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Camera Basics

TOMMY WILLIAMS / L’Observateur / November 23, 1998

As Thanksgiving Day nears, so does the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

This is the time of year when many of us find out how far we can stretch that plastic credit card with early Christmas deals and purchases.

This is also the time of year when I frequently find myself with four to five rolls of film with holiday photos, just waiting to be developed. I say waitingbecause, like many of you, traditionally I normally delay the developing of my personal photos until that next outbreak of one hour photo processing coupons. Itend to prefer using one hour processing services because I feel that the quality, on average, may be higher due to the fact that each roll is processed, printed and quality controlled checked one roll at a time, rather than mass processed with hundreds of other rolls by machines alone.

Do I really need to wait for a coupon outbreak to process holiday films? Here’s a current pricing guide of the different local one hour photo processing labs in our area to help you decide if coupon hunting is still necessary anymore.

At first glance, Eckerd’s Express appears to be quite expensive, but not when you consider the buy one get one free film policy. The one hour processingcharge for a roll of 24 exposure film is $10.19. If you purchase a roll of film atthe time of processing you’ll get a second roll free. Considering that a roll ofGold 200ASA-24 exposure film retails at Eckerd’s for $4.79, you effectivelyonly pay $5.40 for processing. Eckerd’s frequently also runs 50 percent offcoupons. Film purchase policy still applies with the use of a coupon.Wal-Mart, on the other hand, does not run discount coupons on one hour processing services. The processing charge for a roll of 24 exposure film retailsfor $5.52. Also, a roll of Gold 200ASA-24 exposure film retails for a mere$3.78. Last, but not least, Winn-Dixie charges $6 for processing and printing of a 24 exposure roll of film and $3.97 for Gold 200ASA-24 exposure film. Winn-Dixieis the only retailer that has $2 off coupons on the purchase of Gold 200ASA-24 exposure film, and those expire on Jan. 31, 1999. Keep your eyes open for a low$2.98 film processing coupon for any size roll of film this holiday season.Leaving you all with only a minor amount of math work to do, it’s easy to figure out that the numbers are very close and that the early Christmas deals may already be here.

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