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In the 400 years before BC, Mozi wrote the description of pinhole imaging in the "Mojing". In the 13th century, there was a shadow black box made by the principle of pinhole imaging in Europe. People walked into the dark box to view images or draw Scenery; in 1550, Caldano of Italy placed the lenticular lens in the original pinhole position, the effect of the image was brighter and clearer than the black box; in 1558, Italy's Barbaro added it to the device of Cardano. Aperture, the image clarity is greatly improved; in 1665, the German monk John Zhang designed a small portable single-lens reflex image black box, because there is no photographic material at the time, this black box can only be used for painting.
In 1822, France's Neps made the world's first photo on photographic materials, but the image was not very clear and required eight hours of exposure. In 1826, he took a photo through a black box on a tin-based plate coated with photosensitive asphalt.
In 1839, France's Daguer made the first practical silver camera. It consisted of two wooden boxes. One wooden box was inserted into another wooden box for focusing, and the lens cover was used as a shutter. Controls up to 30 minutes of exposure time for clear images.
In 1860, Sutton in the United Kingdom designed the original single-lens reflex camera with a rotatable mirror viewfinder; in 1862, France's Detrie stacked two cameras together, one for framing and one for photography. It forms the original form of a two-lens camera; in 1880, Baker of the United Kingdom made a two-lens reflex camera.
With the development of photosensitive materials, in 1871, a dry plate coated with a silver bromide photographic material appeared. In 1884, a film made of nitrocellulose (celluloid) was used.
With the advent of magnification technology and particle film, the quality of the lens has increased accordingly. In 1902, Rudolf of Germany used the three-level aberration theory established by Sedell in 1855 and the high-refractive-index low-dispersion optical glass successfully produced by Abbe in 1881 to make the famous "Tiansai" lens. The reduction in various aberrations greatly improves the image quality. On this basis, in 1913, Barnack of Germany designed a small Leica camera with a 35 mm film with a small hole in the film.
However, the 35mm cameras of this period used a perspective viewfinder without a rangefinder. In 1930, the color film was made; in 1931, the Contax camera in Germany was equipped with a dual-image coincidence rangefinder using the principle of triangulation, which improved the focusing accuracy, and first adopted the aluminum alloy die-cast body and Metal curtain shutter.
In 1935, the Exxat single-lens reflex camera appeared in Germany, making it easier to focus and replace the lens. In order to make the camera exposure accurate, in 1938 Kodak cameras began to use the selenium battery exposure meter. In 1947, Germany began to produce the Contex S-type roof pentaprism single-lens reflex camera, so that the viewfinder image is no longer reversed, and the top view is changed to flat-view focusing and framing, making photography more convenient.
In 1956, the Federal Republic of Germany first made an electric eye camera that automatically controlled the exposure. After 1960, the camera began to adopt electronic technology, and various automatic exposure forms and electronic program shutters appeared. After 1975, the operation of the camera began to be automated.