37% of dPS Readers Still Shoot with Film

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In a recent reader poll we asked readers about their film shooting habits. Here are the results.

shooting-with-film-poll.png

So a total of 37% of readers shoot with film at least occasionally but the majority never do.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Patrick

    Interesting, I think it is much more likely that photographers who use film can not wait to tell people about it though. I find it hard to believe that 15% of photographers on this site shoot exclusively with film.

  • Peter

    Mind if i ask how many people responded to the poll? I am flawed that the number of people shooting exclusively with film is as high as 15%.

  • Dilip

    I accidentally stumbled upon your website, and am delighted that I did!

    Interesting that so many keen photographers still use film cameras. I spent a bundle on buying a Nikon digital SLR camera that could use the lenses I already had for my Nikon film camera – but after 3 years, I have totally switched to digital photography and my film camera is sadly gathering dust. I do have a load of cherished old photographs that I plan to digitize, to better preserve and also to be able to share them. Any quick and convenient way of doing this? I am not fussed about getting professional quality (by paying professional prices) as these will be mainly for posting on Facebook – so resolution etc. isn’t a primary consideration.

  • Didn’t know this. I thought there would be around 10% 🙂

  • Interesting results Darren, I wouldn’t have expected it to be this high, especially the amount of people who still only shoot film. I mean I know there are people out there who don’t like change, but digital has come so far in recent years.

    Thanks for doing this kind of polling though very interesting stuff!

  • Digital may have come a long way but it’s just not the same thing. Besides, sometimes you just want to get away from the computer. I like my DSLR just fine, but I really like my classic film gear,too!

  • Thank you for this poll. Who said film photography is dead ?

  • Willie Coyote

    Kind of weird, given that there are nearly not enought places to develop film professionaly. Hell.. I can’t even find a proper roll of pro film.

  • Robert

    Yeas… digital has come far in recent year, but it is still far behind Film SLR. Just look at DR of film and Digital camera, colors, sharpness… Can you really beat medium format Hasselblad with D300, D90, E-3, 7D or even 5D? I don’t think so…

  • Matthew

    This is interesting – and surprising. I am just starting to play around with some vintage 35mm cameras to expand my skills and just for the fun of it.

    The one thing I am struggling with (at the moment) is where to get the film processed. Any suggestions from anyone (I live in Canberra)?

  • That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling deep in my analog heart. I gave up shooting digital a couple of years ago, and I recently fell into shooting slides again – and the difference is night and day. Slides look so gorgeous compared to digital.

  • Jim

    I didn’t see your poll, but I have just begun shooting film again (Polaroid and medium format). In fact, I’m seriously considering developing and scanning my own MF negatives. If any of you digerati have old developing equipment (tank, reels, etc.) that you’ll never use, I’d be happy to take them off your hands.

  • WarrenM

    I recently got the urge to play around with film again after coming across an old Nikkormat ftn in an antique store here in Brisbane. I bought the camera but unfortunately it wasn’t usable but it got my passion back for good old classic cameras. I have just bought another one and so the journey begins. I am also thinking about building a dark room again. I have also been doing a lot of reading on the net and there really seems to be a resurgence of film photography.
    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

  • Michael McGrath

    I can certainly see where film would be used for Black and White as digital doesn’t even get there.
    Also I can see film being used in landscape and portrait photography and in most uses where there is no immediate hurry outside of press use- and btw I hope the local fellas shooting for the press in your area are not as diabolically bad at digital as they are on my local Hometown Weekly Chronicle.

    I keep a couple of 35mm cameras for B & W, and a Bronica and Mamiya also, then five digitals including three DSLRs, I was a pro shooting weddings, press, portraits, but now reired to a much more leisurely urban landscape photography. You get people with phones doing those jobs now.
    In digital I use the Canon 40D and love it , won’t “upgrade” now, I’m 65, been a photog on the job since I was 19 back in 1966, though you’ll see me around with my old Nikon D100 , still as good as ever if you’re no longer covering sports like me. I’m in Kilkenny, Ireland.

  • Gerard

    @dilip

    I simply photographed my “old” photos with my DSLR.

  • It’s not 15% of users on this site, it’s 15% of users that voted. Still though, a nice and surprising chunk 🙂

  • Suhithar Baus

    Dilip, You can digitize your film negatives using a scanner with film adaptor.

  • James

    Matt one suggestion would be for you to develope your own film and then scan it our send it to be scanned if the service is available near you. I’m one od those who still shoots in film even though I proffessionally

  • CanonGuy

    I will be going on a 10-day trip, without possibility of using a computer while gone. If I shoot digital, I do combo JPG+Raw, and each shutter click is about 30MB. It takes little time, and few images, to burn through a 16GB memory card at that rate. If I shoot digital, I will easily end up with a minimum of 150GB of images or more, which means purchasing a lot more cards than I currently have. I will have no use for most or all of those new/extra memory cards after this trip. A portable, battery-operated storage unit is somewhere in the $700 range, if I want to use that instead of purchasing another 10 cards. Please don’t tell me digital is “the best answer” to photography under these conditions. I may just take 40-50 rolls of film instead, since my lenses will work on either my DSLR or old film body. No, I cannot get as many images on 40-50 rolls of film as I would on a dozen or more 16GB cards, but, as has been pointed out in this forum earlier (not this series of responses), most of us shoot more thoughtfully and deliberately with film than with digital. And film would not involve spending dozens and dozens of grueling hours in front of a computer monitor when I get back. I would just have 4×6 prints made from each negative, and enlarge the best of a few of them. That puts the fun back into photography.

