Kodachrome...Dwayne's vs WalMart

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by a._t._burke, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Gentlepersons....
    A while back there was a discussion about sending Kodachrome through WalMart to Dwayne's or directly to Dwayne's. I had just had two good experiences with the local WalMart at a little town in Montana, and said so. Convenience was great and of course all processing is done at Dwayne's so quality should not suffer.
    I take it all back! Things have changed.
    Since then, I sent three more rolls through WalMart. I understood they went west to a Fuji processor and then were sent to Dwayne's and back through the pipeline. On each envelope, besides writing "Kodachrome" in a heavy black marker under "special instructions," I had taped the Kodachrome box end to the front of the envelope, hint, hint. I had done so on the previous rolls with success. All three, sent once per week, came back having obviously been through non-Kodachrome processors. I am sure they never made it all the way to Dwayne's. I believe the intermediary processed/ruined the film in their inappropriate processing machines, thereby collecting the processing money from WalMart. There were little notes in the envelope about how the film had been overexposed, over-heated, or whatever, all B.S.
    Two weeks ago, I sent six rolls directly to Dwayne's by UPS ground so Xrays would not fog the undeveloped film. One roll was a problem roll that had come out of the film cartridge, which I had removed from the camera in a dark bag and put into a black film canister for shipping. I called Dwayne's about that unusual roll to see if they needed a heads-up. Evidently they really are true professionals because they said just to clearly mark the canister "open in darkroom" and there would be no problem. As an abundance of caution, I typed what had happened on the outside of an envelope which I put the canister in, which went out in the package of undeveloped Kodachrome to Dwayne's. As I had been shooting the film in different cameras, I had written the name of the camera in a marker on the outside of the film canister, just as a note to myself.
    1. All six boxes came back perfect.
    2. They correctly handled a problem I had caused for them with the film canister, at no extra charge.
    3. The slides were free of either settled lint or garbage embedded in the emulsion.
    4. Someone at Dwayne's, with pride in their work, had noticed my notes on the outside of the film canisters and had duplicated what I wrote on a sticker on the outside of the box associated with that film. A nice and thoughtful touch that I had not even had to ask for.
    I have close to 100 rolls of Kodachrome left that I am going to shoot this summer in Florida. They are all going straight to Dwayne's from now on.
    Kudos to Dwayne's and their heads-up employees.
    Tom Burke
  2. Hi Tom,
    I would agree 100% with you on that, Dwayne's really are excellent. I post all my kodachrome rolls directly to them from Switzerland, they do an excellent job, and the films are always returned to me very fast, and everything is always very clear and smooth. Let me also add that I have been highly impressed with US postal service, packets arrive extremely quickly, in good condition!
    Dwayne's will soon be recieving my next "batch" of 4 rolls of kodachrome shot this winter...with many more to come!
    Pontus Wallstén
  3. From their wed site:
    Dwayne’s Photo plans to continue processing Kodachrome films through the end of December 2010.

    I think there was also a previous discussion posted here and a story on the evening newscast. I would not be saving too many of those 100 roll s past this December.
  4. Thomas -"... obviously been through non-Kodachrome processors."
    I'm sorry to hear that.
    I'm wondering what could be going on as I've had Kodachrome sucessfully processed via Sam's/Walmart. I understand all E6 is also processed by Dwaynes' now. So if Fuji identified it as non-C41 maybe the fault is at Dwayne's not-segregating E6 vs. K14 process correctly. Or did the roll go through C41? What are the end markings on the film? Perhaps someone can identify if it is a Dwayne's mark or not.
    I would have thought placing the box end would work, but I've always put "K14" in the special instructions box.
    In any case, for the sake of the rest of us, did you complain with the known facts. Whoever made the mistake needs to be corrected. They can't do that if they don't know about it. Don't assume that talking to a clerk at Walmart will get forwarded to anybody.
    I have only a couple rolls left.
  5. Mr. Spross....
    From my post, you'll see that I had Kodachrome done successfully through that same WalMart in the past. It's a small town. Everybody is a friend of a friend of every clerk, lawyer, and doctor in town. I was told that the trail of film not processed on site had changed between the time of the successful and unsuccessful Kodachrome processing. I was also told that it now goes to a Fuji subcontractor on the west coast, that does all the C41 and E6 35 mm. All medium format and Kodachrome are passed onto Dwayne's. I had also had a roll of C41 sent away, which came back with the same Fuji twin check sticker as was on the Kodachrome. Therefore, I suspect the Kodachrome was put through at processor at the plant on the coast and never made it to Dwayne's. Dwayne's good direct service and extra thoughtful consideration would tend to support my suspicions.
    You can see by my last name that I'm Irish. I quote the old Irish saying, "You cannot teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of time and just annoys the pig." Not that I wouldn't like to annoy WalMart, mind you, but I sure don't like to waste my time giving them singing lessons.
    Mr. Gerbehy....
    Yes, Dwayne does intend to stop processing Kodachrome at the end of 2010. I also understand that no more chemicals will be available to them from Kodak for processing after that date, even if they should want to. The light is terrible up here in the winter and would waste the beauty of the color palette peculiar to Kodachrome. I intend to use every precious roll this spring and summer in sunny Florida with a lot of it used on the coast, where the white sand puts a sparkle into the particulate suspended into the air.
    Kodachrome memories have been a part of my life for many, many years. See:
    Although many people are disappointed in the demise of Kodachrome, I am probably in the upper 1/10 of 1% of those most disappointed (pissed off).
  6. whenever i send kodachrome film through wally world i put a piece of stickback on the canister itself. As well as writing special instructions... Sometimes i get that stickynote back sometimes i dont, couldnt care less really - so long as the film gets to me safely. Whenever im sending a small batch i send it through walmart because its not cost affective to send it direct. however, for something important or for a lot of rolls (over 5 is where i generally draw the line) i send it direct. thus far i have not had an issue with either... knock on wood (i have a few rolls on their way right now).
  7. Since Kadachrome isn't processed anymore here in Canada, I've sent mine to Dwayne's with no problems.
  8. I understand that Kodachrome has the black rem-jet backing which has to be removed in a special first stage in the K-14 processing cycle. And, that, if it's put thru the wrong process the chemicals (and other films) can be ruined?
    If this is correct, it would surely be a stupid mistake for a reputable processing firm to allow?

