(Redirected from Microphotography)

Microphotographs are photographs shrunk to microscopic scale.[2] Microphotography is the art of making such images. Applications of microphotography include espionage such as in the Hollow Nickel Case, where they are known as microfilm.

A 1 mm diameter microphotograph, c. 1858[1]

Using the daguerreotype process, John Benjamin Dancer was one of the first to produce microphotographs, in 1839.[3] He achieved a reduction ratio of 160:1. Dancer perfected his reduction procedures with Frederick Scott Archer’s wet collodion process, developed in 1850–51, but he dismissed his decades-long work on microphotographs as a personal hobby, and did not document his procedures. The idea that microphotography could be no more than a novelty was an opinion shared by the 1858 Dictionary of Photography, which called the process "somewhat trifling and childish."[4]

Novelty viewing devices such as Stanhopes were once a popular way to carry and view microphotographs.[2]

An important application of microphotography is in microforms.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kristi Finefield (June 13th, 2012), "Caught Our Eyes: On the Head of a Pin", Picture This: Library of Congress Prints and Photos
  2. ^ a b Focal encyclopedia of photography By Michael R. Peres Focal Press, 2007 ISBN 9780240807409, 846 pages
  3. ^ Lance Day and Ian McNeil (1998). Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology. Taylor & Francis. pp. 333–334. ISBN 9780415193993.
  4. ^ Sutton, Thomas (1976). "Microphotography". In Veaner, Allen B. (ed.). Studies in micropublishing, 1853–1976: documentary sources. Westport, Conn: Microform Review Inc. p. 88. ISBN 0-913672-07-6. Originally published in Dictionary of Photography (1858).