View Full Version : Cheapest way to buy 4x5 film in EU?

Lars Daniel
18-Nov-2010, 01:38
Hi European LF shooters.
Please spill your beans on where to buy for the least money.
So far I have only used Macodirect a couple of times, but I just realised that for a film like Portra 160NC the price at Adorama is dangerously near to be half the price. So it will still be cheaper after import tax (to Denmark) BUT: Adorama only offers very expensive shipping.
So I am thinking: Perhaps the cheapest will be an oversea shop with option for ordinary (cheap) shipping.
What have you guys found out?

john biskupski
18-Nov-2010, 01:57
Here in the UK quite a few LF users still buy from Badger or Mpex in the USA, as you point out rightly the much lower buying cost there more than outweighs the shipping/duty costs of importing. Crazy isn't it? Buy a freezer.

That said there are a number of very reliable LF film suppliers in UK and Germany in particular, the names of which which other members will shortly bombard you with. There was a thread already here some months ago about where to by LF film in Europe if you search the archives.

There are other factors too. For special size film, Badger/Mpex do annual special orders not to be missed, as do Ilford in UK.

And Fuji film supplies are more generally available in the US, they seem to have curtailed supply to Europe for some line items. You need to see what each supplier has available, it has been a changing story.

18-Nov-2010, 04:30
I'm a big fan of Badger too, I didn't have to pay any import duty on my last two lots so it worked out cheaper than buying anywhere in the UK. Pretty fast delivery too - less than a week.

Steve Gledhill
18-Nov-2010, 07:38
In the past I've been happy to import from the US as the whole thing has been cheaper than buying in the UK. But, shippers in the past have always said (I've asked and they've told me) that they won't guarantee that shipped goods won't be x-rayed. But I've never seen any evidence of a problem.

In the light of the recent very serious events I suspect (though I'm only guessing) the likelihood of such goods being x-rayed has increased substantially. So far carry-on type x-rays have been no problem for my film but it is understood that checked baggage (whether or not it contains film) is subject to much stronger dosage that will inevitably fog film. Perhaps this strength of x-ray will be used for shipped packages.

You pays your money and takes your choice.

Matus Kalisky
18-Nov-2010, 09:29
To my knowledge there are no "cheap" places in EU to shop for film. I live in Germany and EVERYTHING I import is taxed (19% up to value of 150 euro, above than another 7%). Add shipping and you have to buy a lot to make it interesting.
"Fortunately" I shoot rather little 4x5 ( :( ) so I just live with the prices ...

EDIT: I actually did buy once or twice film from US in the past (close to expiry = cheap) and it was delivered by USPS (I guess) and there was no issue with the film being fogged. So I guess it was not scanned with the "check-in" type ox X-ray machines.