First View-Master Reel

Photos taken on View-Master Personal Camera, Fujifilm Velvia 50

Our vintage View-Master film cutter and personal mounts arrived early last week and I have made our first personal View-master reel.

The process was actually easy and I am very impressed with the precision engineering of the cutter and mounts.

All you have to do is load your uncut strip of 35mm film into the cutter by aligning the first pair of frames with the cutting holes. Then use the knob to move the film from shot to shot, it clicks nicely into place for each image.

Push down on the cutter and it stamps out the stereo pair of images you are currently looking at.  Take the resulting finger nail-sized film clips, slip them into the tweezers-like inserter, then slide them into open slots in the blank reel.

The only challenge is making sure you have the right side of the reel facing towards you (the one without blank labeling lines for each image) as you insert the film.  You also have to insert the film backwards as if you were looking through it from the opposite direction.

I goofed this up a couple times before I paid good attention to the circle and square guide marks put on both the film and reel.  I will post about this process in more details soon.

Putting my first reel together only took about ten minutes, and I bet with just a little practice it will easily get under five.

There is something magical about seeing yourself and your family in 3D via a View-Master viewer!

Seeing Double

(this shot of the film taken with) Nikon D300, Nikkor AF 105/2.8 D Micro

As my Dear Sweet Wife has mentioned, we have been bitten by the View-Master bug in our household.

In this day and age when our kids have done just about everything possible on our iPhones, it has been a pleasure to see them wildly entertained by our childhood favorite analog stereo image viewing device.

Our six- and three-year olds, their cousins, and a number of their friends have been amazed for hours by viewing wheels about Dora, Cars, space exploration, and other topics.

While we are happy to see the View-Master brand still alive and well after over 65 years, we are getting serious about making our own reels via a decidedly vintage approach!

We purchased a classic View-Master Personal Stereo Camera and have run our first roll of slide film through it.  I shot a number of exposure tests and everything seems to have come out well.

With this success under our wings we have ordered the accompanying vintage cutter device which slices out the pairs for perfect insertion into blank reels.  With luck we may make our first reels in a week or two.