Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Sputnik Stereo – double the trouble

Sputnik Stereo – double the trouble

The stereoscopic Sputnik camera was manufactured for a good number of years, by LOMO, between 1955 to 1973, so it was not a rare model by any means. Based on the well-known Lubitel model, it is in fact a triple lens sort of camera, and a time, somewhat popular with those who were attracted to the niche of stereo photography.

Made from what appears to be quite a sturdy plastic material (it does look like bachelite of some sort though), the camera is of the waist-level viewfinder type, with a ground glass bright and clear. The interlocking of the focusing lens with both of the lenses ensures a correct focus, no need for the lenses to be set separately.

The format of the frames is 6×6, which makes this camera a medium format one. You’ll get 2 frames of 6×6 each on a 120 film, so you’ll get 6 sets of double, identical pictures out of a 120 roll film. In order to see the photographs as intended, one would need a stereoscopic viewer, which can still be found, if needed.

The lenses are fixed Triplet T-22 4.5/75, in a 6 speeds shutter: B, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60 and 1/125 of a second, with apertures starting at 4.5 to 22. Minimum focusing distance is 1.4m to infinity.

Parts and such are explained here on this diagram, excerpted from the camera’s manual:

The film is inserted via the back door, which is actually a “barn door” ; the metal slider is pushed downwards and both halves of the door open, by means of hinges. A knurled knob rotates in order to have the red window covered or not. Film winding is from left to right on the take up spool.

There is a flash nipple on the left lens mount, with a cable release on the right side one. A strange coupled lever (the long angled one under the lenses) is the aperture setting, with the shutter speed setting on a small lever underneath the right side lens. Shutter is cocked manually and released by means of a lever, both situated on the same right side lens (camera pointing forward).

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