Embark on a journey through time at the London Camera Museum, a unique and historical museum in the heart of central London, right next door to the renowned British Museum. Immerse yourself in the rich history of cameras while savoring a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the accompanying coffee shop that takes over the ground floor.
This combination of the past and present creates a unique atmosphere, perfect for photography enthusiasts, history buffs, and coffee lovers alike. Experience the camera museum steeped in history and tradition, and take a step back in time.
We visited the Camera Museum in London during a trip to the city in September 2022. We were in town for a couple of days, and we wanted to see some cameras since one of the reasons we were in town was to buy a medium-format camera!
So, with all of this in mind, this small museum was the perfect place to explore!
A Short History of the Camera Museum of London
The Camera Museum, located in central London’s historic Museum Street, has a unique story of how it came to be. In 1999, the building was the home of Tang Café, run by brothers Patrick and Adrian Tang. While the café served customers upstairs, Patrick, a passionate camera collector, opened a camera dealership in the basement.
This dealership, called Aperture, quickly gained a reputation as a reliable and trustworthy source for high-end camera equipment, ranging from Hasselblad to Nikon.
Over time, the café and camera dealership merged into one business, becoming a hub for photographers, artists, writers, students, and tourists. In 2019, Patrick opened a dedicated Aperture store near Oxford Circus that mainly sold Leica and Nikon equipment and offered camera repair services and film processing.
Meanwhile, back at Museum Street, Adrian established the Camera Museum, which included a specialist Hasselblad, Rolleiflex, and Fujifilm dealership and repair service.
Today, the Camera Museum is a fascinating showcase of cameras from the 19th century to the present day. With an estimated 40,000 different types of cameras ever made, the museum is proud to have a camera from each era on display.
The gallery is a breathtaking experience, showing how far technology has advanced in recent years. In addition to being a museum, there’s a repair shop on the premises that offers services for classic camera brands such as Hasselblad, Rollei, and Canon, as well as some digital cameras.
It’s incredible to think that now we can take professional photos with our phones with a similar quality to what only powerful DSLR cameras could do just a couple of years back. But things were even worse in the past since it was a luxury to own a camera. We still remember the old cameras our families used to have and how we cherished them as precious objects.
If you’re interested in photography as we are or want to see the evolution of technology, the Camera Museum is a must-visit destination. We know you will like it!
Click here to visit their website for prices, opening times, and everything else you need to know.
A visit to the Camera Museum in London
44 Museum Street, London – United Kingdom