Is film dead? Far from it according to Ilford’s latest survey

by Gannon Burgett

posted Monday, February 2, 2015 at 10:47 AM EDT


Towards the end of 2014, Ilford Photo conducted an international survey to audit the film market and see how it compared to previous years. Saturday, they released the results from the survey and they’re quite surprising.

According to Ilford, ‘thousands of users from over 70 countries completed the survey.’ Of the thousands of participants, 98% said they shoot black and white film. 31% of participants responded that they exclusively shoot only black and white; a vast difference to the 2% who only shoot color film.

As for the film adoption rate amongst the younger crowd, Ilford says 35% of participants were under 35 years old, ‘with 60% of them using film for less than 5 years.’ Further notes from participants revealed that most of these participants became interested in the art of analogue photography after a friend or family member gifted them a camera.

Canon, Nikon, Mamiya and Pentax were the most prominent manufacturers of cameras amongst participants, but it seems that Lomography and Holga cameras also proved popular.Beyond cameras that were gifted to participants, ‘a large percentage’ of those surveyed said they obtained their gear on EBay.

Roughly 84% of those surveyed said they had taught themselves how to use film with the help of books and online resources. 49% said they develop and print their own photographs using a darkroom.

The press release containing the statistics also shares a handful of quotes from respondents when asked ‘What first attracted you to using film?’ Below are a couple responses:

‘I wanted to slow down and really think about what I was doing rather than just shoot 15 versions of the same shot to get it right. As I have grown into film, I also enjoy the craft aspects of it. Developing etc.’

‘It’s retro’

‘The fact that there goes a lot more thinking in taking a photograph. Because of the “limitation” of 36/12 pictures on a roll you think more about a shot you take. While with digital you just shoot.’

You can take a look at the full press release, here.

(via La Vida Leica)