image by The Adventurous Eye (Image rights)
The Stereophotoskop is a stereo camera made by Voigtländer, from 1904 until the 1920s. It makes stereo pairs of 4×4 cm images on 4.5×10.7 cm plates, which are held in a rapid-changing magazine for twelve plates. It is a simpler forerunner of the Stereflektoskop, introduced alongside it in 1914.
McKeown presents the camera in three main models (in fact, this is a slight simplification; the specification of the second model appears to have changed significantly):
- 1904 model. The first version of the camera was available with either 60 mm f/4.5 Heliar or 60 mm f/6.8 Kollinear lenses. There is no focusing. The irises of the two lenses are connected by an external metal strip so that they stop down together. The viewfinder is a non-focusing reflex finder; essentially a brilliant finder built into the body, between the lenses. There is a spirit level mounted behind this finder. There is also a folding Newton-type finder with cross-hairs, on the left side of the camera. The lens board projects beyond the end of the body on each side (McKeown describes the camera as having 'ears').
- 1908 model. This version has focusing lenses: again either a 60 mm f/4.5 Heliar or f/6.8 Kollinear. Now both the irises and focus controls of the two lenses are connected by external metal linkages. The shutter is also improved. The shutter speed is set with a wheel (at the top of the lens board, between the lenses), and the speed setting is displayed in a window in the front of the board. On one example seen, the speed is shown only as a number 1-8; however, all other examples seen display the actual shutter speed. This model of the camera still has a non-focusing reflex finder and a folding Newton finder (some examples have cross hairs; others lack them). It does not have the first model's 'ears'. Some examples have a rising (and falling) front; the lens board simply slides up under pressure. McKeown shows an example of this type without the rising front.
- 1923 model. This version has 55 mm f/5.5 Dynar lenses; these are fixed-focus. There is no longer a rising front. The reflex and Newton finders have both been replaced with a folding wire-frame finder on the top of the camera. However, the shutter has been replaced with a Stereo-Compur. McKeown states that the camera was sold in different versions with the plate magazine, with single plate-holders, or with a fixed film-pack adapter (a picture of this version is shown).
- McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown's Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 12th Edition, 2005-2006. USA, Centennial Photo Service, 2004. ISBN 0-931838-40-1 (hardcover). ISBN 0-931838-41-X (softcover). p962.
- Various Voigtländer stereo cameras, including all three types of Stereophotoskop at Voigtländer-Archiv; the text (in German) states that the second type has shutter speeds numbered 1-8.
- Second-type Stereophotoscop with Heliar lenses and spare plate magazine; a lot in Photographica Auction 5 in May 2007 by Rahn AG in Frankfurt. The shutter speed window clearly shows '200'.
- Second-type Stereophotoskop with Heliar lenses; a lot in an auction in September 2003 by Christies in London.
- Second-type Stereophotoskop with Heliar lenses; offered but not sold at the first Westlicht Photographica Auction on 15 November 2002; this example is missing both the control linkages, but the picture shows the focusing scale and shutter speed control well.