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  1. #1
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Long term China relocation

    Hi all,

    My wife and I are considering a long term (1-2 year) job assignment in Beijing. I'll be dragging along my 35mm, MF, and LF cameras.

    What is the current availability of film, and perhaps more importantly, development chemistry (mostly B&W, but perhaps also C41, I won't try to do E6 there) in the Beijing area?

    While I will probably bring some of my stored film with me, I'm hesitant to bring any chemistry. Is development chemistry readily available there? I'll be making periodic trips back to the US. Should I plan on bringing chemistry with me? (Maybe bring some raw materials and mix my own?) Are there issues with this in customs (either in the US with homeland security or on entry to China)?

    This won't be my first visit to China - been there many times over the past few years, but always on business trips and never with sufficient time to invest in film photography. I have had the privilege of checking out some of the local camera shops to see their domestic 4x5 field cameras - there's some nice stuff being made there, or was when I visited.

    There are lots of places I want to visit with a large format camera!

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    You should not have trouble getting film in Beijing. At least not 120 and 35mm C-41 film. I would look into chemistry availability as well as film availability before taking any over. (someone with more direct experience will chime in, I am sure).

    You can take powdered chemistry inside your checked luggage, but try to take the labelled pouches (not loose white powder). It might not make it in carry-on.

    I always brought film with me. Always carry-on.

    There is (was in 2008) a 4x5 lab in Beijing but I can't refer it (good or bad). I ended up packing the film out when I left rather than chancing it in a lab that was already 2 hours flight from where I was located.

    If you do not speak chinese, you will need someone who does and who understands film processing to help you find chinese film and chemistry sources. For 35mm, this is not as much of an issue: there are many kodak shops still in existence. I assume the still have working mini-labs.

  3. #3
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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    Hi Chuck,

    I've been thinking about trying the ERA film, it's available in 35mm, 120, 4x5.
    The few reviews that I have read are encouraging.
    I noticed that IsaacChen on eBay was selling some recently,
    but this afternoon I decided to buy some and it wasn't available.
    But I'm sure he'll be putting some more up soon.
    No idea about the chemistry situation, but I'm just get back on the Analog Bandwagon.
    I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Please keep us update with your progress.

    Bon Voyage !, Hopefully ...


    Ron

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    Sanjay Sen - APUG Subscriber
    Sanjay Sen, 36, a champion of human and animal rights, died June 3 in a motorcycle accident in Wayne, New Jersey.

    July 23 1975 - June 3 2012

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  4. #4
    MattKing's Avatar
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    I wonder if you will be able to access APUG from China?
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  5. #5
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    I wonder if you will be able to access APUG from China?
    I'm sure I will, either directly or through a VPN connection to a system in the US.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck94022 View Post
    I'm sure I will, either directly or through a VPN connection to a system in the US.
    vpn works sometimes, but not necessarily...
    But apug is not facebook (much too small, no one cares about some nerds still making photos with analogue cameras, hardly any Chinese people involved...) , as long as we do not write anything that might endanger China's unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity... everything will be all right.

  7. #7
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    I've done much work in China, including running a software shop. Definitely familiar with the speech restrictions, and how to get a good connection and set up a reliable VPN connection out. Plus, I have friends in the right places to keep things running smoothly... :-) I agree that apug is not on the censor's radar.

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck94022 View Post
    I've done much work in China, including running a software shop. Definitely familiar with the speech restrictions, and how to get a good connection and set up a reliable VPN connection out. Plus, I have friends in the right places to keep things running smoothly... :-) I agree that apug is not on the censor's radar.
    That's good news. Thanks for satisfying my curiosity.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Here's a year old thread you might be interested in.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=55643
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

    Portfolio-http://apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=25518

  10. #10
    chuck94022's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
    Here's a year old thread you might be interested in.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=55643
    Awesome! Thanks!

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