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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Not a Dream: This Vintage Camera Cafe Is 100% Real, April 12th

In addition to serving snacks and tea, there's also a display of the owner's vintage camera collection in Dreamy Cafe. Each table has a napkin dispenser that looks like a 35mm film roll, a set of colored pencils, and photo-album menu. We're definitely...Read more

Sip coffee inside a giant vintage camera at family-run Dreamy Camera Cafe
ROCKETNEWS24, April 10th

Your eye might have gone directly to the giant red building in the photo, but behind that odd architecture is a happy family living their dream. Army aviation pilot, Park Sung-Hwan and his wife (who also happens to be a recently retired army aviation...Read more

PHOTOGASM: This Cafe is Shaped Like a Giant Vintage Camera
FOODBEAST, April 8th

Inside, the walls are lined with an assortment of books, panoramic windows, and vintage cameras, and outside, two round windows on the first and second floors serve as the camera's “lenses.” cameracafe2. Anyone lucky enough to live nearby can check the ...Read more

Whoops! Robert Pattinson Breaks $10000 Vintage Camera On The Set Of Life?
Entertainmentwise, April 8th

According to Showbiz Spy, Robert let a vintage camera, worth $10,000, slip from his hands during shooting recently, with the prop smashing into pieces. Rob reportedly yelled “whoops!” as the camera fell to the floor and did his best to clean up the mess...Read more

Robert Pattinson Broke a $10k Vintage Camera
Showbiz Spy, April 6th

scooping up the broken pieces, apologizing profusely,” a source said. “He was given another vintage camera, but this time the director made him wear a neck strap — and as soon as the scene ended, a prop person ran up and snatched back the antique!”...Read more

The amazing South Korean cafe inspired by a vintage Rolleiflex camera (blog), April 1st

The couple were inspired by their love of vintage cameras, and designed the cafe to look like a Rolleiflex camera. After six years of planning, the cafe was finished in 2013. Feast your eyes on these stunning images. The family in front of their house...Read more

Bowdoin art museum acquires antique camera owned by Winslow Homer
Lewiston Sun Journal, March 24th

Bowdoin art museum acquires antique camera owned by Winslow Homer. Encore |. Wednesday, March 26, 2014. Late 19th-century Mawson & Swan camera expands BCMA's extensive Winslow Homer Collection and will be featured in 2015 exhibition on ...Read more

Maine Museum Acquires Antique Camera Once Owned by Winslow Homer
AFAnews, March 17th

Maine Museum Acquires Antique Camera Once Owned by Winslow Homer. Monday, 17 March 2014 15:36. Print · E-mail. Mawson & Swan camera once owned by Winslow Homer. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME. The Bowdoin College ...Read more