I fail to see how this saves transportation costs since the same courier that picks up the film can also drop off the negatives. Unless of course they're not using their own couriers, but using a shipping company like UPS. This also sounds like a "Wal-Mart cutting corners" not a Fuji cutting corners because IIRC, Meijers (which also uses Fuji) has no sign out about negatives not being returned.
I shoot E-6 primarily, and when Wal-Mart stopped returning negatives, I decided I could no longer trust them to return my slides. I would be very upset if I shot slide film and ended up with scans and prints but no slides. Fortunately a camera store opened not far from where I work and they now get all my E-6, and they do B&W too. In half the time as Wal-Mart/Fuji.
E6 and BW (120/135) and 120 C41 will be returned. I've sent through Walmart and got them back several times in the past several weeks.
It's only 135 C41 films that will not be returned. Your slides will come back safely
i just got off the phone with someone at fujilabs ...
the plant in greenwood processes the drop off film for
nearly the whole country ... there isn't a courier that picks up / drops off
the film any more, it is done via fed ex.
the person i spoke with said that if you live near a RITE AID pharmacy they
will return your negatives, wallmart, samsclub &c won't. she also said
that as of feb 1 2013 they will no longer have a 120 service.
35mm E6 will still be processed through dwaynes, and slides will be returned
it is just C41 that they discard the negatives, and upload --- >>print+burn cd's
at the store-location.
she also said they ( fuji ) does not have a process only service and that you could
refuse the prints at the store when you pick up the prints + negatives ( rite aid ) ...
sounds like it is almost time to buy a few press kits and process film oneself,
use a local processor, send out to dwaynes, or wherever you want, to bypass fuji altogether.
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I'm just not moved by any of this. They fully disclose that they will not return your negatives. So don't use them! If they informed you after the fact, yes, that would be bad. But they don't. In fact, it sounds like they're very upfront about it.
Target and Costco still process 35mm and do return the negatives. And they're priced comparably.
This throwaway service strikes me as one for casual shooters who use disposable cameras or have never "upgraded" to digital. They're just as happy to receive digital prints and/or files.
I don't like the idea of negatives going in the garbage either. But they're not my negatives, and they don't have to be yours.
i put on special instructions not to mount my E-6. they came back mounted and a note saying that all E-6 will be mounted and returned with no other options available. For the price its still a lot cheaper than almost all the local options. i have the chems to do it at home but feel like i need to stockpile a few more roles before I mix up a small batch to make sure the developer stays fresh.
all in all I'm happy with the walmart send out E-6 experience I've had