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110mm and APS

110 film cartridges were launched by Kodak in answer to consumer complaints about the complications involved with loading and unloading roll film cameras allowing loading film to be easy and the small size made 110 format popular very quickly.

As an alternative to 110 format, The APS film cartridges are optimised for fully automatic film load, enclosing the 24mm wide film completely when not in use. A light proof door and partially exposed films can, in certain cameras, be removed and used later. The film is even put back into its cartridge and returned to the user after it has been developed.

110mm vs APS

110 Camera

As the majority of 110 cameras were extremely simple - with a few notable exceptions such as the Rollei range and the Minolta and Pentax SLRs. Most 110 cameras had a single shutter speed and aperture setting and no focusing available, the success of getting prints from these tiny 13x17mm negatives relied on the latitude of the film. Even with today's modern film emulsions and an accurate focusing and exposure mechanism it would be tough to get much more than a 5×7in print from such a tiny negative. Disappointing print results were the main downfall of the format.



A major distinction of APS film was the ability to record information other than the image. This information exchange was most commonly used for print aspect ratio, but could also be used to record the date and time that the photograph was taken, store a caption, and record exposure data such as shutter speed and aperture setting. This information could be read by the photo printing equipment to determine the print aspect ratio, print information on the back (or, rarely, the front) of the photograph, or to improve print quality.


Processing 110 and APS Films

110 Film

110 film typically uses the same processing method as 35mm/ 120mm, hence, it is more commonly available for processing than APS.


APS film is typically processed by using a small machine to transfer the exposed APS film from the original cartridge to a reloadable one, then re-attached to the original cartridge and rewound using another machine after processing. APS film processing is less common in Singapore so make sure to check online for shops that offer APS processing

Image by Arash Asghari


Choosing your Own Film


The 110 cassette contains 16mm wide film, with one perforation at each frame which engaged with a pin beside the film gate to control the film advance. Like 126, 110 film is pre-exposed with a border and frame number between the frames. The film is paper-backed; the paper being printed with frame numbers, visible through a small window in the cartridge's rear; a larger window in the film chamber door shows this frame number window plus a label on back of the cartridge giving film details.


The film is housed in a single-spool 39 mm long plastic cartridge and was available in 40, 25 and 15 exposure lengths. The film surface has a transparent magnetic coating, and the camera uses this information exchange (IX) system for recording information about each exposure. The camera handles winding and rewinding automatically. The slot is protected by a light proof door and partially exposed films can, in certain cameras, be removed and used later. Numbered symbols (called ‘visual indicators’) on the cartridge end indicate the status:

Visual indicators on an APS cartridge

  1. Full circle: Unexposed

  2. Half circle: Partly exposed

  3. Cross sign: Fully exposed but not processed

  4. Rectangle: Processed

Additionally, a tab on this end of the cartridge indicates that the cartridge has been processed.

Image by César Abner Martínez Aguilar

Video Guide to

110mm / APS Film Photography

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