Nice book on Camera History

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. Just the other day I was at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore, and found some copies of
    Gustavson, Todd
    2011 500 Cameras: 150 Years of Photographic Innovation. New York: Fall River Press.
    [from George Eastman House]​
    For sale in the discounted books section.
    It's a lovely book, as good in its own way as Gustavson's other recent historical work Camera, which has been mentioned previously on
    And it's for sale at remainder prices, for whatever reason.
    It's listed on the B&N website, but at a slightly higher price, I think, than I paid in store. Also at other on-line vendors, again, for a slightly higher price.
  2. Not that Gustavson is without flaw. In this book (500 Cameras) he has contradictions on who invented the instant return mirrors and very little mention of any DDR contributions. Also Canon is pretty much out of the running. It seems that Nikon, as some of you already 'knew', was the only innovator (in conjunction with Kodak, of course) in recent years. ;)
    It's still a great book overall, and will provide plenty of camera p o r n for all of you while the weather slows down postings here on CMC
  3. Yes, a very good book.

    JDM, I don't know what you're complaining about. My copy had 400 photos of Prakticas and 100 of Exaktas.
  4. Marc, I'm sorry I didn't get that copy!
    Was that the edition from Friedrich Engels Haus? ;)
    We all have our own special interests, of course.
  5. It's a fun book, and yes, not without errors. His earlier book, "Camera" has some of the same material, and at that time, I noted several errors, but never e-mailed him about them. This time, I did (he wrote that the Argus A did not originally take standard 35mm cassettes, among other things) and he promptly responded and thanked me for pointing that out. I think he may have been confused with the Univex Mercury. However, it's a book filled with camera porn, and some neat stories.
  6. I bought it and it's grossly overpriced. Make a good stocking stuffer when they remainder it, though.
  7. I think I paid $19.99 minus my member discount at B&N, so it wasn't much of a cost at all. It's a fun book but I do like "Camera" better. Any book full of pictures of cameras is a book I must have!
  8. I briefly reviewed back in November here:
  9. I saw it at B&N and asked for it (and got it) for Christmas. It was never my intention to rely on it as a historical research resource, and I haven't read enough of it to have found anything to complain about so far. Certainly seems well worth the $15 to me, if only for the photographs.
  10. It's on my nightstand and I read a few stories every night.
    Tons of stuff I've never heard of or was deep murky about.
    Lovely details courtesy of the Great Yellow Father of the North.
  11. I did not mean in the slightest that the "errors" or opinions in it were damning, merely registering a caveat.
  12. ooh...yup, I got the book! I had to have it as soon as I saw it! :)

    As far as any "inaccuracies" are concerned, I don't know nearly enough about photographic history to be able to catch them. But I never intended to have it for historical research. I mainly just wanted it as a reference...and maybe a wish list for what cameras to collect! I look through it sometimes and if there is anything that looks like it would be really cool to have, I start hunting for it.
  13. Added to the wishlist!
  14. The photos of the old gear are well worth the price of the book

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