The most idiotic service ever

Ramit Sethi

I hate a lot of things in this world, but none as much as 1-hour film processing.

Why in God’s name would you spend $12 to get your photos developed in an hour? Is your mother on her deathbed and just has to see the pictures this instant?

Give me a break. Stop paying for 1-hour photo processing.

Now what?

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  1. hy

    It’s worse than that. I worked at a CVS. When you chose next day (or two day–whatever) processing, the film is shipped out to a professional lab and shipped back to your store. But if you chose 1-hour processing, the film is developed in-house by a poorly-trained, snotty teenager on inferior equipment who will probably fuck up half of your photos. So don’t do it!

  2. elizabeth

    it’s not idiotic if you have a newspaper deadline. but otherwise, you’re probably right.

  3. Jesse

    George Carlin does a wonder skit about this. “how can anyone be nostalgic about a concept like ‘a little while ago’?!” The comment about the ‘snotty teenager’ screwing up your photos was repeated to me by a friend who works in a photo studio: One hour photos -twice the cost, half the quality.

  4. J. Patrick Greer

    Whenever I think of 1-hour processing I think of those chessy photomat booth set up in parking lots. We had a mall in our town that is now county office building that had one of these. I had to laugh when one of these things was destroyed in the movie Back to the Future by a VW Van being driven by Libyian terrorists.

  5. George Frank

    Seeing this post, I just have to relay a story from my father – I think you’ll enjoy it seeing as you hate 1-hour photos! (I share this with the faith in all of you that you will realize THIS IS A DUMB IDEA WHICH SHOULD NOT BE REPLICATED!)

    So my dad and his best friend (I’ll call him james to protect him…) go out and get completely drunk. (They were seniors in high school I believe). They’re in James’ 2-seater muscle car (camaro maybe?) crusing around and they end up going to a strip mall that is under construction, and in the parking lot is one of those poorly-constructed 1-hour photo kiosks. Well, my father being in such a great decision-making state of mind, decides he wants to joust with the booth. James swings around to the part under construction and my dad leans out of the car (thru the window) and picks up a saw horse. James then proceeded to floor it and they raced towards the kiosk. Just before they reached it, my father wings the saw horse at the thing – narrowly missing the kiosk himself. Well apparently a saw horse leaving a man’s arms at 70mph crashing into a small photo kiosk is above and beyond the building spec of the kiosk – which appeared to just slide over, spilling photos ALL over the parking lot. Then realizing what they had done, james raced them away to his house…

    Great story, eh? A better picture of what the booth looked like when it collapsed would be:
    (1) | |
    (2) \ \
    (3) ____

  6. David S

    I go to Ritz Camera and one of the things I like about it is that while it’s a bit more expensive all around, they don’t charge more for 1 hour service. Not only that, but if, in the rare event, the color is off (maybe a bit more magenta than you expected) they will gladly reprint them for free, even though it takes a lot longer because your negatives are already cut. They also individually color correct each photo by hand (some places simply run the photo’s thru uncorrected or let the machine attempt to figure it out… which is really hit or miss) They also have the best extended warrenties for camera’s ever. It’s simple; if the camera isn’t burned or stolen, then it doesn’t matter what happened to it, they will fix it or replace it.

  7. timgrahl

    this is a test…

    • Ramit Sethi

      test response