Over the last 9 months Cameraventures has been researching the current state of analog photography around the world, interviewing hundreds of people from CEOs integral to the industry, to upcoming young enthusiasts. We have gone on to undertake a survey of over 7500 analog enthusiasts from around the globe so that we can see how vibrant, varied and ultimately how healthy the analog camera scene is. This all with the hope that we can answer whether analog photography has what it takes to survive and be appreciated by the generations to come. If you’ve already taken part in our survey then we’d like to thank you for helping with this project, and if you’re yet to do so you can still take part here.
Film. Access to film is what will make or break the future of analog photography – even if no new analog cameras are built, with care and respect the existing supply of analog cameras can last for decades to come, but without adequate access to film we are simply left with a collection of (pretty) paperweights. Today we are going to have a look at the Cameraventures survey results to see where the UK’s analog photographers are getting their film fix.
We asked our survey respondents to list where they most frequently bought their 35mm and 120mm film from – here are the results: 36% of purchases were made through online stores, 35% of film purchases were made in person from local shops, and 29% of purchases were made online through either Amazon or eBay.
We saw a fairly balanced picture with most respondents listing that they regularly bought film from several different places. However, when totalled no clear preference is seen. What is perhaps most interesting from these results is that the combined purchases of amazon and eBay purchases still lack behind buying in person or from other online retailers.
To get a little more specific we asked photographers to list the particular outlets where they make their purchases. This may serve to help give new analog photographers an idea of where to buy film – or perhaps even give some inspiration for seasoned shooters. Other than buying online specifically through Amazon or eBay, some of the more popular outlets included: 7dayshop, AG Photographic, Boots Pharmacy, Camerafilmphoto, Discountfilmsdirect, Firstcall Photographic, Fotoimpex, Harrison Cameras, Macodirect, Westend Cameras and Wex. The result that may perhaps be the most surprising to those outside the UK is that the single most popular outlet that respondents listed was the UK discount retailer Poundland, which over the years have sporadically sold 24 exposure Agfa Vista 200 for £1 a roll. Unfortunately for those looking to get in on this bargain film stock, at the time of writing Poundland are no longer stocking Agfa Vista on their shelves.
There’s no doubt that it’s a little trickier to purchase photographic film these days. Once a high street essential, analog film is now a speciality purchase. If our survey results are anything to go by there are still plenty of passionate analog photographers out there and plenty of retailers available to cater for them.