APS and the enthusiast: What is the future?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by tom_cheshire, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. It looks like APS cameras and film are a part of history. Maybe, the APS thing started too late, had too few enthusiasts, and ended too early for there to be a lot of serious equipment around. But, considering there are enthusiasts respooling 120 to 620 film, reloading of Minolta subminiature film cartridges going on, etc., is there any possibility that APS will "rise again" and enthusiasts will respool 35mm film into APS cartridges or anything like that to keep it going?
    The "new" Canon IX system that found its way to me recently is the push behind this question. Too nice a camera to toss away.
  2. I never saw the point to APS in the first place. It came along just as all the other sub-35mm film formats were dying out. When you could get a Rebel G for a few hundred bucks (in late '90s money), or one of the pocket 35mm cameras for even less, what advantage did APS offer? And the photo labs hated it because their existing minilabs couldn't process the stuff...
    In digital, APS-C makes a degree of sense, because a smaller sensor is significantly less expensive to manufacture. But that's not the case with film.
    Is it even possible to respool 35mm to APS? I wouldn't think so; at least, you'd have to trim it down to fit into a shorter cartridge.
    828 is 35mm. but with one hole perframe and the perforations will obscure part of the image.
    same for 126. but needing a plastic cartrige makes it harder.
    didk ? forget it.
    110 shares the one hole per frame problem of other sizes, but the frame size is tiny and quality suffers
    sub min like minolta and mamiya-- price the cartriges.
    127 has some hope. and 120 can be slite and a sort of usable film can be created.
    but only for die-hards.
    I know efke makes 127 and so does rollei
    and adox is starting to make 110 and possibly
    and this is all at a time after Kodak has ended production of slide film
    and plus x.
    the film shooters are literally hanging on by a thread or a toenail.
    and you worry about aps.
    with the magnetic tape edge and the strange cartrige and 35mm film
    some may thry it
    but I wish them luck.
    I think aps will die like dick
    and the others will not be far behind.
    all I really want it panatomic-x
  4. oops tyoing
    didk ? forget it. ( meant harder to do it Fotrget it
    and yed aps is 26mm not 35mm wide.
    this is what happens when people who do not own a camera or
    possibly have never shot a roll of film make multi-million dollar decisions.
    same as liberal arts graduated making technical decisions.
  5. me ,ore word"
    In the japanese camera industry
    decisions are likely made by engineers.
    Look at the advanceds and improvements made by both the german and japanese camera inventors.
    I will say that Kodak and a FEW others were able to create and
    manufacture some cameras that kept working long after they were expected to work.
    It is not really ABILITY of SMARTS
    but being practical and logical.
  6. http://www.photo.net/film-and-processing-forum/007et4
    see previous thread
  7. maybe it is my typing
    maybe it is not being able to see the keys clearly
    wish me luck and good dortors
  8. Is it even possible to respool 35mm to APS? I wouldn't think so; at least, you'd have to trim it down to fit into a shorter cartridge.​
    No, it is nowhere near that simple. The Wikipedia entry for APS Film has a lot of information on it, but particularly, this part will be hard to work up in the garage or basement:
    The film surface has a transparent magnetic coating, and the camera uses this information exchange (IX) system for recording information about each exposure.​
    Also read the section marked "Information Exchange".
    Had some of the APS features, notably the ability to pull and re-insert a cartridge into the camera mid-roll, and the recording of exposure and date information (shades of EXIF?), been used on a camera/film combo that could be made compatible with standard 35mm, it probably would have lived on for a while longer. But APS came around too late, and for the casual photographer, cheap digital cameras, and phone cameras with no need for additional processing expense, all but sealed the fate of APS.
  9. I agree with Larry that in spite of some pretty cool features, it was too late to the party. There are some really cool APS cameras though. My Kodak Advantix Preview is a neat camera that lets me see what I just took and makes me think of a hybrid film/digital camera. The lens is pretty sharp too. I learned a couple of weeks ago that the minilab at Target processes APS film still. I should shoot more of it before they decide to cease processing of it.
  10. Maybe if digital hadn't come along. Maybe if quick-loading of one kind or another ....
    It could'a bin a contenda'
    Too late, zu spät..
