2D Cameras

Stereo Cameras

Cabinet Stereoscopes

Handheld Stereoscopes

Stereo Projectors

Old Stereo Photos

New Stereo Photos

Stereo Misc.

Stereo Cameras Explained

Repair or Restore?

Stereo Accessories

Folks today are generally unaware just how popular stereo photography once was. It would be easy to create an extensive collection of stereo accessories and miscellania. I have never actively pursued accessories per se, but inevitably one acquires them. The items in this section are merely a taste of what one could buy.

Trousse de Taxiphote

Trousse de Taxiphote

Trousse de Taxiphote

Trousse de Taxiphote

Literally translated, it means case of Taxiphote. I'll have to do some digging to learn if the case was generic, or if it was specifically designed for its contents. In this instance, the contents are a rare set of accessory Taxiphote lenses.

Richard never succeeded in creating the perfect viewing cabinet. Each design bore inherent compromises. The original model provided too little magnification. The Optical Model, intended to address this shortcoming, introduced considerable image distortion. Even the ultimate Model Mechanique offered better image magnification at the price of greater complexity and expense. It also wanted larger diameter optics, but was limited by the size of the lens panel.

An additional complexity came in the form of Autochrome color images. Unlike black and white photos, which were transposed when printed, the Autochromes were not. It was therefore necessary to cut the glass plate positive apart and swap the left and right hand images, or view the uncut plate through transposing prisms.

This Trousse contains two useful accessory sets of lenses. The first are a set of lower magnification lenses. Although they provide a flatter, less distorted image, one wonders if this is merely undoing the whole design concept of the Mechanical Taxiphote. The real gems are the transposing prisms. Based on the same design as the hand held viewer, this special lens pair allowed viewing of uncut Autochrome plates. Oddly, while the prisms drop down on the hand help viewer, their orientation is up in the Taxiphote.

There is a third set of cutouts in the case. My set only included the two mentioned lens pairs. I'm guessing the third spot is for the standard lenses. which came with the Taxiphote. The size is right. This set is designed for the Model Mechanique and will not work on a standard or Optical Model. Did Trousse lens sets exist for the other models? I don't know.

Printing Equipment and Frames

When an image passes through a lens, it gets flipped and flopped. In other words, the image on film is both upside down and reversed left to right. With a single 2D image, this is no big deal, but in stereo it poses a problem. When making positive slides from a stereo negative, the position of the two images on the slide must be swapped. If this is not done, the resulting image appears psuedoscopic. The result is foreground and background details are reversed. Your intellect says the house is in front of the mountain, but your brain says the mountain is closer than the house. Psuedoscopic images are no fun.

The method of producing a positive stereo slide from a negative was to use a transposing contact printer. These devices ran the gamut from crude and simple to quite ingeniously complex. They all operate on the same basic p rinciple. A negative from the camera is set in one end of the frame and an unexposed positive plate or paper card is set in the other. The overlapping portion of the two images is exposed to light and we have one half of the finished image. The negative and positive are then swapped to opposite ends of the box and exposed again.

Novices often have difficulty distinguishing between correct and psuedoscopic images, but experienced viewers see the problem right away. American print frames I have seen include instructions printed right on the product. Experienced photographers probably operated on autopilot while engaged in the tedious process of making multiple slides.

Richard Inverseur Automatique

Verascope Automatic Inverseur 45x107

Not surprisingly, Richard made a variety of printing devices. At the high end of the scale were devices like this Automatic Inverseur. Though mechanically very clever, it still required several steps be performed in the correct sequence or you could throw away your plate and start over.

How It Works

Richard Inverseur Automatique 6x13

Automatic Inverseur 7x13

The 7x13 model Inverseur is less common than the smaller 45x107 model. This example is more complete than my 45x107. It includes the base, with plate storage drawer, and still has the back cover with chimney. I have seen a 6x13 example with a cover on top of the chimney, although there is no visible evidence (scratches or marks) to indicate this unit is missing a chimney cover. Operation is similar to the 45x107 unit. One important difference is while the negative plate is fixed in position on the smaller model, in the 7x13 unit, the negative plate must be moved side to side in the opposite direction to the positive plate being exposed.

Richard Le Homeos Printer

Richard LeHomeos Transposing Printer

Homeos Printer, early

This diabolical machine was offered for sale as a viewer or projector. The projector notion is plausible, but in fact, this a transposing printer for Richard's Le Homeos, 35mm roll film stereo camera. The "chimney cap" incorporates a small bulb holder. The brass knob near the base controls a diaphragm for light control. A remarkable rotary mechanism swaps the bits of film around, and if you do it just right, out comes an exposed positive with the left and right hand images on the proper sides. I don't know if the dividing line between the early and late printers was the war, but clearly, the later viewer represents a complete rethink of the concept. To me, this thing is in the running for coolest photo accessory ever.

