C-41 120 Processing at Walmart Jan 2013
My first post here. I wanted to share an my experience in case others have similar ideas. I dropped off a roll of 120 color print film for processing about 2.5 weeks ago at my local Walmart as an experiment. Marked special instructions to develop only, no CDs, no prints. There are warnings that negatives will NOT be returned. I knew this warning applied to 35mm, and was hoping that it would not be "honored" with 120. Well today, I received my developed film back cut and sleeved. Price before tax was $0.84. I am sure there are risks of losing your film with this approach. But it's hard to argue with that the price.
Curious if an others have had similar experience they would share. BTW, I also within the last month used walmart for 35mm e-6 processing. Wasn't as cheap, I think about $6, but I received my slides back in cardboard mounts in about the same time frame. Of course these technically weren't "negatives". Though I doubt you would have much luck explaining that at walmart.
I plan to try them out again. I don't know if these experiences can be counted on.
Getting 120 or 35mm film developed at WalMart is like getting a cup of Joe at a neighborhood hash house. I have been drinking "gourmet" coffee since my beatnik days (the 1950s) and let's face it, it's almost impossible to get a decent cup of coffee anywhee. I don't even like the "regular" coffee at Starbucks.
Go to Walgreens or WalMart or similar places and you will find people without a lot of training or much experience with photography that you have to deal with. Some are sharp, know more than you think and others are just a live presence at the counter. You take your chances. Just like dropping in at Joe's Coffee Shop and Auto Lube and expecting great coffee. (I find the coffee is usually better at some Mexican and Italian joints.)
It is my experience that film development has gotten a lot worse in the past few years in places like WalMart. I think one has to make other arrangement about any roll of film one cares about. I'm building a wet darkroom.
Can't argue that you accept a certain amout of risk using Walmart. It really becomes a question of risk vs reward. (Of course any option carries some risk.) One point of clarification: my posted experience is with the send out service. Walmart is not really doing anything with your film other than sending it out to Fuji and returning it back to you. This really just amounts to an alternative way of doing business with Fuji. The interaction with local walmart folks is having them fetch the returned film from the drawer.
In the past 2 months (12/12, 01/13) I have sent following formats to Walmart sendout service and got my negatives/slides back, without any problem.
135: BW, E6
120: BW, E6, and C-41
120 C-41 + 12 prints (3x4) prints $1.68 plus tax. Yes, $1.68. You read that right.
135 E6: $6.88
135 BW: $1.88
120 E6: $4.88
120 BW + 15 3x5 prints: $9.48 (ok, don't ask prints)
As Apugabug said, it's actually "Fujifilm printing service". Walmart is not doing any processing to your films (except handling the envelops). There's a 1800 Fuji customer service # on the envelop that you can call to trace your films.
The downside is the 2-week processing time, and they won't scan for you, even they do prints (never tried; read this on other websites). And don't try 135 C-41. Your negatives will not come back.
Last edited by philosli; 01-22-2013 at 04:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Crazy. Do they throw them in the bin?
Originally Posted by Apugabug
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I called 1800 customer service number and confirmed that the warning only applied to 135 C-41 films. Other types of films will be returned.
Said that, this is a bad policy. They just scan the images and transfer the images back to your local store to have them burn to CD and/or print.
if the film is processed at fuji labs ( where the c41 / 135 goes ) the negatives won't be returned
Originally Posted by perkeleellinen
but everything else goes to dwaynes as a special order. the lab tech at my local wallys said it is fuji's
way of saving transportation $$ because the images are uploaded to the stores who then burn the cd + make prints.
i haven't used fuji in a long while .. 89¢ is a pretty good deal ...
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.
Shoot more film.
There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.
Someone may have said that it was to reduce transportation costs but that is possibly erroneous, as ME Super points out. What it does for them is to simplify their handling costs. They win; we lose... but it may be better than totally losing the services entirely. "They"" could be Fuji, Walmart, or both.
Originally Posted by ME Super
From what I've heard, they ship the film every other day via FedEx.
"Panic not my child, the Great Yellow Father has your hand"--Larry Dressler