I Want My Viewmaster


I do. And I want the reels that have Aladdin and Donald Duck and Red Ryder adventures. I want bright colours and hyper stereo effects and a whole small world in front of my eyes. It was good enough for me in 1953, it should be good enough for me now.

My recent experiments in stereo pictures have been fascinating – because I am finding out what the lumps in the minefield contain. So far I have made about a dozen errors and have been able to se them for what they are – and I’m doing research through the internet to come up with the scientific explanation for those flaws. Presumably they can be overcome.

The joyous thing is the experiments cost nothing – I can shoot, process, and see for no money spent. I suspect it might be necessary to find some matched lenses for a Holmes stereo viewer at some time in the future, but at present I am trying my luck with images displayed on the imac and the iPad.

Unfortunately the images on even the best computer screens are made up of little tiny dots and when you get a sharp focus on them your main image becomes little dots. The old Viewmaster or other 3D cameras used colour slide film and it was remarkably grain-free.

The dear old VM also used a small stereo window and short focal-length lenses to give a massive depth of field in the image. No wonder we had exceptionally engaging virtual worlds   and loved living in them. And they clicked over one at a time. We didn’t realise how much magic and mathematics we were seeing. In fact, if I had not grown up and widened my inter-pupillary distance to 66mm, I would go back there now.

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