Photography issue in Paris, France.

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by aslanivo, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. aslanivo

    aslanivo Member

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    So I understand from reviewing some older posts that the French airport authorities insist on X-raying film and won't settle for a hand inspection, unlike US airports. In effect this means that I have to develop my B&W film in my Paris hotel bathroom before I return to the US?

    And incidentally, is it worth it for me to buy B&W sheet film and 120 rolls in Paris or should I buy it in the US? I'm thinking of buying a brick of Trix400 and 100 sheets of tmax 400 (higher speed because I apparently can't use a darned tripod in paris either!!!)
     
  2. Wally H

    Wally H Member

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    I'd heard this also, but they hand inspected my film without any hesitiation or passing on any of that famous Paris attitude and that during a transportation strike. In fact, I never did find that famous attitude and I looked all over that city for it! :confused:
     
  3. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I was there in May, and they insisted very strongly that I had to put it through the scanner - even though I had several rolls of Tmax3200! I caught a boatload of attitude. I guess it depends on the luck of the draw. For what it is worth, none of my negatives suffered any harm when I developed them back at home. I always mark any film that has been through a scanner once, and never take it on another trip, though. In my experience the damage is cumulative, and more than one trip through a scanner is inviting some fog.
     
  4. nze

    nze Member

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    you can use a tripod in Paris , I use one as don't know how to make sharp image with my 8x10 in Paris without the tripod.
     
  5. thedarkroomstudios

    thedarkroomstudios Member

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    Doesn't paris have a really, really big tripod kinda in the middle of everything??? I bet it could hold one of them billboard-format cameras.
     
  6. aslanivo

    aslanivo Member

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    I bet that particular tripod is REALLY a pain to fold up and carry around . . .
     
  7. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    Hi Aslan,
    I'm living between Paris and LA. Never had any trouble with exposed film (BW). But I understand your issue, it's only a feeling between you and the security guy. He can be a pain and will certainly not speak english...Like in LAX, the guy will not speak french and be a pain too.

    Just pray the guy will like photography !

    If you want to buy film I can give you plenty of adresses in Paris.
    No problem for the tripod either. If a problem occurs (really if ),just pretend you are a tourist. That stuff is only for big shooting.

    Enjoy and if you need any advice, adress or contact, let me know.

    Guillaume
     
  8. aslanivo

    aslanivo Member

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    Thank you Guillaume

    What are the prices of film like in Paris in comparison with the US?

    I will try to develop my own negs whilst in Paris since I am planning other trips to more distant spots. So, my trip to paris is going to be a learning experience. In addition to a digital SLR and a rolleiflex TLR, I am using a handheld 4x5 press camera, which is how I plan to get by without a tripod, which I have decided is too bulky to carry around anyway even if the Paris police were to disregard it. (I was however considering taking a self-standing monopod in place of a tripod -- will have to go to my local camera store to feel one out)
     
  9. Guillaume Zuili

    Guillaume Zuili Member

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    A pack of Tri-X (5x120) is 17 Euros without tax. It would be little more expensive than US but you save lot of space and weight.
    You can go on Prophot website (www.prophot.fr), you will be able to check out, film and chemical. They are in the 9eme Arr on rue condorcet. On the same street you have 2 other places, one is dedicated for renting (maybe the tripod).
     
  10. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    If you ship the film back to the US, will it still get scanned? I'll bet if you send it FedEx or UPS, it'll get home before you...
     
  11. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    You generally can't use tripods inside public buildings, but outside, as long as your not holding people up, there shouldn't be a problem. I've never had a problem using a small tripod. I've even used a small table-top tripod inside churches with no problems. Just be sensible. A monopod could be a more flexible option.

    As for the film going through the hand baggage scanners, I wouldn't worry. I've travelled quite a bit, including between Europe and NZ, never had my film hand inspected, and never (like most other people) had a problem. I would only be concerned if using high speed film.

    Scanning hand baggage, including all your camera gear and film has been standard practice in Europe for many, many years.

    Paul
     
  12. aslanivo

    aslanivo Member

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    I suspect that the mail is X-rayed . . .
     
  13. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    This may all be true but consider; JandC photo has a "NO X-RAY" tape they put on the boxes; anyone remember seeing them? I have had a career in Radiology and Radiation Therapy. In an x-ray film cass. there are "screens" of rare earth that when "hit" with x-rays emits light to expose the film. I would like to see someone really test the films by taking some of differing speeds and going through some airport scanners. I.E. slow, medium, fast, some of each. Develop after a set after one round trip, two trips, three trips etc. At some point there should be an elevated FB+Fog. I found that it isn't worth the time to ask for a hand inspection. They just look at it, hold you up, then put it through the scanner anyway.
     
  14. Bruce Appel

    Bruce Appel Member

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    Personally I wouldn't worry too much about it. I have travelled in and out of europe a lot, and have had my film x-rayed, and really have not seen a problem. I think if you were to have multiple exposures with really fast film you might be in trouble.If you are just going to France, get the stuff hand inspected in the states, and try for a hand inspection in France. Do put the film in a separate bag so they don't keep it under the scanner too long. My camera bag frequently drives xray guys nuts and they look at it for a long time, probably not a good idea for film.
    Also watch out for museums and such, as some of them put your stuff through xrays also.
     
  15. Christopher Nisperos

    Christopher Nisperos Member

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    Hi Christian!) .. Don't be so modest. I remember your great handheld 8x10 shots .. your "pictorialist" phase? But seriously...Yes, you can use a tripod in Paris, but don't forget that in some cases (such as in parks or if photographing certain monuments), you may be approached by a security guard asking to see your permit. The thinking is: "tripod = professional = profits = France-wants-its-share". I have been forbidden to shoot in parks on several occasions. As soon as they see me carrying a tripod, they start "hovering".

    These permits are issued by city hall, cost about $10.00 each and, if memory serves, you need a different permit for each park or monument you want to photograph.

    And by the way, —strictly speaking— images of the Eiffel Tour lit at night cannot be commercialized because the lighting is patented, or something like that. The "Eiffel Tower Company" (yes, it's privately owned) wants their share, too. Same goes for fireworks on and around the tower. I think that fine art images slip by on this rule.

    While I can understand these policies with regard to movie production or big ad campaigns, it's unreasonable to apply the same restrictions to small-time pros and fine-art photographers. I hope the French authorities and companies will realize that if they liberalized these ridiculous policies, their tourist efforts would benefit enormously by all the published photos and free publicity.

    Hey Christian, please feel free to make any corrections, if you've had other experiences!
    A bientot!