2D Cameras

Stereo Cameras


Handheld Viewers

Stereo Projectors

Old Stereo Photos

New Stereo Photos

Stereo Misc.

WTF Is Stereo?

8 Perf Cameras
Although one may stumble across the odd custom built vintage piece, 8 perf cameras are a modern creation. With the flexibility of being able to crop the wide images to narrow frames, the only reason not to go this route is cost. The one and only vendor, RBT, is a small German company producing a high quality product...slowly. After placing a deposit, I waited over 20 months to get my camera. The wait can be much shorter, depending on circumstances. Currently available products all incorporate interchangeable optics. There are a wide variety of zoom, or prime lens pair options. Prices for a new camera start around $2400 plus lenses.

The X2V2 is a workhorse. Somewhat large and heavy, it none the less offers the greatest flexibility. Most folks buy a set of 24-90mm zooms. I've had some reliability problems with mine, but there really is nowhere else to go if you want a modern camera with manual or auto exposure, and zoom lens capability.

The S1, though out of production, is a highly desirable camera. Images are tack sharp, and the overall package is smaller than the X2. Auto focus makes the camera great for grab shots and general travel duties. The only possible nock on this machine are a slightly close stereo base and inefficient film usage. The stereo base means you want to keep the action close. A 36 exposure film roll yields only 15 images, but if you can afford the camera, film cost shouldn't be an issue. If you can find one in the $2,500 range I would consider it a bargain.


RBT S1 (out of production)

8 Perf Viewers
As previously mentioned, the Realist red button design can be widened all the way out to 8 perf, but if you're going for modern optics you should consider a better quality viewer. 3D Concepts offers a variety of wide format viewers. The Hugo de Wijs viewer has a choice of lens focal lengths, and is convertible between Realist and 2x2 mounts.

Realist Red Button modified to 8 perf.

Hugo de Wijs viewer with accessory light box.

Slide Mounts
To view a stereo slide, the left and right hand images must be properly mounted in a frame. All 35mm film formats use a common mount, once again designed by Seton Rochwite and adopted by everyone. These are commonly referred to as Realist mounts.

There are three styles of Realist mounts generally available. Slip in cardboard mounts are the easiest to use, and a good choice for casual shooters. The least expensive are cardboard heat seal mounts, but in use they can be extremely laborious to use. Each film chip must be individually aligned and held in place while the mounted is folded over and sealed with a hot iron. I used to do it this way, yuck! Once again a thoroughly modern alternative is the plastic snap together RBT mount. They use a clever pin register system to help ease film chip alignment and can be pried apart and reused. RBT mounts can be had from a variety of sources, and in a variety of sizes. They cost the most, but are the most convenient to use.