Talk:Advanced Photo System

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Does anyone know if APS negatives, once processed, are safe for long term storage inside the cartridge? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:41, 1 August 2006.

I imagine just as safe as any other processed film in some sort of protection. The film is protected in the cartridge, but temperature and humidity are still important. I don't know what else to add. The film in an APS cartridge is (almost) identical to than in 35mm, 120, and other sized film. --Imroy 16:55, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
It's probably safer than the other film, due do the canister it's stored in. However, said film still deteriorates with age, and can be damaged by magnets(as information is stored on the film magnetically).--Vercalos 06:52, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


If I take an APs camera outside of the US is it likely that I will be able to find APS film? I am just wondering if I would be adding dead weight if there is no film APS available. 19:03, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I occasionally see it here in Australia, but it's usually only one or two types of Kodak "Advantix" film and maybe Fuji Nexus or whatever it's called. Processing is more expensive as well. It'd be better to go with 35mm or digitial. --Imroy 23:02, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe that the format was ever intended for positive film (slide, transparancy), or for traditional black and white print film. I know there was (is?) a chromogenic (C-41 development) black and white film available (b&w400) in the aps format from Kodak. The last time I saw it was a few months ago and the expiration date on it was 3/2006. It was in single, carded packages. For that matter I think aps film was only ever offered in carded packaging. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 07:50, 20 August 2006 (UTC).

There was a slide film made by FujiFilm briefly, there was a standard for encoding IX data on the slide mount. Kodak made a chromogenic (B&W C-41) film, and the film was availible in boxes without cards, just not widely. Retailers, like everyone involved in APS was counting on big profits & wanted to use every marketing trick in the book to get people to buy this stuff. Cranialsodomy 07:50, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

35mm Also[edit]

Did the fact that 35mm cameras can now be made auto loading and very small like the Olympus Stylus Epic Also help make this format obsolete? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

The compactness is already mentioned in the text:
"These developments, combined with the fact that 35mm cameras could now be made almost as compact as APS-format cameras, prevented APS from attaining greater popularity."
How easy is the auto loading of this Olympus camera you cite? APS really is "drop in", whereas I thought the compact 35mm cameras still required the user to tuck the film leader under a tab in the back of the camera. Still, that's certainly easier than getting the end to latch onto the take-up reel. --Imroy 15:12, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Some compact 35mm cameras really were drop in loading. You just dropped a 35mm cassette in and closed the door. The camera grabbed the leader and fed it onto the take up spool. (talk) 14:30, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

A quick question[edit]

  • A small number of manufacturers still produce APS films.[citation needed]

I work in a photo lab and we get APS film in on occasion(usually at least 5 rolls a week of APS). Now I know that there are manufacturers that still produce APS film, but I don't know if the citation tag is referring to the manufacture of APS film or if it's referring to the 'small number'. I can provide evidence of the former, direct from Fujifilm's official site(, but I don't know if this counts as a cite-able source. Can anyone offer any clarification?--Vercalos 06:47, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Article needs an in-depth explanation of why APS exists[edit]

Rather than this being a purely functional/technical article, it would be useful to explain in the introduction why Kodak invented APS -- which is that it greatly simplifies camera use and provides higher-quality photos by reducing customer contact with raw film, and was introduced as a way for film cameras to keep up with the ease-of-use of the emerging digital photography technology.

There is a statistic that says Kodak found a large percentage of amateur 35mm shots are missed because the photographer screwed up the film loading and the film wasn't advancing as they assumed, resulting in a large degree of consumer frustration with the 35mm format. While the film can be securely spooled several times with the back open to prevent sprocket detachment, this also means film is wasted and fewer shots can be taken. Meanwhile since the consumer must handle the bare 35mm film directly during loading, it is easily contaminated with dirt and oils on the user's hands.

APS eliminates loading and handling annoyances by autoloading from the cartridge and allowing the film to rewind and even allows a roll to be removed mid-roll and reloaded later, which was virtually impossible to do without overlapping frames or wasted film with the old 35mm sprocket film. The end-user is required to do little more than insert a sealed plastic film cartridge that fits only one way into a specially shaped slot on the camera. After use it auto-rewinds, and when the film is developed it is again stored in the original roll catridge protecting the bare film from scratches and fingerprints.

