Why We Shoot Film


Results from the ILFORD PHOTO film survey

At the end of 2014 Ilford conducted a comprehensive international survey to help them better understand film users. Thousands of users from over 70 countries completed the survey and the results were inspiring.

That support for traditional film is growing was confirmed by the 30% of respondents who were aged under 35, with 60% of them using film for less than 5 years.

For many of those the interest began after receiving a film camera as a gift from family or a friend. Canon, Nikon, Mamiya, and Pentax cameras all featured strongly in the survey, with a large percentage also being bought on EBay.

Around 84% of respondents said that they had taught themselves how to use film with a little help from books and the Internet and more than 49% now develop and print their own pictures in a darkroom.

Of those who responded, 98% used black and white film with 31% shooting it exclusively. Just 2% use only colour film.

Interestingly 86% of respondents used roll film, and the Lomo and Holga cameras proved popular in this category.

On-line groups and Forums are used by 90% of respondents for product information and technical advice with a similar number finding what they need from www.ilfordphoto.com.
When asked “What first attracted you to using film?” comments included

“It’s fun”

“It’s retro”

“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.”

“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.”

Steven Brierley, Director of Sales and Marketing at HARMAN technology/ILFORD PHOTO, commented “Thanks to the film users who took part in this survey, we have confirmed what we thought, which is that the recent growth in film sales can be attributed to the new users coming through. We are providing support to these new users and making it easier for them to find darkrooms should they wish to. It’s a year since we launched localdarkroom.com and we now have over 650 tutors and sharers in more than 60 countries around the world. Without the support and help from the film community who complete our surveys, this couldn’t have happened”

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