really, David? a Realist?

Summer, 1951 ad exstolling the lenses of the Realist camera

Toronto. The Stereo craze ebbs and flows reaching a peak about every 50 years. In the later 1800s and early 1900s it was stereo cards. A basket of cards plus a Holmes viewer took the place of television or movies back then. In the 1950s and 1960s, 3D popped up again with stereo attachments, stereo cameras and movies all purporting to show things as they really were.

In the 2000s, much improved stereo movies appeared again plus stereo televisions. A lack of content finished the TV craze just as it started. I saw one 3D cartoon movie. Glasses were still needed, but the technology was far better than in the mid last century. And the 3D effect was far more natural than the 1950s branches and spears that threatened to poke out a viewers’ eye! A current form of 3D is called Virtual Reality (VR). A computer, control sticks, and a head band with built-in technology or a smart phone allows the wearer to move in 3D space and experience the intended effects. I tried things out at Ryerson a few years back.

This advertisement from page 31 of the July, 1951 issue of Popular Photography ( see my previous post for the correct link) features David White’s Realist camera, one of the better made cameras of the time although an expensive one. While these camera can simulate nature, they are not equipt for interchangeable lenses. Also the scene captured must have  both subject and foreground/background material  to demonstrate 3D. The above ad is courtesy of my good friend and fellow photographic historian, George Dunbar, who shared his find with us.

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