Stereo Realist
  • Busch Verascope F40
  • View Master Personal
  • Stereocrafters Videon
  • Graflex Stereo Graphic

For more information you can check out http://paul67.fc2web.com/ . The website is in Japanese, but a Chromium based browser should be able to translate the page for you.

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