PetaPixel

How to Have Your 120 Film Developed at Walmart for $3 a Roll

Update: We’re hearing that Walmart is no longer offering medium format film development.


Want to try your hand at shooting medium format 120 film but not sure where you’d get it developed? Stacie Grissom of Stars for Streetlights recommends WalMart as an easy and affordable option:

I have an awesome tip for you. I actually got my Holga prints developed through Walmart for about $3 per roll. That’s it. I could not believe it. Here’s what you need to do:

For each roll of film, take a separate film envelope and write “SEND OUT ONLY” at the top. Then fill in your info. “Send Out Only” means that Walmart will send it to a photo lab to be developed instead of developing it in the store. I don’t know how many (if any) Walmarts still develop 35mm film, but they definitely won’t do 120 film. Just send it out to a lab that knows what to do. Next, in the special instructions section, make sure you write “120 Film Processing, 4×4 prints.” And then drop them in the box! It’s seriously that simple. I was really paranoid when I sent out my film, but Walmart actually did a nice job.

Grissom also offers a number of other tips for shooting with Holga cameras.

7 Tips for Holga Cameras [Stars for Streetlights]


 
  • Rebekah

    My sister just got me a Diana F+ for my birthday, and it uses the 120 Film. I noticed, however, that there are a few size options: “12 large square shots” (using no frame mask), “16 small square shots” (using the 4.2×4.2 small frame mask), or “Endless Panorama” (using the 4.6x4x6 small frame mask). This suggests putting “4×4 prints” in the special instructions. To which of these frames (or lack thereof) does this apply to?

  • Bernd Phoenix

    I tried that today at our Walmart – they send all film out then they get back digital data and use that here in the store to print your photos and give you a CD. The negative gets destroyed at the lab. So I guess they changed it.

  • sean lancaster

    I just acquired a medium format Mamiya 645. It’s been far too long since I shot any film. To get the negatives, I still need to send the film in to be developed, right? I mean, I’d ruin it if I tried to scan it from the roll without sending it in at all (or am I wrong)???

  • tomatoketchup

    35mm or 120 film?

  • tomatoketchup

    The film needs to be processed first whether you do it yourself or send it out.

  • Bernd Phoenix

    They do both, but no negatives back. Their system is set up to only ship out – the data comes back to them online and they print the pictures and burn the CD in the store.

  • tomatoketchup

    That’s unfortunate. How large (pixels) are the 120 scans?

  • Bernd Phoenix

    Have not tried it – I want my film. The only reason I do film photography is because I want the negatives.

  • tomatoketchup

    Then how do you know that you don’t get them back? I’ve gotten 4 rolls processed at Walmart within the last year, the last 2 in September 2013, and I’ve gotten back sleeved negatives every time. They have a sign up that says that they will not return negatives, but it’s not been an issue with 120 film.

  • Bernd Phoenix

    Well I was talking to the manager and she said they send them to Seattle (from Santa Fe, NM) for processing and they have no system of sending anything back. But now that you said that I will give it a try with one roll and see what happens. The price is good – I will let you know what happens. Thanks!

  • Bernd Phoenix

    Ok – I tried Walmart service for 120 film. It took more then 4 weeks, but I got my film back! The downside was they charged $15.65 and at Dwaynes photo lab I pay $14.50 for prints, CD and shipping and it takes only about a week turnaround.

  • tomatoketchup

    what kind of film? B&W, color negative, or slide?

  • Bernd Phoenix

    It was a color negative film. They also did not make a CD with scans, which I always get with Dwayne. So – more expensive, much more time (4 weeks) and no CD.

  • tomatoketchup

    Well that’s disappointing to hear. The last color neg roll I got processed at Walmart cost me $2.50 and only took 2 weeks. Might be time to find another place.

  • Ruby_Ruby

    I will have to see if they are still offering this. This is great to know as someone who acquires old cameras, maybe more frequently than is totally reasonable. I don’t care how proper or pedigreed the development of a roll is when I’m only running it (with long expired junk film) to see if everything is working mechanically with my gear. I also call phooey on the local brick and mortar thing. It is just not an option for some of us. I’ve tried so hard to support local camera shops and am perfectly willing to accept reasonably higher prices and limited selection. What I get though are higher prices, awful selection, and ATTITUDE. I’ve found great shops in other cities, but not mine so throw stones at the Walmart shopper if you will, but I’d rather be pelted online than by the condescending oafs who run my only local option.