buying a flash meter from Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by whisky-dave, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. whisky-dave

    whisky-dave Guest

    A friend of mine is considering buying this flash meter from HK via ebay,
    shipped to UK.

    http://tinyurl.com/y88otls
    or
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sekonic-L-758...graphy_CamcorderAccess_RL?hash=item19baf565d7

    So the questions are

    Q1 What's the likelihood of getting the VAT bill from customs
    Q2 Are there any other UK charges she'd be likely to face.
    Q3 Don;t know why she needs/wants but what do you think of it.

    Q4 anything else worth considering with this unit or another.

    Any help on the above I'll gratefully pass on.

    Not sure what sort of pictures she's planning but she's takign photos
    of industrail warehouses and stuff with low level lighting and plans to
    walk around
    'flashing' various items.
    She particually like the photos of Bernd and Hilla Becher and I think plans
    to
    do similar things but from inside, well it's a student MSc project.
    She's been stopped and search by the police under the terrorism thing so
    she's
    doing something at least ;-)
    whisky-dave, Apr 7, 2010
    #1
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  2. whisky-dave <> wrote:

    > A friend of mine is considering buying this flash meter from HK via ebay,
    > shipped to UK.


    > http://tinyurl.com/y88otls
    > or
    > http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sekonic-L-758...graphy_CamcorderAccess_RL?hash=item19baf565d7


    > So the questions are


    > Q1 What's the likelihood of getting the VAT bill from customs
    > Q2 Are there any other UK charges she'd be likely to face.


    I've had a few dozen things shipped from Hong Kong to UK, including
    big expensive lenses. No problems with extra charges. But no idea
    about likelihoods.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Apr 8, 2010
    #2
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  3. whisky-dave

    DanP Guest

    Re: buying a flash meter from Hong Kong

    On 7 Apr, 17:06, "whisky-dave" <> wrote:
    > A friend of mine is considering buying  this flash meter from HK via ebay,
    > shipped to UK.
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/y88otls
    > orhttp://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sekonic-L-758D-L-758-L758D-L758-Flash-Light-Met....
    >
    >  So the questions are
    >
    > Q1   What's the likelihood of getting the VAT bill from customs
    > Q2  Are there any other UK charges she'd be likely to face.
    > Q3  Don;t know why she needs/wants  but what do you think of it.
    >
    > Q4 anything else worth considering with this unit or another.
    >


    A1 If the package looks like a gift the taxman can be fooled. Ask
    seller to package accordingly.
    Even if tax has to be paid it is still a good deal, price is almost
    too good to be true, £284 comparing to £400 on Amazon.

    A3 Not worth it. Any small issue could mean sendng the package back to
    HK. Check sellers feedback.

    I have bought a second hand lens (practically brand new) purchased by
    someone from Simply Electronics, he ended up with 2 after complaining
    about the missing monopod in the bundle.
    They are based in HK.


    DanP
    DanP
    DanP, Apr 8, 2010
    #3
  4. whisky-dave

    Bruce Guest

    On Wed, 7 Apr 2010 17:06:14 +0100, "whisky-dave"
    <> wrote:
    >A friend of mine is considering buying this flash meter from HK via ebay,
    >shipped to UK.
    >
    >http://tinyurl.com/y88otls
    >or
    >http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Sekonic-L-758...graphy_CamcorderAccess_RL?hash=item19baf565d7
    >
    > So the questions are
    >
    >Q1 What's the likelihood of getting the VAT bill from customs
    >Q2 Are there any other UK charges she'd be likely to face.



    Make sure it is shipped by EMS and not by a courier. The Royal Mail
    generally charges much less for customs clearance.

    Whoever imports it will face the likelihood of:

    Customs clearance charge - varies from £8.50 to £34.00 depending on
    the value of the item. I would guess at £17.

    Import duty - without looking it up I would estimate between 3% and 5%
    of the value of the item. I would guess at 4%.

    VAT - 17.5% on the total of: the value of the item, plus the cost of
    shipping, plus the import duty, plus the customs clearance fee. That's
    right - you pay VAT on duty. Tax on tax!

    My experience of buying from Hong Kong is that all items under £18 are
    not presented to Customs and attract no charges at all. Of the items
    I have bought that are worth more than £18, three out of four have
    been charged as above. One slipped through and was not charged.

    If you ask it to be declared as a gift you may be ask to prove that
    money was not sent from the UK to pay for it. If a false declaration
    is made, HM Customs and Excise may throw the book at the importer.

    If the item is declared at a false, low value, HM Customs and Excise
    may revalue the item to the UK retail price and charge import duty and
    VAT on that.

    Personally, I would strongly recommend buying a used flash meter from
    an eBay seller based in the UK. There are some good bargains to be
    had. Or don't buy one at all - for the task you described, which I
    snipped, I'm not sure why a flash meter would be necessary.

    I have done quite a lot of "painting with flash" over the last 30+
    years and I just set the flash to auto and fire away. I do own a
    flash meter but have never used it for that type of work. There just
    isn't any need.
    Bruce, Apr 8, 2010
    #4
  5. Bruce wrote:

    > I have done quite a lot of "painting with flash" over the last 30+
    > years and I just set the flash to auto and fire away. I do own a
    > flash meter but have never used it for that type of work. There just
    > isn't any need.



    My understanding of the term is that, usually, a camera is set upon a
    tripod, long shutter, small aperture at dusk or at night, and a hand
    held flash on manual is fired at various spots of the near landscape or
    building, thus "painting" with light selectively. Is that what you mean?
    And if so, have you any tips for so doing? I've been meaning to try
    this, but never got a round tuit.

    --
    john mcwilliams
    John McWilliams, Apr 8, 2010
    #5
  6. whisky-dave

    Bruce Guest

    On Thu, 08 Apr 2010 07:09:58 -0700, John McWilliams
    <> wrote:
    >Bruce wrote:
    >
    >> I have done quite a lot of "painting with flash" over the last 30+
    >> years and I just set the flash to auto and fire away. I do own a
    >> flash meter but have never used it for that type of work. There just
    >> isn't any need.

    >
    >
    >My understanding of the term is that, usually, a camera is set upon a
    >tripod, long shutter, small aperture at dusk or at night, and a hand
    >held flash on manual is fired at various spots of the near landscape or
    >building, thus "painting" with light selectively. Is that what you mean?
    >And if so, have you any tips for so doing? I've been meaning to try
    >this, but never got a round tuit.



    Yes, that's it, and it is as easy as can be. There are three
    important tips. First, set the flashgun to auto so that its built-in
    sensor will help deliver just the right amount of illumination.
    Second, overlap the illuminated areas slightly so you don't leave
    "dark holes" between flashes. Third, don't allow your body to get
    between the illuminated area and the camera, or your ghostly
    silhouette will appear on the image. ;-)

    Practice makes perfect, so it's best to just try it, look at the
    results and then refine your technique for next time. That's very
    easy to do with digital, but I have also successfully used the
    technique with film since 1974.
    Bruce, Apr 8, 2010
    #6
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