Who Invented the Camera and Photograph?



The first working camera was invented by Johann Zann. He built this camera in the year 1685. Interestingly the photograph would not follow the invention of the camera for over a century. The basic concepts of photography were actually thought about as early as the 11th century AD. In many ways it is ironic that the photograph was invented before the camera.

The camera was another example of something that had been thought up of in theory many years before a working example was perfected. Zann built the first camera ever. It was so large that it is more accurate to use the word “build”. To get all the parts in the camera to work properly it had to be built on a really large scale. Actually Zann just revealed that it was technically possible to build a camera but he was not the one who is in charge with the mass production of todays cameras. The large cameras needed a lot of materials to be built, and it was really difficult to move.

In the late 17th century the quality of optical although improving was not particularly high, and at that point it was not possible to make lenses smaller and still of a good enough quality to put in a camera.

The History of Photograph

when was the first photograph taken

The camera’s predecessor, camera obscura , was used as a drawing instrument. It consisted of a box fitted with a lens and a 45-degree mirror reflecting the image on a piece of oiled paper placed at the top of the appliance.

The photograph only occurred when one discovered a photosensitive substance that could produce a lasting image. The German Johann Schulze demonstrated in 1727 that silver chloride is light-sensitive. In 1777, Carl Wilhelm Scheele discovered  that silver chloride by illumination removes metallic silver in pure form; Only blue and violet light marks silver chloride. Thus, the color sensitivity of the silver salts was discovered and the reason for the photochemistry was added.

The British Thomas Wedgwood and Humphry Davytried in 1802 managed to “maintain” shadow images with silver chloride-treated paper. In 1819, the British JFW Herschel discovered that thiosulfates can dissolve silver chloride, but the significance of the discovery for the photograph was not recognized.

first photograph ever

In 1816, Frenchman JN Niépce managed to maintain images on paper using silver chloride. The oldest known photograph was recorded in 1826 on a tinplate coated with light-sensitive Syrian asphalt. With the help of lavender oil; exposure time was eight hours. 

After Niépe’s death in 1833, Daguerre continued the experiments, which in 1837 resulted in the daguerreotypy process . The photosensitive material on the daguerreotypy plate was silver iodide. The positive, mirror-reversed image was developed with mercury vapor and fixed with regular salt, sodium chloride. The camera was developed by camera obscura and consisted of two wooden boxes; the rear with a mat glass plate and a cassette slipped into the front with an akromatic lens.

Evidence that it was able to maintain images in a camera obscura was confirmed 7.1.1839 by the Paris Observatory Director Francois Arago. 19.8.1839 published the invention of Niépé and Daguerre, which the French state had bought.

Phote box?first photograph?

Other scientists experimented with photochemistry, but it became British WH Fox Talbot , who published the kalotype process in 1841. While the daguerreotype was a unique one, you could make an unlimited number of positive images on salt paper from a paper negative. This became the basis for the future photographic image production.

In 1851, British Frederick Scott Archer replaced the paper base with glass, and collodium mixed with iodide and bromide.The glass pad with the colonium membrane was immersed in a solution of silver nitrate, thereby forming a photosensitive mixture of silver iodide and silver bromide. The plate was exposed and developed while the emulsion was still wet.

In 1871, British Richard Maddox invented the silver bromide gelatin glass, using only silver bromide and used gelatin as a binder. This enabled manufacturers to produce more light-sensitive plates with a dry emulsion. In 1873, German Hermann Vogel discovered that certain dyes added to the emulsion make it light sensitive to the rays absorbed by the dye. This idea became the principle of the orthochromatic film.

The American George Eastman launched a rolling film on paper in 1884, and in 1888 the paper was replaced by transparent celluloid. At the same time, Eastman marketed the first box camera for amateur use, called the Kodak Box. In the 1880s it became possible to photograph in the dark by burning magnesium powder at approx. 1 / 50 second; The flash bulbs came in 1929, the electron flash in 1953.

Color Photography

Color photography’s development at the Swiss naturalist Jean Senebier, who in 1782 demonstrated that when silver chloride is hit by light, it is difficult with a nuanced bluish cut. In 1810, German physicist Jean Seebeck showed that silver chloride assumes the same color as the light it is exposed to. Also the French Edmond Becquerel and C.-F.-A. Niepce de Saint-Victor (1805-70) experimented with color photography processes, but it was the British JC Maxwell who, as the first in 1861, was able to display a three-color slide, recorded and displayed using a red, green and blue filter (additive color mix ).

The trial had no practical significance, as did the Frenchman Louis Ducos du Hauronand Charles Cros’ groundbreaking work on processes based on subtractive color mixing. But in 1891, Gabriel Lippmann produced a durable color image that created the basis for further development. As the pancromatic emulsion sensitive to all the colors of the spectrum appeared in 1902, the prerequisites were present for the production of color film. In 1907, the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière hadcompleted the autocromplades , and in the 1930s the slideshot films were invented.

Cameras and movies

Photographic cameras became from 1839 to the 1890s made of wood (mahogany), over the period covered with leather. About 1900 they were made in metal with leather upholstery, and camera development went on in a new period. In 1925, the German company Leitz presented the small-screen camera Leica , which used 35 mm cinematographic film to the negative format 24 mm × 36 mm.

The larger negative formats on rolling film, eg 6 cm × 6 cm, were used in the remarkable SLR camera Rolleiflex, 6 cm × 9 cm and 9 cm × 12 cm for the so-called folding cameras. After 1945, the cameras were mainly made of molded plastic and other materials. In 1947, a whole new concept would change our traditional view of photography. The American Edwin H. Land developed the development technique to produce black and white films with built-in procurement process.

Thus, the Polaroid camera was a reality in 1948, in 1963 as well as colors. In 1963, Kodak launched its Instamatics system, followed by Agfa’s Rapid Cassette.

Cameras and movie cassettes were cheap and easy to handle, and the movies had high exposure tolerance. Kodak and Agfa, respectively, presented Kodachrome and Agfacolor to color image impressions in 1936, while negative film for color papers was marketed by Agfa in 1950 and Kodak in 1958; At the same time, color film, such as Ferraniacolor (1952) and Anscochrome (1958) appeared.

In parallel, the sensitivity of the black and white films increased: in 1955, Kodak came with Tri-X at 400 ASA / ISO.

The electronic technology

Phototechnical development was dominated by the United States and Western Europe, but new short-term patent rules after 1945 allowed the Japanese camera industry to start mass production of half- and full-electronics photographic equipment.

In 1981, Sony presented the first electronic still image camera. Instead of the photographic movie, the image is recorded by a small CCD disc and the signals are stored analogously to a magnetic disc.

In the early 1990s, the digital image signals were digitally saved, and CCD’s resolution was improved so much that the digital camera has become a competitor for traditional photographic technology.


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