Terence justifies this practice by that of the older poets, Naevius, Plautus, Ennius, whose careless freedom he follows in preference to the "obscura diligentia" of his detractor.
CAMERA OBSCURA, an optical apparatus consisting of a darkened chamber (for which its name is the Latin rendering) at the top of which is placed a box or lantern containing a convex lens and sloping mirror, or a prism combining the lens and mirror.
2nd Image Object Mirror Image without Lens camera obscura, which was extensively used in sketching from nature before the introduction of photography, although it is now scarcely to be seen except as an interesting side-show at places of popular resort.
Quite recently, the camera obscura has come into use with submarine vessels, the periscope being simply a camera obscura under a new name.
- The invention of this instrument has generally been ascribed, as in the ninth edition of this work, to the famous Neapolitan savant of the 16th century, Giovanni Battista della Porta, but as a matter of fact the principle of the simple camera obscura, or darkened chamber with a small aperture in a window or shutter, was well known and in practical use for observing eclipses long before his time.
The increasing importance of the camera obscura as a photographic instrument makes it desirable to bring together what is known of its early history, which is far more extensive than is usually recognized.
That Roger Bacon was acquainted with the principle of the camera obscura is shown by his attempt at solving Aristotle's problem stated above, in the treatise De Speculis, and also from his references to Alhazen's experiments of the same kind, but although Dr John Freind, in his History of Physick, has given him the credit of the invention on the strength of a passage in the Perspectiva, there is nothing to show that he constructed any instrument of the kind.
On the strength of similar arrangements of lenses and mirrors the invention of the camera obscura has also been claimed for Leonard Digges, the author of Pantometria (1571), who is said to have constructed a telescope from information given in a book of Bacon's experiments.
The first practical step towards the development of the camera obscura seems to have been made by the famous painter and architect, Leon Battista Alberti, in 1437, contemporaneously with the invention of printing.
It is not clear, however, whether his invention was a camera obscura or a show box, but in a fragment of an anonymous biography of him, published in Muratori's Rerum Italicarum Scriptores (xxv.
Libri-Carucci dalla Sommaja (1803-1869), in his account of the invention of the camera obscura in Italy (Histoire des sciences mathematives en Italie, iv.
These are probably the earliest distinct accounts of the natural phenomena of the camera obscura, but remained unpublished for some three centuries.
The first published account of the simple camera obscura was discovered by Libri in a translation of the Architecture of v.
It is interesting to note this early employment of the camera obscura in the field of astronomical research, in which its latest achievements have been of such pre-eminent value.
We now come to Giovanni Battista della Porta, whose account of the camera obscura in the first edition of the Magia Naturalis, in four books (1558, lib.
That Barbaro was really the first to apply the lens to the camera obscura is supported by Marius Bettinus in his Apiaria (1645), and by Kaspar Schott in his Magia Universalis (1657), the former taunting Porta with the appropriation.
In the Diversarum Speculationum Mathematicarum et Physicarum (1585), by the Venetian Giovanni Battista Benedetti, there is a letter in which he discusses the simple camera obscura and mentions the improvement some one had made in it by the use of a double convex lens in the aperture; he also says that the images could be made erect by reflection from any plane mirror.
In this the description of the camera obscura is in lib.
The first to take up the camera obscura after Porta was Kepler, who used it in the old way for solar observations in 1600, and in his Ad Vitellionem Paralipomena (1604) discusses the early problems of the passages of light through small apertures, and the rationale of the simple dark chamber.
In his later book, Dioptrice (1611), he fully discusses refraction and the use of lenses, showing the action of the double convex lens in the camera obscura, with the principles which regulate its use and the reason of the reversal of the image.
He was the first to use the term camera obscura, and in a letter from Sir H.
The earliest mention of the camera obscura in England is probably in Francis Bacon's De Augmentis Scientiarum, but it is only as an illustration of the projected images showing better on a white screen than on a black one.
Most of the writers already noticed worked out the problems connected with the projection of images in the camera obscura more by actual practice than by calculation, but William Molyneux, of Dublin, seems to have been the first to treat them mathematically in his Dioptrica Nova (1692), which was also the first work in English on the subject, and is otherwise an interesting book.
Also several optical problems relating to lenses of various forms and their combinations for telescopic projection, rules for finding foci, &c. He does not, however, mention the camera obscura as an instrument in use, but in John Harris's Lexicon Technicum (1704) we find that the camera obscura with the arrangement called the "scioptric ball," and known as scioptricks, was on sale in London, and after this must have been in common use as a sketching instrument or as a show.
Sir Isaac Newton, in his Opticks (1704), explains the principle of the camera obscura with single convex lens and its analogy with vision in illustration of his seventh axiom, which aptly embodies the correct solution of Aristotle's old problem.
The camera obscura was first applied to photography (q.v.) probably about 1794, by Thomas Wedgwood.