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Thread: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2021

    I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    In a few weeks I am going to Brisbane, Australia- from Athens, Georgia. It will be by far the farthest away from home I've ever been, and I would really like to take my camera. The problem is this, I am a one camera and ones lens type of guy, and the camera is 8x10.. I just bought a new 8x10, the 8.6lb wehman, would I be crazy to try and take it on my trip with me? I'm 24 and in school, I have no type of insurance for my gear or anything like that... I'm rambling, but I've been reading all these travel threads and it seems like everyone is traveling with 4x5 outfits, which seems much less complicated in terms of weight.. Any suggestions besides "Buy a 4x5 camera" ?..

    My head is spinning...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2015
    SooooCal/LA USA

    Re: I need an advice

    One modern problem is many security types don't know what film is these days, and if you go through a checkpoint without letting them scan it, there are stories of them taking it into a back room, opening the box (in roomlight) to see if there are any no-no ' s in the box...

    Slower films can withstand a few scans without damage, but YMMV...

    Steve K

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: I need an advice

    Pack camera and film in small backpack carry on

    Buy anything else on location

    Clothes, Tripod, boots

    Shipping stuff to down under is slow and expensive

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: I need an advice

    I think it depends on your reasons for taking the 8x10.
    If you're driven by a project, by all means take it along.
    For snapshots, there are better tools

    Australia is a huge country and slogging around willy-nilly with an 8x10 and all the goodies doesn't sound like much of a vacation
    but YMMV
    Do get some insurance though!
    "I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for men if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority"---EB White

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2019

    Re: I need an advice

    Actually, with the new scanners that they are rolling out, I'm buy the film and chemicals to develop the film once you arrive. The new scanners can even fog slow film in a single pass. In the US you can request a hand inspection, but if you encounter an uninformed agent, they may spoil the entire box. I don't know how the Australian airport security handles requests for hand inspection.

    Buy your film and chemicals there and budget time for developing when you're there, and you don't need to worry about x-rays.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Washington State

    Re: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    I went to Europe for six weeks in the summer of 2019 with an 8x10 Kodak Master Camera. You can see pictures of my setup in the later parts of the following thread:


    Cameron Cornell
    Washington State

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Purcellville, VA

    Re: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    you might try this:

    Also, there are several individuals on this board from Australia who may have experience with customs there.
    Philip Ulanowsky

    Sine scientia ars nihil est. (Without science/knowledge, art is nothing.)

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Re: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    Lois Connor photographed in China with a 7x10 view camera and traveled around on a bicycle much of the time.

    If it is what you want to do - why not?

    I would take advice on here and make contact and have at least one or two sheets of film processed there so you can spot any gear problems early so they don't ruin all your images.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Canberra, Australia

    Re: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    Most major airports use the new CT scanners. The only way to get film hand inspected is to apply to Aviation Security in Melbourne and get approval. That doesn't necessarily mean the the individual airport security people will take any notice of an approval. There are camera shops in the capital cities for accessing Ilford and Kodak LF film, although 10x8 can be harder to find. Ordering ahead, Blanco Negro (Sydney) for Foma film, Gold Street Studios (Melbourne) for Bergger both will likely have 10x8, Vanbar (Melbourne) should carry it as well. CR Kennedy are the Ilford agents in Australia, and are in Melbourne. There are also public darkrooms in most capital cities as well.

    Travelling with a 10x8 in rural areas should not be a problem if you have a rental vehicle. In the cities, the usual issues of using traffic, public transport, setting up tripods, etc do exist, but generally you shouldn't be hassled. Good luck with your trip. As an aside, you do know there is a 14-day mandatory Covid-19 quarantine in operation in Australia, which you have to fund yourself. Currently the best place for quarantining in Australia is at Howard Springs in Darwin. In the other places you are literally stuck in a hotel room for 14 days

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Re: I need an advice - travel to Australia with 8x10?

    For those suggesting buying 8x10 film here, you may have trouble laying your hands on it. Vanbars (in Melb) is listing some 8x10 in stock but the price might give you a heart attack! No idea what's available in Brisbane... probably have to get it sent there from Sydney or Melbourne. Someone might know of a local supplier.

    But, can you come here for a holiday at the moment? I think international arrivals have to do 2 weeks quarantine, which you have to pay for... about AUD$3K. Read this

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