Summer of 2002. The sales person in the photo supplies shop in Watford Herts, (where I was residing at the time), advised me to buy as many rolls of APX 25 as I could…the film was going to be discontinued. I didn’t believed him, I thought he was trying to squeeze a good sale from me.
Bad move, not following his advice; around the time, I was usually buying mainly Techpan and Ilford Pan F+50, with a small numbers of APX 25, every now and then. Most of it went into Minox cameras, and a few rolls were chewed up by an Olympus 2n, my camera of choice for 35mm then.
I didn’t believed him; starting my photo hobby in a serious manner at the end of the 90’s, I didn’t had to go through the pain of seeing film going for good, as the major film getting scarce and then entirely dissapearing occured during the 80’s. So I didn’t follow this guy’s sound advice.
And then, one day when asking for APX 25, the film was gone. For good. Only then I realized times are a’changing. The first digital cameras appeared to be the thing; never used one before, and I very rare use them now. My wife’s Nikon D3200 is a jewel, but for some reason I only use it when I need a good macro, available instantly. Given my profession, obviously I employ use of digital equipment on a regular basis, but for my hobby, I don’t. Somehow similar to those times when guns appeared onto the battlefield and knights didn’t used them, because it was thought to be unproper to employ such “not honorable” weapons. The honor stayed with the sword; what can be more up, close and personal than that?
In time, I learned the Pan F 50 can be a suitable replacement of the long gone APX 25; rated at nominal speed or at ASA 25-32, it yields very very good results. Also, the Rollei ATP or Copex or Techpan (also gone I believe). You learn to live with it, I guess. Nonetheless, I have stocked a good number of APX 25 rolls in 35mm and also a small number of bulk rolls (those of 30,5 meters). Same with Techpan. I usually use some when going in holidays or to family reunions or other special moments. Otherwise, I use Pan F 50 or simply APX 100. As said, you learn to live without what once we took for granted. And it’s not so bad.
Oh, but that velvety look of APX 25…
Agfa APX 25, rated at nominal ASA
Ilford Pan F+ 50, rated at nominal ASA
Agfa Ortho 25
Rollei 25 ATP 1.1, rated at nominal ASA
Fomapan 100, rated ASA 50