Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Stereoscope Viewers With DYI Reels

Image3D viewer
Nothing really compares to owning a vintage View-Master stereoscope viewer, but Image3D viewers come close. While it's slightly different than the original, the new vintage-savvy viewer was designed by former View-Master photographer Rich Dubnow for a very specific purpose.

Not only did Dubnow want his viewers to accept View-Master reels, but he wanted them to accept custom reels too. And now, all anyone has to do is upload seven photographs per reel (optionally add 3-D type) and the company will send a viewer along with any reel or reels ordered.

The most popular viewer comes in red, which mimics the now iconic Model G color released in 1962. But red isn't the only color available. Image3D viewers can also be ordered in black, blue and white. All orders include a glossy white box, suitable for a handful of freshly printed reels.

Image3D resurrects a vintage medium with a modern DYI twist. 

Dubnow originally founded the company as nothing more than a kitchen table operation. He wanted to produce 3-D experiences for corporate marketers and wedding parties in the Pacific Northwest.

Image3D reel
As he began to deliver the same stunning photographs that he was once commissioned to take for View-Master, his plans changed. Image3D expanded to become a state-of-the-art production facility and Dubnow led a team of 3-D photographers for location, studio and remote shoots for major clients.

While he his company still manages dozens of corporate clients, Image3D has also opened up a division that allows anyone to upload photos and build custom reels. The process is relatively straightforward: Name a reel, upload images, edit images, add text (optional), choose frames, and add a center image that will appear on the reel. There is a preview feature as well.

Individuals with 3-D images can take advantage of true stereoscope reels. The company does not convert individual 2-D images to 3-D images except for corporate clients. Even then, 3-D images are almost always superior to conversions. As a keepsake, it hardly matters. 2-D images are good enough.

I was first introduced to the Image3D viewers at a wedding where the bride and groom had included a viewer with custom reel of their courtship. It included seven of their favorite snapshots together, including their an engagement a year prior. The possibilities are about as endless as your imagination.

A couple more graphs about photographer Rich Dubnow. 

Rich Dubnow
Although Dubnow founded Image3D in 1997, he originally became familiar with 3-D photography at View-Master. Some of his most memorable work included Michael Jackson's Thriller, dozens of National Parks series, and most Spielberg movie reels.

Dubnow worked with View-Master until it relocated its headquarters from Beaverton, Oregon (where Dubnow lives), to New York. Dubnow was too attached to Oregon to make the move. Since then, View-Master has been owned by several companies, including Tyco Toys, Mattel, and Fisher-Price (a subsidiary of Mattel).

With more people interest in 3-D photography and novel mediums, perhaps Image3D will eventually include 2-D conversions on the Celebrate side. It would also be great if the custom reels would fit original View-Masters as easily as View-Master reels fit these specialized viewers. Until they do, this is still one of the most novel and nostalgic ideas around the holidays.

Image3D Viewers By Rich Dubnow Shoot 9.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

You can find the Image3D viewer and reel sets featured in SkyMall with some other new gadgets. The price starts at only $29.95 for the first set. International orders or marketing departments are encouraged to visit Image3D direct. Viewers and reels are typically shipped in approximately five days. Order date deadlines are also listed for the holidays. The last day to order is Dec. 15.

If you are interested in shooting your own 3-D images, Amazon features the Panasonic Lumix 3-D. You can also view specs on the Alptek 3-D 12 MP Digital Camera at Walmart for comparison purposes.

Just keep in mind that you don't have to have 3-D images to produce stunning keepsakes. 2-D images work well enough. And, of course, you could just order your own classic View-Master too. Reels are being made by several companies (even if Image3D viewers seem more universal).
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