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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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
Carbon Printing Process- Talk by David Chalmers - From York PressThe Press, York, May 17th
By using an antique camera and an even older photographic process embodying carbon, these images are not just connected to the place; they are physically of the place. The carbon printing process itself means that these images are made to last: as such...Read more
Dimbola tearoom makeover wins national awardOn The Wight, May 17th
Two volunteers who are cameras experts curated a Tearoom Exhibition of antique cameras that had been donated over the years and added their provenance for customers to peruse. Maxi-length Aprons were designed, and made up from linen that came...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
Vintage Cameras Found with Old Film - Visual NewsVisual News, April 20th
Vintage camera collector Chris Hugues was picking up another camera to add to his 300 plus collection. To his surprise, he found two packages of slides in the worn leather case. Taking a close look he found that the slides were taken by a French...Read more
Lights 4 Living Respond to Man Who Reworks Vintage Cameras as LightingDigitalJournal.com (press release), April 18th
Retro to Go have reported on the work of Neil Shy, a man who purchases vintage film and movie cameras on eBay and then sets to work on reworking them so they can be reused as lights. His work, which he sells on Etsy, features a variety of old cameras...Read more
Vintage cameras reworked as lighting by Neil ShyRetro To Go, April 17th
Vintage cameras reworked as lighting by Neil Shy. Camera1. Vintage cameras are still a popular buy on eBay, but I would guess not many people are picking up old film and movie cameras to upcycle for another purpose. That's why Neil Shy picks them up...Read more