Kendall Jenner Credited for Spike in Film Camera Sales

Kendall Jenner Credited for Spike in Film Camera Sales

Kendall Jenner is being credited for a surge of sales in film cameras after she beamed about her Contax T2 during a TV chat show appearance.

I think it’s fair to say Jenner is one of few famous faces trying their hand at photography who actually possess a degree of skill. She’s at a great advantage, of course, but of the images we’ve seen from her so far, many are highly commendable and hold their own against the work of creatives twice her age. At this point, she’s shot many editorial spreads for leading magazines, so it’s perhaps not surprising that she’s now discovered the wonderful world of film photography.

Last year, she appeared on “The Tonight Show,” taking with her a newly-purchased Contax T2 film camera — a camera that originally released in 1990, before Jenner was even born. She took a portrait with host Jimmy Fallon, promising to send it over once developed. “Yeah, let me know, because we can’t Instagram that. We have to develop it first,” Fallon joked at the time.

Bellamy Hunt, a camera dealer who also goes by the name of the Japan Camera Hunter, raises the point that for Jenner, whose every move is splashed across the media, film photography may be something that feels like hers: “[Her film photos] are not going to be hacked, no one’s going to get a hold of them. She doesn’t have to post them online. It’s something that cannot be taken from her.”

Jenner shares the same sentiment, remarking that film feels more authentic. And now, there’s been a huge spike in the Contax T-Series point and shoot film cameras with prices allegedly tripling, or even quadrupling. Hunt says the compacts he used to sell for $200 can now reach anywhere between $1,000-1,500. “I started getting hundreds of emails asking for them […] There aren’t that many left.”

[via The Lily]

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55 Comments

“[Her film photos] are not going to be hacked, no one’s going to get a hold of them. She doesn’t have to post them online. It’s something that cannot be taken from her.”

Once digitized, as no doubt most or all of her film photos are, they are no different than digital camera images in those ways.

"Jenner shares the same sentiment, remarking that film feels more authentic."

Young and ignorant hipster talk. Digital matches film in dynamic range and greatly surpasses it everywhere else. If you can capture more subject information with digital then it follows that digital will be the more authentic looking medium.

"And now, there’s been a huge spike in the Contax T-Series point and shoot film cameras with prices allegedly tripling, or even quadrupling."

Olympus Stylus Epic. Similar image quality for a fraction of the price. Hilarious though that it's now going for more than twice the price as new when it came out. Should have kept mine for resale.

How do you know that she does not have her own dark room, complete with enlarger and all the papers and chemicals she needs?

I dont, and I never claimed to know such a thing. That said, it's obvious that most, if not all, will be shared with her fans.

I thought your statement was about her photos getting hacked or not, and that she will digitize them anyway... I guess that unlike a lot of photogs who started with film back in the day, she has the benefit of having digital scanning technology available, so she can digitize her photos as soon as the negs are developed (while I have, as many other photogs probably, huge stacks of negatives that will never be all digitized).

But even then, the review for scanning is another step where she can decide if a particular photo will be digitized or not, for various reasons, compared to photos taken with digital cameras that are all digital from the get-go and more readily hackable.

Read more carefully what I wrote. Nothing I said excludes the possibility of her having a darkroom.

Lets face it, it's more likely than not that all of her film will be scanned.

Mr Hogwallop's picture

If she had a darkroom, everybody would know.

👍🏼 I'm disappointed in myself that I didn't think of that.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Not to put too fine a point on it, but digital does not match film in dynamic range. Although the number of stops may be similar, negative film has much more latitude in the highlights and digital more in the shadows.

Also, the tonal characteristics of film in larger formats is unlike digital. And yes, you can try to emulate it digitally, but there is a different quality to it.

Perhaps by authentic she’s referring more to process than result, but who knows?

For sharpness and convenience, digital is king.

