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30/08/2016

Gallery of Old Cameras & Stuff!

Below you will find a collection of images I have 'harvested' from the internet (thanks to Google). They're roughly in chronological order and they illustrate how things have changed over the years.

They're complementary to my "History Lesson" page.
The "Box Brownie"
Not the first cameras, but certainly the first that were available to the masses, the camera equivalent of the Ford Model-T was introduced in the USA by Kodak Eastman in 1900!
They took a black-and-white '120' film that gave you 12 or 16 shots. They were little more than a box with a fixed-focus lens and a pretty crude shutter.
The first ones cost $1 which included a film, and countless millions were sold until as late as 1967. Improvements were of course made over the years, but they stayed essentially the same.
Examples of Films
Original negatives were made on a glass plate, but the invention of celluloid film, an early plastic which was transparent, enabled negatives to be made on a convenient roll.

For many years the '120' film was dominant, producing 2¼" square negatives. Latterly 35mm film, which was used extensively in the movie industry, became very popular thanks largely to its' convenience and compactness. 120 film continued to be used in high-end professional cameras (think of  it as the equivalent of a larger sensor on a digital camera).


Kodak introduced the 126 film in 1963. This was essentially a trimmed 35mm film in a light-tight and nearly idiot-proof plastic cassette. The similar, but even smaller 110 film came out in 1972 but perhaps wasn't quite as successful as it yielded quite poor quality prints.

The "Instamatic"
Introduced by Kodak in conjunction with the 126 film, the "Instamatic" heralded the next generation of easy and affordable photography. Its design wasn't much of an improvement on the Box Brownie it replaced: It had a simple lens, shutter and viewfinder.
The film was now colour and you were able to take pictures indoors thanks to the "Magicube", a disposable device containing four flash bulbs.
The basic Instamatic was very popular, and some manufacturers produced advanced versions with a 'proper' lens and controls. These were quite rare and are probably collectors items today.

Large Format Cameras
Top professional photgraphers continued to use these cameras, which used 120 roll film long after 35mm became available. Very high quality films were available and the larger format enabled negatives to be enlarged enough to produce huge prints suitable for advertising hordings.
The manufacturers of large format cameras produced some of the very finest lenses. The military used such equipment on spy planes. Pictures taken on specialised ultra-fine grain film could be scrutinised in minute detail.


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