Is APS totally dead?

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by John Bragg, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Is APS film a thing of the past ? A friend of mine wants to source some film but I guess it has gone the way of the Dodo ?
     
  2. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    APS film hasn't been produced for a few years, so the only chance now is probably Ebay, or googling to see if any suppliers might have any old stocks left.
    Processing may also become an issue, as not all remaining labs can deal with the unusual size negs, etc. (Photo Express, in Hull, is one I've used...also very high quality work in 35mm, etc., IMH experience.)
     
  3. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply.
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Actually, Fuji produced APS until the middle of 2011, and shipped the last of it to retailers in May. It's still around in the US, in some drug stores and places like that.
     
  5. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    One of my big disappointments is that there's no way I know of fudging APS from cut-down b/w film stock etc., unlike 110 where there's plenty of room for experimenting. Apart from colour neg film, which still seems to be in a few shops, there's not much you can do with the many cheap APS cameras that turn up.
    Steve
     
  6. michael stevens

    michael stevens Member

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    Our local Boots still processes APS film. For how much longer I don't know: it can't be very profitable.
     
  7. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    As dead as the Norwegian Blue in the Monty Python sketch. :smile:
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    'E's not dead, 'e's pinin' for the fjords!
     
  9. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    APS was a major nail in Kodak's coffin; they wasted many millions of dollars on a system claiming to solve a problem that had long been solved - the difficulty people had in loading 35mm cameras. APS should never have happened!
     
  10. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    +1 to that. It was a bunch of solutions looking for problems.

    It still could have worked out ok. It was a smaller frame but by then film was good enough that it was more than large enough for most casual snapshooters needs, unlike 110 and, ugh, disc. And the easy mid roll changes and indexing and so on could have been nice, if not all that needed, but the processing cost so much more than 35mm it was DOA.
     
  11. nexus757

    nexus757 Member

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    Photo Warehouse aka ultrafineonline.com has some Fuji APS film still for sale, and also some of the Kodak C-41 black & white Advantix film. The film itself is 24mm wide and would not necessarily be difficult to process in a home darkroom if you could adapt one of the adjustable plastic reels to that width.

    Also http://www.filmscanusa.net sells APS film holders to fit most popular scanners (or you could just center it in the regular 35mm holders taping down each end to the glass).

    Perhaps the bigger question, is whether there are any APS cameras out there that will work with reloaded, non-perf film 24mm film. The cartridges themselves would not be that difficult to reload (as many do with 110 cartridges for the Pentax auto 110 and a few others that do not require 110 perfs).
     
  12. Dirb9

    Dirb9 Member

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    Most APS cameras need the magnetic subcoating on APS to index properly, it is a different physical structure than any other film. I would surprised if you could just slit film and reload the cartridge.
     
  13. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Here in the U.S., The Frugal Photographer http://www.frugalphotographer.com/index.htm has announced APS film is coming soon. Ultrafine on Line http://www.ultrafineonline.com/nsearch.html?query=aps+film advertises APS film for sale. You can also find it on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&ke...x=aps&hvadid=159330096&ref=pd_sl_66fq5nif16_b

    As for processing, try The Darkroom http://thedarkroom.com/, as will Bison Photo http://www.bisonphoto.com/

    Never fear, there is hope for us "nitch" photographers.
     
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  15. SkipA

    SkipA Member

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    I don't have an APS camera, but I knew I'd seen something about new APS film recently, Bruce. It was the frugal photographer site, as you pointed out. They also have 127 film, although only one type (Bluefire Murano).

    The thing that I dislike about the frugal photographer site is that while it sells film and recommends places to get your film developed, it discourages darkroom printing. It tries to steer people toward scanning and inkjet printing. I'll probably never buy anything from them as a result, since that attitude annoys me so much.

    This is what they say on their main page:

     
  16. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Has anyone bothered to inform them that darkroom equipment IS being made? I assume they wouldn't believe that many of us very much enjoy using it.
     
