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I'm going to the Baltic Countries this summer. I'll be in Estonia and Latvia for about a week and in Lithuania for a month. I wanted to know if anybody knew about buying film in the region. I have a feeling that I will use up the film that I take with me fairly quickly. I know there is a Kodak store in Vilnius, but I was also interested in the opportunity to find used gear. How difficult is it and what are the prices (gear and film) like? I'm taking my Kiev 88 with me and would definitely be interested in buying another lens if the price is right or just collecting more Soviet made stuff.
Thanks for the help.
05-08-2011, 09:22 AM
I travel in Baltic countries quite regularly but unfortunately I don't recall ever seeing anything else than the normal cheap 35mm color film on sale. It's all modern and d***tal over there. You won't see heaps of cheap old FSU gear either. In a pinch take a boat from Tallinn to Helsinki (2 hours) where you'll find a couple of shops that stock 120 film.
Thanks, I'll be in Helsinki for a couple of days anyway.
It seems that the Kodak center in Vilnius has black and white film in 120, which was my main concern. Cheaper 35mm film is fine since I'm going to use the 35mm camera mostly for snapshots.
I didn't figure there would be tons of used gear floating all over the place, but how common is it at markets? Are there used photo stores? I'm not expecting to find mint condition gear for $5, but if I would be happy if I could find some decent lenses for my other Soviet cameras. Otherwise I have to buy it from ebay or Molotok and wait for it to ship across the world.
05-09-2011, 01:03 PM
Try the huge Gariunai market place outside Vilnius. It's mostly about used cars these days but I'm sure you'll find a source or two for used photo gear over there.
05-09-2011, 02:23 PM
I do not know the situation in Estonia or Latvia, but in Lithuania it is unlikely to find anything decent for a good price in (pawn) shops or flea markets, the local photographers already grabbed what was best. More decent equipment occasionally surfaces in the classifieds of a few local photo sites efoto.lt, fotokudra.lt (use google translate), so you could write an WTB ad if it fits your time frame.
The Kodak place (DWK) is one of the best places to get cheap film, and there are few other places besides that, e.g. an e-shop: http://www.fotofabrikas.lt/katalogas/Fotoparduotuve/Tradicine-fotografija/Nespalvotos-fotojuostos/l59c8f1.2-120-formato-plati-juosta.html (although I am not sure about the stocks of any of those places).
Once again, I would advice you to join ask locals in the aforementioned forums.
I wish you all the best time and shots in the region
-- Vytautas from Kaunas (Lithuania)