Even the auto-rewinding is important. It prevents the user from pulling the film off the end-spool, which was easily possible since most film was held on the end-spool with adhesive tape. Detachment results in a mess that either means opening the camera to remove the detached film and exposing all the film, or taking the camera in to a processor and hoping they can open it blind in a darkroom and get the film out without damaging the film too much. The loose film tail could also cause problems by coating the inside of the camera body and shutter with mechanism-jamming adhesive goop.

Then there's the preview/guide sheet printed with every roll of APS. Since the film is permanently stored in the cassette, and cannot be pulled out by the end-user, the preview sheet is used to indicate to a film processor what pictures should be [re-]printed from the roll. Although most film processing includes prints of the entire roll, the basic processing requires only developing the roll and printing the preview sheet.

I suppose I will add this at some later time, but need to research the history some more.

DMahalko (talk) 05:51, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Wow, I hated 35mm and thought it was a poorly designed and lay-user-unfriendly anachronism (having been brought up with plug-and-play 110 instamatics), and did have a couple of APS models when they were popular (transitioning to digital, over a couple years, about as soon as was practical), but even I didn't have THAT much difficulty getting the thing loaded, even with very cheap and nasty cameras. Once you've done it three or four times you can manage it even with your hands inside a duffel bag to keep the light off (so as to get those extra couple of shots)... without covering the film with fingerprints, causing mechanism jams, etc. There's a couple fiddly bits like pushing the lead tab into the slot in the middle of the take-up spool, but it's fairly clear when you have or haven't got it right at least.
I can see this all being a problem if you have limited mobility or other disabilities, and can't afford an auto-loading 35mm... but for joe average, it's just not that hard - mildly irritating, rather than likely to prevent you from being able to use the camera at all. Which I guess was reflected in the poor sales... (talk) 09:51, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
The pragmatic, probably true, but hard-to-source answer is that Kodak wanted to maximise its profits by selling a smaller film format at a higher price than 35mm. An APS cartridge retailed for more than a roll of 35mm but had less film. The stuff about easy loading is nice - it's the official, polite reason for APS - but doesn't explain why Kodak needed to invent a smaller film format. Kodak had a long history of trying to control film formats so that it could sell less film in a more expensive package, and APS was the company's last attempt to repeat that trick. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:35, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

TV and cinema[edit]

The "Adoption and Marketshare" section ends with this orphaned paragraph:

"APS film is 24mm wide. A patent was issued to Roger Field for the use of 24mm APS film for motion pictures, using eg. the 22x12.4mm picture format for 16:9 production for TV and cinema, offering 35mm picture quality in a motion picture camera hardly larger than a 16mm camera."

It comes out of nowhere and needs more explanation; it should really be closer to the beginning of the article. Who is Roger Field? What became of his patent, and his process? When was the patent awarded? -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 19:11, 19 July 2008 (UTC)


The article states, without citation: "The film area of APS is usually only suitable for 4×6 inch prints; enlargements to 8×10 inches start to show its lack of resolution"

So by extrapolation, 35mm (which is less than twice the size of APS) isn't good enough for prints bigger than 8x10? Anybody who has done serious photography with 35mm knows this isn't true. I'm sure that people did get disappointing 8x10 prints from APS systems but, just for starters, how many people bought good quality lenses to put on an APS camera? As it stands I think this statement is misleading and unless anybody can expand on it and cite references, it should be removed. Eggybacon (talk) 11:48, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd say it's probably just the quality of the film and the lenses. It was never really that high-end a product. Made instead for regular envelope-size snapshots; it's reason to exist was to make photography easier for people who couldn't handle 35mm (myself included, at first) but didn't like the noddy-ness of "kids'" 110/126 cameras.
Certainly with the cheap-ish point and shoot one I had, I remember at the time comparing the results with an older but probably slightly better made 110-cartridge film camera and seeing any particular improvement. Very grainy (not getting enough light...) and the grains were large (poor film and/or rather high speed to make up for a lack of incoming light). I've had somewhat poor results from rock-bottom 35mm snappers as well, but rarely on the same level. Definitely, the 10x4 panoramic size is as large as I'd ever really want to blow it up (which is basically a 7x4 HD image, cropped then expanded 50%, just as the "classic" size is cropped down in the other direction - so 10x6 would probably look... ehhh, tolerable). Maybe if you made a proper SLR of it, with nice big lenses with good quality glass in them, with pricier, slower film, using a longer exposure on a tripod, you could get excellent, highly "zoomable" images out of it. But still remember that it's only a 24mm frame, even with the stretched aspect, so it'll peter out at about 2/3rds the size (or approx one ISO paper size smaller - roughly 1/2 the area...) an equivalent 35 would, and far below medium- or large-format. (talk) 11:05, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

