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Thread: LF and Traveling Overseas

  1. #11
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    You noted that you are flying into Frankfurt. AT least one of the large German photo stores has several branches right in the airport. Make a phone call to them and see if they can have some film waiting for you right in their airport store.

  2. #12

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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    I -always- fly with a lot of rolls or sheet film in my hand bag. Security staff -always- refuse a hand inspection. Machines are certified to be safe for film up to 1600 ASA. Sometimes my unexposed tri-x sheets and apx 400 roll film have passed x-ray scanners several times, without any bit of damage. I´m not already worried about it. Perhaps I´m so reckless, but I have not any reason to say the opposite. I´m refering to swiss and spanish airports.

    I suppose that film over 1600ASA are allowed to have a different treatment. Scans have a label to warn about it. I never use that films.

    I really don´t believe on FedEx or DHL´s words. I know that big carriers use scaners for all the shipments, at least in Spain. My last consingment was delayed; let me to copy and paste the reason (copied from the UPS tracking service): "... THE PACKAGE WAS SUBJECT TO AN X-RAY INSPECTION PRIOR TO DELIVERY; A DELAY MAY RESULT... ".

    If you will be there for a month, ask for a place to process your film in Frankfurt. I always process my film at home. Good luck,

  3. #13

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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    I forget to say that my delayed package was previously inspected and approved by the carrier agent. I think the safest way is to carry all the film in your hand bag.

  4. #14
    Robert A. Zeichner's Avatar
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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    Michael, I traveled to Greece last May with three other photographers and all of our film was subjected to no less than 7 rounds of x-rays from Detroit to Amsterdam to Athens to Santorini and back. I had 100 and 400 speed B&W and color and can report no noticeable increase in fog. I had much film that required N+3 development to boot. No problems. I hope that info is of some help.

  5. #15

    LF and Traveling Overseas

    My most sincere appreciation for all that responded in sharing their experiences. I was a bit frustrated this morning with the fact that the intended course to deal with this issue turned out to be far different than what I expected. At least I know better now.

    Tomorrow I am going to call Calumet Germany and talk to them about a film source. Next it will be a call to the airport to inquire well in advance about screening options. May as well explore this to the fullest and see what I uncover. Lastly, it is comforting that many LF travelers have not experienced image degredation when force fed the standard screening ritual.

    Onward!

  6. #16
    Michael E. Gordon
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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    Like Chris Jordan, I have demanded that my film be hand-checked. The only place that has given me grief was the airport in Nice, France. Other than that, the TSA dolts and elsewhere have been fairly cooperative and courteous. Print and carry the TSA 'Transporting Film' guidelines. These support the notion that "Large Format" film is "Specialty Film" and that "you should remove [it] from your carry-on baggage and ask for a hand inspection". http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1035.xml

    When they see the big camera and big film and all the 'weird' crap that goes with it, they give you more respect and admiration. Just don't let on that you're a hobbyist - even if you are.

  7. #17

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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    I know it doesn't work for straight sheet film... but I usually carry ready loads and have them hand checked. I have one that I flubbed, and so I turned it into a demo (and marked it as such...) So when a TSA lackey wants to start pulling them apart, I can show him that one, so he understands the mechanism...and it gives a good visual aid for explaining what is lightsensitive...etc.

    Same thing for 120 film... I have a demo roll, still with the foil, so I can show they are not "cartridges"

    I just keep those in my film bag.

  8. #18

    LF and Traveling Overseas



    My suggestion is to carry your film with you and, if the inspectors insist, allow it through the regular x-ray machines for carryon luggage. The machines used for carryon luggage are safe for at least a few passes.
    This way you will know what has happened to your film and will be sure to have your film at your destination. There is no guarantees about what will happen to film going through customs -- how long it will take, whether an x-ray inspection will be done, or what temperatures it will be subjected to.





    While in the US one is supposed to be able to get film hand inspected
    (http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/e...orial_1035.xml and 49 CFR - CHAPTER XII - PART 1544), the inspectors can be extremely resistant.





    But what ever you do, don't allow you film through the new technology x-ray machines. These function like CAT scanners to produce a 3D image and require a larger x-ray exposure. Everyone, including the manufacturers, agree that these machines will damage unprocessed film: http://www.invision-tech.com/products/film.htm.
    They are used at many airports to inspect checked baggage, so never put unprocessed film in your checked baggage. (I wouldn't want to risk losing film by shipping it in checked bagage, anyway.) At a few airports these CAT-scan type machines might be used for an additional inspection of carryon luggage after using the regular x-ray macine if the inspector can't verify the luggage with the regular machine. These machines are required to be labeled with a sign instructing passengers that film should be removed from the luggage. All the machines that I have seen have this sign, and normally the inspectors verbally warn passengers. Here is a photo of this style of machine: http://www.invision-tech.com/products/ctx5500.htm. They are easily recognizable. CTX / InVision is the most common brand.





    Also see Baggage X-ray Scanning Effects on Film at http://www.kodak.com/global/en/servi.../tib5201.shtml.


  9. #19

    LF and Traveling Overseas

    I've had Delta 100 and Fugi 160 x-rayed up to 8 times without any problems. I do mark any unexposed film I bring back as to how many inspections it went through and use it up locally.
    I would not worry too much about this!

  10. #20

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    LF and Traveling Overseas

    Michael.
    I wish you a pleasant trip to Europe.
    If I you need a "refill" of your favourite large format film in Europe, I'm sure that all European readers of this forum will give you a good advice. For example you'll find 4x5" film easily in Paris, Lyons, Toulouse.... But probably not at the souvenir shop in Mont-Saint-Michel abbey ;-);-)

    And also : one of our readers asked for a lab able to process 8"x10" E-6 'chromes in SW-France near Bayonne (the place where the bayonet mount is supposed to have been invented ;-) , and he found one quicker than me ;-) so finding a professional lab to process sheet film during your trip can also be interesting to you, this will solve the problem of those images being X-rayed before coming back home.

    Have good flights and a good stay.

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