When I first saw the above image I was thrilled to find that a photographer was seriously shooting with the APS format film. Long ignored (by us) and professionals, the consumer format (launched by Kodak in 1996), was discontinued in 2010.
In the four year history of recording The Film Photography Podcast (FPP), neither I nor any of my co-host muttered the name APS…until now. Thanks to a number of FPP listeners who have donated APS cameras and film, we’re now spending time exploring this defunct film format. We’re all pretty convinced that although the format won’t be revived, it had its share of amazing cameras…and photographers using it!
(I’m thrilled to report that some cold-stored, expired APS film is now in the FPP On-Line Store HERE! Enjoy!)
Guest Blog by Ariel Perez
Born in Venezuela , grew up in the US in the early 80s, moved back home in the mid 80s and picked up my dad’s Canon A1. Dad’s a musician, so I was responsible for photographing his concerts.
This was around ’88 – ’93 … in 1996 I moved back to the US (for good) and unexpectedly ran across a Popular Photography Magazine. While browsing I noticed all the camera gear ads in the very back and saw what looked like a Canon A1 … it was actually a Canon Elan iie, my first ‘real’ camera. Cost me $500 (mucho money back then). I became known as the ‘family photographer’ and was asked to shoot: parties, baptisms, weddings, etc … this is where I got bit by the photography bug and started being challenged by various lighting situations (indoor, outdoor, dim lighting, etc).
Fast forward to 2004, I purchase my first digital camera, the Canon 10D … and continue to upgrade and shoot digital UNTIL around 2010-2011 when I dust off my still functional ElanIIe and a A2 I had bought second hand and run a few rolls of film for fun. I start getting hooked and start thinking about incorporating film with digital to get back into it little by little. Around 2011 I buy a Mamiya 645 Pro and somehow via Flickr I come across the Canon EOS IX … and this is where I start reading up on the APS format.
I find it very interesting that it’s a defunct type of film and I become very interested in using and maybe trying to revive the format. Sooo, off I go experimenting and again slowly but surely incorporating a roll of 25 and various shoots. I shoot weddings, fashion and lifestyle and so I start experimenting with fashion shoots. I really like the look and format … it’s a little challenging shooting APS/crop again (reminds me of my Canon 10D, 20D, and 40Ds], I now use a 5DMK2 and a 1DMKIV).
I would like for the APS format to stay alive, I know 24mm film is considered inferior to 35mm and MFormat but it does hold it’s ground as far as look, feel, and fun framing formats, plus the film cartridges are unique too.
My current film camera bodies are:
• Canon EOS 1V
• Canon EOS A2
• Canon EOS IX (2x)
• Canon EOS Elan iiE
• Nikon F5 (da beast!)
• Mamiya 645 Pro
• Fujifilm GA645Zi
• Kodak Advantix F600
I’ve recently started experimenting with instant photography and have several Polaroids (600s, Spectra, FilmPacks) – fun stuff, a totally different world!
More of my work can be found here:
All images and images of model Kelsey Anastasia King by Ariel Perez