Like most here, I have been buying both gear and materials from overseas for some years and I don't feel an ounce of guilt. Why should I? About the only photographic item I do buy locally is chemicals because of the difficulties attached to importing them, particularly wet chemicals. And that is what concerns me the most about the future. There are precious few Oz retailers selling photographic chemicals even now, and selling chemicals to a small band of amateurs like us is not going to keep them viable. What happens when they disappear? Will we then have to learn to mix our own? Will the formulae be available? And where will we get the raw ingredients to do so?
And the current big retailers campaign against GST-free imports under $1k is flawed in more than one respect. Not only is the price difference in most cases a lot more than 10%, but there are many many products within our range of interest which are simply not stocked in mainstream Australian retailers. In which department do Harvey Norman and Myer keep their films and chemicals, and where is their second-hand camera department? Yes, I know that there are still a few specialist photographic retailers, mostly big city CBD based, who do stock these things but they have to cope with high wholesale prices and the high cost of their mostly CBD location and we all know the result of that.
I'll ask too, anyone doing an order?
There was a group in Adelaide pursuing an order just very recently, but I think it's been and gone now.
Let me illustrate the brazilian problem with a quick look at prices of several things. These quotes are current (got them yesterday) and currency exchange has been the best in many years (meaning it's been cheaper than ever to buy things in the US). I'll convert all brazilian reais (local currency) to US dollar so as to make things easy:
1L Ilford Multigrade developer - $44.12 (B&H - $7.95 for the 500ml, say $16 for 1L)
1L Ilford Rapid Fixer - $43.5 (B&H - $9.95)
5L Ilford ID-11 - $57 (B&H - $9.95)
25 pack Ilford Multigrade RC VC paper (8x10'), glossy or matte! - $61.76 (B&H - $18)
Cheapest roll of Tri-X I've ever seen here - $17.67 each (B&H - $3.59)
Cheapest roll of Velvia 50 was scandalously cheaper than the Tri-X ($16.47)!! I guess this illustrates insanity..
Never mind equipment. Stores don't even carry new analogue equipment. They generally need to be special ordered and imported (Guess a price.. you're low.) Long live the awesome and bustling used market that floats around here!!
Any attempts to import through the mail will be squatted by a blanketing 50% tax rate over any order that is greater than $50 (here's the catch.. this include shipping cost!). There's also a special 6.5% tax on any purchase done in a foreign currency with a credit card. This is extra bonus though, not counted or discounted during import tax.
After writing this, I think I feel like curling in the fetal position and crying for a few hours.. excuse me..
You poor bastard. Literally, after you buy some film and paper :(
Originally Posted by Ambar
And I imagined that in Rio, everything is grand. Apparently when it comes to analog photography, that aint necessarily so... :(
Are you sure that the customs do not scan the film heavily?
I to buy stuff from freestylephoto (I live in Europe). The difference in price is that big that it pays of even when the customs add tax to it.
If Customs did, there would have been a rash of alerts about it here on APUG. Not the sort of thing any of us would necessarily not notice if it was going on and damaging or degrading film by whatever amount.
The Customs declaration is so detailed (7 pages of it, in duplicate) that I doubt Customs would give it a second glance.
I bought 13 rolls of film yesterday at Vanbar for a wedding shoot this weekend and the total was over $168. I usually buy film maybe two or three times a year from B&H, and even with postage it is always way cheaper.
Things REALLY are grand and beautiful.. Just don't take a picture of it!!!!!!!! :D
Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour
Thanks for the "transworldly" votes of compassion! I think I can recompose myself now.. Yet somehow film goes on!! :)