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A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 12:36AM
DO NOT HAVE YOUR C-41 35mm FILM PROCESSED AT WALMART.

They no longer return your negatives; they are destroyed, and you get a photo CD with scans on it. I just discovered this the hard way.

The scans that are provided are only scanned at 96 dpi, and the scan is saved as a jpeg, not a tiff. Okay for the web, but sucks for printing. The 5x7 prints that were returned were not at all sharp, and I was shooting Ektar with quality lenses. To add insult to injury, the scans were saved in a folder called "Hires" on the CD. Right.

I called Fuji with the number the kids at Walmart me (1-866-380-3854). I was told that Fuji and Walmart have decided not to return 35mm C-41 process negatives anymore. The person I talked to said that slides, as well as any 120 film would be returned as normal. I'm not sure if I believe that...

To repeat: If you take 35mm C-41 film to be processed at Walmart, your negatives will not be returned.


angry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smileyangry villagers smiley
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: M>B>
Date: October 07, 2012 01:19AM
Walgreens still does that...

[photo.walgreens.com]
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: Mr645
Date: October 07, 2012 02:25AM
Why would anyone use Walmart or wall greens for any film other then disposable cameras?
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: Buzz
Date: October 07, 2012 02:30AM
Why would anyone go to Walmart for anything other than ammo?

Treasured, or possibly treasured photos are best taken elsewhere.



///
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: Carm
Date: October 07, 2012 02:48AM
Havent touched 35mm film in years. Had an SLR Canon that used film. Everything after that was compact digital.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: October 07, 2012 06:05AM
I wouldn't go to Wal-Mart for that kind of thing either, but maybe that's the only place near the OP that processes film. That said, how stupid and ignorant and lazy does a photo-processing service have to be to destroy negatives?
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 06:17AM
I remember when I came from vacation once with about 12 rolls of 35mm film and wife wanted them all processed the same day at our local CVS. I said no honey, one at a time. I figured don't put all your eggs in the same basket, and I was right, one roll came out pretty bad, not sure what the cause was, but I am glad the other rolls came out OK.

Hopefully you lost only one roll, freeradical.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: DP
Date: October 07, 2012 07:10AM
There is still plenty of film being shot and that is completely absurd to not return negatives. Who the f*** made that stupid decision? That said, I'd never take film that I considered important to a Walmart, CVS, etc.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: sekker
Date: October 07, 2012 09:29AM
Makes total business sense. They collect all the film at one processing location, then just post the scans to a server.

The individual Walmart strores only need to have a CD writer to return the photos.

99% of film users do not do anything with their negatives.

The only real problem from Walmart's perspective is that the 5x7 printouts don't look good. Even that makes sense, almost everyone uses 4x6 print format.

I'm not defending them. But then again, if I were shooting film, I'd definitely send it to a professional developer.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2012 09:29AM by sekker.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: lost in space
Date: October 07, 2012 10:22AM
Sorry to hear what they did to your film, freereadical.

The reason might be that they could dispense with the fixing or stabilizing steps in the processing, saving time. Plus, if the chemicals for these steps are toxic, which I believe they are, they'd save some disposal costs too. Just speculating.

Good for business, bad for the customer.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: Rolando
Date: October 07, 2012 10:28AM
My local Walwarts have that big Fuji machine in store. I don't know why they would stop returning the film!



San Antonio, TX (in the old city)

"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
-- Edmund Burke
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt (1918)
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 10:48AM
I hope they scanned the 5x7 prints at 96 dpi, not the negatives.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: AllGold
Date: October 07, 2012 10:56AM
Not returning your negatives in the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Actually, it's not dumb, it's criminal.

Is that really their policy?



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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: DP
Date: October 07, 2012 11:18AM
Quote
AllGold
Not returning your negatives in the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Actually, it's not dumb, it's criminal.

Is that really their policy?

