Film Processing is Back
According to Edgar England, the manager of the central-London-shop West End Cameras, his lab is used to process between 10% and 15% more traditional pictures than a year ago, with traditional film outstripping digital prints by a ration of 25 to one. Mister England said: «A lot of people who are too young to have known anything other than digital enjoy learning proper technique on a manual camera. With a digital you shoot ten or 20 shots, pick the best one, and delete the rest. […] And watching it develop is magical.”
Many “experts” always stated that manual camera destiny was to be part of history books once digital cameras took off, in particular after the smartphones’ camera inclusion. The analog cameras were also dropped in 2008 from the official Consumer Prices Index, used to measure inflation; no-one expected that film sales could increase so fast after 2009, including instant film and cameras (both Polaroid and The Impossible Projects refurbished ones).
Film is living the so called "vinyl effect", caused by the increase of the sales of both 35mm and 120 film. Some indie labs and camera shops start declaring that they are processing far more film pictures than digital ones.
According to the latest Ilford stats, film sales have increased by about 8% over the last year, after years of decline. Some people at Ilford say that it may be linked with the fact that people see it as something cool. The team which rescued the company declared that «Many young people see it as something cool. They want to do something different than point their mobile camera and take a picture. […] Shooting in black and white is very exciting». This renaissance trend reflects the vinyl record sales trend; last year 243,000 records were bought.