APEC: How to make a stereograph

The Craft

Making print photos with a Realist

Prints

with

a

Realist

format

stereo

camera

 
 

Prints with a Realist
The Realist, the Kodak and other "Realist format" stereo cameras from the 1950s were designed to take slides. You can still buy cut-and-mount-your-own-Realist-format-slide supplies (Reel 3-D) and if you own one of these cameras you probably load it with slide film. Smart.

What if you want prints? You've got a problem.

The problem -- size
These cameras expose strips of film that are not as long as the modern 35 mm standard. (Spanning 5 film perforations rather than the current 8. 5-p instead of 8-p.) So you can't take Realist slides down to Moto-Photo to have prints made. Even if they want to help, chances are your local lab just doesn't have equipment to make copies for you.

Four Solutions

1. Buy a slide duplicating tube and make your own.
I've put the best solution first. It's the cheapest and most flexible.

Paying someone else to make stereo prints from your slides will cost you about $4 a pair. With a slide duplicating tube you can do the same thing for the price of film and processing. Lots cheaper.

You can buy slide duplicating attachments for less than $100, from Adorama or B & H. Look at the ads in the back of the national photography magazines for their current prices and phone numbers.

Here's how it works (photo): Make a stereo slide. Use an SLR with a slide duplicating attachment to copy your slide onto print film. Now you've got the image on print film in a format most local labs can handle. Easy?...Sort of. There are a couple things to know:

Tip 1. Have the prints made at a semi-pro lab, not at K-Mart, Target, or any big store that sells cut rate processing. Processing done by machines. Machines run by cretins. Machines that will goof up your 5-p to 8-p prints.

Go to a mom and pop lab, take a Realist slide and a viewer, take a print stereograph and a viewer. Talk to the person who'll actually do the work. Show them what you need. Get them interested. You'll get good results.

Tip 2: Use special low-contrast print film! Kodak Vericolor VPS III or Fujicolor NPH are both good. Standard print film will make copies with whopping contrast.

 

2. Find a friendly lab
Most local labs can't do what you want, but some can -- or can jury rig a system that will make it work. Again, take a Realist slide and a viewer, take a print stereograph and a viewer. Talk to the person who'll actually do the work. Show them what you need. Get them interested. You'll get good results.

Downside: likely to be relatively expensive. One lab I tried wanted $24 per print, $48 per pair!

 

3. Find a friendly mail order lab
Grand Photo has a good reputation. (612) 699-9886. Talk to Janet.
$4 for the first print pair from a slide, after that $1 for each print copy of the same pair.GP will also process Realist format stereo print film.

 

4. Print film
Labs that don't have equipment to copy slides may be able to rig up something to make prints from print film exposed in a Realist. Go to a mom and pop lab, take a Realist slide and a viewer, take a print stereograph and a viewer. Talk to the person who'll actually do the work. Show them what you need. Get them interested. You'll get good results.

Grand Photo has a good reputation. (612) 699-9886. Talk to Janet.

 

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