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I was told that Costco is phasing out film developing

Eddy d , May 11, 2009; 07:35 p.m.

Hey Everyone. I was at costco yesterday getting film developed and one of the clerks in the lab said that some of the costcos have stopped developing film and that they were going to follow suit. I guess the digital war is taking it's toll on emulsions. I don't get good work there anymore. My prints have lines, roller marks and dirt on them and my negatives have scratches on them so maybe that is a sign of the times.

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Larry Dressler , May 11, 2009; 07:50 p.m.

Then I figure it is no great loss. I have 1 place here in my town that does a decent job and that is because the ladies that work there do care and listen.

Josh Root , May 11, 2009; 07:55 p.m.

I have gotten nothing but great service at my local costcos. They pay their people well, replenish/service the machines frequently and I see the same workers for years at a time.

I am curious if this report about phasing out processing is true.

Eddy d , May 11, 2009; 08:06 p.m.

Hey Josh. I was told by one of the technicians at the photo lab there. I used to get great service at the one in my town when they first opened up. The colors you could not beat. The prcies are still good though. I see the same workers there as well but maybe it could be because of digital and the low numbers of film drop off compared to digital especially when you can order on their website and then walk in pick them up on disc/prints. Digital is also a lot cheaper. I do not have an answer for you.

Kelly Flanigan , May 11, 2009; 08:11 p.m.

My take is that some places will; some will not. Thus at place #47 they use a bag service; maybe #756 will have C41 for another few years.

Chris Tobar , May 11, 2009; 09:03 p.m.

I personally haven't had any film developed at Cosco. I don't even have a membership there. But it's probably like most other places...some of them might stop developing film, but others still do it. The Walmart closest to where I live stopped developing film in-house about a month ago, but it seems like all the other Walmarts in the area still develop film at the photo lab. I know Walmart is a bad example, but I just wanted to say that. Just because one or a couple of Walmarts or Coscos are going to stop developing film, it doesn't mean that they all will. I don't think they make that decision at the corporate headquarters. It seems like it's just up to that individual store to decide. Some develop film, others don't.

By the way, before this turns into yet another gloom-and-doom thread, I do just want to give some good news. The last time I was in my local camera shop, about 4 days ago, there were 3 people in line ahead of me. ALL of them were buying traditional photography supplies. One lady bought about 6 rolls of film and a pack of B&W photo paper. Another guy bought a pack of 35mm negative storage sheets. One other guy was looking at some lenses, but I noticed that he also had a couple of rolls of film. And I was getting a couple of rolls of Plus-X (and also a slide viewer for the Kodachrome pictures I had just taken recently)

If anyone doesn't believe me, this is "Empire Camera" in Redlands, California. It's a small shop, but I love that place. I buy my stuff from there sometimes when I don't order from Freestyle.

In fact, lately I've noticed that more people seem to be coming into that shop, and they are buying film.

John H. , May 11, 2009; 09:37 p.m.

...the digital war...

There is no war.

Patrick Mont , May 11, 2009; 09:43 p.m.

I am not suprised. WalMart has done the same thing.

Russ Rosener , May 11, 2009; 10:31 p.m.

Well I just asked the same question at my local Costco in St. Louis and they said Costco is committed to film processing for another 5 years. Go figure. I have gotten pretty good service there. Often I will take in a developed, uncut roll of 35mm B&W to have them make 4x6 proof prints. Very cheap at less than $5 and the operators are knowledgeable. I think Chris may have it right.
On the other hand my local post office removed the automated stamp machine today not because people are not using it, but because they can no longer get parts for it! This is becoming the world we live in-you can have any color you want as long as it's either red or blue.

Brooks Gelfand , May 11, 2009; 10:46 p.m.

I agree with Josh. I get excellent service for our local Costco (Sacramento, CA).


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