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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Classical Camera Exhibition Brings Visitors Its Unique CharmCRIENGLISH.com, March 1st
A classical camera collection exhibition has been held in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi province. The exhibition displayed old film cameras made in China and abroad. At the exhibition, visitors were able to see overseas classical brands such as...Read more
Boulder residents joined civil-rights march in AlabamaBoulder Daily Camera, March 1st
Marchers from Boulder and Denver were subjected to harsh words in Montgomery, Ala. (Carnegie Branch Library for Local History/Daily Camera Collection / Courtesy photo). Fifty years ago this month, a group of 90 Boulder activists were preparing to board...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
Ready, set, Los Gatos for charm and shoppingSan Francisco Chronicle, February 28th
Their assortment of ribbons, antique letters and stationery appeals to the craft set while collectors of vintage cameras, china and flatware rely on Bob's constant sourcing for rare finds. The couple also carry a number of American-made products by...Read more
Hertel Avenue's Nova Photo to close its doorsBuffalo 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
You Can Now Stay In The Coolest Private Club In LondonForbes, February 25th
There are intricate wood constructions lining the hallways and warm wood paneling in the rooms, tactile fabrics such as velvet covering the curved couches, accent pieces such as a display of vintage cameras enclosed in glass or antique leather suitcases...Read more
Theater Review: No love for Lucy at PPACThe 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 knowledgeSouth 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