The World's Largest Camera Collection Belongs to a Government Worker in Mumbai

Dilish Parekh is a jeweler and government employee in Mumbai and he has the largest collection of cameras in the world. Collecting cameras for over 40 years he’s amassed an enormous collection that includes everything from rangefinders like the Leica to a camera worn on a wrist like a watch to a Canon 7 with a rare f/0.95 lens.

He inherited his first 600 cameras and a love for photography from his grandfather. Since then he’s amassed over 4,425 cameras and broken his own original Guinness World Record from 2003. His collection of rare and vintage cameras lives in his home and the storage space at his jewelry shop.

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We had the opportunity to visit and spend a day with him, exploring Mumbai and an incredible and extensive library of photo-taking machines.

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DISCUSSION

Very nice indeed; I wish I could visit his shop. I have a small collection of about a dozen cameras, so not even remotely in his league.

One of my favorite classic cameras is the 1961 Graflex Graphic Jet, a 35mm camera with power film advance. The power came from a CO2 cartridge, with  a “Jet-O-Matic” gas motor to turn the take-up spool. When you take a shot the film advances with a pssshhh... sound. Great stuff; it’s the only camera I know of that has a pressure release valve.

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