    (Being in the UK, my process-paid K64 is sent to Dwaynes via Kodak Switzerland, great quality and prompt return for half-way round the world! Everything's looking good for my final summer of Kodachrome!)
  9. This certainly isn't the first time we've heard a report of Kodachrome being processed in the wrong soup. I wonder how many unsuspecting E6 or C41 customers have had their films ruined as a result of a single misprocessed K14 film...
    (The C41 machine at the camera shop I worked at when I was in high school could process two rolls simultaneously; I suspect the big commercial machines can process an even higher number of rolls at once...?)
  10. Mr. Eaton...

    After the anger of loosing all my work subsided, that is the first thing that I thought of. Have you ever gotten slides back with those little black specks in it that shows up when scanned at higher PPI or viewed through a 10+ power loupe? The cotton gauze filters that are used in a lot of processors are not fine enough to filter particulate of that size very well. One roll of K-14 and you can change filters several times before it is all gone, that is if you are responsible enough to change the filters extra often until the problem disappears. Truly responsible processors stop the machine, flush the tubing and pumps and change chemicals. Who would go to that expense? Maybe Dwayne's and/or Chrome in San Diego and/or A&I in Los Angeles would, but who else?

    You say "If this is correct, it would surely be a stupid mistake for a reputable processing firm to allow?" I answer "reputable is the key word here." That is another reason that I do not think Dwayne's did it to me. I know that everybody makes mistakes. But... Dwayne's has a reputation as being reliable and responsible. Work they've done for me backs that up. Their thoughtfulness, good customer service attitude and attention to detail makes me think the odds of them being the culprit are REAL low.

    If who I think is the culprit is in fact the culprit, their volume is so high, even in today's lower film usage era, the backing would be gone by the end of the day as it would be embedded in the emulsion layer of the rest of the film run that day.

    I think it went through C-41 chemicals but I'm not experienced enough to tell for sure.

    Mr. Dowling...

    I think the K-14 machine at Dwayne's is the type where the film is all attached together and runs through as one strip, like movie film. It is then separated at the end of the line back into roll amounts.

  11. I honestly don't know why people are still taking Kodachrome to Walmart. Just to save a few bucks? It's just not worth it. We're too close to the end. Why risk it? You're not going to get another chance to shoot any more pictures on Kodachrome...this is it. Just send it DIRECTLY to Dwayne's Photo.

    I've heard too many horror stories about people taking Kodachrome to Walmart and then it gets lost or their pictures are ruined because it never gets sent to Dwayne's Photo and ends up being developed at some other lab, with the wrong chemicals. Yeah, if you take Kodachrome to Walmart it's SUPPOSED to get sent to Dwayne's Photo...but that doesn't always happen. I've read several stories here where someone took Kodachrome to a Walmart, put it in the send-out box with it CLEARLY MARKED that it was Kodachrome...and then waited for several weeks and never got their slides. When they finally went to Walmart to ask about it, their film was returned undeveloped...the idiot clerk only said "yeah, we don't develop slide film." Yeah, well no duh! I think that even happened to Josh Root one time.

    I always send Kodachrome directly to Dwayne's Photo. It takes 6 days (sometimes less!) from the time I mail the film out at the Post Office until I get the finished slides in the mail. If you put your email address on the order form, they'll send you an automated message to notify you when your pictures or slides are shipped, with a tracking number. Then you can check online and you'll know exactly when to expect it in the mail.

    Dwayne's Photo is fast, reliable, and they do a great job. Just mail your film DIRECTLY to them. Forget Walmart.
  12. Simply marking it Kodachrome is not enough - You need to write "Kodachrome, K-14 PROCESS ONLY"
    This lets them know it is not an E-6 Process Slide film. Yes, they should have known better when they saw Kodachrome marked, but you never know who will be looking at your film, deciding where it goes. So make it explicit on the Special Instructions area that this is Process K-14 film, not E-6. In 6 years and hundreds of rolls of K-14 thu Walmart/Dwaynes marked as Kodachrome, Process K-14 Only, I have not had an an issue.
  13. Mr. Pukalo...
    Of course you are right, and I did so, partially. I wrote K-14 with a wide tip permanent marker about 2 inches tall. The writing is about 1/4 inch thick. There was no more room to put "process only" with letters that thick. I also wonder if the kind of intelligent, highly trained people that cannot understand the words "Kodachrome only" in the special instructions box, miss seeing and or not understand the colorful box end taped on the envelope and cannot see the letters "K-14" 2 inches tall actually have the word "process" in their personal vocabulary?
    Why even think about it anymore when I can use Dwaynes?
  14. Send directly to Dwayne's!!! They are true professionals!
  15. Reporting good work with Walmart and K-14 for 4-5 rolls so far. "K-14 PROCESSING ONLY" in bold letters. $7.50 with no shipping costs.

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