  • marknpb

    I love my digital cameras, but when I travel, I always bring a film body. It doesn’t need any batteries so If I end up on some extended adventure and have no way to recharge my digital camera batteries, I can still take some shots.

  • I shot on film more and more every time, mainly with toy cameras but sometimes also with reflex and even a hasselblad.
    I enjoy B&W, colour, cross processing… 400 ISO gives a kind of grain I adore.
    Film is great!! (but expensive…)

  • Fewd sda

  • I truly enjoy shooting film. Slide film mostly but do own. Pro DSLR which I use in my freelance work as my clients require it. Both mediums serve a purpose. My choice for family memories and other things is film.

  • Dizzy

    Digital photography has come a long way. My wife and I, both avid amateur photographers, have transitioned from film SLR to digital SLR to compact digital to iPhone (shudder!) in the space of a decade. When shooting close to home, it’s still DSLR with an array of lenses and filters – but when traveling it’s iPhones. Period.

    The issue we’ve faced over the past few year is: How to move our considerable collection of photo prints, albums etc. on to our ipads and home computers. Luckily, now there are inexpensive or even free apps that make this very easy (See Pic Scanner at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgrTZPggkEs or Shoebox at http://1000memories.com). I wouldn’t use these for serious archiving, but you get perfectly acceptable results, and fast, especially if you are scanning to share photos on Facebook or whatever.

  • John Smith

    I shoot digital and film. 35 mm and med format. And there is no comparison to film. Digital will never stand up to film. However, one of the problems is: That many sales people are telling customers that film is dead. I even heard that some camera stores getting kickbacks, having customers believe that film is dead and no-one is developing film anymore. Now mind you, I don’t know how true this is. But, one of the stores lying to customers is Henry’s. Then again, I never did trust them. Anyone looking to get film processed, should look up david@davidnardi.com E6t. he is an individual in Toronto and does all types of film. Another place is Crossways on Dundas. Hope this helps anyone having difficulties.

Some Older Comments

  • Dizzy June 22, 2013 07:38 pm

    Digital photography has come a long way. My wife and I, both avid amateur photographers, have transitioned from film SLR to digital SLR to compact digital to iPhone (shudder!) in the space of a decade. When shooting close to home, it's still DSLR with an array of lenses and filters - but when traveling it's iPhones. Period.

    The issue we've faced over the past few year is: How to move our considerable collection of photo prints, albums etc. on to our ipads and home computers. Luckily, now there are inexpensive or even free apps that make this very easy (See Pic Scanner at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgrTZPggkEs or Shoebox at http://1000memories.com). I wouldn't use these for serious archiving, but you get perfectly acceptable results, and fast, especially if you are scanning to share photos on Facebook or whatever.

  • Joe Geronimo February 27, 2013 03:32 am

    I truly enjoy shooting film. Slide film mostly but do own. Pro DSLR which I use in my freelance work as my clients require it. Both mediums serve a purpose. My choice for family memories and other things is film.

  • Tony July 13, 2012 06:07 am

    Fewd sda

  • Iban_g_g June 11, 2012 11:43 pm

    I shot on film more and more every time, mainly with toy cameras but sometimes also with reflex and even a hasselblad.
    I enjoy B&W, colour, cross processing... 400 ISO gives a kind of grain I adore.
    Film is great!! (but expensive...)

  • marknpb June 11, 2012 01:12 am

    I love my digital cameras, but when I travel, I always bring a film body. It doesn't need any batteries so If I end up on some extended adventure and have no way to recharge my digital camera batteries, I can still take some shots.

  • CanonGuy June 8, 2012 03:22 pm

    I will be going on a 10-day trip, without possibility of using a computer while gone. If I shoot digital, I do combo JPG+Raw, and each shutter click is about 30MB. It takes little time, and few images, to burn through a 16GB memory card at that rate. If I shoot digital, I will easily end up with a minimum of 150GB of images or more, which means purchasing a lot more cards than I currently have. I will have no use for most or all of those new/extra memory cards after this trip. A portable, battery-operated storage unit is somewhere in the $700 range, if I want to use that instead of purchasing another 10 cards. Please don't tell me digital is "the best answer" to photography under these conditions. I may just take 40-50 rolls of film instead, since my lenses will work on either my DSLR or old film body. No, I cannot get as many images on 40-50 rolls of film as I would on a dozen or more 16GB cards, but, as has been pointed out in this forum earlier (not this series of responses), most of us shoot more thoughtfully and deliberately with film than with digital. And film would not involve spending dozens and dozens of grueling hours in front of a computer monitor when I get back. I would just have 4x6 prints made from each negative, and enlarge the best of a few of them. That puts the fun back into photography.

