When you were a child, did you ever had a view master in the hand? Descend into the magical world of 3D pictures with one of the most beautiful cameras you have ever seen...
This fascinating 3D pictures of Disney, the Flinstones, and other animated stuff, my mother once bought them for my older sister and brother, but she took care of it like a treasure. I don’t remember that I saw the pictures often. Just on special days, for example when one of us both children had been ill, she went to her highest cupboard, and behind several other stuff, she had hidden it and opened for a short reel of seven pictures a magical three dimensional parallel universe… some months ago, I asked her, if I could borrow the View Master – but no chance and she still forbids me to use! But today, thanks to the internet, every wish can be satisfied a few clicks away.
When I searched for a View Master Viewer, I just saw something more exciting – a View Master Camera! I was in love. This camera is one of the most beautiful fotocameras I have ever seen! It is fabricated in 1962, called the View Master Stereo Color, and every stereo camera on the whole world must look like nothing compared to it!
Sure, it WAS expensive. But I compared it to all offers around the world, and checked that it was a really good price for it, as I also got a cutter machine, a Viewer and several reels. I discovered even an old dia film in the package when it arrived! It took me several weeks with waiting for good weather, repairing the shutter and reading the manual before I started with the first film.
You can also find a manual in the Internet (it’s in German, but I’m sure that english ones also exist):
The camera is really big and heavy, after all the plastic I expected it to be smaller and more light. It has a wheel, where you fix the ISO once (from 10 to 100). After this, for every shoot you take, you estimate the colors, pick one of the three color panels, and fix the weather-aperture in there (sunny, half cloudy, cloudy, and overcast). If you have a photometer, it is even easier, because you can see the number for the aperture on the bottom of the wheel.
The camera is loaded with 35mm slides film, and allows for a 36 pictures film 75 doubles (they’re really small) which are exposed through the two lenses. When you insert the film and close the back, you take six pictures, before positioning the counter on zero. Taking a picture is to tension the tightener, and then move the shutter down. Also long exposure is possible through moving the little arm under the lenses to B.
At the beginning, I had some problems with the tightener and the shutter, but I opened the head camera with a little screwdriver and could fix it.
The camera has a shutter speed from 1/30 to 1/60. The aperture goes from 8 to 15. You can also use it with a flashlight, I found an adapter to use the Diana Flash. The adapter just needs a cable. My pictures with the flash are not yet developed, but I think it worked good, perhaps I just have to find the right distance and the right settings.
When you develop the pictures, tell the laboratory not to cut them and to develop them the normal way to get positives (E6). For cutting them at home, a View Master cutter is highly recommended, because I feel certain that it is impossible to do without it!
After using the cutter (which is very easy) put them in your View Master reel by following the numbers of the reel, and then you can beam yourself into the magical 3D world of View Master!!
(Being drunk is not recommended, it took my hours to understand the numbers on the reel, which is in fact, very easy).
I’m really sorry that the impressive pictures can not be transferred to the Internet, as you have to see them through a Viewer. But I attach them anyway for giving you an impression. The film I used is a normal ISO 100 Kodak slides film.