Bringing my Tachihara 4x5 through Australia's customs.

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stevenjo

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Hi guys,

Was wondering if anyone had experience bringing a LF camera to Australia. Was there any problem with the customs?

Wooden article, quarantine, etc. They're really strict that's all I know.

Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

BMbikerider

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How long have you got before traveling? You could get the definitive answer if you contact the nearest Australian Consulate. Make sure that you get their answer in writing and if stopped then show them you took all necessary precautions before you travelled.
 

jamespierce

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The camera won't be a problem. I'm an Aussie and have traveled regularly with my ebony etc. Getting sheet film hand checked is more of an issue - getting harder and harder to explain !
 

rrankin

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I used to travel back and forth between the USA and Oz regularly and never had any trouble with ta camera. There is some US customs form you can fill out ahead of time to make sure that you don't have a problem bringing it back in without risking duty on it.

I only had trouble getting a hand inspection of film once, at LAX. The guy wanted to open the box and check it even though it was factory sealed, but he eventually let it through.
 
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You probably will be directed to open the camera, extended it etc for X-Ray, even a touchy-feely if they are really curious/cautious. Advise the inspecting Officer about loaded film holders; the younger officers will likely not be very familiar with large format (or even medium format!). Proprietary wooden cameras (Ebony, Toyo, Wista) do not pose a risk; they are treated at manufacture, much the same as walking canes and wooden pens. But woe betide you if Customs opens the camera and out flies an exotic moth! Also expect to come in for attention if the camera is home-made of wood (with materials coming from another country).
 

Mick Fagan

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The camera will not be a problem as it is a manufactured and finished product.

However I would suggest you don't bring any film holders in, with film in them. Once I had to pull the slides out of all four film holders I was carrying upon returning to Melbourne, for a customs inspection.

Mick.
 

munz6869

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Every year since 2008, I've taken my wooden Wista in and out of the country, and they are often curious (although this year they were only interested in the cable release in the bag), but it has never been a problem. I am often surprised at how familiar x-ray operators are with these cameras.

Marc!
 

Tony Egan

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No problem ever for me with wooden shenhao 5x7 or metal linhof 4x5.

But, then again, what do you look like!? I am on the dark side and could be mistaken as "middle eastern" and always seem to get the bomb frisking treatment. My pale, re-headed wife is never bothered! My observation is Asian tourists seem to get their bags searched more thoroughly because of the temptation to bring in favourite food items and disregarding the warnings. You may be better off to declare a "finished wooden camera" on your customs form to avoid any doubt or suspicion. Singapore is lower on the list of likely countries from which drugs could be imported.

Hope you have a great trip.
 

Ross Chambers

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I brought a wooden model motorcycle back to Oz from S Korea with no problem. The "something to declare" line is often shorter too. They can be touchy about foodstuffs though. I also had my Shen Hao from a a US supplier well inspected (and taxed) when it came through Australia Post customs branch, but it presented no quarantine problems.
 
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