ScreenScope LCD Stereoscope
The ScreenScope LCD model is a mirror stereoscope for viewing side-by-side images in the parallel format and includes an arm for positioning the viewer in front of a computer monitor. The positioning arm frees the hands to work, and helps maintain a fixed working position to avoid repeated adjustment. The arm is mounted on an included metal base allowing it to stand independently of the monitor making it ideal for LCD monitors as well as laptop computer and CRT monitors. The ScreenScope features chrome plated first surface glass mirrors that present very clear images without ghost reflections or chromatic aberration (color fringing) which is inherent in prism based viewers. The mirrors are set at a based angle around 45 degrees and at this angle the mirrors are parallel and the viewer suits 4 to 5 inch wide images (8 to 10 inch wide image pairs). The angle of the outer mirrors can be decreased via screw adjustments to deflect light for more widely spaced image pairs and this allows larger images to be viewed from a greater viewing distance. Optional lenses are included which assist focusing at close range and provide a little magnification.
The ScreenScope LCD model is made by Stereo Aids in Australia. The view is supplied in a convenient box.
The stereoscope viewer included with the LCD model is identical to the ScreenScope Handheld Adjustable model apart from the handle being replaced by a socket and clamp at the top to suspend the viewer. Unfortunately a handle is not included which would have made the offering more versatile. The viewer uses high quality mirrors in a strong ABS plastic case and features adjustable outer mirrors. For more information about the viewer please see the review of the ScreenScope Handheld Adjustable viewer.
A ball and socket connector at the top of the viewer allow the viewer to be rotated for positioning and includes a clamp for mounting to the arm. A screw at the top closes the clamp and tightens the ball and socket contact to fix the position.
A concave eye mask is included that blocks distracting side views which increases immersion. The eye mask is a light press fit to the viewer and can be easily installed and removed. The concave shape of the eye mask is not ideal for people wearing glasses.
Magnifying crown glass lenses are included and these can be installed by pressing them into the back of the eye mask. The back of the eye mask contains a seat for the lenses. The lenses are useful for close viewing but when the viewer is positioned for good coverage of a typical monitor it will be too far away from the monitor to use the lenses.
The base of the arm is a relatively heave metal, greater then 1kg, and this weight help prevent the arm toppling over. The arm attaches to two clamps which appear identical to the clamp to suspend the viewer. The clamps can be removed and placed to the left or right of the base. The base includes four feet to seat the base well. A monitor can be placed on the base for further stability. The heavy base enables the arm to be placed independently of the monitor giving a lot of flexibility and it could well be used for viewing printed material rather than a monitor and it should be possible to position it for a laptop or CRT monitor.
The arm includes two extension arms and these are relatively light and appear to be made from square and circular aluminium tubing and the ends are filled with plastic caps.
The lower extension arm fits into the base clamps. Loosen the clamp blots before fitting. The arm was a tight fit into the clamps and it took some work to slide it along. Tighten the bolts to lock the position - it may be necessary to use a screw driver to hold the bottom end of the bolts to prevent them rotating while tightening.
The extension arms are connected but a sturdy plastic knuckle which can be adjusted to set the height of the arm.
The knuckle is fitted to the lower arm by loosening the set screws and inserting the knuckle over the square tubing. This was quite a tight fit at first which appeared to be caused by the plastic end cap of the arm being a little too large - it may have needed to be filed back a little on the sides.
The upper arm is similarly connected to the knuckle.
The viewer clamps to the upper arm, and the viewer can then be rotated to correctly position it and the clamp bolt tightened to fix the position.
The arm appears to perform well at positioning the viewer. The length of the arm and the light weight materials used for the extension arms can lead to some wobbling but it was not distracting. The clamps and the knuckle do slip if given a good push which may be a good thing. The extension arms appear to be made from aluminium tubing and it is not clear how well they would survive a good bump. Typically usage may require the viewer to be moved in and out of position regularly and it would seem most practical to loosen the knuckle and raise and lower the viewer as needed.