The near future...

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
This is a delicate subject, and it's for UK residents only.
Is it worth laying in stocks of film?
As far as I know, all our silver is imported and as a result of certain impending events, the price of silver-based products may go up, or stocks may even become unavailable for a time. Much of the film we use is imported and most of the cameras too.

(This is not the place to express opinions on the impending events.)
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
I always have good socks of film and paper but not for the reason you allude to.

Having worked in Precious metal recovery for nearly two decades I can assure you a huge amount of silver is recycled (as is Gold, Platinum, etc).

Forget Politicians, just remember that Germany, Japan, the rest of Europe, and third world countries as well as the big new Banana Republic, need to Export so while there maybe short term issues they won't last long.

Ian
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Ian, thank you. I shall sleep easier, but I might just order another box anyway ...
 

Nick Rowland

New Member
Registered User
I can see a price hike though, if we don't agree trade terms. Any film coming from the EU will be charged import duty. Not sure about film from Japan and the USA as that is currently imported on an EU tariff agreement and I'm not sure of the existing duty rate with that.
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
The pound sterling sank again today. No doubt it's all part of of wise long-term plan, but it will make things more expensive.
Perhaps I should go no further. Presumably film will still be available at whatever price. I doubt if economy is the main aim when someone ventures into LF photography.
All this must be of little interest to non-UK members.
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
Yes the Pound rises and falls, but it's been about the same against the Dollar and Euro with minor fluctuations for some time now though.

I've bought a tot from the US over the last 10 -12 years so watch the rates, although not fanatically :D

I think when I bought my 300mm f9 Nikon M lens the Pound was close to a Dollar, and the Yen was also at its high point so it was an expensive purchase and had to be ordered from Japan, a few years later it was half the price I paid for it if bought from the US and at that point few items (smaller packages) had Import Duty + VAT added.

Ian
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Yes, I've been caught by unexpected import costs. What looked like a bargain turned into a very expensive item, when duties and taxes and other various surcharges were added. Japan seems to be awash with reasonably priced Nikkor LF lenses, but...
Small items like lensboards cause no trouble.
Presumably there is information available on the threshold for duty-free import, but who knows where that will go in the future?
Do you remember what "half a dollar" was?
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
2/6 was half a dollar.

The threshold for Duty and VAT wasn't enforced at one time on smaller purchases, value and size most due to lack of staff all very arbitrary but at one time I never paid duty etc probably until 2-3 years ago except for large items. These days they've realised just how much Duty + VAT wasn't being collected and it's the opposite rare not to have the charges which are often around 33%..

Ian
 

Ian Grant

Active Member
Registered User
Ah, those Good Old Days with real money.
But not long after some prices dropped dramatically when VAT was introduced, many items had 33% luxury tax and then VAT dropped the tax to 10%. I know my Vinyl record collection exploded but then I'd also found "The Diskery" made famous by Jasper Carrot a great second hand Birmingham record shop, we'd also hang out in Branson's second Virgin shop in Birmingham, he was a good laugh back then.

The switch from Purchase Tax to VAT cut camera prices as well as film and paper, it was a good era :D

Ian
 

Stephen Batey

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Just reverting for a moment to the original question of whether it's worth laying in stocks of film. I'm less concerned by the absolute cost as I am by the actual availability. Kodak may have reintroduced Ektachrome, but the general trend is to a reduced choice of film. If there is a specific film that we regard as absolutely necessary for our type of photography (or paper, for that matter) then it could be worth while assuring our supply while it's still being made.

As to the "good old days" - I'm still waiting for the government to redeem its promise that income tax was a temporary measure.
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
I seem to remember that VAT was going to make income tax obsolete. Income tax was promised to end as soon as the emergency ended. I'm sure that HMG is doing its best to make our lives tranquil and prosperous, but there seems to be a little hiccough. I can't speak for other nations; no doubt they have hiccoughs of their own

I'm not entirely sure if any specific material is truly essential, but it might be very inconvenient for some workers. Dye transfer, perhaps? Daguerreotype? Very fine grain? UV or IR?
Losing particular sizes in a rationalisation might create difficulties.
I remember when Fuji discontinued a particular slide film and the End of the World didn't arrive as prophesied. We are still seeing those purple skies and lurid greens so all is not lost for people who like that sort of thing.
 

Stephen Batey

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Even if not objectively essential, some materials may be subjectively essential. Frederick Evans stopped when he could no longer make palladium prints dues to the war; one modern photographer stockpiled Cibachrome for its unique "look".
 

David M

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Yes, I've heard of Evans' decision. And we know of others who have made stockpiles.
They are not the majority. My thinking is that most work (but, as you say, not all) isn't quite so dependent on a specific material. Record Rapid used to be the badge of the committed photographer. Then it vanished and somehow, we managed to continue. Photographers (...and, I submit, LF photographers in particular) are an ingenious and resourceful group of individuals.
It remains to be seen if photographers with experience only of digital imaging will prove as resilient. From my casual perusal of DSLR-using bloggers, getting to grips with the menu on a new camera is a major challenge. It's possible that I'm being unkind here.

[My chemistry teacher, who was quite an old man, told us that before WWW1, platinum was used for battery (wet-cell) terminals. He also said platinum was originally a nuisance in the silver-production industry. The forum has a member who may be able to correct any myths and errors here.
I'm not entirely sure what the platinum was used for. We'd managed to conduct publicly-funded international massacres quite satisfactorily before. Special platinum bullets with Kaiser Bill's name on them, perhaps? He was an Emperor, so silver ones might not have been considered respectful enough.]
 

Stephen Batey

Well-Known Member
Registered User
Platinum is a catalyst in many industrial chemical processes. It also finds uses in electrolysis for one of the terminals, and is used in oil production. I have no idea how many (or any) of these were in use during the first world war. Some of the modern uses (omitted in the list above) are definitely post war.

Possibly important during a war - nitric acid and fertilizers depend in part on platinum as a catalyst for reactions.
 
Last edited:
Top