Antique and vintage cameras are valued by collectors for many reasons, from the historical significance of 19th century wood cameras to the fine optics of classic vintage Leicas. Kodak and Polaroid are two other big names in camera collecting, as is Bolex in movie cameras.

The principles of the camera obscura - a simple light projection box - have been understood for thousands of years, but it wasn't until the late 18th century that Thomas Wedgwood discovered he could make simple prints using silver nitrate exposed to the sun. Over the next 100 years, a series of technical advances brought cameras into everyday life.

Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre formed a partnership in 1829, and figured out a new chemical bath for prints, which shortened the exposure process to eight hours. Daguerre continued this research until he perfected the Daguerreotype, a print made on silver that was used up until the mid 1850s. Daguerreotypes and other formats (e.g. cyanotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes) were made with wood cameras, which were essentially camera obscuras with lenses, allowing for clearer image refraction.

It wasn't until George Eastman's 1885 invention of film that cameras got smaller - with his Kodak film loaded in, you would send the whole camera back to the factory to have it developed. Oskar Barnack began experimenting with 35 mm film in 1914 and built some prototypes of what eventually become the Leica I, the first practical 35 mm camera, released in 1925.

More improvements came when Kodak introduced the Retina I, the first camera to use a modern 135 film cartridge. Photography soon became affordable to all, even before the 1947 introduction of Polaroid's instant camera.

Development of movie cameras kept pace, building atop the basic slide projection technology (magic lantern) which had been in use since the 1500s. The first movie cameras were developed around 1888, and Thomas Edison produced the first copyrighted film in 1894. In 1895, the Lumiere brothers of France first showed off their 'Cinematographe,' a handheld combination projector and camera, in the first commercial public film screening.

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Recent News: Cameras

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Where the Buffalo swim
Southwest Journal, November 30th

Last weekend we headed west to Buffalo, Minn., for a quick escape and to follow a tip about a treasure in one of the town's many antique shops. The drive only takes about an hour on Highway 55 and the town's full of fun, independent stores, plus, it's...Read more

Malibu International Film Festival 2015 Unveils Full Lineup of Films & More
Broadway World, November 30th

When his mother's new live-in boyfriend crosses the line, his eyes are opened to the world and he can no longer hide behind the viewfinder of his vintage camera. Dir: Erica A. Watson. Prod: Tierney Young, Joshua Clark, Daniel Willis. SCR Erica A. Watson...Read more

The Franchise Business Grows Strong With The Force
Bidness ETC, November 30th

In 2011, Gerge Lucas' Panavision Camera made history by being sold for a price that made it the highest selling Star Wars memorabilia, and the only vintage camera in Hollywood to be sold at such a high price. The movie Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope ...Read more

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is a ghost story from the murky depths
The Macomb Daily, November 28th

The Fatal Frame games feature an assortment of protagonists picking up the Camera Obscura, an antique camera with the unique capability of photographing and subsequently exorcising malicious ghosts. The story of Maiden of Black Water follows a group ...Read more

Exploring Vienna's diamond ring in Austria with The Mail on Sunday
Daily Mail, November 28th

The antique camera on display in the lobby area gave a hint of things to come – we were invited to take a 'Pola-Walk' around Vienna's answer to the Champs-Elysees and search for evidence of its glory days. Each participant of this quirky tour is given...Read more

Actor Adam Goldberg, of 'The Jim Gaffigan Show,' is an analog man living in a ...
Los Angeles Times, November 28th

His fixation on vintage cameras and the visceral experience of taking photographs the old-school way is conflicted, as he turns to Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to disseminate his pictures. "The irony is that I'm taking 8-by-10 film and shrinking it...Read more

Vintage cameras celebrated at Alice Austen House, November 8th

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.— Vintage Camera Day at the Alice Austen House on Sunday drew more than 80 visitors who got a chance to see how Alice Austen would have worked; saw a cyanotype demonstration; got their old reliables checked out and had a ...Read more

5 best bets for a Staten Island Sunday: Vintage cameras to the Philharmonic, November 7th

Old cameras and lenses from the colection of Geoffrey Berliner who is co-developer and executive director of the Penumbra Foundation are on display during Vintage Camera Day at the Alice Austen House Saturday, November 8, 2014.(Staten Island ...Read more