digitize the film[edit]

can anyone tell me if developed APS film can be digitized? I do digital scrapbooking and would like my APS file transfered to cd's. thanks for anyones input.

Lonna —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lonjeanwat (talkcontribs) 01:48, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

I've heard of people having APS film scanned, so I know it's possible... (talk) 04:11, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Why shouldn't it be? You may have a time getting the negatives out of the shell, but ask a local photo shop if they can give it a try. It's just cut-down 35mm material after all - their negative scanner should have an adaptor. And there's always just feeding the prints through a normal scanner, I've done that with a pile of APS photos before. (talk) 11:06, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Scanning APS negatives is easy. You can buy a scanner that will do it as easy as loading an APS camera, just drop the cartridge in. Or, most photo labs should be able to do it. The best quality will be to scan the film itself.--Cranialsodomy (talk) 21:20, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Erm ... any film format that you could get a print out of can be scanned and digitised. Most particularly if you've already made prints, you can just put THOSE into the scanner. You probably wouldn't have too much difficulty using a 35mm scanner either, if you can get the negatives out of the shell, but would have to crop the frames down manually. You may find the resolution slightly disappointing as well, depending what you expected; your average consumer negative scanner only offers about 1800dpi, which is equivalent to 2400x1600 ~ 2560x1706 (or quite possibly 2560x1536 / 2560x1920 depending on the sensor employed) for 135 film ... or in other words approx 4 megapixels. APS would reduce that to, on a good day, using the full 7x4 APS-H frame, about 2160x1200... or only 2.5 megapixels, and only as many "lines" as offered by a rather basic 2-megapixel digital camera, with all the improvement in resolution coming from the wider aspect.

When you consider that the minimum print resolution required for a good-looking photo is approx 150dpi, the result really wouldn't allow you to go beyond about 12 x 8 inches, and you'd be happier with it at about 10 x 6 (for a sharper 200 dpi) - and if you cropped or zoomed it, the problem would be further compounded; that's equivalent to a zoom/crop ratio of only 2:1 for an acceptable 6x4 print at 150dpi.

Thus you might be better off getting a good optical print of the originals (perhaps high quality enlargements, even), and using a good photo scanner to read THOSE in. A 7x4 print scanned at a true optical 600dpi can then have a similar 2:1 crop but still be blown up to 12 x 8 and still look as good as the scanned negative. (That, or find somewhere that can scan the negs at a genuine, guaranteed higher resolution.) .... bear in mind we're not even bothered about the grain, here. That's by the by, is analogue and rounded by its very nature, and is just accepted as part of film photography. Squared-off pixels are much starker and ugly looking.

(Not as bad as 110, though - with the same machine, you'd be looking at more like 1200x900, or barely more than 1 megapixel - and the 5.5 x 4 prints have noticeable grain when scanned even at 300dpi) (talk) 10:10, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

'Never really caught on with professionals'[edit]

Another uncited statement: "Despite the added features, APS never really caught on with professional photographers because the film area was just too small"

I don't dispute the fact that it never caught on with professionals, but was this really just because of the frame size? Was APS ever marketed to professionals? Did anybody make professional APS cameras? Eggybacon (talk) 13:05, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

