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Thread: Hanoi Vietnam, processing 4x5 colour neg ?

  1. #1

    Hanoi Vietnam, processing 4x5 colour neg ?

    I will go to hanoi in february, and i will stay for one month for a photo project,
    i will be please to see the result and to avoid airport trouble when i will come back to france...
    so i'm looking for a good pro lab for my 4x5 colour neg (120 also), any suggestions ?
    Any good, affordable and secure hotel ?

  2. #2

    Hanoi Vietnam, processing 4x5 colour neg ?

    I was just in Hanoi last month, and all over Vietnam for that matter. Had a great time. We were also very worried about film in the airports. We flew from NY thru Paris, stopover in Saigon, and on to Hanoi. So before we knew it, we had been forced to xray our film a whole bunch of times. All of our 800 was in lead bags, 400 was the highest speed we had without protection. In our whole trip, I would say all of the film went through the xray machines about 8 times. Much more than the 4 times Kodak says 400 speed should go through, due to cumulative effects. And guess what? NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER! This was for a magazine as well so we were pretty nervous. So I would recommend that you just bring it all home unprocessed.

    And mind you this is with getting hand checks a lot! We had many internal flights during our trip. Some of the machines looked pretty old too. They will almost always let you skip the customs xray, but not the others. On the way out of Vietnam from Saigon airport, we got scanned twice. Once right as you enter the airport, and the second right before you get to the gate. (We got to skip the customs one here, with a hand inspection.) Be persistant yet polite. Do not lose face or it is all over.

    We had about 400 rolls of 120 film all opened and in plastic bags, so as to speed inspection. I would think quickload might be the only way to get a hand check for large format. I wouldn't think boxes of sheets that they can't open would fly.

    Hotel wise, we stayed at the Metropole Hotel, which is very nice, though perhaps a tad expensive. I think it is $200 a night or so, more of a businessman's hotel, that is, you can't really tell you are in Vietnam. Great location though, right near Turtle Lake. Did you try "Lonely Planet?"

    Have a great time!

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