2010/9/1 -- These web pages have been permanently moved to:
A hyperspherical image made with the Spherecam. The horizontal field
of view is 540 degrees and the vertical field of view is 720 degrees.
Around 1992, I built an experimental camera, called the Spherecam.
It is a one of a kind ultra wide angle camera that records a scene in
possible viewing directions (4pi steradians). The camera uses a pair of
hyperhemispherical fisheye lens to record the scene in all directions.
After computer processing, the resultant full sphere image can be
in a number of ways including as a panoramic image, a 360 degree
image and dynamically though a java or VRML viewer. This page includes
several examples of photographs taken with the Spherecam and a
description of how the Spherecam operates.
This unusual photograph includes all viewing
directions (360 degrees horizontal, 180 degrees vertical field of
was taken with the Spherecam. Even though it appears that the camera
removed from the image, it was never present in the scene. There is a
biconical region that encircles the camera in which objects, including
the camera are not visible. As the photographers hand enters this
his hand disappears. Click here for
a dynamic view (using PTviewer
java) of the sailboat image. Click here
for a RealVR view of the sailboat image.
This is a panoramic photograph produced
unwrapping a single Nikon 6 mm fisheye photograph in Adobe Photoshop.
horizontal coverage is 720 degrees, the vertical coverage is 110
The same photo can be viewed as a java view
or as a RealVR view.
This photograph is a panoramic image
degrees horizontal, 180 degrees vertical coverage) taken with the
This image includes all possible viewing directions. This near-field
measurement system, one of two in this facility, is used to test large
spacecraft communications antennas. The image can be viewed dynamically
using Java or RealVR.
The Spherecam imagery can also be computer processed into an upward
or horizontal 360 degree (full sphere)
fisheye image. There is no fundamental rule that says that a photo has
to be limited to a full sphere. Even wider angle views are possible
as this example with a 750 degree
and a 450 degree vertical field of view.
This photograph was taken near dusk in
town Los Angeles from a small Robinson R22 helicopter. Image processing
was with Panorama Tools and Photoshop.
for a dynamic view of the helicopter image (using PTviewer
Just for fun, this NASA photo from the past was processed using
Tools. See what the interior of the Gemini spacecraft looks like.
Spherecam technical description
This is a technical overview of the Spherecam camera system.
This is a simplified step by step procedure for making RealVR images
the use of fisheye lenses, Adobe Photoshop and the RealVR plugin. The
image merging used by the Spherecam can be largely automated as a Adobe
Photoshop 4.0 action file. Click here to download this action file sphere.atn.
Note that it will be necessary to customize it slightly for the
fisheye lenses and film scanning setup. This image processing can also
be done with the free software program Panorama
Tools, written by Helmut Dersch. Panorama Tools is optimized for
type of processing and is now the preferred approach.
This paper was published by the International
Association of Panoramic Photographers (IAPP) Journal in 1996. Some
of the images in this were poorly compressed so the image quality is
This page describes a simple optical relay system that allows the 6 mm
f5.6 fisheye Nikkor lens to be used with the Nikon D1 digital camera.
Answers to frequently asked Spherecam questions.
Copyright 1996-2004 by Dan Slater, All rights reserved