  11. APS = Almost Profoundly Silly
  12. I will add my usual aps rant here. I don't know whether it's a lateness or a laziness issue really. The APS format looked really nice, but the best features were, it seems, never utilized in a way that made sense. The electronic added information on the film? Nobody actually developed it. The ability to change formats on the fly? Instead of changing spacing, as could easily have been done for true changes, it was just a cropping feature, same as cheap 35's. All they really came up with was a scheme to change the package, and to make it possible to remove a cartridge before using it up. Hardly worth the bother, especially when added to a smaller film format.
  13. Back in '96 I bought one of those Canon elph's. It was fun to use and quite pocketable. At that time there was a rumor that the the APS concept would be upscaled to the 120 format - then digital started to explode and that was the end of that.
  14. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Months before launch, my Marketing Agency was briefed ( along with others) by the Kodak UK marketing people. They wanted a launch communications strategy and marketing programme for a new film format. We were convinced that we were about to see the launch of a replacement and larger 35mm that would combine the convenience of 35mm with the quality of 120 rollfilm. Instead we got APS. Reading the brief it became clear what was happening but not why- that is the people writing the brief had no idea why this format was for, and gave us not a clue about the advantages APS might hold vs others. Nothing much changed- there wasn't a consumer rationale for APS then and its short life was no surprise. My wife had one- we had issues with processing cost and print quality and it was replaced after a year or two with no regret.
    Personally I think that Kodak's repeated attempts to persuade us that smaller was better contributed to the decline of the company.
    We never did get the work- were told that our questioning indicated that we weren't convinced by the proposition. They were right.
  15. Conceivably the decision to push APS was made when the speed of digital adoption was very much in doubt and Kodak gambled that there was a good chance it would last long enough to gain sufficient adoption that some of the processing quality and availability issues would have more time to be worked out. If we consider that the most popular cameras were compact P&S, we can see that smaller size and easier loading are real benefits for the average P&S photographer who almost never cared for anything larger than a 4x6 print. I'd have to say though that the future of APS film support does not appear rosy as the format is probably of less interest to most enthusast film shooters and has additional technical challenges beyond simply spooling still-available emulsions into existing cartridges.
  16. Well...Who is still making APS film today? I don't believe Kodak or Fuji are. I believe that Agfa still may be making some. But it's certainly not nearly as readily available in the US and Kodak and Fuji APS was....
  17. Sorry to post twice and a row. Just remembered this and wanted to share it!
    Ultrafine online has an awesome price on APS film. http://www.ultrafineonline.com/agapsadty200.html
    Also, they have cool deals like this APS camera that is $39 and change but comes with 30 rolls of APS film from Fuji (perhaps it's expired?)
  18. APS was a niche product that was doomed not only by the digital onslaught, but also the fact that cheap auto loading
    35mm cameras were plentiful. The only advantage that APS represented was the fact that the cameras could be very small
    with good optics, using a larger negative than 110. Minolta, nikon and canon made some very good small cameras and
    APS SLRs that probably would have been more popular had digital not become the heir apparent to the point and shoot
    world. I played with the format for a while, and got very good results with the camera as they were compact, and allowed
    one to be fairly creative with the cropping and printing process. However, it was always more expensive to have
    developed, and there was no true black and white film aside from the C-41 that Kodak sold. I imagine that Nikon, Canon,
    and Minolta did not recoup any investment that they made into that brief venture.
  19. I use medium format and various 35mm cameras. I have found the Minolta Vectis S1 a convenient 'carry-about' camera. A couple of weeks back I learned at short notice that my grandson was in a football tournament. All my 35mm film was still in the fridge. I had 1 roll of Kodax APS film standing on a shelf. I used the S1 with the 80-240 APO lens, and although it was a dull, overcast day, every shot came out fine. My grandson now has photos of the event for when he is older.
    I bought 40 rolls of outdated APS film (2006) last year, and have kept them in the freezer. Of the 7-8 rolls I have used since, not one has been a failure.
  20. So, I'm guessing that, in a future without APS film to be had in any form, an enthusiast would cut down 35mm film, basically, shaving off the sprocket hole edges, and reload the cartridge in a lightproof bag but, the curiousity is, would it work since it wouldn't have the magnetic thing to record data on or is that a fringe feature that is not a must have in order to work?
  21. IIRC, APS film base seems slightly thicker than 35mm film. I wonder if slitting some 120 film might work better?
  22. Mike, that sounds like a pretty good idea. Now, let's see, how long is a 25/40 APS roll compared to 120 or 220 roll? Time to calculate.
