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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Antique cameras evoke nostalgiaPoughkeepsie Journal, August 29th
If you want to start a camera collection, Fitzgerald says to start collecting “in a period of time you're interested in or start with one from each era.” He also says that buying a camera requires extreme attention to detail. “You can be looking at two...Read more
Police don't have to share license plate data, judge rules89.3 KPCC, August 29th
"Whether it's public video camera collection, information from social media, call information, all of that would be insulated from public disclosure," Bibring said. "I'm sure police could operate more effectively if nobody had any idea what kind of...Read more
HK Film Archive's "Remembrance of the Avant-garde: Archival Camera ...7thSpace Interactive (press release), August 27th
"Remembrance of the Avant-garde: Archival Camera Collection Exhibition", organised by the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and being held from now until November 2, is showcasing more than 60 pieces of ...Read more
Paris is even more beautiful through the viewfinder of a vintage cameraGizmodo, August 25th
Mathieu Maury and Antoine Pai of Maison Carnot created this video showing the sights and life of modern Paris through a Pentax 67 viewfinder and the footage is breathtaking. I feel like I'm peering into a looking glass time machine, like the stuff is...Read more
Camera connectThe Hindu, August 21st
At his first ever outing in the Capital, camera collector and photo-journalist Dilish Parekh was often asked this question because those who are clued in expect his vast collection of 4425 cameras to have these vintage cameras that have two lenses...Read more
Vintage cameras that capture the connoisseur's eye in DelhiThe Hindu, August 19th
When it was introduced in the 19 Century, the daguerreotype wooden camera was the pinnacle of photographic technology. Today, it is the oldest piece in a treasured collection of vintage cameras that is on exhibition here. A jeweller by profession and a ...Read more
A treasure trove of rare and vintage camerasPress Trust of India, August 19th
The Mumbai-based camera collector owns a treasure trove of rare and vintage cameras, which presently totals 4425 and is being continually expanded. He also holds a Guinness record for the largest camera collection. To mark the 175th World Photography ...Read more
World Photography Day: Exhibition of 40 rare vintage camerasIndian Express, August 18th
The Mumbai-based camera collector recalls purchasing it from the city's Chor Bazaar 15 years ago. “It's very rare,” he ... The Guinness World Record holder for the largest camera collection in the world, now has people approaching him with their...Read more