If you’ve been digging the 3D images floating about on Instagram, this vintage ad featuring the Stereo Realist will especially fascinate you.
Stereo cameras like the popular Nishika 8000, Nimslo 3D, and even the new RETO3D are all the rage with today’s experimental photographers, as film photography trends on Instagram indicate. However, this interesting type of photography is not a recent invention, as today’s featured vintage camera ad from many decades past reminds us. If you’re particularly interested in the history of 3D or stereo cameras, this could be something worth checking out!
Today’s magazine ad, as with the previous vintage cameras ads we’ve shared, was spotted from r/vintageads on Reddit. It features the stars of the 1953 3D horror thriller film House of Wax posing to endorse the Stereo Realist. “Stereo-Realist pictures are a thrilling experience in three-dimensional realism,” the main text reads. The May 1953 ad also mentions that it’s the choice of Warner Bros. for all stereo still photography and adds, “People who know picture-making just naturally prefer the Realist…both for professional and personal use.”
As for the camera itself, Camera Wiki tells us that the Stereo Realist was manufactured by the David White Company from 1947 to 1971 and was the most popular 35mm stereo camera ever made. It was also the camera the started the era of popular stereo photography of the mid-20th century and even attracted celebrities throughout the 1950s. Among them was silent film star was Harold Lloyd, who took portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page using this camera. Celebrities also often appeared in the Stereo Realist advertisements, including the House of Wax cast in today’s featured ads.
If you’re interested in doing 3D or stereo film photography using this vintage camera, you might want to check out a reportedly working unit with flash up for grabs for cheap on eBay.