Photographers colonize Cologne during Photokina

Instant photography is a trend at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, this year. Here a visitor takes a photo of a friend with an Impossible I-1 instant camera, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Along with Impossible, Fuji, Polaroid and Leica had instant cameras on display.


By MICHAEL ABRAMS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 21, 2016

COLOGNE, Germany — It may be Germany’s fourth-largest city, but from now until Sunday this city on the Rhine River will be the center of the photography universe.

Photokina is considered the largest imaging trade fair in the world.

By the time the biennial show ends more than 150,000 visitors will descend on the fairgrounds to check out the offerings of about 1,000 exhibitors from the world of imaging.

Cameras and lenses are on display, of course, but so are photo printers, camera bags, lighting equipment, tripods and much, much more. If it has something to do with making pictures, it can probably be found at Photokina.

Most of the cameras on display are digital, but good old analog film cameras are also still around.

Making a big comeback are instant picture cameras. Along with Fujifilm, which revived the genre with its Instax cameras, Polaroid and even Leica are displaying instant cameras. One company, Impossible, offers refurbished classic Polaroid cameras and even one of its own, the futuristic but at the same time old-fashioned-looking I-1.

Other trends at this year’s Photokina are the proliferation of action cameras and camera-equipped drones.

It seems everyone has gotten into the action cam race, the little cameras that can be attached to almost anything.

The drones, mostly in the helicopter style, are growing in popularity, despite air safety concerns. One company, PowerVision, showed its PowerEgg, shaped as the name would suggest, equipped with a 360-degree, 4K camera that can transmit a video stream to up to 3 miles away.

In addition to equipment, many photographs are displayed throughout the exhibition halls used for the fair.

Photokina is open through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is 53 euros ($60) through Friday and 18 euros on Saturday and Sunday. On those two days, a family ticket is available for 18 euros, which provides admission for two adults and up to two children ages 7-17. The website is photokina.com.


Zeiss exhibited its lenses at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, inside an oversize model of an Apo Planar lens.

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