Camera with lens and metal focusing cover, c 1840.
3 3 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 25cm

Camera with lens and metal focusing cover, c 1840.

© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


An experimental camera asociated with photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). During his first attempts at photography, Talbot made a camera out of a box; the camera shown here is a later experimental version of one he made in 1835. The box incorporates a single lens, which creates an upside-down image. Talbot positioned light-sensitive paper at the back of the box and let light fall on it through the lens for over an hour. The result of Talbot's experiments was the discovery, in 1840, of the latent negative photographic image, and the development of the calotype proces.

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