Moving to Perth
Hello to all who are about to become my neighbours in Perth.
Job transfer will see me moving to Perth in a month or two so whilst getting ready to pack the darkroom and cameras up at this end I thought it might be time to ask for pointers as to the unpacking and restocking at the other end.
I shoot mainly HP5 & FP4 in 35mm and 120, process in DDX and print onto Ilford MGIV FB and RC 8x10, 9 1/2 x 12 and 11x 14. Ilford Paper developer and Fixer and Stop and rinse and washaids, Kodak selenium.
Firstly where to get all my film and paper and chemicals and is there a good supply or do I need to be ordering and waiting? Truth be told the list of what I use is mostly what I can get so if Tri-X is plentiful and cheap I can live with that and I don't really have a lot of brand loyalty to my stop bath!
What paper sizes do you all use down there. I've noticed the Brits don't use 11x14 and the Americans haven't discovered the ease of doing contact sheets on 9 1/2 x 12.
My darkroom here is, shall we say, not very sophisticated. Trays on a table, rinse in the bath, black plastic bags over the windows. It's about time I had something better. Is it easy to purchase darkroom equipment or even better is there a market in cheap second hand equipment?
Thanks in advance for any advise,
Hi and welcome to Oz. Our members in Perth will be able to fill you in on more local info. As of a few years ago there was one photographic supply place in the Perth CBD, but I'm not sure if it is still in operation. You may end up having to mail order some items from Sydney or Melbourne. Our paper sizes are 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 12 x 16 mainly. In regard to Perth, it is one of the most isolated cities in the world. But it is a beautiful city with everything you could need.
Perth is an interesting city, but having not travelled all that much myself I don't know how I would compare it. I know that is is very small however.
There are not many places to buy consumables, the only one I know of that sells paper is camera electronic (their website is cameraelectronic.com.au), which is where I buy film from if I need it and can't wait for it to arrive from Freestyle in the US. I know they always stock HP5 and FP4, they're about $10 AUD a roll. I mostly shoot tri-x which is cheaper (7.50 a roll with my student discount). Prices on B+W are not too bad, however you'll pay half as much if you order from Freestyle in bulk. Slide and colour negative films are ridiculously overpriced, and hence I never buy them locally. I know that camera electonic have Ilford multigrade paper, but having never bought it I have no idea of prices and how it compares to overseas prices. Chemicals are plentiful there however, I buy all my dev and fixer at a price which I think is alright (but again have never bought overseas so I have no idea). A 1l bottle of ilford rapid fixer sets me back $14 with my student discount, if that gives you any idea of price.
I bought all my processing equipment for $50 second hand at a photographic market at the Leederville town hall (I think this is an annual event). I was given a used enlarger by a department at my university, however these seem to be widely available at the aforementioned photographic market, and in the camera sections of the "quokka" (a local trading post type newspaper). Everyone seems to be going digital so there is a lot of equipment about, you just have to look.
Hope that helps, and you enjoy Perth
Last edited by usagisakana; 07-25-2008 at 12:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
the Americans haven't discovered the ease of doing contact sheets on 9 1/2 x 12.
Grandmother sucking eggs
I use PRA as my supplier of all things photographic.
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Thanks everyone for the replies. It is reassuring to know that supplies will be available, although as it doesn't seem to be a regular item down there I might just see if my shop here has some 9 1/2 x 12 RC, get a stock of contact print paper in before I come.
Saw an notice for the Leederville camera fair, two weeks ago, so I guess I'll have to wait a while for the next one of those but hopefully I'll be able to make a few purchases somewhere. After of course I've found a house, and a car and... and then I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Looking forward to it,
The size of paper you are after is a very common size in this country. We are a metric country, therefore, even though the paper may be an inch sized paper, it is advertised in the metric format.
You can find it on Vanbar's online catalogue, they are in Melbourne. If they have it, then any shop in Australia can get it, whether they will or not is another matter. You could always purchase online from Vanbar though.
The Ilford RC paper size is 24cmx30.5cm and it is listed in 10, 50 and 250 sheet packets. Another very handy size if you are using 35mm is the A4 21cmx29.7cm RC paper, also from Ilford.
Last edited by Mick Fagan; 08-07-2008 at 07:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Brendan at PRA is happy to order in anything you want that is not in stock. Their website is mainly focused on digital stuff but go into the show room and there is a lot more.
Saul Frank at Camera Electronic has reported some difficulty in obtaining Rollei and Maco products, but is hoping that will be rectified soon. But again he's happy to order anything in if its not in stock.
Perth may be one of the most isolated cities in the world but there is a very active, friendly and helpful photo community.
Thanks again, and see you, and Brendan and Saul in a couple of weeks!