  23. Quixotic, I'd say.
    As has been pointed out many times here on PNet, anyone who cares at all about film (especially someone like the OP who is concerned about "the future" of specific films and film cameras) should consider supporting those companies still actively producing it. Thus, as an example, rather than buying up and deep freezing fifty rolls of expired Fuji 160C you find on ebay, it's more beneficial to give Kodak a show of faith and begin using the new Portra or Ektar. Here, after all, is a company still investing considerable R&D in color negative film. (Which is why, not that my small gesture means much of anything, I gave up on Kodak for B&W and have begun purchasing only Ilford B&W film as here is a company which actually seems to care about monochromatic film much more than Kodak.)
    Especially, you know, with prices so amazingly cheap for tons and tons of super-high quality used film cameras in 35 and 120mm formats — I'm sorry, I can't see why one particular APS camera you happened to find would make you ready to cut up and respool APS cartridges.
  24. Skip, I have "tons and tons" of 35mm and 120 format cameras. My camera room still has a narrow path through it that hasn't been covered up yet by photo eq. but, my real impetus for this posting was wondering about all these people who you see cutting their own 5x8 or full plate size film to use with their view cameras and the 828 users and 122 users, etc., who are the Quixotics and wondering how long it will be before the Quixotics turn their attention to APS or, if it would even be possible. Aside from that, I am always fascinated by any camera I stumble across for at least two weeks until the "new" wears off.
  25. For Europeans annoyed by the ebay charging high prices for expired APS film, I (MS Hobbies) have found ample supplies of Advantix APS 400 ASA film expiry 2013, 40 exposure rolls, in foil. First time in Europe have I seen 40 exposure APS for years.
    Get it whilst you can: mshobbies.co.uk
    People slagging off APS must realise that out of that generation was improved film emulsions, auto-loading for camera and darkroom, and the Nikon and Canon SLR's delivered stunning quality. without APS, the road to digital would have been much longer.
  26. APS was Kodaks last attempt in releasing an oddball new format. ie the razor blade model
    What did it offer? A processor had to buy a special attachment to process APS. The user had to pay the same or 20 to 35 percent more in processing fees.
    If your local lab did not pass on these costs then you say that nobody paid more to process APS films. If your lab charged more then the end user often went back to 35mm, ie bigger negative, better quality , lower processing cost.
    At local Walmarts in the South later one APS became that bag service film, With 35mm one could once get 1 hour service and APS was sent away.
    APS does have some cool tiny cameras. They were once common in one shot cameras too.
    Kodak pushed APS while Casio pushed its VGA digital camera that I bought in the mid 1990's As a Kodak guru said to me at a trade show APS offers a way to store negatives and has a contact sheet, Thcasioe VGA casio was poo pooed as a fad. I got it for early BBS and website work. That same casio VGA was used on early Ebay auctions to sell Russian cameras
    APS is like old 828. It came out to get folks on a non generic film format.
    Kodak is in bankruptcy. I cannot imagine any buyer of the film division would want to bring back APS films,
  27. Thank you for the information re APS film, mshobbies. I will have a look at your site. I have felt that people on ebay are asking a fortune for even single rolls of APS film. As for the derogatory comments about APS cameras and film, it is as though others think we are trying to convert everyone to the format, and asking them to ditch digital, and all other film formats. How mistaken can they be. Here in the UK we have a columnist in a photo mag who writes once every month about the quirky and unusual cameras he has bought. 127 film/110 film, etc., etc.,and even what he classes as toy cameras.
    My first hands on with an APS camera was when a friend traded in a Nikon 35mm for a Minolta Vectis S1. 'Too small for me and my hands,' I thought, but when I saw the photos results they were good. As I mention previously in here they are a good handy 'carry about'camera, and the lenses are good.
  28. I never saw the point. I can barley tell what's going on in a 35mm neg, much less something smaller. APS was much smaller. The link below is a good site for comparisons. It's important to remember that the APS shooter had miserably small choices for film types. In some ways, it seems it was a system that was designed to fail.

  29. Those are some incredible prices at Ultrafine. Didn't know Agfa still made film. They don't say what the expiration dates are.
  30. Just bought some more APS film, expired in 2004. I used 1 roll and it has come out perfectly. The remainder have gone into the freezer.

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