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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Your portrait could become part of Grantham historyGrantham Journal, November 24th
Shoppers in Grantham will have a unique opportunity on Wednesday, December 3, when students from Grantham College will be taking portraits using antique cameras as part of the My Grantham project. Anyone wishing to have a free vintage portrait of ...Read more
Carriage Barn seeks photography entrantsNew Canaan Advertiser, November 21st
Alongside contemporary photos, the exhibition will include a display of vintage cameras as well as early photographs, such a daguerrotypes and tintypes. Cash prizes include Juror's Selections and student categories. The juror is Robert Gurbo, curator...Read more
6 iPhone Apps for Budding FilmmakersYahoo Tech, November 21st
When film director Malik Bendjelloul ran out of money while shooting Searching for Sugar Man, he turned to the $1.99 8mm Vintage Camera app. Created by Nexvio, the app realistically mimics retro-looking 8 mm film, which he used to shoot scenes of his ...Read more
Alice Austen House in Shore Acres Showcases Vintage CamerasNY1, November 10th
NY1 VIDEO: Vintage cameras were on display recently at the home of one of Staten Island's most famous photographers. On Saturday, The Alice Austen House hosted its 3rd annual Vintage Camera Day. Islanders got to see some of the first cameras ever ...Read more
Old cameras take center stage at Alice Austen House's Vintage Camera DayStaten Island Advance - SILive.com, November 9th
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
French Online Archive Features Images Of Over 10000 Vintage CamerasPopular Photography Magazine, October 28th
If you're into old camera gear we have the internet worm hole for you. Collection Appareils is a French online archive that contains pictures of over 10,000 vintage cameras from around the globe. Maintained by Sylvain Halgand, the massive site contains...Read more
Collection Appareils: A Comprehensive Online Archive of 10000+ Beautiful and ...PetaPixel, October 27th
Fans of vintage cameras, listen up, because we're run across a wonderful resource that could very easily consume hours upon hours of your time. Sounds good, right? The resource is a French online archive called Collection Appareils, and it contains...Read more
How To: Start a Vintage Polaroid Camera CollectionPopular Photography Magazine, May 12th
These SX-70 factory lab camers are from the Waltham Factory in Massachusetts and were used by engineers to test film and accessories. Each has a unique nomenclature. Photo: Erik Karstan Smith. Enlarge ...Read more