Well, maybe you guys should do a comparison where different digital cameras expose for the highlights and see how it stacks up to film in the end. Besides, many digital cameras today do HDR in camera. But, if you really want to compare analog and digital then film would be at an even worse disadvantage because it would never be digitized. Good luck then trying to match digital in the darkroom.

"Also, the tonal characteristics of film in larger formats is unlike digital. And yes, you can try to emulate it digitally, but there is a different quality to it."

I doubt Kendall the Instagrammer is shooting large format.

"Perhaps by authentic she’s referring more to process than result, but who knows?"

Then it would be an even more ignorant view.

"For sharpness and convenience, digital is king."

For detail, sharpness, less noise, cheaper, faster, more capable another ways, such as in-camera panoramas and HDR, and more convenience, digital is king.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Haha oh Bob, so anti-film. Even medium format has a different tonality than digital that would be tough to reproduce. As for thinking the film process is more authentic than digital, isn’t that a matter of individual taste and not ignorance? Isn’t authenticity a measure of truthfulness and isn’t that up to the artist?

I think we get too caught up in tech and forget that this is a craft and an art form. Live and let live.

As for the experiment you mentioned, I think that’s a wonderful idea! I’ll see what I can do.

"Haha oh Bob, so anti-film."

No, much more so anti-misinformation of film's benefits.

"Even medium format has a different tonality than digital that would be tough to reproduce."

Yeah, a grainier and therefore a less subtle one.

"As for thinking the film process is more authentic than digital, isn’t that a matter of individual taste and not ignorance? Isn’t authenticity a measure of truthfulness and isn’t that up to the artist?"

No, the truth isn't subjective.

"I think we get too caught up in tech and forget that this is a craft and an art form. Live and let live."

I don't care if someone chooses to shoot film. There are some benefits to doing so. It's just as I said, I don't care for the misinformation that surrounds it these days.

"As for the experiment you mentioned, I think that’s a wonderful idea! I’ll see what I can do."

👍🏼

Hans Rosemond's picture

Actually, I forgot I wrote an article about that a while ago: https://fstoppers.com/education/awesome-highlights-power-negative-film-1...

But Hans that is not doing what I said.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Ah, reread it. You want a comparison of different digital cameras exposing for the highlights and comparing to film? What would that prove? I’ve already said digital is better at pulling detail from the shadows. By underexposing the image it would be a test of shadow retention. Digital wins.

The point is whether with film or digital, we are trying to get a final acceptable final image. If that can be done by exposing and then correcting properly for both then in the end they are equal.

The test would have a properly exposed contrasty scene for each. So with film you expose for the shadows and with digital you expose for the highlights. Then you bring out the highlights with the film image and the shadows with the digital image and see how each compares.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Sounds a bit tedious. Both methods can produce acceptable results while being very different in their execution. Isn’t that enough? Also, there are far too many variables on the film side to come up with a consistent result. Film stock, developer, technique (ie stand develop, etc), darkroom filtration, scanner will all affect the results. I’d rather be happy saying they both can do a good job in hands of a skillful person.

The mediums are very different but both are fine depending on the artist’s preferences.

But Hans that's what serious amateur and professional photographers do, with both mediums, all the time. If you can get similar end results with both mediums then they would have the same DR but sensitivity lies on opposite ends.

"I’d rather be happy saying they both can do a good job in hands of a skillful person."

DR wise I know they can, when both are properly exposed. I've scanned enough film and developed enough RAWs to see that.

Hmm, I got distracted looking at the three ladies in the knickers for $60.

"The mediums are very different but both are fine depending on the artist’s preferences."

Well in another article I argue that when it comes to noise they are actually both remarkably similar. Of course that means shooting at a higher ISO with digital.

Hans Rosemond's picture

That’s what I said at the beginning. The number of stops are similar but the range is different. Range isn’t the absolute value. It’s the specific numbers. You wouldn’t say that a temperature range of 32 to 64 is the same range as 50 to 82 would you?

I originally said "digital matches film in dynamic range" and that is accurate, because I'm sure we both know how it is measured.