  17. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    It might be useful to mention that APS was designed by Kodak, Fuji, Nikon and a number of other film and camera makers to match digital with film. The frame size of APS is the same as a digital sensor, and APS was designed to record other information bringing it up to the digital standard of exposure and date/time information.

    So, other companies also believed that there was some life left in film, not just Kodak. Although we will never know what time line these other companies had.

    Now, the crux of the matter is whether the present ApS films contain the information gathering information of APS and whether that is worth anything to anyone today.

    PE
     
  18. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Ron,

    I covered the APS rollout in Hollywood and sat right behind Kodak CEO George Fisher and actress Jane Seymour. The presentation promised all kinds of tie-ins with digital technology that never appeared. Make no mistake, EK was the driving force of the APS program.

    The real losers were all the photofinishers that invested a lot of money in APS processing equipment.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Fred;

    There were a lot of drivers according to my sources and they felt that film had a longer lifetime than we are seeing. However, to be fair, Kodak was more optimistic than anyone else. And, your comment highlights the failure of George Fisher way back then to not foresee the future, even though he is more charitable to himself.

    He didn't dismiss the Technological Forecasting Committee's prognostications nor did he foresee the camera/phone integration in spite of his Motorola background.

    A lot went on here that we don't know about.

    PE
     
  20. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    Ron,

    The APS program was well under way before George Fisher arrived. He got oversold on the digital tie-ins.


    I think we all failed to understand how rapidly the miniature digital camera technology would develop to produce smart phones with very good image capture quality.
     
  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Fred;

    I'm just commenting on all of the good things that Fisher missed out on and all of the bad things he kept alive, and this is contrary to his comments in public about how he tried but "it would take 10 lifetimes to fix Kodak" or something pretty close to that approximate quote.

    And, there were those of us in KRL who knew the growth of digital was faster than many believed. There were many instances where Kodak completely ignored the growth rate and market of digital.

    PE
     
  22. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Guess I don't care what they say or encourage, If they have film I want, I'll buy it and use it as I please. Don't ever let someone else's opinion get in the way of your creativity.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I also consider APS as a consolidated enterprise of all major western film manufacturers and major camera manufacturers, indedendent of who actually íntiated it.

    In contrast to Disk Film, which was directed to a segment of amateur photography, APS was promoted by all participants as the amateur photographer medium. Something that relied an effeorts of all.

    I consider it in general as a great idea, that soon was overtaken by digital amateur photography.
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    APS might have had a better life IF it had managed to come along several years earlier. As it was, it didn't arrive until just before the outbreak of consumer/prosumer digital, which didn't just put the last nail in its coffin, digital drove the wooden stake directly into the heart, sprinkled the holy water, incanted the exorcism rite, chopped off the head and stuffed the coffin of APS with garlic in one swell foop.
     
  25. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    I was at the APS Kickoff in Hollywood, sitting right behind George Fisher. Kodak promised all kinds of digital imaging tie-ins, (like a magnetic coating), to make it a transitional product between analog and digital photography.


    IMO, it was a waste of millions of dollars.
     
  26. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    APS was on paper a very intelligent format.

    Imagine projecting slides without having to mount frames, organize them into carriers and change them.
    Imagine archiving films in their canisters with a clear record (on computer if needed) of their content.
    Imagine changing rolls mid-way and reloading them without risks and without waste of film.
    That, besides the solving of the loading "problem" (OK not really a problem but in any case a cartridge like APS or 126 or 110 inspires more confidence in the non-photographer).

    Besides having appeared on the scene "late" and being overcome by the digital wave I think its main problem was to have chosen a format smaller than 135. That was evidently done in order to favour the production of small, pocketable cameras but it would certainly have discouraged serious photographers from adopting it.

    If they had chosen an APS a little larger, with 135 frames, they would have probably had more success for the interoperability between 135 and APS (choice of traditional slide mounting or not, traditional sleeve archiving or not, easier compatibility with existing enlargers, and easier design of SLR based on existing design).

    I suppose the APS format was since day one aimed at the the pocket camera market and not really meant to replace 135.