CVS film developing?

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by j-dogg, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I have a bunch of just regular Ektar 100 and some expired film I need processed and I am not filthy rich, I was just going to scan them to CD's anyway so I could post on here, should I pull the trigger? Doing negs and a CD.
     
  2. tokengirl

    tokengirl Member

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    It's hit-or-miss. I had to stop using the one by my house because the negatives were coming back with an unacceptable amount of schmutz and crud on them. But your CVS may be better than my CVS. I suggest you try one roll to start with and see how it goes.
     
  3. aroth87

    aroth87 Member

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    I've used both CVS and Walgreens. Both do well enough for me, though I'm not very particular. I stopped using CVS after I noticed that they were cutting through the negative a disturbing number of times to sleeve them. Never had a problem with Walgreens, I just wish it was cheaper. Its about $9 here to get the film processed and scanned to a CD, no prints. I feel like I should get higher resolutions scans for that price, but you can't beat it for convenience.

    I'd also suggest giving them a test roll and see if you like the results, every location is going to vary.

    Adam
     
  4. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    it depends entirely on the individual staff at the particular store you use. My local Target is very good, but I wouldn't trust any random Target as much.
     
  5. brian d

    brian d Member

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    What others have already said, some CVS's do pretty good and some of them will ruin your film. Give them a trial roll before you trust them with anything important.
     
  6. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Wow! The CVS stores around me still carry TriX, but none of them have a C41 line any more. The only one left with in store processing right around me is Walgreens. The closest Target is far enough I never get to it. And Costco is near Target. I don't make it there much either.

    But I agree that it is the local staff, not the chain that determines if they're worth a hoot.
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    It depends on the machine and how it is kept in your individual store. However, I doubt there are many people left in any drugstore chain who really know anything about photo processing. By now it has to be the blind leading the blind. They probably provide their lab techs with no formal training whatsoever on how to handle negatives. I watched a clerk grab my film in the middle without even considering that fingerprints might be an issue. My prints also came back all covered with crap, and my negs scratched all to hell. I am sure that means that the chemistry is ill maintained as well. I say do it when you are in a rush doing crummy snapshots, but never for anything you actually care deeply about and/or want to blow up yourself or at a pro lab. The scans are pretty crummy too. I'd rather spend the same $12 for developing and scanning that I gave to CVS at a pro lab, even if it meant just having proof prints and no scans. Pro lab fees are a small price to pay in the grand scheme of things. They are well worth it IMHO.
     
  8. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    As for Walgreens, this is very untrue. Your training is ESSENTIAL before you can deal with film and paper in the wet labs. Depending on what machine you have, the machine tech also goes through training with you. The training is very thorough, I think.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I am very surprised that this is the case based on what I have seen, but good for them.
     
  10. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    It just sucks that overall, the mini lab is being replaced with dry labs and not doing 35mm any longer.
     
  11. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    I hate Walmart as much as the next guy, but all their film goes to Fuji. Or at least it used to do so. They have no local C41 capacity in my area.



    One would expect that Fuji could get it right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2011
  12. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    I have been taking my pro-stuff to Flair here I gotta go get film tomorrow I'll ask how much develop + CD is, I've done a few with them and was pretty happy with the results.

    I have some gold on a few rolls those are definitely going to Flair not trusting CVS with those things.
     
  13. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Lately I have been taken my C-41 color to Costco. So far they have been doing pretty good.

    Jeff
     
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  15. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    My closest CVS will not do "develop only."

    My Walgreens has fluctuated prices up and down for $2.15 to $4.99. When they came up with that I ordered a Unicolor kit from Freestyle.

    As posters have said, it ain't the chain, it's the store and the operator.

    Or possibly take it to a "real" camera store where the ops know what they are doing.
     
  16. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    Yeah, unfortunately Walgreens's price has skyrocketed over the past year for certain. I haven't seen a decent film coupon in so long either. It seems that lately, they have been trying to get more customers to get 5x7s from film more than people to just develop film. I'm with you and resorted to do it myself to stop all the hassle!
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Just tried a local Walgreen's last night. They were definitely better than any CVS or Rite Aid I have tried. They sure sharpen the hell out of the scans, though! For two rolls of 135-24 with single proof prints and scans, it cost $27 after tax. A pro lab might be about the same price, so the only advantages would be the quick turnaround and convenient location.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2011
  18. softshock

    softshock Member

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    My local CVS isn't too bad. Most of the people have either learned what I want from me coming in, or already possess the knowledge needed. The woman whom I believe runs the department is even willing to cross process some Elite Chrome I have! She said it will turn out all black, but I told her it wouldn't and I'd pay even if it did.
    By the way, It's $5.92 for developing and scan to Kodak disk for me.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Yeah, it's cheaper if you do not get proof prints.
     
  20. htimsdj

    htimsdj Advertiser Advertiser

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    The local pro place in Cleveland (Dodd) charges $4.00 to process and $2.69 for a CD. You might see what the cost difference is between CVS and a better place. It might not be as much as you think!
     
  21. softshock

    softshock Member

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    That isn't too bad, but unfortunately there's nowhere here that competitive. Besides, I develop my own B&W and when I do use color negs it isn't usually a huge deal if it isn't perfect. If I ever did need guaranteed high quality, I would likely send it to Dwayne's.
     
  22. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    On "drugstore" scansto CD: Unless something has changed, those scans were in the order of 1.5 megapixels. OK for making an index or something, but not for any serious work.
     
  23. mikecnichols

    mikecnichols Member

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    It depends what machine and who is using it. Fuji frontiers can scan at an optical 5000dpi with an output of 300dpi at the smallest. A Noritsu can scan in at at least 4000 optical dpi with an output of 72-96 dpi. Ironically, I find that the 72dpi is more versatile and more printable at larger sizes than the 300. I think it is that the actual size is larger at 72 vs the 300, therefore at "equal" dpi, the 72 prints better.
     
  24. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Well, that's puzzling. I can't recall how old or what the situation was that I had a Walgreens Photo CD and found those small images. If the local Walgreens Noritsu can scan at that level, I've wasted a lot of time scanning my film A couple of times when I ordered "develop only," and they tried to sell me scanning, I told them why I didn't order it. They were in agreement.

    Guess I'll check it out again. Or, maybe the CVS across the street, I don't recall their machine.
     
  25. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    As others have stated, it depends on the staff. Where I am the local drug stores offering in house C-41 service are CVS and Rite-Aid, and Rite-Aid does send out E-6 (and other films like 120 but I don't use that service). They do a good job, and I have only found a mark on my print once, whatever it was I was able to just rewash the strip of film and Photo Flow it and it was fine.

    The girls at Rite-Aid have done hundreds of rolls of film for me and that was the one time that I had a problem, that wasn't my fault, I once had them process a roll of film that I didn't expose so I can't blame them for that. I will admit that when I see new staff behind the photo counter i get a little scared, but they do fine.
     
  26. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    I just took a roll of Ektar 100 into Wolf Camera, it's the remnant of the last "real" store in Sarasota, Florida. Al least many of the people working there have been there for years, and some go back to the precursor Norton Camera, way back. So......

    $4.50 to develop only - cheaper than Walgreens! - and $4.99 to scan to CD at 2400 dpi. I should have asked if that was just their normal, or the max for the machine. It's a Fuji Frontier.

    The clerk asked if he could help me, and with the roll on the counter, I said, "Yes, I'd like this film developed." He responded, "Film, hun?" We both laughed. The internet or onsite digital uploads are what keep the lab guys employed.