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Man with world’s largest camera collection dies in Mumbai

Mumbai, Feb 2 (IANS) Photographer Dilish Parekh, holding two world records for owning the largest collection of antique cameras and also the biggest collection of photographic instruments, passed away in Mumbai late on Wednesday.

He was 69 and breathed his last at his south Mumbai residence. Parekh, who also was a freelance lensman, is survived by his wife Binita, sons Jay and Harsh and other relatives.

A freelance photographer in his early career, Parekh had made it to the Guinness World Records (2003) for his collection of 2,634 antique cameras and again shattered his own record with a GWR certificate acknowledging him as owning 4,425 cameras (2013).

He had started his hobby in 1977, after which he had painstakingly collected cameras of different shapes and sizes, from different manufacturers all over the world.

Parekh’s awesome collection comprised Leicas, Rolliflexes, Zeiss, Linofs, Canons, Nikons, Kodaks, including the most valuable piece — a 1934-made Leica 250, a rare one as around 1,000 were manufactured by the German company.

Another notable one was a German-made Bessa II, produced in 1962, the Tessina L, said to be the world’s tiniest and lightest 35mm camera, weighing just 155 gms, a twin-lens reflex camera from 1959 produced by Concava, Switzerland.

Parekh was attracted to the photography instruments after his father bequeathed his collection of 600 cameras, and he launched his own collection from there, building it up to nearly 4,500, sourcing them from all over the planet, including Mumbai’s infamous flea market, the Chor Bazar.

Other interesting items in his collection were a leather-bound Royal Mail Postage Stamp Camera of 1907, which could click 15 stamp size pictures at a time.

Though collectors world over were interested in buying out his full or partial collection at fabulous prices, Parekh fiercely guarded it and never sold the cameras.