Trip to London/take vs. buying film there???
We have a trip to London planned in July and I'm wondering whether or not we should take film with us vs buying it there and shipping it back? We'll bring both B&W and color slide film, 100 and 400 ASA, and our flight is non-stop from NYC so we'll pass through xray machines just once (presumably?) in each direction. Carry on vs luggage? Or, if we buy there, where in London would you shop for film?
I would buy the film there and the bring it back via carry on luggage. DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR CHECKED LUGGAGE. If you do, it will get a mega-dose of xray.
that 17.5% VAT tax makes me quiver just thinking of it.
i've never had a problem taking film in a carry-on. going home, you could always ship it to yourself - i've thought about doing that when visiting family in france, but always got too busy at the last minute, and just put it all in a ziplock bag in the carry-on. i've brought everything from asa 50 to 3200 - maybe i was lucky, but i never had trouble with the xrays - but then again the last trip we made was 2 summers ago
if you are doing large format, it has been suggested both by people on the large format board (lfphoto.info) and the photo.net lf board that you should ask for hand inspection and you might want to make sure you bring unopened film boxes, otherwise they will want to open everything up to make sure it is film.
I think the decision on whether you take it with you or purchase it there should be made on the cost of the film in the two places and on whether or not you'll buy too much film to schlep through airports. On a recent two week trip to Europe I took about 20 rolls of 120 with me. In my carry-on bag, it passed through xray machines at Pittsburgh, St. Chapelle in Paris, the Paris airport, the Milan airport, the Paris airport again, and the Atlanta airport. Speeds were 100, 320, and 400. The film was unaffected by the xrays.
As long as you don't mind carrying your film with you and your speeds top out at 400, I wouldn't worry about buying it before you leave. Given the current exchange rates, you might save some money by carrying your film.
Check out Jessop's website. A big camera chain store. www.jessops.co.uk
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Film is horrifically expensive over here - for example, a 35mm roll of Velvia will set you back £5.50 (about $10) on the high street. I get all mine mail order these days. I would bring film with you if it's a lot cheaper in the US - X-rays will not be a problem for films in hand luggage.
with big chain camera store prices! I woudnt buy it here, way too expensive
Originally Posted by clogz
I always post my film out to where I am going (whenever possible) and post the exposed film back home, or directly to the lab (for Scala). It works perfectly and I have never had trouble with x-ray.
Maybe you could order film from Firstcall or Silverprint and have it sent to the address where you are staying?
I think film is expensive from all high street shops that you're likely to encounter here as a tourist. Film is a little cheaper from specialist outlets such as Silverprint (www.silverprint.co.uk) and Mr Cad (www.mrcad.co.uk) but they're located in out-of-the-way places. I'd probably bring all my film in from the US if I were you. Over here, I always shop mail order to save $$$.
Film is cheap in comparison to things like flight costs and accomodation. Bring some with you and if you need more get it from a reputable source, Jessops, Silverprint, Mr Cad (if you can get to Croydon that is one great day out in their store!) or Calumet.
Get film from places that have a good turnover of film i.e. fresh.
I don't think you need to worry with x-rays with slower film speeds in hand luggage, hold luggage is subject to much higher doses of radiation though. Asking for a hand search may be acceptable to airport staff if they are not busy but is not a right you have. Lead type film cases are not a good idea. If they cant 'see' through the film case they may put it through the x-ray at a higher dose. (info from Mum, just retired Gatwick BAA security).
I hope you have a top time in London Paul.
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