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

Source: Google News

This Museum Collection of 600 Classic Cameras Can Be Had For $35000
Popular Mechanics, March 3rd

Camera collectors, prepare to drool (and start counting up your life savings). An eBay auction of more than 600 vintage cameras can now be had for a $34,900 "Buy It Now" price. The lot is a local pickup only, so if you decide to plunk down the $35k...Read more

Classical Camera Exhibition Brings Visitors Its Unique Charm
CRIENGLISH.com, March 1st

A pair of Seagull cameras are seen during an exhibition in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi province on February 28, 2015. [Photo: CFP]. A classical camera collection exhibition has been held in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi province. The exhibition ...Read more

This Gigantic Collection of 600 Vintage Cameras is for Sale on eBay: It's ...
PetaPixel (blog), March 1st

Want to start your own camera museum? There's a new listing on eBay that can put you on the fast track to doing so. It's for a gigantic collection of roughly 600 vintage cameras from between 1880 and 1980. The description claims the lot could be turned...Read more

Nova Photo to close doors, a victim of the digital age
Buffalo News, February 27th

At one time, Delaware Camera had 10 locations in Western New York. Now it's down to two. Like Nova Photo, Delaware Camera has diversified what it does. It offers photo archiving services, holds photography classes, and buys and sells vintage cameras...Read more

Theater Review: No love for Lucy at PPAC
The Providence Journal, February 25th

The show pairs two episodes lifted from the CBS archives, staged as though they are being filmed live in a TV studio, complete with vintage cameras, an irritating emcee and a group of crooners belting out ads for Brylcreem and Alka-Seltzer. There's...Read more

Vintage camera heaven - a trove of film, cameras, lenses and knowledge
South China Morning Post (subscription), February 4th

Illustration: Bay LeungVINTAGE CAMERA HEAVEN. For analogue photographers, there is no better feeling than picking up your shots after they have been developed. Kept hidden away from just “any” photographer, FilMe is a cosy shop with an impressive ...Read more

Old cameras take center stage at Alice Austen House's Vintage Camera Day
Staten 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

Video E-Newsletter
The Atlantic, November 5th

In this delightful animation by photographer Scot Hampton, antique cameras are disassembled and transformed into farm animals, bird flocks, the surging tide of an ocean, and other steampunk-tinged sights. If you're a gear nerd, pay close attention: the...Read more