2D Cameras

Stereo Cameras

Cabinet Stereoscopes

Handheld Stereoscopes

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Old Stereo Photos

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Stereo Misc.

Stereo Cameras Explained

Repair or Restore?

Stereo Oddballs: While a couple of these pieces truly are odd, they illustrate the diversity of thinking in stereo camera design.
Goldmann Universal Stereo Camera

R. A. Goldmann Universal Stereo

Goldmann Wien

This could be considered a folding camera, but its unique nesting arrangement lands it here. The combination of fine cabinetry, and hardware store hardware, reminds me of my own father's attempts at building stuff. He would start well, only to end in duct tape. I can envision a new apprentice at the Goldmann works being given a pencil sketch of a wing nut, a file, and a piece of brass. There's even a screw head which has been filed almost to a triangle shape. It acts as a stop for a component of the shutter. A lot of effort and thinking has gone into the cabinetry. This is a bellows camera, with the back of the bellows mounted to the rear stand. In spite of this, the rear stand is boxed in, and fits into the bridge like a sliding box camera. It gives the impression of being a combination sliding box, and bellows design. In addition to sharing initials, there's an outside chance Rudolph Anton Goldmann was a relative.

Graflex Triple Lens Stereo Graphic

Folmer & Schwing Triple Lens Stereo Graphic

Say hello to the beast - a camera only its mother could love, or perhaps the men who designed it. Manufactured in a brief window from 1902 until Eastman's takeover of Folmer & Schwing in 1906, the Triple Lens Stereo Graphic is an extremely uncommon camera. Clearly intended as a top of the line stereo camera, today it is best known as the subject of a rare but popular Keystone stereo view. The 5 x 8 format should have produced impressive images, although I have never encountered such an image. This particular example was purchased by the previous owner from Ukraine, via an obscure and mislabeled Ebay auction.

Keystome Triple Lens Stereo Card

More about the camera.

Stereo Auto Graflex

Folmer & Schwing Division, EKC, Stereo Auto Graflex

Graflex, the renouned maker of advanced ammateur and professional press cameras, produced only two SLR stereo models. The first was the Stereo Graflex, and the second was this Stereo Auto Graflex. Differences between the two were minor. Both cameras shot 5 x 7 inch sheet film (I have seen a photo of a smaller format version, but know nothing about it). Today, Stereo Graflex cameras are few and far between. This example has an unsual feature which allows adjustment of the stereo base. I wrote a story about the camera for the Graflex Historic Quarterly. It appears in the 2nd quarter 2003 issue. I've reproduced it here.

 

Stereo Auto Graflex Case

Goerz Photo Stereo Binocle

Goerz Photo Stereo Binocle

While "Detective" cameras where all the rage in the late 1890s, I personally don't believe the intent here was to create a detective camera. Rather, the Binocle was merely the first of many attempts (continuing even into the age of digital cameras) to combine a pair of binoculars and a camera into one device. Unlike the Physiographe below, the Binocle does in fact work as binoculars. A turret located behind each eye piece hol ds three lenses, two different magnifications for regular viewing, and one for taking photos. Shutter controls are located between the eyepieces. In viewing mode the shutters are locked open and the device used like regular binoculars. To take photos, the Binocle is turned around, the front lens elements are swung down out of the way and plate holders installed in their place. A newton finder folds up for framing and one essentially holds the device backwards to take photos through the picture taking lenses in the eyepieces. While you could arguably call this stealth, I tend to believe any time you look backwards through binoculars it tends to draw attention, not divert it. For this reason, I'll claim function - even though it probably was considered a detective camera in its day.

Bloch Le Physiographe

Bloch Le Physiographe

The Bloch brothers produced cameras in the form of a book, a cravate, a briefcase, a monocular, and like this example, a pair of binoculars. Was anyone ever fooled by one these devices? Who knows. Le Physiograph was patented in the late 1890s and soldiered on in production until shortly after WWI. Camera controls are located between the objective lenses. The one on the left is fake, and is used as a handle for the plate changing magazine. The right objective looked through a 90 degree finder located in the black rim. Because the natural tendency is to hold a binocular with both hands, I could see many images being ruined by a hand in front of one of the lenses. The difficulty of using the 90 degree finder likely also lead to many angled images. According to McKeowns, early examples were in 5 x 12 format. Later examples, like this one, are in the ubiquitous 45 x 107 format.

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