Richard Homeos Transposing Printer

Richard Homeos Transposing Printer

Homeos Printer, late

This transposing printer was intended to be used in conjunction with the Richard Homeos roll film camera. The internal markings, obviously, indicate the progression for transposing the Homeos' 35mm roll film. However, I have not sussed out its operation. There are two screws on the front of the unit, and a cut with a vertical pin inside. If there are parts missing, and what purpose they serve is beyond me. Any suggestions? Internally there appears to be a filter holder between the light source and the internal light reflection area. Once again, I do not know how this would have been employed. The amber panel at the top is a built in safelight(?). The film transport is clearly designed for roll film, and the makers label says "Homeos Richard," so I think it reasonable to assume it was accurately presented when I bought it.

Update: Arnaud from (somewhere on Earth) was kind enough to send a picture of the hand tool used to advance film through the printer. This at least solves the mystery of the slots.

Homeos Printing Tool

Verascope F40 Printer

Verascope F40 Printer

Richard Verascope F40 Printer

I don't really know much about this piece. Like all roll film stereo cameras, the Verascope F40's frames were transposed, and had to either be viewed in a transposing viewer or cut apart and mounted for parallel viewing. I assume the printer was designed to make positives from black and white negative film. The instructions, of course, are in French, and I haven't attempted a translation. Any information on the employment of this device will be gratefully accepted.

Kodak Stereo Hawk-Eye Self-Transposing Printing Frame

Kodak Stereo Hawk-Eye Self-Transposing Printing Frame

Kodak Stereo Hawk-Eye Self-Transposing Printing Frame

Kodak Stereo Hawk-Eye Self-Transposing Printing Frame

After the turn of the century, Kodak produced a series of folding stereo cameras. The large roll film negatives were sized to make contact prints on pre cut stereo cards. Each camera had its own dedicated transposing print frame. Step by step printing instructions were clear and easy to follow. This particular example was for the Stereo Hawkeye camera. The difference in spelling between the print frame and the camera itself is interesting.

Simple Unlabeled Frame

Here we have an unlabeled transposing print frame in 45 x 107 mm format. The way it works is a negative plate from the camera is set in one end of the frame and an unexposed positive plate is set in the other. The overlapping portion of the two images is exposed to light and we have one half of the finished image. The negative and positive are then swapped to opposite ends of the box and exposed again.

Glass Plates

Next up should be my collection of toilet seat covers, but instead... There must have been an untold number of glass plate vendors, and somewhat surprisingly, they lasted through the 1950s. Before the advent of Kodachrome film, stereo positives were produced in two steps. First, a negative image was shot in the camera on a glass plate. It then had to be transposed and contact printed on a glass positive slide. These boxes represent a tiny cross section of available glass plate vendors. Once again, I have never "collected" these per se. If one buys lots of images, one ends up with lots of boxes.

Diapositifs Verascope Richard

Is it soup yet?

Other Stuff

stereo photo salesman's display

Stereo Photo Salesman's Display

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sales of stereo cards and slides was big business. This display frame could have been used in a store, a studio, or even on a street vendor's cart. The 6 x 13 slides can be removed for inspection or sale by lifting the appropriate knob on the edges of the frame. A slotted inserted rose up, exposing the edges of the slides, allowing them to be removed. This particular set are all recreations of Holy Land scenes - a popular stereo theme. The slides are all carefully hand labeled "Editions Stéréoscovi Déposé" and include catalog numbers. The slides vary somewhat in quality, with a few showing the high contrast one might expect from a master negative a few generations from the original.

Stereo Realist Mounting Kit

Stereo Realist Mounting Kit

Back in the day, before the advent of RBT plastic snap together mounts with their pin register system, precision mounting of slide pairs was a hassle. To "simplify" the process, David White offered this slide mounting kit. It included all the accoutrements: film cutter, film chip sorting box, alignment gauge, tweezers, and a heat sealing iron.

Perrin Realist Gadget Bag

Perrin Gadget Bag

Where Seton Rochwite went, Perrin seemed to follow. Over the years they produced camera cases for the Realist and Contura cameras, and provided the leather used on Contura bodies. They also produced these nice Realist logo gadget bags. There must have been quite a few sold because they are not uncommon today.