Loreo MK II 3D Stereo Camera

What a funky looking camera! I bought this with my winnings from the 2019 Grand National. I had a couple of quid on Tiger Roll at 14/1 before it finally settled at 4/1, lucky me. As it was free money, I decided to get myself something superfluous. Free money refers to money you didn’t expect to have and so have not budgeted for anywhere. The Grand National is a somewhat controversial topic, but I have not been in the UK to see it for 20 years so I was quite excited on the day. But at the very first fence a couple of horses fell, one obviously heavily and that made me feel very emotional with mixed feelings about the whole thing. Even so, free money!!

Recently I have been watching a TV show about World War 1. It features stereo photos that have been digitally enhanced. They are freakily effective.

Also Brian May has been on TV promoting his book about Queen which contains the same style of photos. He is a complete nerd when it comes to stereoscopic photos 🙂

That was it, I wanted a stereo camera!!! Oh crap, they are expensive 😦 Hmm, what to do??

Solution, buy an untested one with a broken flash and hope for the best. When it arrived it seemed in pretty good condition, but looking closer the mirrors do seem to have a slight layer of haze. I wondered whether I should try taking it apart and cleaning them before using it. In the end I decided against it as it might not even work. So here is the Loreo Stereo camera from 1999, but it is still available.. It has twin 28mm lenses, a single shutter speed of 1/60th and an aperture of f18 or f11 if you have one with a working flash.

You may have noticed I am a little impatient at times (all my family will laugh at that statement). Having a love of film photography has had no effect on that trait. If I am excited about a camera I tend to use it straight away, even when the weather might mean waiting would be a better choice. This camera was a prime example. I needed a clear, bright day with good film. I chose a humid, cloudy day with old film 🙂

The inside of the camera suggests 200asa film. I had some expired 400asa film. Seeing as I didn’t know if the camera would work, I didn’t see the point in using fresh film. I decided to take the camera to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as they had a few new pieces on display by Damien Hirst. Perfect for a stereo camera.

The way the camera works means you can take it to a regular shop for developing and scanning. Here are the results I got from that test.

Of course you can’t see the 3d effect but they came out….not in great condition, but they are there. There seems to be a light leak or a reflection of some sort. But, how to effectively view them. I tried the free viewing method and it made me a bit dizzy. I used to be able to see magic photos, but I think the fact I now wear glasses might have affected my ability. So I ordered a Google Cardboard device which has yet to arrive. In the meantime I decided to learn how to make wigglegrams using the free program Gimp.

This is a video heavy post, but what can you do if you decide to ‘wiggle’. Anyway, it didn’t take long to learn, but did take a long time to convert them all. It also made me a tiny bit queazy. So be warned, below are some of the wigglegrams I created. If they make you feel a bit weird, then don’t scroll down. I found the best ones have the subject closer to the camera. This style of photography is not mean for far off landscapes.

As for the camera, I did take it apart and cleaned the mirrors, it did make a difference. I also used some black tape on the film door which reduced the light leak. There also seems to be a reflection from somewhere, a ghost image on the negative. For the second test I used some street candy film. Here are some of the results after the cleaning.

And the second test.

4 thoughts on “Loreo MK II 3D Stereo Camera

  1. It reminds me of the Nimslo I used to have. That had 4 lenses and the film could be printed using special equipment that placed a lenticular screen in contact with the print, pretty much like the 3D pictures that are currently available from various sources, so a viewer wasn’t needed. It was very expensive and the results were variable, I never bothered with getting it done but I do have a processed film somewhere, the 4 images can be split into pairs and viewed with a stereo viewer.
    There is a way of seeing the 3D effect of your pictures without a viewer that works for me, just stare at each side separately (left eye to left picture, right eye to right picture) and somehow the brain makes it work – a 3D image appears in between the two pictures. I learnt that technique using magic eye books some years ago.
    Nice pictures, I haven’t been to the Sculpture Park for years, it looks like it’s time for a visit.

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    1. I really wanted the Nimslo, but it was out of my price range. I will try the staring approach again as the viewer really didn’t work well with the prints. Though viewing them on a smartphone in the viewer wasn’t too bad. And yes, go to the sculpture park, just be aware of the parking fee, at the moment £12.50

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