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 co...
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.
Interviews & Articles
The Universal Camera Corporation found great success in the early/mid-1930s by selling very inexpensive cameras and film. Univer… [more]
How did I start collecting cameras? Actually, I had an interest in photography as a kid and owned a darkroom by the age of 12 or 1… [more]
We both come from families that had collections and we both had collections as children. Jack lost his when his grandmother threw … [more]
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Thrift Store Camera Photo Subject Found Through Facebook in 2 HoursPetaPixel, May 20th
Wesson is a photographer and camera collector based in North East England. On Saturday, he was browsing through a local thrift shop when he came across a Pentax Spotmatic with a roll of undeveloped film still loaded in the camera. Thrift Store Camera...Read more
PHOTOS: These blurry, out-of-focus, poorly composed Polaroids are expected to ...RYOT, May 19th
These shots come from of a lot of 18 photographs entitled “Changing Focus,” which features Moscow's Red Square as captured through Mikki's lens. The collection also includes shots of Mikki learning how to use various antique cameras. What do you think:...Read more
Fukushima photos focus on what can't be seen - The Japan TimesThe Japan Times, May 18th
Then, looking up from the ground-glass eyepiece of his vintage camera, he gazes at the subject of his scenic portraits for the past two years: the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant leaking radioactivity on the horizon just 12 km away. Daytime access...Read more
Kodak social media expert to talk - USA TodayUSA TODAY, May 16th
houses the Community Darkroom. She will share how Kodak has used social media to connect with customers and the recent increase in interest in film photography and vintage cameras. BLoudon@DemocratandChronicle.com. Twitter.com/BennettLoudon...Read more
Kickstarting: A Pinhole Camera Made Of CardboardCo.Design, May 16th
What makes Angood's creation so weird is how it's mixed two styles of vintage camera into one exceptionally quirky cardboard construct--a construct that took a lot of love to make into a relatively high-performing camera (that, incidentally, has been...Read more
Jennifer Cisney of Kodak will speak on how social media has changed ...Irondequoit Post, May 14th
She also enjoys digital as well as film photography and notes a recent increase in interest in film photography and vintage cameras. The public is invited to the free meeting. The Photographic Historical Society was founded in 1966. Jennifer Cisney...Read more
Review: Figosa Mirrorless and Vintage Camera Leather StrapThe Phoblographer (blog), May 11th
This leather lends its qualities to their first strap designed for vintage cameras and mirrorless interchangeable lens cams as well. It can come in different colors, but we went for the conservative black look. The overall quality and look earned the...Read more
Jeez Louise: Some Vintage Cameras Have Radioactive Lenses & EyepiecesCore77.com (blog), May 7th
An alarming Wiki entry on Camerapedia has caught the attention of the Reddit community. Entitled "Radioactive Lenses," the original write-up notes that "There are a significant number of [camera] lenses produced from the 1940s through the 1970s that...Read more