Michael Holst's picture

"For detail, sharpness, less noise, cheaper, faster, more capable another ways, such as in-camera panoramas and HDR, and more convenience, digital is king."

From pure technical comparisons I agree that digital can do so much more. Film isn't advancing and compared to the technology that comes out each year for digital cameras and the race has already been won for sheer image quality and bang for your buck.

Do you make such arguments about how modern cars are much better than classic American muscle? People who keep, maintain, and drive their classic cars probably share a similar feeling that those who are keeping film alive do. Many of us film shooters get a better feeling from the process it demands like not being able to afford spraying hundreds of photos to get a few keepers. I know I speak for more than just myself when I say I think differently and more creatively when I shoot on film. Maybe you don't and there's nothing wrong with that but it doesn't mean we can't chase that connection it makes us feel.

Just like how people get a different feeling when they drive down the road in a 67 Camaro than they do in a modern version. Sometimes a little more analog can feel great and more romantic.

You've mentioned your air-force career before and I would then ask if you scoff at the idea of ever wanting to fly an old spitfire when modern fighter jets are more advanced and capable in pretty much every way.

I'm not trying to keep people from using and enjoying old things. Read more carefully.

Michael Holst's picture

I didn't miss a beat. Your post was calling her an ignorant hipster because she said it feels more authentic and then assumed she meant because it's technically better when there wasn't enough context in her statement to make that connection. It could have been for reasons that I talked about above. Maybe you shouldn't jump to conclusions.

Of course you did, otherwise you wouldn't be concluding such a thing. It is you that has jumped to conclusions.

I can only go by what she is said to have said, that film is more "authentic." And I can only go by what the word means. It is ignorant hipster nonsense.

A digital camera is no less a camera than a film camera, and a digital camera produces more authentic looking images.

You say "many of us film shooters get a better feeling from the process it demands like not being able to afford spraying hundreds of photos to get a few keepers." Well, with a little self discipline you can achieve the same with a digital camera.

It's a fallacy that only supports a lack of self-discipline when someone says they shoot film because it forces them to shoot a certain way. More hipster nonsense.

If you want to slow down with digital nothing is keeping you from doing so.

All that said, and as I have said before, I'm not trying to deter anyone from shooting film.

Edit: I'd take the modern fighter jet every time, and I already have.

Michael Holst's picture

Damnit I forgot about the first rule of Fstoppers again! Bob's always right.

Only when it comes to facts.

Spy Black's picture

Well even if film does still have measurable additional dynamic range, it really doesn't do anything for you unless you dig it out, and I don't mean dodging and burning. You need selective masking to extract and control specific luminosity ranges. That's A LOT of work in a darkroom. I worked over 10 years doing professional darkroom pre-press production before the digital age, and I sometimes did shit just like that. My comments assumes of course you're staying in the photo-optical domain. If you scan a neg or a chrome into the digital domain, you have other complications, some of which you can mitigate if you multiscan your work into HDR files, itself quite a chore.

But you see, in contrast, digitally you have virtually IMMEDIATE access to the entire dynamic range of a digital image. You have far greater control over creating and fine tuning your final image that you ever could with film, even if you digitize it. The dynamic range of cameras from Nikon, Pentax, Sony, et al are fantastic and really, you have better access to all the data on your image than with film, no matter how much more dynamic range it may have.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Oh absolutely. Hence my emphasis on digital being more convenient. Far more convenient. The amount of effort it takes to manipulate film is an order of magnitude greater than digital. Which is why I say to truly deal with film you really have to love the process. Otherwise, why go through all the trouble?

Michael Holst's picture

A point some people on this site can't wrap their heads around. Sometimes it's about the journey and not the destination.

Exactly. It's amusing when I see people extolling the analog process and yet they scan all their film.

It took digital to get the best out of film.

Kevin Hatcher's picture

WOW! Aren't you a ray of sunshine....

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