I own two Kodak Stereo Cameras, and here are my feelings. Please note that I am a Kodak fan.
We will start with the down side to these cameras first, not the prints, the camera only. First if you let them sit for any amount of time you have to cycle the shutter about 100 times to get them moving at a usable speed, the shutter speeds will never be right, but they will be usable. Some cameras have shutters that do not have matching shutter speeds so you end up with different exposures on the two slides. The focus is typical Kodak infinite no DOF focus, but for 3D that is really what you want so it is not a real problem. Finally on some of these cameras the wind knob mechanism wears out and can be turned in reverse, if you are careful it isn't a problem, but if you hand the camera to an idiot (read pro photographer at Disney World that never shot film) it could be a problem because if you back wind too far the film comes off the take up spool and must be rewound and you can't use the rest of the roll.
In the hands of someone that has read the owners manual these are great cameras and easy to use once limbered up, if you can use a light meter or know that Sunny Sixteen guy your almost all set, remember you can not turn the camera 90° (same Disney pro insisted wanted to do that even after I told him twice not to, and he saw that it shoots a square format), there is a level you can see in the viewfinder to help you get level shots as well. It's easy to load and unload the film, and the controls are about where you would expect them to be. The shutter speed and aperture are together and easy to get at. Focus is on both lenses, but I really don't see any change when I adjust it. I leave mine focused in the middle for just about every shot I take and it's fine.
The photos, there are two ways you can go here and I do both.
One way, and offers the best quality. You can use slide film and mount the slides yourself, it's a pain to do, but the results are well worth the work. Both Kodak and Stereo Realist make good viewers with lights in them and there are arguments for and against both, guess what one I have. You can also get viewers that you can use if you are in a bright place, they are a few dollars so you can pass them to a friend with a few slides without breaking the bank. These can also be projected in expensive hard to find projectors.
You can shoot print film and process it but DO NOT CUT IT then scan the negatives and make stereo cards using software like "StereoPhoto Maker" (yes you spell it that way) or something similar, that is what I use, and I like it a lot bonus is that it's free. Print the sinful Digital image onto 5X7 paper as a 3.5 X 7 image, cut the paper to the image size after printing and view in your favorite type of stereo scope. The advantage of this format is that someone that is unwilling to use the scope can still view the prints, or one or more people can look over the shoulder of the person viewing the prints and see them as 2D photos.
Never cut or allow someone to cut your 3D film unless you are mounting it and then do it slowly, cut, mount, repeat, the only time a film chip should not be in a mount is the time from when it is cut until it is mounted, you should never have two loose chips ever. Failure to do this will result in frustration at best, or on the case of print film one half of your slide being cut in half and unusable. This is where One Hour processing places have send out places beat, they can do process, no cut, no prints in twenty minuets, then they will roll it up, scratch it and put it back in your film can. If you do print film you will need a roll film scanner, I recommend the Wolverine F2D with roll film adapter, it is a crappy scanner, but it does this job better than any other scanner I know of.
If you are going to do Holms cards (look it up, it is a stereo card format) you may want to pick colors for subjects or locations, it makes it a lot easier to find a print in the archive box.
One other tip is this, you know those lousy shots with lots of stuff in the foreground like tree branches and stuff, well in 3D those are the best shots, not the worst.
Have fun with it, 3D is such a gimmicky thing, but it can be a lot of fun, and it's fun to share.
Here is an example of what I have done using the process described above for making a Holms card.
Last edited by bblhed; 07-17-2010 at 07:21 PM. Click to view previous post history.