They say that collecting is nothing but organized hoarding. If you once thought you had issues with Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS, lighten up. Mumbai-based photojournalist Dilish Parekh definitely sets the bar when it comes to camera collecting. As the Guinness Book World Record holder for the largest camera collection with 4,425 units, Parekh demolished the previous record of a distant and paltry 2,634 cameras. But wait! That was his record too!
Parekh has been collecting cameras for a quarter of a century already. The super hobby (or obsession) began after he inherited 600 cameras from his father in 1977. Many of the cameras in Parekh ‘s collection are beloved, hard-to-find vintage models that he amassed from flea markets, old studios, fellow collectors and even the classified ads in the newspapers. Camera enthusiasts say one of the most coveted pieces in his collection is a Leica 250 made in 1934. The rare model only had less than 1,000 units produced. One more is the small Tessina L, which is one of the worlds tiniest and lightest 35mm cameras.
His collection also includes rare models from makers such as Rolliflex, Canon, Nikon, Voigtlander, Kodak, Zeiss and Linof, which has taken decades of effort and scouring.
“Cameras are my life. I can’t stay without them,” said the enthusiastic photo-journalist and collector.
Parekh said he was breaking the news of holding the world record a second time on a momentous occasion: what else but on the eve of World Photography Day which was last August 19th. We could not agree with a more appropriate time for the big revelation.
Other collections recognized by the Guinness World Records was for the largest collection of film cameras, set by Richard LaRiviere of the USA, who owns 894 different film cameras that he has been collecting since 1960. A 1,000+ camera collection also caused quite a stir in the photography community recently when it was auctioned off on eBay in February.