Photography History: The Cameras Behind Iconic Photos

If you’ve ever been curious about the cameras used to shoot some of the iconic snaps in photography history, you’ll find this interesting.

Photography history is full of colorful milestones and unforgettable moments. It’s not surprising that more and more of today’s generation of photographers are interested in the small details. Learning about the most iconic photographs, for example, often leads to getting curious about the cameras used to shoot them. If that sounds like you, we have just the right stuff!

A thread from the depths of the AnalogCommunity on Reddit tells us which cameras were used to take some of the famous and infamous snaps in photography history. Some are pretty obvious choices, like the Leica cameras which are themselves iconic, and the Nikon models that became go-to cameras of photojournalists following the success of the Nikon F. Some have already been repeatedly mentioned in publications as well. Of course, there has to be one of those NASA cameras that made it to outer space and used to photograph the Moon. But there are also others that will surprise you.

For example, there’s the unspecified model from Japanese optical company and camera maker Petri that Malcolm Browne used to shoot his shocking “Burning Monk” photo. Dorothea Lange also shot her iconic Migrant Mother photo with a Graflex Series D. (The Super D mentioned in the visual actually succeeded the model she used during the Depression Era.) We also see some 4×5 Speed Graphic cameras in the mix, a testament to their popularity and being the quintessential press cameras until the early 1960s. It can be hard to imagine shooting with those cameras today! It goes to show how far photography gear has come in both technology and size.

Want to see more of these iconic photos and learn about the stories behind them? TIME has put together a collection of 100 most influential images of all time.