I agree! That's destroying intellectual property. I'm sure some kid thought, "So, what's the big deal?" If that's their policy they should hang a huge banner saying they don't get their negatives back.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 11:35AM
I only lost one roll of film there. In the past, I've never had any problem with them. One reason I used them, was they have the cheapest prices for film developing. A roll of 120 (medium format) slide film cost Around $6. A roll of 120 (medium format) C-41 process film cost under $2 to process, and I got a set of small prints back with that. I couldn't even buy the chemicals for that price.

Yes, it is their NEW policy to not return these negatives.

The negatives were scanned at 96 dpi, and the 5X7 prints made from those scans were not very good at all. There is no way I could print anything larger.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: vision63
Date: October 07, 2012 11:36AM
The key thing is that you now know how Walmart treats your negatives. Maybe Costco or some other simple, cheap place can do better. If you need your negs, you need your negs.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 11:58AM
Quote
freeradical
....
The negatives were scanned at 96 dpi, and the 5X7 prints made from those scans were not very good at all. There is no way I could print anything larger.

OK, so I am about to bang my head on the desk, WTF were they doing? 96 DPI for 35mm NEGATIVES (24 x 36 mm), so what did you get, 90 pixels x 135 pixels?
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 12:04PM
Quote
space-time
Quote
freeradical
....
The negatives were scanned at 96 dpi, and the 5X7 prints made from those scans were not very good at all. There is no way I could print anything larger.

OK, so I am about to bang my head on the desk, WTF were they doing? 96 DPI for 35mm NEGATIVES (24 x 36 mm), so what did you get, 90 pixels x 135 pixels?


No, I scan negatives at 300 dpi for printing. However, the number of pixels is output size dependent. So for example, if I want to print a 4 X 6 picture, the file would be 1200 X 1800 pixels. An 8 X 12 picture would need a file size of 2400 X 3600.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2012 12:05PM by freeradical.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 12:08PM
One more problem with their scans, is that they're saved as jpgs, and not tiffs. This means that you need a non destructive editing program like Aperture or Lightroom if you don't want to screw up your files.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 12:10PM
so what is the resolution of the files you got???
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 12:11PM
Quote
space-time
so what is the resolution of the files you got???

96 dpi
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 07, 2012 12:21PM
If I understand correctly, they aren't optically printing? Your prints weren't enlarged from the negs, but digitally printed from lo res scans?

That's two show stoppers, not one.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 12:24PM
Quote
deckeda
If I understand correctly, they aren't optically printing? Your prints weren't enlarged from the negs, but digitally printed from lo res scans?

That's two show stoppers, not one.


Yes, that's what happened.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: hal
Date: October 07, 2012 01:10PM
When I shot film, I used to take them to a little operation downtown. Cost 3x as much as the cheapies and took two days to get prints, but they did each one by hand and worked to get the best possible print. I'd often get my prints back and there'd be 4 or 5 of the best ones printed in different ways. Well worth it. Of course, they went out of biz years ago.

These days, I wouldn't even deal with film unless I had a darkroom AND was willing to do the work. I can't imagine there are any shops like that around this little city any more.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: vision63
Date: October 07, 2012 01:19PM
You really "only" need the negs. I'd rather scan and have them printed myself.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 01:38PM
Quote
freeradical
Quote
space-time
so what is the resolution of the files you got???

96 dpi

I still don't get it smiling smiley how large are these files, X pixels by Y pixels

1200x800? more? less?
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: deckeda
Date: October 07, 2012 01:56PM
I know what you're asking because dpi on a scanner doesn't directly correlate to pixels. 96 ain't much. It's roughly "screen" resolution (pre-Retina, heh).

Depending on print size a 100 dpi scan might be OK but for photo work people should aim for at least 200 for smaller scans. "300dpi" is the traditional for smaller prints to be made, more or less. Bottom line is they scanned his prints with on-screen viewing in mind, not printing in mind, and Fuji should know better.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 02:02PM
freeradical, can you post a sample?
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 07, 2012 02:21PM
Here's a sample, but it's not really going to help all that much since you're viewing it on screen. Suffice it to say that the print is no better than what you're seeing here.

BTW: I used this 18mm Ais lens. Everything should be tack sharp...