This is one of those things that's true but hard to source, because it's hard to prove a negative. This review of the Kodak DCS 315 (which was based on a Nikon Pronea body, one of the few APS SLRs), has a few choice quotes, e.g. "Few professionals are likely to have heard of the Nikon Pronea 600i, Nikon's first APS SLR introduced in 1997. In itself this could hardly be considered to be a professional camera, though it does have the ability to take their standard 35mm Nikon F mount lenses and has a small built-in pop-up flash." The impression I get is that - with the exception of the Canon IXUS, and then only in the context of Andy Warhol-style nightclub photography - APS was never aimed at the professional market. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 22:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
That's the point I was trying to make - that APS was never marketed or developed as a professional format, so the statement as it stands is misleading. I don't think the film area was the reason.Eggybacon (talk) 15:01, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
While your argument may be retorically correct, but frame size is a reason in and of itself. APS offers lower image quality with no, to a proffessional, significant advantage. See how popular Fullframe is these days. -- (talk) 12:54, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

actual "panoramic" ratio?[edit]

Right. I've seen 3 different shapes specified for this, including two different ones right here on this page.

10 x 4 --- as it was described when buying two different APS cameras, reading their manuals, and ordering prints (I think I measured it once and the output tended to be between 9.6 x 3.8 and 10.5 x 4.1? I'll see if I can pull a pack out to doublecheck)

11 x 4 --- "X by Y" size as described on this page

12 x 4 --- "3:1" basic ratio as described right next to the 11x4 dimension.

Which is it? It can't be 11x4 AND 12x4 at once, and both of those are news to me. The three choosable shapes provided a surprisingly large variation for what was actually a numerically small change (6x4*, 7x4, 10x4...). There must be citeable stuff somewhere? (( * think this is rounded up, it measured out at 5.5 x 4?? ))

A bit pedantic and nerdy I know, but I'm trying to work out some stuff to do with maximum possible resolutions with limited display memory, and having the correct ratio to work from can make a fair old difference. (talk) 11:12, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Incidentally I doubt it'd be any much larger than 11x4 --- so the paper stock could be based on regular US "Letter" sheets with only minimal cropping waste, fit into Letter-size albums/onto reports printed on that size paper, etc. If you went larger, it'd have to be the much bigger Legal size (14"). Fits into A4 (11.69" x 8.27") as well... don't know why 10x4 may then exist, but maybe it's to give slightly larger margins? Besides the fact an almost-footlong photograph is quite an unwieldy object! (talk) 11:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
Anyone? Bueller? (talk) 10:11, 1 April 2014 (UTC)
Jesus, it gets worse: the stated frame size for Panoramic is 30.2 x 9.5mm ... assuming it's not processed using an anamorphic lens, that's fully 12.7 x 4, or very nearly 3.2:1 (and/or 13x4). So we now have FOUR choices for the print size, with potentially quite a bit of unwanted horizontal OR vertical crop if we get it wrong - 4 inches high by 10, 11, 12 OR 13 inches wide.
Honestly, which is it?
On that note, the 30.2 x 16.7 of High Definition isn't really 16:9 - it's instead very close to 9:5 instead, at 1.808:1. Or 7.2 x 4 inches. (Meaning 16.3:9 or 16:8.8). Were the engineers at Kodak incapable of operating a ruler/calculator or consulting a book of standards at any point? The only thing they appear to have got right is Classic, which matches up with 3:2 (or indeed, 6x4) within the acceptable limits of accuracy imposed by measuring to the nearest 0.1mm ...
(I wonder even if they were attempting to re-standardise on 5-inch high prints but were forced into veering off at the last second? When seen in those terms, Classic is 7.5 inches wide, High Definition is 9 inches, and Panoramic is nearly 16 inches (minus a tiny crop margin). Which are nice and big, and would mean greater sales of photo paper, but aren't really compatible with albums (or frames) that might be based on regular paper sizes and the like, unless all you're ever going to do is cram two 7.5x5 Classics onto a portrait sheet of writing paper... or, alternatively, you can see it as metrification, using 15x10, 18x10 and 32x10cm raw print sizes then made to work with some minimal edge cropping? ... eh, speculation gets you nowhere in this game. whatever.)
What I'm at least fairly certain of is that "3:1" (or 12x4") was only ever mentioned for marketing rather than techincal purposes, because it's a fairly obvious "twice as wide as a normal 6x4 print" size, even if a/ it's not entirely true, b/ it's achieved by essentially recording (or at least, printing) a half frame enlarged to full height, instead of recording a double-wide negative... (talk) 10:43, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Quality of filmstock?[edit]

Did APS maybe use cheaper, lower quality film in its cartridges, seeing as it was meant as a point-and-shoot consumer system that would rarely be enlarged beyond 4 inches high, and not to compete with high-end, high definition 135-based interchangeable lens systems and the like?

