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Cameras & Photography

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While the process of photography has been around for hundreds of years, photography did not become widespread until around 1855 with the development of photographic emulsions on glass plates. Daguerreotype cameras formed images on silvered copper plates. The earliest daguerreotype cameras required several minutes to half an hour to expose images on the plates. By 1840, exposure times were reduced to just a few seconds owing to improvements in the chemical preparation and development processes, and to advances in lens design. American daguerreotypists introduced manufactured plates in mass production, and plate sizes became internationally standardized: whole plate (6.5 x 8.5 inches), three-quarter plate (5.5 x 7 1/8 inches), half plate (4.5 x 5.5 inches), quarter plate (3.25 x 4.25 inches), sixth plate (2.75 x 3.25 inches), and ninth plate (2 x 2.5 inches). Plates were often cut to fit cases and jewelry with circular and oval shapes. Larger plates were produced, with sizes such as 9 x 13 inches (“double-whole” plate), or 13.5 x 16.5 inches (Southworth & Hawes’ plate).

Film cameras intended for use by the general public were not available until around 1890 with the development of box cameras and portable bellows cameras that used plastic film on rolls. The use of photographic film was pioneered by George Eastman, who started manufacturing paper film in 1885 before switching to celluloid in 1889. His first camera, which he called the "Kodak," was first offered for sale in 1888. It was a very simple box camera with a fixed-focus lens and single shutter speed, which along with its relatively low price appealed to the average consumer. The Kodak came pre-loaded with enough film for 100 exposures and needed to be sent back to the factory for processing and reloading when the roll was finished. By the end of the 19th century Eastman had expanded his lineup to several models including both box and folding cameras.

On this page we feature collectible and vintage cameras and parts by by Agfa, Argus, Kodak, Leica, Retina, Voigtländer, and others.

Konica TC-X DX SLR film camera user manual

Konica TC-X DX SLR film camera user manual

This Konica TC-X SLR film camera user manual has some wear and soiling on the covers, and a few dog ears, but the inside is fine and unmarked....
$3.49
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Pentax Lenses and Accessories 1981 catalog- lens data

Pentax Lenses and Accessories 1981 catalog- lens data

This Pentax Lenses and Accessories catalog dates to July 1986 and is in fine condition. It is about 4x6 inches and has 61 pages. It contains a lot of...
$3.79
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2 Black Faux Leather 35mm Film Canister Holders Case w/ zippers

2 Black Faux Leather 35mm Film Canister Holders Case w/ zippers

These two vintage 35mm film canister holders or cases are made of black faux leather with zippers. They are used to hang spare film canisters from...
$6.39
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Bower Pentax K mount body to Screw Mount KR PK-M42 adapter Japan

Bower Pentax K mount body to Screw Mount KR PK-M42 adapter Japan

This is vintage Bower PK to M42 universal screw mount adapter. It will also work on Ricoh KR mounts. It works fine-just align the red dots and lock...
$6.49
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Zeiss Ikon f=1.0m Proxar Close-up Lens for Contaflex Camera

Zeiss Ikon f=1.0m Proxar Close-up Lens for Contaflex Camera

This is a Zeiss Ikon Proxar close-up Lens for a 28.5 mm Contaflex camera lens. The glass is coated, and focal length of 1 meter. It has little...
$7.89
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Pentax MV SLR Film Camera Manual, circa 1979 Japan

Pentax MV SLR Film Camera Manual, circa 1979 Japan

This vintage Pentax MV camera manual dates to about 1979. It has slight soiling on the cover, but the inside is clean with no writing.
$8.79
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1930s era photograph boy in football uniform Ralph

1930s era photograph boy in football uniform Ralph

This photograph of a boy in a football uniform appears to date from the 1930s based on the style of uniform. It measures 3.25 by 4.5 inches. It is...
$8.99
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