City-based photo-journalist Dilish Parekh has claimed to have broken his own world record of holding the largest collection of mainly antique cameras.
“I have broken my own record, and this is for the first time I am revealing it,” said Dilish, a resident of Pedder Road in South Mumbai.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Dilish has a collection of 4,425 cameras. His earlier world record was a collection of 2,634 antique cameras.
“Cameras are my life. I can’t stay without them,” said the photo-journalist.
He said he was breaking the news of holding the world record twice on the eve of World Photography Day.
Dilish’s collection, which includes Leicas, Rolliflexes, Canons, Nikons, Kodaks, Zeiss and Linofs, has taken 25 years of effort.
The avid collector rummaged through flea markets, approached old studios, interacted with connoisseurs and even put advertisements in newspapers to get a prized collection.
Dilish’ most valuable possessions include a 1934-made Leica 250, a rare antique hard to come by, since there were less than 1,000 pieces produced.
Also accorded a royal treatment was the Bessa II, manufactured in 1962 by Voigtlander, one of Germany’s oldest optical concerns.
“Bessas were a status symbol in Japan with even the royalty patronising them,” informs Dilish.
The one that almost misses your eye is the Tessina L, considered to be among the world’s smallest and lightest cameras using 35 mm and weighing just five-and-half ounce. The twin-lens reflex camera, manufactured around 1959, was designed and produced by Concava company of Switzerland.
Dilish started out when his father bequeathed him a collection of 600 cameras. He found them so interesting that he decided to see if he could find some that weren’t already in his collection.
It started from there, and over years Dilish went on adding literally hundreds of cameras to his collection.
Most of the cameras in his collection are antiques, and many are hard-to-find and treasured by collectors.