Oldest commercial camera to be auctioned in Vienna. Got $1m?

By andy

Do you count photography as one of your geek passions? In the past couple of years I can certainly raise my hand to that, being interested in the principles of both film and digital photography, technical aspects, composition and art.

It’s all very well drooling over the latest Canon or Nikon DSLR whose body alone costs a few thousand dollars without even adding some decent lenses, but that outlay counts as nothing when up against an auction to be held in Vienna later this year.

The world’s oldest commercial production camera, the “Daguerreotype”, is a wooden sliding-box camera made in Paris in 1839 by Alphonse Giroux.

There are only a few of these cameras still surviving, possibly because not many were produced in the first place as, not unlike today, technology advanced pretty quickly and the price of newer cameras dropped.

It’s an amazing piece of photographic history, which is why the estimated auction price is a minimum half-a-million Euros ($700k) rising to a cool €700k ($1m). It even comes with the original German manual.

You won’t be taking this to the bar to photograph your mates ready for Facebook embarrassment. Well, yeah, duh!

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