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Thread: % of Large Format Users

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    % of Large Format Users

    A magazine editor friend of mine was in mesa verde the other day and saw a person using an 8x10. I wa sucrious if I knew him because of all my contacts and then I realized that the LF community is probably much larger than I think it is.

    What would you guess? What percentage of the LF community participates in this forum. I know many who don't. Many who buy VC for instance that do not visit this forum. Few of my students pop up here. I would guess 10% based on no facts really, but a casual survey of friends. I never go to APUG or PhotoNet so I don't know how much crossover there is with this forum.

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #2

    % of Large Format Users

    Kirk there is alot of crossover between this forum and Apug.

    I recently ran a thread on the ages of LF users and had 216 people vote in the poll I listed. The results are here:

    Click on any of the numbers in the age groups and you'll get a list of all the people that voted by group. I do not know if the poll is subscriber only, but anyone try and vote just for the heck of it.

  3. #3
    Ted Harris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    New Hampshire

    % of Large Format Users

    Kirk, I would guess that the regular participants in this forum, including regular contributers (100 at most) and regular readers, is something like 1800 based on the statistics if I remembrer correctly (one of the moderators can chime in with more accurate numbers). The subscription base of View Camera is ~ 16,000. So, this group represents some 10% of VC subscribers and I would guess that VC subscribers represents a small, but significant fraction of the entire LF community .... maybe 20% at best and probably much less.

    Other things to consider. This forum is international but is North America centered and the same with VC. Lots of members of the LF community around the rest of the world. Interesting to contemplate but no hard numbers and not enough of a data base to get much more precise. I do believe th eLF community is larger than we often think but still relatively small compared to the rest of the 'photographic world.'

    Then, of course, there is ULF. I am always joking with Michael Mutmansky that I could probably host all of them at a BBQ.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    % of Large Format Users

    I've met a lot of older "retired" large format photographers and others who only shoot ten sheets per year -- there are a lot of old Graphics in people's closets.

    I suspect there are about 20,000 serious LF photographers in the USA - people spending more than $1000 per year on materials and gear. Or a $20 million dollar/year market.

    Of course, up until recently, the professional LF market was closer to $200 million/year, at least based on Kodak's Pro Film division's ad budget (being about 60% of the total film market split with Fuji and others, and figuring 2-3% of their business being spent on advertising).

    When I shot full time, small catalogs and studio 4x5, I'd shoot ~$10K per year worth of LF film and processing and there were many thousands of guys like me in the 1980s and prior.

    These are guesses of course.

  5. #5
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    brooklyn, nyc

    % of Large Format Users

    very few photographers i know that use large format participate here, or even know about it, or express much interest when i tell them. unless i mention it when they ask some technical question that i can't answer-- then they want the url!

  6. #6

    % of Large Format Users

    "regular readers, is something like 1800"

    I think it's even higher than that.

    Furthermore, I know of at least 5 of my 8x10 LF friends who shoot regularly and have no interest in this or any other LF forum. I pitch it to them from time to time but like I said... no interest. My guess is that they'd rather be exposing film, developing and printing rather than hanging out on the internet with a bunch of old guys.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    San Antonio, TX

    % of Large Format Users

    ok, i'll pop up.

    yeah, i'm new.........

    bought a ebony rw45 about a year ago. started innocently enough with a point and shoot
    digital camera about 5 years ago and gradually grew into a monster.

    i hope there alot of people out there like me.

    and i would have to say that i've learned more from this forum than from any other resourse thanks to the contributions of the "veterans".

    many thanks...............

  8. #8
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    brooklyn, nyc

    % of Large Format Users

    "My guess is that they'd rather be exposing film, developing and printing rather than hanging out on the internet with a bunch of old guys."

    the greatest gift of internet is that it lets you talk about what you'd rather be doing, while you're supposed to be working. assuming that your work involves being chained to a computer.

  9. #9

    % of Large Format Users


    I look at this forum once a day, I just re-subscribed to the magazine, and I was out on the mesa in October. I'm not sure where that puts me in this "poll", except that I wouldn't be invited to the ulf BBQ.
    "I meant what I said, not what you heard"--Jflavell

  10. #10
    Louie Powell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Saratoga Springs, NY

    % of Large Format Users

    Is that elitist talk from the ULF corner?

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