I recorded a few quick test shots today with the stereo base extender I ordered from Cyclopital. The bad news is that the right frame is a good 5-6% higher than the left, so it's misaligned vertically. I'm sure it's going to have to go back. I kept getting an error message when shooting that said I needed to switch to 2D mode. It was seeing the vertical misalignment and knew the 3D would not converge properly. Despite the distortion, my eyes could bring the images together. The device works (or will, when they correct the problem).
It actually does just what I hoped it would. The increased sense of depth is exactly what I've been missing with many of my shots. It produces 3D images that are more natural looking and much more satisfying. In order not to see the edges of the extender, I have to zoom in to the equivalent of about 65mm (around 50-58mm is considered "normal" - what the naked eye sees). That's slightly into the tele range, about 20% toward 2x zoom. That's a limitation I expected but which nonetheless is disappointing. Still, the benefit far outweighs the downside. It would be great to have both wide angle and a wider IA at the same time, but the device will allow me to get certain kinds of shots I simply couldn't get without it.
Frank, this device makes me remember vividly the extraordinary difference I saw with those first shots you posted in the JVC thread - where you had similar footage from the JVC and your dual Canon rig. I go back and watch those every once in a while to remind myself of what I'm missing with my JVC.
The sbe fixes quite a bit of that "something's-not-quite-right" feeling in the pit of my stomach. As a matter of fact, it gets me a lot closer than I was afraid it might. My worst fear was that the loss of wide angle might largely neutralize the benefit of the wider IA. From my test shots, though, I don't think that's going to be the case. The wider IA more than makes up for it.
Anyway, now I'm even more excited to get a properly aligned unit so I can start to gather some of the shots I want.