Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Collecting Cameras

So You Collect Cameras?

this lens' photo
If I had known then what I know now, I would have kept every camera I ever owned and started my own camera collection. As it is, I currently have three cameras. One is a Canon AE1 35mm purchased around 1986 or so. My first digital camera was a point and shoot I got in 2007. It is a Kodak Easy Share z885 digital camera but I gave that away. Then a friend of mine gave me an Olympus SP-600uz that a friend gave to me.  I gave this one to my son and daughter-in-law.  My daughter than gave me a Canon Power Shot sx-120 is digital point and shoot.  Soon after that I was able to buy a used Canon EOS Rebel t3i from the same friend who gave me the Olympus.  I still have all my Canon cameras.  I use them all of them but I do enjoy the digital cameras more because getting film developed is pricy for me. Having recently joined the local art center camera club, I have learned that people do collect cameras. Over the years I have collected different things but never thought about collecting cameras. In fact, I had the opportunity when I was much younger...too young to understand in fact...to own a couple really old cameras. Those were the kind I used to call accordion cameras. They were old antique cameras with bellows. They were upstairs at my grandparents' house where all of us cousins loved to play on rainy days. When I was 10 years old my grandmother died and I can remember how so much "stuff" was tossed out the window to be thrown away while other "stuff" was brought downstairs to be divided between my mom, aunts, and uncles after that. I never did know what happened to those cameras, but I do know even then I would have wanted them. I was intrigued by them even at that young age.

Over the years I have owned seven different cameras. It all started with the Polaroid Swinger when I was also about 10 years old. Then I had a Polaroid Land camera, and one of the old Kodak 110 cameras. My first camera as a married adult was the Kodak Disc Camera. I still have some of the film and negatives from both the disc and the 110. This is another big reason that I use my digital camera the most. Not only do I have that film that still needs developed, but I also have many rolls of 35mm film waiting to be developed. It is discouraging to take photos that I don't get to see until I have enough extra income to get the film developed. It is so much easier to use my computer, pick and choose only the best pictures to have printed and keep the rest on CD waiting and ready.

This lens will explore some of the different styles of vintage cameras that people can collect. I hope you enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photo by Junior Libby

Where and How Did Photography Begin?

Did you know that photography technically began in the 5th century B.C. with the Chinese philosopher Mozi, aka Mo Ti? In his case, he used a technique now called Camera Obscura in which he used a box with a pinhole to create an image he could then trace on paper. Aristotle used this method in 330 B.C. to watch a partial solar eclipse through the leaves of a tree. The term "camera obscura" was not used for this technique until mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler first used the term in 1604. In 1826 Joseph Nicéphore Niépce made the first permanent photographic image. He did this by using a device called a "sliding wooden box camera" which was designed by Charles and Vincent Chevalier.

Photography progressed through the years from the Daguerreotype, tin type, bellows, and other historic cameras to the instamatics, home movies, and now digital of today. Various types and styles of lenses and filters have brought drawing an image shown on paper or wall from a pin hole in a box to the advanced art and portraiture we have now. Processing methods that have used such things as the albumen from eggs to the pixels of the digital age shows an amazing path of progress over the past century plus. I wonder what our ancestors who had not even had such inventions as the telephone would think now about how easily our cell phones can snap a photo anywhere we are and send it to a computer somewhere else, or another cell phone clear around the world in just a matter of seconds.

For an interesting look at the history of the camera, click here.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photo of Herbert G. Ponting and His Camera

 History of Photography

Timeline of Photography Technology
Very interesting list of how photography has progressed from it's beginning until now.
History of Photography Timeline
Another timeline listing of the history of photography.
History of Photography and Cameras
A good article from About.com

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