I'm just starting to ask, after having made comments above about comparing it to 110 when it seemed the format was based on a 24mm frame (and thus effectively only half a 135 frame, and not quite equivalent to two 110s) and thus the poor quality seemed explicable... it turns out that it's actually a 30mm frame instead, and closer to 135 all round than 110.

But my observed results, with film and cameras of a similar (low) cost, is that the quality of APS shots seems rather closer to 110 than 135, not the other way around. If we think in terms of digital camera sensors, then assuming an equal pixel density, 135 is equivalent to about 4 to 5 megapixel (depending on how much of the available frame is actually used), APS to about 2.5 megapixel (with a slightly wider aspect), and 110 to maybe 1.2mpx at best (slightly narrower). There should be an identifiable improvement in grain and over definition at each step along the way, but the two smaller formats seem rather more similar, and 135 rather more different from either of them, than would be expected from this relationship.

(Or to put it another way, if they're all printed four inches high - thus, 5.25, 7.2 and 6.0 inches wide - the improvement in linear resolution should be x1.29 between 110 and APS, and.... huh... wait... 1.44x from APS to 135? I guess the change in aspect is deceptive. Even so, that's not far off 1.3 and 1.4x, it's not like it's 1.1 and 1.9 or something. Maybe screen resolution comparisons would be better; 110 is conceptually 256x192, APS 448x240, and 135 is 512x352... no? Oh, I give up.)

tl;dr anyone know if they used the same quality film stock across all three formats, or whether one or the other maybe got higher quality film? (Either 135, or maybe in fact 110 in an attempt to compensate for the small frame size - with APS having the same grain as 35mm?) (talk) 10:28, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Actually APS was envisioned by Kodak as the successor to 35 mm, not as a lower-quality format, so I believe that they used the same stock as other films at the time. Note that Instamatic was doomed to lower quality point-and-shoot because of limited accuracy of position of the focal "plane" (the surface of best focus in the standard is curved to relax lens design constraints and allow higher quality with simple lenses, and the exposure surface is cylindrical) in the cartridge but they used the same substrates as 35 mm film of the same times.

Please forgive my lack of references. It would be easy to find them on the old Kodak web site but they purged everything film, current and legacy, several years ago when they tried to reposition themselves as a printer company, and as a hobbyist/dabbler I never developed a new set of sources.

APS was quickly adopted by most SLR marques. The standard defined [P]anorama, [H]igh resolution, and [C]lassic formats, all of which were supported by the standard APS film cartridge. That APS-C format was particularly attractive to both manufacturers and photographers because of its similar aspect ratio with 35 mm and other common formats, but with smaller size that still allowed good quality while decreasing the size and cost of cameras and lenses. With a smaller focal plane area, lens design allows the packing of the same resolution into the smaller area with less glass, and for the same performance relaxes the trade space, or tradeoffs of cost, f/stop, zoom range, size, etc. so that high performance lenses were designed that made higher performance in a smaller package available as compared to similar performing full-frame cameras and lenses. In addition, all other things being equal, depth-of-field is higher with APS-C than with larger formats [1]. This is why most digital SLRs use the APS-C format, and did from their origins.

APS cameras and film are STILL BEING MADE, as a web search will show. I turned up a long list on Amazon today (July 18, 2015). -motorfingers- (talk) 16:04, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

My understanding from marketing material I read at the time was that APS was supposed to use BETTER film than 35mm and that this was supposed to make up for the smaller frame but what in practice happened is that the better film designed for APS was made available in 35mm as well. (talk) 03:59, 1 August 2015 (UTC)