Thirty per cent of film users are aged under 35, and 60% of them have been using film for less than five years, according to a worldwide poll.

The results show that ‘support for traditional film is growing’ – driven by new users – according to the survey of thousands of films users conducted by Ilford Photo.

‘For many of those, the interest began after receiving a film camera as a gift from family or a friend,’ said an Ilford Photo spokesman.

Most (98%) use black & white film, with 2% using only colour.

Asked what attracted them to film, one respondent replied: ‘It’s retro’.

Another said: ‘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… developing etc.’

Around 84% of respondents said they had taught themselves how to use film with help from reading books and the internet.

Around half (49%) said they develop and print their photos in a darkroom.

‘Canon, Nikon, Mamiya and Pentax cameras all featured strongly in the survey, with a large percentage also being bought on eBay,’ added Ilford Photo.

Around a year ago, an apparent lack of darkroom access triggered the launch of a free-to-use website designed to allow film users to locate one anywhere in the world.

The website, at www.localdarkroom.com, followed previous surveys suggesting that many photographers have no darkroom access.

The site now has more than 650 ‘tutors and sharers’ in over 60 countries.