Long term China relocation

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by chuck94022, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi all,

    My wife and I are considering a long term (1-2 year) job assignment in Beijing. I'll be dragging along my 35mm, MF, and LF cameras.

    What is the current availability of film, and perhaps more importantly, development chemistry (mostly B&W, but perhaps also C41, I won't try to do E6 there) in the Beijing area?

    While I will probably bring some of my stored film with me, I'm hesitant to bring any chemistry. Is development chemistry readily available there? I'll be making periodic trips back to the US. Should I plan on bringing chemistry with me? (Maybe bring some raw materials and mix my own?) Are there issues with this in customs (either in the US with homeland security or on entry to China)?

    This won't be my first visit to China - been there many times over the past few years, but always on business trips and never with sufficient time to invest in film photography. I have had the privilege of checking out some of the local camera shops to see their domestic 4x5 field cameras - there's some nice stuff being made there, or was when I visited.

    There are lots of places I want to visit with a large format camera!

    Thanks!
     
  2. degruyl

    degruyl Member

    Messages:
    123
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    You should not have trouble getting film in Beijing. At least not 120 and 35mm C-41 film. I would look into chemistry availability as well as film availability before taking any over. (someone with more direct experience will chime in, I am sure).

    You can take powdered chemistry inside your checked luggage, but try to take the labelled pouches (not loose white powder). It might not make it in carry-on.

    I always brought film with me. Always carry-on.

    There is (was in 2008) a 4x5 lab in Beijing but I can't refer it (good or bad). I ended up packing the film out when I left rather than chancing it in a lab that was already 2 hours flight from where I was located.

    If you do not speak chinese, you will need someone who does and who understands film processing to help you find chinese film and chemistry sources. For 35mm, this is not as much of an issue: there are many kodak shops still in existence. I assume the still have working mini-labs.
     
  3. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Chuck,

    I've been thinking about trying the ERA film, it's available in 35mm, 120, 4x5.
    The few reviews that I have read are encouraging.
    I noticed that IsaacChen on eBay was selling some recently,
    but this afternoon I decided to buy some and it wasn't available.
    But I'm sure he'll be putting some more up soon.
    No idea about the chemistry situation, but I'm just get back on the Analog Bandwagon.
    I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Please keep us update with your progress.

    Bon Voyage !, Hopefully ...


    Ron
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,008
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I wonder if you will be able to access APUG from China?
     
  5. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm sure I will, either directly or through a VPN connection to a system in the US.
     
  6. Namir

    Namir Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    May 24, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    vpn works sometimes, but not necessarily...
    But apug is not facebook (much too small, no one cares about some nerds still making photos with analogue cameras, hardly any Chinese people involved...) , as long as we do not write anything that might endanger China's unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity... everything will be all right.
     
  7. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've done much work in China, including running a software shop. Definitely familiar with the speech restrictions, and how to get a good connection and set up a reliable VPN connection out. Plus, I have friends in the right places to keep things running smoothly... :smile: I agree that apug is not on the censor's radar.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,008
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That's good news. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.
     
  9. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  10. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  11. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Location:
    British Colu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Somewhere, either here or on the LFPhoto site, I've seen pictures of a get-together of Chinese photographers in Beijing. There were a lot of them, and there were a lot of large format cameras. Where there is large format there must surely be chemicals. There is a photo store district near Tienamin square IIRC. Maybe one of your contacts could check out the stores before you get there to find out about chemicals and photo clubs.
     
  12. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

    Messages:
    328
    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  13. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  14. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

    Messages:
    1,094
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Since I am posting this from shanghai I can guarantee no problem with apug. You will also find film and chems here though wierdly, Kodak is not big here in their colour pro range...eg portra, it is mainly Fuji. Otherwise plenty of Band W choices and analog camera equipment. PM me if you have specific questions....I lived here 4 years and spend around 10 days a month here at the moment.

    Word of warning....the last person who told me they were coming to China for 1-2 years left after 4 ;-)....

    Kal