Dilish Parekh, a world record holder for having the largest collection of antique cameras and the largest collection of photographic instruments, has passed away at the age of 69 in Mumbai. He passed away peacefully at his residence in South Mumbai, and leaves behind his wife Binita, sons Jay and Harsh, and other relatives.
Dilish Parekh began his passion for collecting antique cameras in 1977, and went on to amass a stunning collection that included pieces from all over the world from various manufacturers such as Leica, Rolliflex, Zeiss, Linhof, Canon, Nikon, and Kodak. One of the highlights of his collection was a 1934 Leica 250, of which only around 1,000 were produced by the German company. Other notable pieces in his collection included a 1962 German-made Bessa II, the world’s smallest and lightest 35mm camera, the Tessina L weighing only 155 grams, and a twin-lens reflex camera produced by Concava, Switzerland in 1959.
Parekh’s love for photography instruments was sparked after inheriting his father’s collection of 600 cameras. He expanded on this legacy and meticulously built up his own collection to a staggering 4,500 cameras, sourcing them from all over the world, including Mumbai’s Chor Bazar flea market. His collection also included unique and fascinating items such as a 1907 leather-bound Royal Mail Postage Stamp Camera, which could take 15 stamp-sized photos at once. Despite interest from collectors worldwide to purchase his full or partial collection for substantial amounts, Parekh fiercely protected his cameras and never sold them.
We at Asian Photography Magazine are deeply saddened by the passing of Dilish Parekh, a legend and world record holder. His passion for capturing memories and preserving history through his incredible collection of antique cameras has inspired countless photographers. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. Dilish’s legacy in the world of photography will live on forever.