[www.photosynthesis.co.nz]



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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 02:56PM
OK, so your files are 920 x 610 pixels.

the frame is 36 mm 24 mm, or 1.417" x 0.944"

looks like they scanned your negative at 650 dpi
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: AllGold
Date: October 07, 2012 05:14PM
DPI is mostly irrelevant because it's just a setting in the file and can easily be changed to fit the device it is destined for. The number of pixels is the only thing important.

In other words, let's say your file is 3000x2000 pixels. That 3000 pixels in the long dimension could be 41.67" at 72 DPI, 31.25" at 96 DPI, 15" at 200 DPI, or 5" at 600 DPI. But DPI doesn't mean much until it is printed (or sent to a slide plotter or prepress proofer or whatever). The 3000x2000 image size is the important numbers that tell us the image size in absolute numbers.



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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: GGD
Date: October 07, 2012 05:30PM
Quote
AllGold
DPI is mostly irrelevant because it's just a setting in the file and can easily be changed to fit the device it is destined for. The number of pixels is the only thing important.

In other words, let's say your file is 3000x2000 pixels. That 3000 pixels in the long dimension could be 41.67" at 72 DPI, 31.25" at 96 DPI, 15" at 200 DPI, or 5" at 600 DPI. But DPI doesn't mean much until it is printed (or sent to a slide plotter or prepress proofer or whatever). The 3000x2000 image size is the important numbers that tell us the image size in absolute numbers.

In the context of the original post, it was important, since the dimensions of the negative are so small, directly scanning the negative at 96 (or 72) DPI would have been very few pixels for the entire image. As it turns out, that original statement must have been incorrect.

As it is, 920 x 610 pixels is about 0.5 Megapixels for the entire image, which is fairly low quality.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: Sam3
Date: October 07, 2012 07:31PM
Was/is this policy prominently posted at Walmart? Did the clerk mention it? If not, that sounds like a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. What I turn in is my property and I expect to get it back.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2012 07:31PM by Sam3.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 07, 2012 10:23PM
Quote
Sam3
Was/is this policy prominently posted at Walmart? Did the clerk mention it? If not, that sounds like a class-action lawsuit waiting to happen. What I turn in is my property and I expect to get it back.

I have not developed film in about 10 years, but I think they have a fine print that they are not responsible for anything.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 08, 2012 05:18PM
I'm not defending them.

Kinda sounds like you are. Just sayin'.

My first question relative to the OP's warning is-- is the policy of not returning negatives posted somewhere conspicuous and was overlooked?

Or was it buried in tons of legalize that looks like Lorem Ipsum? (That was my second question.)



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 08, 2012 05:28PM
A flickr post says Wal-Mart envelopes warn "Your negatives will not be returned".

Is that posted anywhere else?



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: freeradical
Date: October 08, 2012 06:28PM
There was something about the negatives on my ticket. Here's a scan of it. I just never in a million years thought that my negatives would not be returned, so I simply put the ticket into my wallet without looking.sad smiley





It turns out that there are long threads about this at APUG and photo.net...


[www.apug.org]


[photo.net]
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: October 09, 2012 12:58AM
Here's a scan of it. I just never in a million years thought that my negatives would not be returned, so I simply put the ticket into my wallet without looking.

I know what you mean.

That's a little more prominent than I expected, but it should have been more obvious.

People who shoot film expect to get their negatives back. If that's not the case, it should be made abundantly clear. That's a rough way to find out.

If the disk had scans that potentially gave you the quality you might expect from the negatives, one might not feel so bad. And knowing that going in would be a different story.



You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

There is no safety for honest men
except by believing all possible evil
of evil men.

Pixels were born to be punished. -Frederick Van Johnson

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* Sigs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: A warning about Walmart and C-41 processing of 35mm film
Posted by: bugmenot
Date: April 23, 2014 06:29PM
Yeah sucks ass. If they didn't give back the negatives they could at least scan it at a decent resolution. Thankfully there is a Fromex in my area so I just had them process it for me and scanned myself until I got developing supplies and made one apartment room into a darkroom.

It's better to just process yourself in this day and age. Not hard to keep a room temperature control. Trouble is most bulk film sold is all b&w only.
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