Old Cameras As Home Decor – Camera is the Latin Word for room, which goes some way to describing the very basic principles of photography. Using a lens, a small hole made in the wall of a darkened room will allow a two-dimensional image of what is outside the room to be projected onto the opposite wall. A scaled down version of this idea, the camera obscura (literally, dark room) was a box, used mainly by artists during the 18th and 19th centuries as a way of studying perspective, and as such, these objects can also be viewed as the first form of the camera.
The first photographic process was invented in the 1830s, with both Daguerre in France and Fox Talbot in England laying claim to the innovation. It was an idea developed at just the right time, and technology progressed apace so that lav the mid- 1850s, photography had become a craze for the masses and the development of the positive-negative process allowed numbers of prints to he produced of the same photograph. It paved the way for prints to appear in books and made the photographic portrait available to everyone.
The art of photography has never lost its glamour, and old cameras are widely collected for two main reasons. Firstly, the old cameras often still work and enthusiasts enjoy the skill required to use them to their best advantage, and secondly, most are beautifully designed with a great deal of workmanship going into their manufacture.
Condition of the old camera is very important. If you are buying to use, the camera must be mechanically and optically complete so avoid fungus and cracked lenses. If you are buying for display and use them as a home decor, avoid badly worn bellows and corroded metal.
Daguerreotype and wet-plate cameras vary in value; they are often hard to value because there are so few around to establish a regular price structure. Many are unmarked and/or have been modified over the years, so, with a little knowledge and a lot of luck it is possible to find a bargain.
Stereo cameras are a very popular collecting field and will command a premium over other old cameras of a similar age and maker.
In the last few years,there has been increasing interest in early 35mm cameras by both Canon and Nikon. They are the new useable collectible.