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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Watch GVSU students produce summer film project in Grand Rapids
MLive.com, July 29th

This year's film is called "The Lens," which tells the story of a woman who discovers an antique camera lens with mystical powers of healing. Lewis Stone, a senior who's working as the film's first assistant director, said the project has given him...Read more

COLUMN: Self-employed? Own a home-based business? This column is for you
Nelson Star, July 28th

The strange and wonderful items dredged up from archive storage for sale included boxes of mannequin body parts, piles of old Bibles and historical photographs, old-style razors, and a collection of antique cameras. A gem that I came away with was the ...Read more

OnePlus 2: Release date, specs and everything you need to know about the 2016 ...
Digital Spy UK, July 28th

Despite retaining its predecessor's 13-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front facing camera collection, image quality is set to be bolstered by a move to 35% larger pixels. A 0.2 second Laser focus and the ability to shoot 120 frames-per-second slow-motion...Read more

Newburgh Museum's new exhibit opens
Evansville Courier & Press, July 28th

Also on display will be a large collection of vintage cameras, tintypes and photographic accessories. The Newburgh Museum is located on State Street in Preservation Hall. Hours of operation are Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.. Private tours groups...Read more

7 awesome paid iPhone apps on sale for free for a limited time
BGR, July 27th

Retro Maker provides 360 filter effects beloved by professional photographers, take stunning black and white photographs with Vintage Camera, all conveniently packed in 10 different themes. Retro Maker themes vary from the feel of film camera to the...Read more

Antiques collection offer windows into the past
Washington Times, July 26th

Other items come to him through the front door as a direct purchase like the vintage cameras up on a shelf. “The guy said he found them and wondered if I would pay him $20 for them,” he said. Although Medlin questions the origin, he figures, “If they...Read more

iPhone Cases: Lumenati Transforms Apple Phones Into Vintage Cameras
Mobile & Apps, July 14th

At the same time, the design is easier to use because it has a handle and a manual camera focus that is very similar to what you can see on vintage cameras. It is also very easy to set up. The user will just have to insert the iPhone into the Lumenati...Read more

Meet Geoffrey Berliner, a Collector Who Owns Over 1000 Vintage Camera Lenses
PetaPixel (blog), May 7th

Geoffrey Berliner is the Executive Director of the Penumbra Foundation, a non-profit photo arts organization in New York City. He has also been an avid collector of historical camera lenses for 15 years. Pop Photo recently paid a visit to the basement...Read more