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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.

Civil War era Ambrotype, Ruby Red Glass Elder 1/9 plate foil mat

Civil War era Ambrotype, Ruby Red Glass Elder 1/9 plate foil mat

This ninth-plate size (2 x 2.5 inches or 6 x 6 cm) Ambrotype features a distinguished older gentleman with a piercing gaze. We don't know the...
$78.99
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Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter Canon FD Lens to EOS DSLR Camera

Fotodiox Pro Lens Mount Adapter Canon FD Lens to EOS DSLR Camera

There are a ton of high quality vintage Canon FD and FL lenses available at reasonable prices. Use this quality Fotodiox adapter to use them on your...
$30.99
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Gakken Gakkenflex 35mm twin lens reflex TLR film camera

Gakken Gakkenflex 35mm twin lens reflex TLR film camera

This is a collectible Gakkenflex 35mm twin lens reflex (TLR) film camera. It is a plastic kit camera that had to be assembled, and was attached to...
$53.49
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Genuine Minolta A Lens Shade Hood for 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 Zoom Lens

Genuine Minolta A Lens Shade Hood for 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 Zoom Lens

This Minolta lens hood is designed to protect the images from sun flares and other extraneous light when shooting, and it helps protect the front...
$9.79
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Genuine vintage Konica 55mm thread lens hood

Genuine vintage Konica 55mm thread lens hood

This vintage plastic 55mm threaded lens hood is embossed Konica Japan. It has little evidence of use and is in very good condition. Lens hoods...
$9.79
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Kodak Baby Brownie Camera with box and directions

Kodak Baby Brownie Camera with box and directions

For sale is this small vintage Kodak Baby Brownie camera in excellent condition. Camera comes with original box which is worn with tears, but still...
$18.99
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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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