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The Stereo Realist® Camera designed by Seton Rochwite (1904-2000), ushered in the modern 3D era. First sold by the David White Company in 1947, it became the benchmark against which all subsequent 3D cameras would be measured. In fact, competing cameras and viewers (most notably KODAK and Bell & Howell) used the frame size Seton originally chose in order to balance the economy of film with performance. Part of the fascinating story of this unique camera is in Mr. Rochwite’s design. To quote Susan Pinsky and David Starkman, "most of the basic elements of modern stereo evolved not in a big research lab, but in an amateurs workshop." The 35mm lenses he chose were partly out of convenience (since the most reasonably priced cameras he could purchase and experiment with had 35 mm lenses) and partly the genius of Mr. Rochwite. We will never know how much of either went into the design, but it really doesn’t matter anyway, does it? The viewfinder is on the bottom to allow your forehead to stabilize the camera. With the lens cover closed, the centered viewfinder is blocked serving as a reminder for you to uncover the lenses. When you first operate a Stereo Realist® it’s awkward compared to just about anything you’re used to, but it grows on you.

     In 2001 I acquired the Stereo Realist® Trademark. Now in the 21st Century with the bewildering myriad of improvements that have beset the art of photography since 1947, Stereo Realist’s are still clicking away and seizing jewels of time, to the amazement and delight of even the digital generation. And it's still proving to be a benchmark. Every time someone’s jaw drops and they say, "Wow!" while peering into a Stereo Realist Viewer they’re paying tribute to Seton.