  • James June 8, 2012 12:05 pm

    Matt one suggestion would be for you to develope your own film and then scan it our send it to be scanned if the service is available near you. I'm one od those who still shoots in film even though I proffessionally

  • Suhithar Baus June 8, 2012 12:04 pm

    Dilip, You can digitize your film negatives using a scanner with film adaptor.

  • Steve June 8, 2012 11:32 am

    It's not 15% of users on this site, it's 15% of users that voted. Still though, a nice and surprising chunk :)

  • Gerard June 8, 2012 10:41 am

    @dilip

    I simply photographed my "old" photos with my DSLR.

  • Michael McGrath June 8, 2012 10:07 am

    I can certainly see where film would be used for Black and White as digital doesn't even get there.
    Also I can see film being used in landscape and portrait photography and in most uses where there is no immediate hurry outside of press use- and btw I hope the local fellas shooting for the press in your area are not as diabolically bad at digital as they are on my local Hometown Weekly Chronicle.

    I keep a couple of 35mm cameras for B & W, and a Bronica and Mamiya also, then five digitals including three DSLRs, I was a pro shooting weddings, press, portraits, but now reired to a much more leisurely urban landscape photography. You get people with phones doing those jobs now.
    In digital I use the Canon 40D and love it , won't "upgrade" now, I'm 65, been a photog on the job since I was 19 back in 1966, though you'll see me around with my old Nikon D100 , still as good as ever if you're no longer covering sports like me. I'm in Kilkenny, Ireland.

  • WarrenM June 8, 2012 08:43 am

    I recently got the urge to play around with film again after coming across an old Nikkormat ftn in an antique store here in Brisbane. I bought the camera but unfortunately it wasn't usable but it got my passion back for good old classic cameras. I have just bought another one and so the journey begins. I am also thinking about building a dark room again. I have also been doing a lot of reading on the net and there really seems to be a resurgence of film photography.
    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

  • Jim June 8, 2012 07:47 am

    I didn't see your poll, but I have just begun shooting film again (Polaroid and medium format). In fact, I'm seriously considering developing and scanning my own MF negatives. If any of you digerati have old developing equipment (tank, reels, etc.) that you'll never use, I'd be happy to take them off your hands.

  • Tony June 8, 2012 07:26 am

    That gives me a warm fuzzy feeling deep in my analog heart. I gave up shooting digital a couple of years ago, and I recently fell into shooting slides again - and the difference is night and day. Slides look so gorgeous compared to digital.

  • Matthew June 7, 2012 02:24 pm

    This is interesting - and surprising. I am just starting to play around with some vintage 35mm cameras to expand my skills and just for the fun of it.

    The one thing I am struggling with (at the moment) is where to get the film processed. Any suggestions from anyone (I live in Canberra)?

  • Robert June 7, 2012 05:15 am

    Yeas... digital has come far in recent year, but it is still far behind Film SLR. Just look at DR of film and Digital camera, colors, sharpness... Can you really beat medium format Hasselblad with D300, D90, E-3, 7D or even 5D? I don't think so...

  • Willie Coyote June 7, 2012 02:46 am

    Kind of weird, given that there are nearly not enought places to develop film professionaly. Hell.. I can't even find a proper roll of pro film.

  • Fabien June 7, 2012 01:32 am

    Thank you for this poll. Who said film photography is dead ?

  • Jason June 6, 2012 11:11 pm

    Digital may have come a long way but it's just not the same thing. Besides, sometimes you just want to get away from the computer. I like my DSLR just fine, but I really like my classic film gear,too!

  • John June 6, 2012 10:23 pm

    Interesting results Darren, I wouldn't have expected it to be this high, especially the amount of people who still only shoot film. I mean I know there are people out there who don't like change, but digital has come so far in recent years.

    Thanks for doing this kind of polling though very interesting stuff!

  • Sachin Verma June 6, 2012 07:28 pm

    Didn't know this. I thought there would be around 10% :)

  • Dilip June 6, 2012 03:10 pm

    I accidentally stumbled upon your website, and am delighted that I did!

    Interesting that so many keen photographers still use film cameras. I spent a bundle on buying a Nikon digital SLR camera that could use the lenses I already had for my Nikon film camera - but after 3 years, I have totally switched to digital photography and my film camera is sadly gathering dust. I do have a load of cherished old photographs that I plan to digitize, to better preserve and also to be able to share them. Any quick and convenient way of doing this? I am not fussed about getting professional quality (by paying professional prices) as these will be mainly for posting on Facebook - so resolution etc. isn't a primary consideration.

  • Peter June 6, 2012 11:57 am

    Mind if i ask how many people responded to the poll? I am flawed that the number of people shooting exclusively with film is as high as 15%.

  • Patrick June 6, 2012 07:49 am

    Interesting, I think it is much more likely that photographers who use film can not wait to tell people about it though. I find it hard to believe that 15% of photographers on this site shoot exclusively with film.

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