The Camera Lens

The relationship between human and the camera, is an important one. The camera has gone beyond caputuring a moment in time. Humans have used the camera to make successful films, and serve as an extension of human agency. 


Film Director, Jackson Rose began making movies in 1915 with The Slim Princess

Two men showing how to use the VITAPHONE film sound system
Public Domain

Two gentlemen presenting a demo of the VITAPHONE camera & sound system that was the proprietary means of production for Warner Bros. from 1926-1931

Technicolor 3-strip film movie camera
“Inside the Technicolor camera.” by juan.monroy is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

This camera that is utilizing the three-strip technicolor film setup. Films like The Wizard of Oz (1939) used this technology

Erich von Stroheim as Max in "Sunset Boulevard" directing the cameramen
“Sunset Boulevard” by is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Erich Von Stroheim as Max in Sunset Boulevard (1950) directing the newsmen to film Norma Desmond descending the stairs.

Director Cecil B. Demille  setting the the scene with the camera
“Sunset Boulevard” by is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Cecil B. Demille is known for big Hollywood Epics like The Ten Commandments (1956). He was known for popularizing the camera crane used for rising shots.

Photo by Nicholas Krasoski

From the Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz Museum in Jamestown, NY. This camera was revolutionary for television production and was able to capture the greatest moments with sitcoms such as I Love Lucy

Photo by Nicholas Krasoski

This camera was another artifact featured in the Desilu Museum that was used in subsequent series featuring Lucille Ball

A cinematographer looking through the lens of an imax xamera
Public Domain

The IMAX experience goes beyond the standard 35-millimeter film stock to a 65-millimeter stock. IMAX film screens are about six times larger than a normal theater screen.

Consumer grade Kodak KB10 35 Millimeter camera
“Kodak KB10 35mm Camera” by Capt Kodak is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Kodak KB10 point and shoot serves as a great introduction to beginner photographers. This camera used 35mm film and 2 AA batteries.

Body of a Nikon digital camera
Nicolas Esposito, Bernie and User:NeonZero, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Point and shoots have evolved into more accessible digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. They are used by beginner-intermediate photographers.

The back on an iPhone showcasing its camera
“iPhone 4” by superstrikertwo is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Apple has served as a forefront of accessible photography with each new iteration of the iPhone. The last few generations of the iPhone have included special features such as being able to film in Dolby Vision and creating high dynamic range imagery.

Woman wearing Google Glass Augmented Reality Glasses
“Google Glass and Future Health 25822” by tedeytan is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Humans are taking cameras beyond smartphones but in a form of glasses. Pictured here is a woman testing Google Glass. A device that allows people to record content from a first-person view. The lenses on these glasses are able to create augmented reality experiences.

Steve Jobs said “It is not a faith in technology. It’s in the faith of the people.” Cameras have served as an extension of human culture, and creativity for years. We are barely scratching the surface with cameras as it has also become a tool of integrated surveillence.

Further Reading:

More about the Kodak KB10 Camera:

I Love Lucy‘s Three Camera Technique:

MPI Restores The Wizard of Oz in 4K HDR: