Does anyone know of those keychain picture viewers that are really popular at the beach? You would get you photo taken, then it would be an instant, and be put in a keychain viewer for a small fee. Does anyone know what type of camera, film, printer, etc?

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  • 2
    Are those popular at the beach right now or, as the image looks, at least 40 years ago? I do have a slide viewer which is pretty similar, I can expand on that in an answer if it is the right direction at all ;)
    – kamuro
    Mar 25 '16 at 7:45
  • FWIW, I've gotten one of those within the last 10 years in Santa Monica, CA. I'm pretty sure you could get one today, too. Mar 26 '16 at 3:12
  • Can you develop this film to print? If so any recommendations? Aug 5 '19 at 11:39

Google search led me to the following expired service: http://www.domainvanhorn.com/viewer/

As written in the page information, there is a regular slide film in the contraption, which consists of a matte white screen and a single simple lens. This is a setup comparable of the most simple slide viewers which, for example, can be found here:
Also the image on this website explains the mechanism and placement of parts in the contraption pretty well.

In the case of the keychain, an uploaded digital image is exposedto slide film, which is then developed and permanently fixed in the contraption.


This keychain viewer use traditional-analog film frame (35mm slide). You just cut it and place in the white "screen".


You can still buy them. For example, Radex Inc. sells them in lots of 100 for $60. The half-frame film viewer is the one you have pictured, but they also have a full frame version and some translucent ones that are appropriate for prints instead of slides. I'm sure there are other sources as well. Adorama has them for $0.99 each and Amazon has them at $22.50 per 50.


About your question, the most popular camera used to make the photos for the "Keychain" was the Olympus Pen-E. In Brazil it was a very popular camera. The origin of this camera is Japanese. Please, when was a photo taken in your post?In the USA? I did not know that this type of photography was known in the USA. I wrote a book about it, but it's in Portuguese. Go to: https://issuu.com/elinaldomeira/docs/monoculo_so_se_for_aqui__na_minha_t

  • Worth noting that this is a half-frame 35 mm camera, and any half frame will produce the same image size -- the Olympus Pen family was popular in the 1970s, but there have been others.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Apr 16 '20 at 12:36

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