Stereoscopic Cameras

How many times have you tried to describe something only to be limited by your ability to verbalize the shades, colors and emotions that you felt? With the invention of photography, our ability to communicate took giant leaps forward and since it’s advent, humans have been trying to improve upon capturing photos in some very interesting ways as I found out while browsing the net today. Take for example, the stereoscopic camera, which creates two images of the same event that, when viewed in a stereo viewer, creates an image that appears three-dimensional with depth and perspective no longer suggested, but right in front of your eyes, just like you’d be seeing if you had been there in person.

Stereoscopic cameras, it turns out, have been around for a long time.  According to Camerapedia, the first one was invented around 1847 and most ‘better households’ had their own stereoscopic camera that created pictures either by daguerreotype or calotype.

an early stereoscopic camera

Commercial stereo cameras became widely available at the turn of the twentieth century with the release of Jules Richard’s Verascope and Kodak’s Brownie Hawkeye Stereo cameras.

Kodak’s Stereo Brownie

During the twentieth century, two boom periods of stereoscopic photography occurred. The first period occurred, in the 1950’s with the release of the Stereo Realist and the second occurred in the mid-1980’s with Nimslo and Nashika cameras. These latter models offered lenticular printing to everyone (lenticular printing is a multi-step method of printing which produces pictures that move or wiggle when tilted from side to side).

Seton Rochwite with his invention the Stereo Realist camera, from

Nimslo Quad Cam

My research also uncovered some interesting new innovations in the digital camera world. Adobe is developing a lens that captures all visual information into one exposure and through Photoshop the photographer can choose which elements to use in the final shot. That certainly takes the artistry and experimentation out of photography. Who am I kidding, it kind of sucks the soul out of the whole process, but it’s pretty interesting nonetheless. Check out this article and short video.

Then there’s the Nano Cam, which claims to be able to make a high-definition mega-pixel camera capable of capturing stunning images through the use of a multi-lens camera using nano technology. For now, film is all the technology I can handle. See the Nano Cam for yourself.

Finally, there appears to be a company out there making what looks like a modern, medium-format film-loaded 3-D camera.

photo from

Made by 3D-World this camera gives you six stereoscopic images on a roll of 120 film and it can be yours for the low, low price of around $1,500 USD. Where is it made? Why China, of course. Get the full specs here.

I think this DIY Kodak Disposable 3D camera is much more my speed. View directions for making one yourself on Photojojo’s website.


Clicking internet links is like looking up words in the dictionary. You go there to find one thing and end up completely side-tracked because you just have to find out the meaning of something new and crazy-sounding. Here are some images of some vintage multi-lens cameras that I was ACTUALLY searching for. Happy snapping!

Russian Panoramic Camera

1860 Dubroni Stereo Wetplate

Ernamann Heag Stereskop

Sears Soroco Stereo

American Optical Co. Stereo camera

Prototype of a 3 lens Graflex

Prototype of Nord Stereo Camera

Folmer Schwing Triple Lens Camera

Gallus Triple Lens Stereo Camera

Unless otherwise noted, all images come from the very cool Classic Camera website. Give them a visit!

About ipdegirl

analogue girl in a digital world View all posts by ipdegirl

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