This is the world’s largest film camera, as seen outside of Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, Illinois in 2014.
This attraction was only there briefly, so you can’t find it there now, but, while it was on display, this giant camera was a wonderful site to see and attracted visitors all day long.
Dennis Manarchy, a photographer from Rockford, Illinois constructed the camera in 2013. The camera was a whopping thirty-five feet long and twelve feet tall. It weighed in at 7,000 pounds, with the lens alone weighing 300 pounds! Plus, it was fully functional camera.
A big camera like this produced big prints. Manarchy’s creation took negatives that were 6 feet long and produced photos that were two-stories tall. The camera had an amazing resolution that was way better than anything you’d get from a standard point and shoot, iPhone, or DSLR!
Manarchy was inspired to create the camera due to the impending bicentennial of the invention of the camera as well as the decline of film usage in photography. He hoped going large-scale would create buzz for his photography project.
After building the world’s largest camera, Dennis Manarchy used it in a traveling exhibition. He traveled on a 20,000-mile road trip while documenting 50 cultures across the United States. The photographs were collected in an exhibit titled An American Portrait: Butterflies and Buffalos. You can learn more about the project here.
The camera was only in Chicago for a limited time in 2014, but I was lucky enough to visit on my lunch break and snap my own photo of it. The giant camera was definitely a site to behold!
Photo of the World’s Largest Film Camera outside of Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, Illinois: