Wal-Mart and no negatives.

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ric Trexell, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    I'm going to post this in both this forum and the MF forum because it will affect both groups. I was in our new Wal-Mart Super Center today and walked by the place you drop off film. It said, NO NEGATIVES RETURNED. I asked the gal at the counter about that and she said that shortly after the store opened, (about a month ago) they now send the film off to be developed and they (the lab) emails the pictures back to the store and the store prints your pictures and burns a CD. Your negatives are TOSSED. I asked about slides and she thought that slides were returned. So now your negatives that will last many years if properly cared for will be replaced by a CD that if scratched will make a good frissbe. Needless to say, Wal-Mart will not be developing my film any more.
     
  2. Pioneer

    Pioneer Member

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    No Volume

    The big box stores are all about low prices and huge volume. If there is no volume, there is no profit. My Wal-Mart no longer develops film at the store, it is all mailed out. I wasn't aware that the negatives no longer returned but it does make a twisted kind of sense. Snapfish also went off-line a month or so ago. Though they only handled C-41 35mm processing it was still an available route for people to get their films processed.

    There could be some business opportunities here for people living in mid-sized cities to open up a small, Mom & Pop, film developing store. I don't know but as the inexpensive, big box retailers take themselves out of the picture a small operation with low overhead may be able to make a go of it. How much does a Frontier, or whatever they're called, cost? I may have to look into this.
     
  3. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    Walmart here, still returns negatives. 35mm C-41 is all that is processed locally. 120 film is sent to Fuji for processing. Prices are reasonable. Turnaround for 120/220 is about two weeks.
     
  4. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    In the UK a store called Asda (owned by Walmart) during the week processes my 35mm roll of C41 film and burns to a CD plus a thumbnail index while you shop in 30-40mins.
     
  5. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    The Wal-Marts in my area are about $10 to develop and print a roll of 24 color prints with their send-out service. That works out to 41 cents/print. They don't give a price for 36.

    Dwayne's Photo charges $5.50 + $4.50 S/H for a single roll of 24 color prints. That's also $10, which works out to 41 cents/print, not counting your cost in mailing it to them, which should be about $1.30 at today's postage rates. So counting postage you'd be paying 47 cents/print to have a real lab do your photos and have them conveniently delivered to your mailbox instead of having to drive to the store to pick them up. The cost for 36 exp. from Dwaynes (including S/H, and posting it to them @ $1.30) is $12.79, which works out to 35 cents/print.

    I have no idea what Wal-Mart charges for B&W processing, but Dwayne's prices for 24 exp. is $7.95, and for 36 exp. is $9.99. Add in S/H and your cost to mail it to them, and it works out to 57 cents/print for 24, or 43 cents/print for 36.

    Slide film is a whole other ball of wax. I've been paying $6.88/roll of 36 at Wal-Mart. This works out to 19 cents/slide. Using the pre-paid Fuji mailers (which go to Dwayne's) will cost me 9.79 including postage, which works out to 27 cents/slide. If I mail directly to Dwayne's, it costs me $14.75 for a roll of 36, which works out to 40 cents/slide.

    S&H is cheaper per roll at Dwaynes if you send in multiple rolls.

    Looks like I should get me some of the Fuji prepaid mailers for my slides. My other option is the pro lab which wants $14, is 30 miles away, and still takes 2 weeks to get the slides back because they send them out!
     
  6. snegron

    snegron Member

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    The thought of opening up a small lab has crossed my mind several times. The problems I came up with were mainly two:

    - High chance of companies stopping manufacture of film and/or paper in the near future (paper for film is more expensive than printer paper) could put me out of business.
    - Volume of sales would not be enough to pay for overhead (rent, electric bill, water bill, insurance bill, taxes, etc.). I would have to rely on mail order business to make ends meet.

    My suggestion is that when we find a local Mom & Pop lab, support it as much as possible by sending your film to them plus recommending them to others to keep them in business.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    And if you really want to get into the business, find out if the Mom and Pop lab owners want to expand/take on a partner/need an investor!
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Yep. One more reason to boycott wallyworld. Their business model is catering to the sheeple and droolers, while screwing their employees. They've never got one single cent of my money, and never will.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  9. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    That really sucks they toss your negatives. I only had my 120 film processed there once. I wrote 'negatives only' on the envelope so they sent me the negatives. I was charged $0.87 for developing one roll of C-41 120 film :smile:. The only downside is that I had to wait three weeks. Since then I just develop my own 120 film at home.

    Sometimes I get lazy and take my 35mm to my local CVS. I tell them I want the negatives only and to please leave them uncut. It usually costs me about $1.50/roll there. Sometimes the kid at the couner even hooks me up for free haha.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I have my C41 35mm done at the local Rite-Aid. They do an excellent job, and the 3x5 prints are OK. The larger prints are just awful, so I have the roll returned as a strip.
     
  11. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    In my area both Wal Mart and Target have stopped in-house C41, I am little confused if Wal Mart or Target will even print from a negative or not. Walgreens still process C 41 and with both Targert and Wal Mart out of the C 41 end Walgreens is seeing an increase in rolls. I am taking my critical rolls to Tempe Camera.
     
  12. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    Update Nov 2014 WalMart vs Dwaynes C-41 Processing

    I am getting back into 35mm C-41 film and getting it processed has become a pain. Last September I send two test rolls of 24exp C-41 to Dwayne's for developing, scanning and 4x6 prints. They were taken with a Contax IIa with the CV 25mm lens and a Leica If with a CV 15mm lens. The scans were done at 1833 x 3047 (5.6 MP) and the average size file was 7.3 MB.

    Here's a photo taken with the 25mm CV lens on the Contax IIa:

    004.jpg

    Here's one with the Leica If and the CV 15mm lens:

    004.jpg

    Dwayne's returned the negatives sleeved & uncut as I requested. The cost was $22 for both rolls returned.


    My local WalMart used to process in-house but as everyone knows they send it all out and do not return negatives. What they do is ship the film to Fuji South Carolina (I'm in Georgia; in other areas they might send to a different Fuji lab). The film is processed and scanned. The scans are then sent back to the local WalMart via the internet and the order is printed & burned to a CD in the local WalMart. That's why they don't return the negatives - they use the internet to replace a courier for the return trip.

    I used a Pentax MV with a Pentax-M SMC 50mm f/2 lens to take a test roll of Fuji 200. I dropped it off at WalMart on Monday 10 Nov. I got a call from WalMart on 12 Nov at around 5:00 PM telling me my order was ready. Far faster than the 9 days they told me it would take.

    The WalMart scans were done at 2048 x 3072 (6.3 MP) and the average file size was only 900 KB, a lot smaller than Dwayne's scans. Here's an typical image from the roll:

    003_22.jpg

    Clearly, Dwayne's scans were much much better even though they were done at a lower "resolution" (5.5 MP vs 6.3 MP). I was able to have great 8x10 prints made from the Dwayne's scans but the WalMart scans did not stand up. The 8x10 from the WalMart scan looks like it was made from a 110 negative. Last week I spoke with the Fuji SC customer service rep and was told that the film would be scammed at 2048 x 3072 and 500 DPI. The scans I got were not even close to 500 DPI. The CD had 72MB of data on it that leaves about 623 MB of unused space on the CD. There was plenty of room for larger scans, why don't they use it?

    The cost at WalMart for the 24exp roll was $10.00.


    Bottom line is that I will send all my C-41 work to Dwayne's and only use WalMart locally for enlargements. Since Dwayne's has a $4.50 minimum S&H chard I will save up my film until I have 5 rolls or so to send in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2014
  13. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    Those Dwayne's scans look very good. I wonder if they have upgraded their equipment since I used them a couple years ago.
     
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  15. Kirks518

    Kirks518 Subscriber

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    I'm going to plug my local mom & pop photo lab; zebracolor.com is their website, and they're located here in St Petersburg, FL. They do the C-41 inhouse, and will scan to whatever specs you want, as well as print. For B&W, they have a local guy that does it for them twice a week, and again will scan or print to your specs. Pricing is good, but I haven't actually compared them to any of the other mail-out places. They do all my color processing for me, and I haven't been disappointed yet.

    I had been using a local Walgreens for C-41 rolls that were used for testing (ie, nothing important), as they were the last one-hour photo place left. I'd have them just do negatives only, and they were working out just fine. Unfortunately, like the other places, they're eliminating their in-house processing, which is bad and good. Bad, because I can't get a roll done in an hour at 1am anymore, but good because I don't think they were properly maintaining the machine, as I've had negs returned that were dirty and scratched. :sad:

    So, Zebra Color is my choice, and my recommendation if anyone wants to give them a try.
     
  16. one90guy

    one90guy Subscriber

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    Went to local Walgreens Saturday to have a roll of 35mm color developed, they have stopped in house processing. Sent out and no negatives also their policy now. They were the last place in town since Walmart stopped about a year ago.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Ever hear the expression "if you pay peanuts you get monkeys" ?, there must be many thousands of processing firms in the U.S. that do return your negatives.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Tell Walmart to take a hike and do what ever works for you.
     
  19. ME Super

    ME Super Member

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    I also plug a camera store not far from where I work that does a good job on film processing - Creve Coeur Camera. I use the one in Springfield, IL and they send theirs to their main store in Creve Coeur, MO for processing. Scans are 6MP, I've not been disappointed their processing. They've done E-6, C-41, and B&W, including Infrared. If you're near Springfield, IL or St. Louis, MO, check them out.
     
  20. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    Time to build a darkroom, see all sides of film photography, put your personal touch on your work from start to finish.

    John Powers
    First darkroom in college apartment 1961.
    Bath tub was the final print wash.
     
  21. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    I've started doing film developing (B&W and C-41) here locally, just using my home equipment, for locals who dabble with film and need processing without its costing an arm and a leg. I charge $10/roll for developing and 1200 dpi scan. And they get their negs back!
     
  22. film_man

    film_man Member

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    As far as I am concerned, the only reason to use film nowadays is the use a pro film lab. If you send your film to a Walmart/ASDA/whatever then you're just wasting time, money and effort and might as well use digital. Either do it yourself or pay a pro lab to do the work. Anything else is just sub-standard results for more money than an entry level dSLR can do.
     
  23. Axle

    Axle Member

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    I stopped using Walmart after one time.

    Personally, I stick to pro labs, The Darkroom/Old School Lab/Praus in the US, and in Canada Borelalis in Montreal, QC.

    B&W I do myself, and looking into doing home processing of colour again.
     
  24. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    Actually all the pro labs I used 10 years ago have all stopped processing C-41. Some still do E-6 but most now focus on printing digital files. I did find one (NCPS) that does 35mm C-41 develop only and scans on a CD but a roll of 35mm 24exp costs $27 plus shipping - too expensive for me as I am not a pro shooter who can bill a client for the costs.
     
  25. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    I used to use Walgreens locally and they did a decent job, even cut and sleeved my negs in neg pages I gave them. Then it started getting inconsistent with weird streaks on my film likely due to old chemicals and inconsistent temps. Last and final time I got there as they were finishing up a roll for me and the "tech" spooled my long 35mm strip of film in his hands then pulllllled the end to tighten the roll to fit it into a plastic film canister. I almost jumped the counter and smacked him up upside the head. Never went back. And I went there because the same thing happened to me with a girl at Ritz on Market St in San Francisco when I used to work downtown. I stopped her right before she was about to do it and politely explained how that can scratch the film. She just gave me a "whatever" look and rolled her eyes. I rarely shoot color now and develop my own B&W but for when I do shoot color I just get the negs developed by a pro lab and scan and print myself. Just so inconvenient sometimes...
     
  26. aoresteen

    aoresteen Subscriber

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    I would use digital if I could.

    I am using C-41 to fill a gap in my digital camera lens line. I am heavily invested in Olympus Four Thirds DSLR equipment (I like it and I am not changing systems). The one issue with the Olympus Four Thirds (not micro Four Thirds) lens line is that there are no wide angle prime lenses save for the 8mm fish eye lens (which I have). The next prime in the lens line is the 25mm f/2.8 normal lens (50mm FF equv.).

    To fill this gap I am using 15mm, 17mm, 21mm, and a 25mm lens with C-41 film on FF cameras (Leica If/IIIf, Contax IIa, and Olympus OM-2). I didn't go out and buy these lenses - I have had most of them for at least 10 years. I could buy the Olympus 7-14mm zoom (14-28mm FF equv.) for $1500 from B&H but I can't afford it right now and I don't want a zoom. So I am carrying a film body with wide angles and using C-41 film as my "digital sensor".

    I've used Dwayne's for years - mostly Kodachrome & E-6 and I used WalMart for C-41 when they did it in house (I live 1 mile from WalMart - very convenient). Thus the C-41 tests I ran to see whose scans would work for me..

    I guess I'm a "hybrid" shooter.