« on: September 08, 2011, 10:42:21 PM »
I've flown around with lots of gear, and customs agents are actually less likely to ask questions when they see equipment laid out in travel luggage designed for photography, as it is logically very unlikely that you flew to another country and then suddenly decided to invest several grand into not only camera equipment but all the accessories that go with it as well (cleaning kits, remote, filters, etc.). it's good to see that folks in transportation security still do use some basic common sense when screening.
The only case where you might get quizzed is if you live in a country where it is very expensive to buy gear.
I remember, many years ago, pricing some prime lenses while I was still living in South Africa, and it would have been cheaper to buy an air ticket to Hong Kong and buy the lenses there than to buy in a South African retailer. So you could have a holiday in Hong Kong, plus buy your lenses for the price of what they would have cost in SA, and then possibly even have some spare change. Customs were of course wise to this, and you did stand a good chance of your camera gear getting inspected, especially if you were carrying a SLR. In fact, my entire film SLR kit was sourced overseas - I only bought equipment when I or a family member was traveling.
I think globalisation has seen much more levelling of prices between different countries, so you are less likely to see a premium of a multiple being charged in countries like South Africa any more.
More recently I spoke to a customs agent in SA while registering my gear, and at the time he indicated that they weren't really concerned as long as you were within the limits of 2 mobile phones, 1 laptop and 1 camera. (That was somewhere around 2005.)