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Who DOESN'T read AP?

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by Roger Hicks, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Well, since I work exclusively with film, by 2014 it was obvious to me that the 'analogue photography' content of AP was more or less 0% and so, for me, 'value for money' was also 0. I'd flick through the newly delivered issue and then (mentally) throw it in the waste paper basket, so I can't honestly say that I miss it! This Forum is far more interesting.

  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    Just look on their website ..
  3. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    I read it very rarely. Here's why:

    I have little or no interest in kit and so the reviews/news bits are rarely of interest.
    Because my overwhelming interest is Natural History I have little or no interest in the 'tricks' bit (such as painting with light)
    For the same reason (NH) very basic post processing is enough for me so again I'm not interested in P'Shop etc.
    The articles about photographers are sometimes interesting and usually it's the mention on the cover that sucks me into buying that issue.
    In my opinion (and I stress it's my opinion) the 'how to' articles are significantly dumbed down as compared with the past (I built my first enlarger by following AP 'how to' articles).
    Year on year there's significant repetition.

    That's it.
  4. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    I'm also in the 'buy it occasionally' camp. As others have said, much techical stuff can be found on 'tinternet. Also, there is a magazine out there that only appears monthly (more expensive per issue, but cheaper over a year) but is exclusively aimed at my marque of camera - so is more specific & relevant to my style (if, indeed, there is such a thing as a 'Lawsyd style') of photography.
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I'm bemused as to why a magazine aimed at one marque of camera would be more relevant to your style. ;)
  6. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    I have 16 weeks worth stacked up that I'v not had time to read yet. Does that count? By the time I catch up I'll be behind the times!
  7. Lawsyd

    Lawsyd Well-Known Member

    Badly worded by me - very obviously, when I read my post back. What I was trying to say was that if the other magazine does a piece on, say, landscape photography I can directly relate that article to my camera & it's controls.
  8. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    I only buy it when it's in one of those 3-mags-sealed-in-a-poly-bag-for-a-fiver at Smiths. Or the Christmas bumper issue. Or occasional issues that deal with something specific that interests me.
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I actually find it quite depressing that people only buy it if it has something specific that interests them; for me, the benefit of AP (and others, but particularly AP over the years) is that it can open my eyes - and my mind - to something new. I actually think that if you want something specific, you're better off going to the web, but AP at its best delivers the sort of variety that I might not see otherwise.
    JBJB and Roger Hicks like this.
  10. SXH

    SXH Well-Known Member

    The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised at the responses, even though Roger asked who doesn't rather than who does I expected more readers among the respondents.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  12. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    That (IMHO) is far too simplistic. Allow me to make a few points. I've been reading AP on and off for at least 60 years - probably more. At first I read it weekly and have now fallen into the 'very occasional' category. During that time my own photography has moved (almost exclusively) towards macro. How many 'how to take macro' articles do you think there have been in AP over the last 60 years? I can't give a number - but it's lots. At first I devoured them but there comes a time when the article isn't teaching you anything and becomes boring. If you accept my dumbing down point it's actually worse than boring it's intensely irritating.

    Same argument with light trails and so on.

    Now to your point. I think that you have misunderstood what I mean (and maybe what others mean) when they buy because there's something interesting. Interesting, in my case, can easily be something different. I certainly want my mind opened - even if I don't intend following up on the technique or genre.

    Equally as a pensioner (hit hard by economics) I just can't afford £3 per week on something that , usually has nothing of interest.

    Finally, and this might surprise you, I did buy this week's copy. I bought it for just one page. I wanted to read what Mr. Hicks had to say about a Hubble picture.

  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Mick, I would say that there are certainly exceptions, and you are certainly a good example of one. If I hadn't had to dash off just as I was finishing that post, I would have made that very point.

    But I do think you've missed my point - the benefit comes from not predetermining what you're prepared to read, and by opening your mind to things you might otherwise not have even thought of looking at - not just deliberately choosing to read about something new, but having something new presented to you effectively at random. If you want to read up about a new technique or even subject area, that's very easy, but to have one find you is where the value is for me.

    In terms of dumbing down, it's hard to tell. For a start, as observers both you and I will be much more knowledgable than we used to be; further, camera tech has advanced so far that what was pretty much essential when you and I started out - exposure factors with extension, as just one macro example - are scarcely necessary at all these days for most uses. It depends then on your definition of dumbing down, and I wouldn't argue strongly either way.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Broadly in agreement, Benchie but as AP doesn't really contain anything to open my eyes to something new, there is a welter of more 'easily' accessed material elsewhere. If you want real variety versus the mainstream, ie. AP, B&W Magazine, OP, PP, PM, etc., do you not have to go for the BJP or some (even more) niche publications? For the latter, as someone has suggested, the RPS Magazine is not bad although they do not seem to include quite so much from the Specialist Groups these days. Cheers, Oly
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Arguably, yes you do. Roger does present something challenging fairly often, but that's one page. If there is a charge of dumbing down to be answered, I would suggest that this is probably where it should lie, not so much on the technical side as the artistic. And that's why I was careful in my choice of words referring to "over the years".
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  16. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Benchista, My feeling about AP 'over the years' is that it has frequently become 'stuck in a groove'. That can, of course, be true for any publication & difficult to avoid. If it's the right groove, then it may be part of a publication's charm. I now enjoy some of AP's older grooves for their nostalgia value, say the periods up to Martin Hodder's editorship. I didn't accuse it of dumbing down by the way - you really must read my posts more carefully ;):) - perhaps that was someone else. I do think its 'grooves' can be interesting & innovative at times. When Minolta racked up their equipment prices in a panic over the advent of electronic entertainment (end of the 1980s?) and all the camera makers followed suit thereby severely suppressing all their sales, AP was quick (the first?) to really catch on to the fact that enthusiast & consumer interest was turning massively to the second-hand market.

    I look at a copy when I have time, will buy if content really gets my interest - but it has to be something really special these days. I have little catch-ups on content when in an appropriate Library.

    Interesting to note that AP appears to be rather coy about its history, especially its previous Editorial staff, on its Wikipedia page. In my quick Wiki, I noticed with some alarm the current sales figures. Is it really correct that sales are down to under 14,000 now? Cheers, Oly
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    My reference to "dumbing down" was in relation to Mick's post, not yours, I should have been clearer about that.

    That price hike in the late 80s/early 90s was in relation to currency fluctuations - I was just about to buy an OM4Ti, but they doubled in price overnight, literally doubled. Was going to settle for an FM2n, but really didn't like it. Was persuaded to try some autofocus bodies instead, and got hooked on Canon's silent USM AF, the rest is history.
  18. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    IIRC, Olympus price increase pre-dated Minolta's and came attached to the Ti upgrade - at least in the UK - if memory serves me well. The reason Minolta gave (think it was their CEO or Marketing Director) was that the home entertainment (ie the games & computer game market) was going to remove disposable income from their camera sales here. Think he may have been quoted in AP at the time. I was a regular reader back then. Currency may have had an effect as well but there is no doubt that sales were depressed until, ironically, Minolta started aggressive discounting just after the mid-1990s.

    I wonder if Roger Hicks has worked out why cheap DSLR cameras are good for him yet?

    What is the word on AP's circulation? Is that current 13K+ figure correct?
  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Black Wednesday was the culprit. Olympus went earlier and harder than most, and I suspect that was the beginning of the end for the OM system really.
  20. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    One should also bear in mind that, over the years, there have inevitably been changes in editors, editorial policy etc. and it follows that there will be readers who 'fall by the wayside' because they are not part of whatever the current 'target group' is. C'est la vie.


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