Know a good primer on stereoscope viewers and their photographic prints?
January 6, 2022 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get into stereoscopic viewing with a focus on stereographs circa 1900. I see generalist articles and stuff about cameras but I'm more interested in viewers and getting guidance on compatibility and standards. I'm hoping to buy a sturdy, comfortable viewer and avoid wasting money on incompatibly sized images on eBay.
posted by brachiopod to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I know user Sophont is into 3D photography.
posted by 8603 at 7:40 PM on January 6, 2022

Best answer: Check out The London Stereoscopic Company, which has viewers (This is Brian May of Queen's company. He is very much into stereographs.)
posted by gudrun at 8:16 PM on January 6, 2022

Best answer: Coming back to add that you should check out the National Stereoscopic Association, which publishes Stereo World magazine as a benefit of membership (recommended by a friend, who is heavily involved in scholarly research in this field).
posted by gudrun at 8:06 AM on January 7, 2022

Best answer: when you get past the early stuff i can extremely vouch for this viewer which has a backlight and is findable on ebay. The keyword for turning up content is stereoscopic slides. although the available slides are a bit expensive, and the quality of the photos tends toward the hobbyist.

The most satisfying of my own stereoscopic collection is definitely my extensive selection of viewmaster reels, also sourced from ebay.
posted by wowenthusiast at 3:10 PM on January 7, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks all. This stuff will get me on my way.
posted by brachiopod at 5:19 PM on January 7, 2022

You might not even need a viewer. Someone I knew could view stereographs unaided, which spurred me to learn to do it too. It just took a little practice.
posted by mpark at 7:55 PM on January 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

To follow up on mpark's comment, if you can access scans of stereographs with the centers of the images equal to or just a bit smaller than your interpupillary distance, you might be able to see them in 3D by pretending to look into the far distance and then focusing closer without converging your eyes. I've done this myself, and after a few tries it's fairly easy.
posted by brianogilvie at 8:03 PM on January 8, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks, yes. I know what you're both talking about but find the sweet spot for image size and distance is getting very small as I approach 60. I remember Viewmaster reels as a kid and playing with an antique viewer years ago - if memory serves, it seemed like they both filled up more of my field of view and made tiny details easier to read.
posted by brachiopod at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2022

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