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Of Photolabs and Return Policies

Having local photolabs process and scan our finished rolls of film is quite a common practice in the community. But as time passes on, we just have to ask: have you noticed any changes in the policies of the photolabs in your area?

Recently, we’ve come across a tweet from @jefprice giving us a heads up about the current state of the processing and scanning services of some establishments.

Screencap from Twitter

I’ve personally experienced a similar situation when I sent in my rolls to get scanned earlier this month. Had I not asked whether my negatives would be returned or not, I would have unwittingly given it to them, never to be seen again.

So, we’re curious to know, what are the current policies of the local photolabs near you? Do they still accept other film formats apart from 35mm? How about the negatives? Do they return them after scanning? Let’s discuss them below!

Photo by vicuna

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written by geegraphy

8 comments

  1. xxxanderrr

    xxxanderrr

    Since when is not returning negatives (even after scanning) common practice? Since when is that even legally acceptable?! That is my lawful property after all: I did not sell my negatives, nor did I ask for their extermination at the end of the development / scanning process.
    I'm paying for a service: development and scanning.
    I'm not paying for a final product (i.e. the CD with the images).
    What. The. Heck.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. dollymixture

    dollymixture

    My local Boots shop have stopped doing 35mm in the store, they still accept them but they have to be sent away (and through a friend who works for them I've been told that orders regularly go missing in the process of being sent away!) However as far as I know they still return the negatives.
    There is only one other place in my town that develops 35mm in store (120 can be sent away for processing) but it's very expensive, they don't always know what they are doing depending who serves you and they once gave me someone elses photo order instead of my own!! Disaster.
    So all my orders are now sent away by myself to a lab. But I have never heard of somewhere not returning the negatives, that is very strange!
    Dolly.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. 110isnotdead

    110isnotdead

    This is bad biscuits... My local lab, Rite Aid, just paced up thier old equipment and sent it off this past Saturday. I shed a tear, or it could have been the rain. lol Either way, it was a sad day.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. clownshoes

    clownshoes

    -.- it's the worse when some amateur cut's you photos when cutting the negatives. Whole frames cut right in half.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. stratski

    stratski

    Whoa! Not returning negatives is a bit extreme I think! Just out of curiosity, why did you block out the firm name? Not to get all agressive at them or anything, but I could imagine people here wanting to be warned, before they would lose their negatives...

    Last year I came back to analogue after a break of a few years and had my negatives processed at local stores (not professional labs, but supermarkerts and such) again. I was very annoyed to find out I could no longer have my films just developed, but was forced to take prints as well. This happened at three different stores. Luckily, I can now develop my own film at home, but I can imagine this becoming a very expensive hobby otherwise (I shoot a lot, and don't need prints of every wacky experiment).

    Oh, and don't get me started on amateur developers! I once got only half my prints because the store lady claimed my camera didn't space the frames evenly and the machine coudln't make sense of that. Total crap, since it was an Olympus Trip that had been producing pictures without any problems for the 35 years it's been in the family. That was the same print run they printed two strips of negatives on top of each other by accident.

    Serves me right for being a cheapass and not going to a proper lab, but stil...

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  6. lokified

    lokified

    My lab does things in-house (which is one of the reasons I chose them). While I've never not been returned my negatives, I have had situations where local labs sending off to another lab have had miscommunications that ended up costing me more (such as a half-frame roll being printed as a full frame each, resulting in an extra $18 worth of prints I didn't ask for).

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  7. thedriver

    thedriver

    My local lab told me they dont process slide film and never had (which is a lie because they did three years ago). They then said putting photos on CD is cheaper. I told them Id rather have the prints in my hands to look at them I got them to process some 120 neg and the prints were terrible! water marks on the negatives and the photographic paper had been exposed to the light!

    Never been back since! Oh yeah First Cameras Newcastle Under Lyme! Avoid like the plauge!!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  8. thedriver

    thedriver

    My local lab told me they dont process slide film and never had (which is a lie because they did three years ago). They then said putting photos on CD is cheaper. I told them Id rather have the prints in my hands to look at them I got them to process some 120 neg and the prints were terrible! water marks on the negatives and the photographic paper had been exposed to the light! I dont think they would not return negatives, but it wouldnt surprise me!

    Never been back since! Oh yeah First Cameras Newcastle Under Lyme! Avoid like the plauge!!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português.