A German-based startup named K|Lens is set to launch an ambitious new camera lens that the company claims is the first to bring 3D light field depth mapping to any full-frame camera.
K|Lens has been in contact with PetaPixel regarding its in-development lens system for several months. Since initial outreach, the physical design of the lens has changed a bit (the photos of the finished lens are notably different than the 3D models shown in example videos) but the underlying technology remains the same. In short, K|Lens has created what it claims to be the world’s first light field imaging lens that works for both still images and video and on full-frame cameras.
Light field technology was originally popularized by the now-defunct Lytro, but K|Lens pitches its optic as capable of delivering on those promises in a usable way instead of just what was essentially a gimmick.
The lens itself is quite large because it uses a system of mirrors to project nine slightly different perspectives of a scene onto the camera sensor simultaneously. The company says it is like looking at a scene with nine cameras positioned at slightly different angles all at the same time. The system works like a kaleidoscope, which is where the “K” in K|Lens comes from.