Denny Clairmont
Photo: Clairmont Camera

Denny Clairmont is retiring and Keslow Camera is buying his company, Clairmont Camera, and its operations in Vancouver and Toronto.

Keslow said the purchase will more than quadruple its stock of anamorphic and vintage lenses and add Clairmont’s vast array of customized camera gear to its inventory.

‘An Absolute Legend’

Denny Clairmont, who got his start in the film industry as a six-month-old (he appeared on screen in The Gay Desperado in 1936), worked for Birns & Sawyer before starting Clairmont Engle in 1976 with his brother, Terry, and Ed and Mitzie Engle.  In 1980s, the Engles dropped out of the picture and the company became Clairmont Camera, a well-known and indispensable resource for Hollywood’s community of cinematographers.

“He’s an absolute legend,” cinematographer Ed Lachman said in 2011, as Clairmont prepared to receive the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for “outstanding service and dedication.” Clairmont and Ken Robings together won a Society of Camera Operators Technical Achievement Award for their Swing/Shift lens perspective system, and Clairmont is a two-time Emmy winner as well as recipient of the Bill Hilson Award from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

Keslow Camera said it expects to retain Clairmont’s staff in Vancouver and Toronto, but will consolidate California operations in Keslow’s Culver City headquarters.

“Clairmont Camera is my life’s work, and I never stopped searching for innovative ways to serve our clients,” Clairmont said in a prepared statement. “I have long respected Robert Keslow and the team at Keslow Camera for their integrity, quality of management, best-in-class customer service, and successful performance. I am confident they are the right company to honor my heritage and founding vision going forward.”

Keslow Camera: