View-Master Camera

Can I get prints made of my family's old Personal Reels?

Yes. Joseph Kearse will do this for a reasonable fee.

Pictures: $2 per professionally printed Flat Picture (approx 4 x 4.3) / $1.00 for each additional print. Scan only: $1 per Scanned Frame ($0.85 each for 20 or more) Stereo cards, stereo scans, and larger prints also available.  See examples on his website.

Also the Epson 2450 scanner (or similar later model) does a fine job of scanning View-Master reels which you can then have printed by most photo processors like Wolf Camera.

Please keep in mind that If you make them into prints they will be flat (not 3D) photographs. They were shot on this format for a reason. They wanted them to be viewed in this format and in 3D.  There are many legitimate reasons for making flat dupes (copies for family and such), but don't lose the magic of the view-master format just to make it more convenient.

Another neat option is keeping them as 3D anaglyph prints. You can do this manually or use this convent tool made just for copying View-Master Personal reels:

Can I make duplicates of my pictures?

Yes, but with degraded quality. The images are very small and don't make good masters for duplication. I have heard good things from people who have had this done by Dale Labs in Florida.

Another option (that I have not tried) is shooting negative film and having it transferred to movie film stock (contact print). You can make as many copies as you like. Find out which film stock is being used though. The newer Kodak "Estar" print stock can't be cut with the VM Cutter.

You may also want to look into the info from Kevin Pernicano on Building Your Own VM Copy Unit. for copying from Realist format slides.

Can I get around using special cutter and just use scissors?

Not really.   The pictures are not a perfect rectangle (tapered at one end) and it requires extreme accuracy to have them work correctly in a Personal Reel Mount. You may want to read Making custom View-Master Reels using a 35mm or Realist camera however.

What's the minimum equipment I need?

The Camera, Blank Reel Mounts, and access to a cutter (you can get someone to cut them for you to mount)

How can I get my cutter sharpened?

Walter Sigg offers this service for $25. email:

Where can I get Personal Reels?

Personal reels are temporarily out of production, but will be available from soon.

What's so special about the personal reels? Can't I just modify a production reel?

They are made differently, see this link for more info.

Do they still make a View-Master camera?

No. The only ones compatible with the format are ones from the 50's and 60's, but they are great cameras and can be used with any modern 35mm film.

Do they use a View-Master camera to make production reels?

No. The masters are made on a larger format. Typically twin 35mm or a vintage Realist format (or european format) stereo camera.

What is Stereo Photography exactly?

A method of taking pictures to imitate the perspective of the viewer using two lenses creating to distinct images representing the left eye and right eye view. See This Great Tutorial. or this Great Overview by Dr T.