Cover Film photography is making a comeback | Photo: NordWood Themes on Unsplash

In the modern, digitised world, an analogue tool has made a comeback. In this article, Tatler finds out why many people prefer getting their pictures taken by a film camera.

If there is one thing that professional and amateur photographers enjoy together, it's having the output produced by old yet reliable film cameras. While digital photography offers faster and more reliable shots, it cannot beat the excitement of waiting for pictures to develop one sheet at a time.

In 1888, Kodak founder George Eastman released the world's first simple camera into the hands of consumers. He marketed the product as an accessible, easy-to-use camera that is light and relatively cheap. With the slogan "you press the button, we do the rest," Eastman was able to start an era where ordinary people record their personal accounts through photographs. 

Film photography blossomed further in the 1990s when disposable or single-use film cameras became increasingly popular as wedding favours. Organisers would typically place them on tables at receptions so guests could capture their unique perspective of the celebration. 

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Film No More

Over time, camera designs have started to improve with better features being offered per release. In the late 90s, the vast bulk of photography is processed digitally; the reason for film cameras to become obsolete. It was even harder for film photography to thrive when in the early 2000s, phones came with built-in cameras that people can easily take in and out of their pockets.

As digital photography slowly took over the world, major photographic film and camera makers announced that they would stop selling their products. In 2004, Kodak stopped selling traditional film to its market in North America and Europe. This was followed by Japanese camera maker Nikon in 2006, and Konica-Minolta in 2008.

Read more: Photographer Denise Weldon Captures The Aesthetic Of Stillness In Everyday Objects

Revival Of Film 

Even when the world of analogue photography went through a dry spell, it has made a strong comeback evident in the number of social media photos taken using the aid of a film camera. In 2018, the spike in film camera sales was attributed to international supermodel Kendall Jenner who admitted taking photos using her Contax T2 film camera.

Which Is Better: Film Or Digital? 

...That depends on the medium that the user prefers. For instance, digital cameras are fascinating because they are the representation of how men have progressed when it comes to technology. They give users the power to play with settings and have instant access to the pictures they have recently captured. Today, even an amateur can whip out his or her digital camera or smartphone to get an image that resembles film.

Meanwhile, people who feel nostalgic may relish the magic of film cameras. While digital camera provides easier access to photos, nothing compares to the excitement of processing and waiting for films to be developed. There are also people who prefer analogue cameras because oh how it captures moments—unfiltered, simple, raw.

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