Any love for APS in 2023?

Any love for APS in 2023?

Published by Dave Roberts on  February 17, 2023 under Film Photography Tips and Tutorials and tagged APS, Expired Film, Konica Centuria, Konica Film

I wonder how many of us out there still shoot APS? I like dipping my toe into any format, so dabbling a bit in APS is inevitable.

On the plus side, I can develop it for the same price as regular film and I can buy it expired cheaper than 35mm where I’ve seen rolls of consumer film sell for silly money in comparison! The negative is smaller than 35mm, at around 24mm,  but as I sometimes shoot 110 I can’t see a problem. The EOS IX cameras can compensate for the exposure and you can’t add Canon L series glass onto any 110 camera either. So the results will be interesting to say the least. The aspect ratio is also different to regular 35mm, with the full HD mode being 16:9 though it is also possible to shoot in 3:2 as well as a cropped panoramic format.

It’s likely a short term experiment as APS film is as dead as it can be as you can only get the expired film, doesn’t look likely that we’ll see any companies begin to manufacture these like lomo did with 110. Manually refilling the APS cartridges with fresh film isn’t currently possible as they depend on a magnetic layer to function properly, so you can’t just stuff fresh film into a canister and hope for the best (that’s Rapid film, and that can wait for another week). 

That’s a real shame, as I reckon the form factor of the EOS IX camera with a 40mm pancake really is a winner compared to the rather inelegant 35mm EOS cameras of the day.

I’d initially seen these APS EOS IX cameras for sale for a while and yes, I thought they looked cool. It was disappointing when I realised they weren’t 35mm cameras, but when I spotted some reasonably priced APS film I jumped at the chance even though I didn’t have a camera to shoot them in. There’s no denying that the APS boxes are diminutive as they even fully fit into the 110 film boxes! 

I’d eyed a few of these EOS IX cameras up on eBay, and I was initially looking for one in good condition, complete with box,  manuals and so on. What I ended up with was a job lot of three, yes, three. I keep ending up with more cameras than I need, as you’ll find out in these weekly (ish) blog posts. I didn’t need three of them, but it was the cheapest auction on eBay at the time and I wasn’t going to wait a few weeks to save £2. 

Thankfully they all work and are in mint condition, no dusts, no fungus, Mint+++++..

As a preview, I’ve already shot a test roll a few months back – Konica Centuria APS – I’ve got some Kodak as well which I’ll put through a proper test soon! The 16:9 aspect ratio is also a refreshing change. It’s fortunate that Traia Labs will process for the same price as regular film, so that’s a result as I can throw an APS, 110, 35mm and a 220 into the same order and they’ll process them no problem. I’m looking forward to see what results I get with L glass, though I’m keeping my expectations realistic! 

I’ll be posting be a proper write-up on using APS in the coming months and I might even sacrifice my APS stash in the process.

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