Meet The Man Who Documented the Entire History of ZEISS Cameras in a 1,300-Page 7.7-Pound Book

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who knows as much about ZEISS as Bernd K. Otto. From the company’s entry into the photography world in 1890, to its long-lived history and reputation throughout the 20th century, Otto’s knowledge and passion for the company led him to create Carl Zeiss Kamera-Register 1902–2012, the most comprehensive anthology of ZEISS cameras in existence.

The massive book has 1,300 pages to its name, weighs 7.7lbs and includes structured and organized information on over 220 cameras and 4,600 model variations. It’s taken decades of work to bring together this collection of knowledge.

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Otto has dedicated a good portion of his life to gathering, not only the cameras themselves, but also the printed material that came with each camera — a daunting task at best — in order to properly document each model.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, the book lays out a comprehensive guide to the history of ZEISS in addition to information about each of the 4,600 camera models.

One of the more interesting entries is the Zeiss Ikon ‘Hologon’ (pictured below), a 110° wide-angle camera that needed a special grip or else the person taking the photo would capture their own hands in the shot! Otto deems the creation, “an absolute milestone in camera design.”

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The book isn’t exactly easy to come by, as it only pops up for sale on Amazon and Ebay every so often. And even if you do come across it, you’ll need to be prepared to shell out some dough: even used, it’s currently selling for $185 on Amazon.

If you’re a ZEISS fanatic though, this book is a must-have. Whether or not your collection is as impressive as Otto’s (let’s be honest… probably not), that behemoth of a compendium is sure to impress any camera nerds who walk through your door.

(via ZEISS Blog)

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