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Thread: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Mar 2016

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    May I asked what lens you used? The images are very beautiful.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    FP4 is truly a kick-a** film...I will be forever in its debt! But as far as x-rays go - I like to do whatever possible to avoid exposure. Then again...what might amount to a decent amount of pre-flash might not be a bad thing!

  3. #13

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Analogies are a fruitless endeavor when it comes to a topic as ripe for unpredictability as this one. The risk are absolutely unquantifiable and anyone that takes it has to sign on the waver to accepting 100% risk as to the outcome. Here is how I see it.

    When you are traveling a considerable distance in todays traveling / security world the pertinent question is "Do I Care About The Results Of My Photographic Efforts on The Trip?" If the answer is not really, then it is really not a risk factor. If however you consider your photographic work on the trip an integral part of the effort then why n the hell would anyone with half a brain walk up to the roulette wheel and put the results on red and spin away? I just do not get it. I come at this from purely an economic perspective.

    When your film goes through an X Ray scanner it gains FB+F. How much it gains is a function of the technologies being being deployed as well as the toggle of the security screener as to how many times he subjects your bag / film in the x ray device. Can you print through the induced fog? Yes, you surely can but it is not as "clean" in the print form as if it was not subjected to this event.

    Economics. You pay a steep price for sheet film these days as a result of a new compressed market share for this product. Given these up front costs if you are really serious about "results" ship the film Fed Ex to your destination with a tracking number two day air and take this variable completely out of play. I just spent $400 on 8x10 FP4+ and TMY T Max 400 and the costs to Fed Ex was a total to and from Hawaii as less than 1/4th the cost of the sheet film. We all buy insurance in the real world and in this instance I do not want to come back from a trip where I expended efforts to make photographs and ascertain that because I cast my fate to some ambivalent third party security screener I got screwed out of being able to make a quality print from these negatives. It is called Risk Management for a reason.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Shodoshima, Japan

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Without comment:


    11.1. FedEx may, at its option, or upon the request of the competent authorities, open and inspect any Shipment at any time, and shall incur no liability of any kind therefore.

    11.2. In accordance with applicable regulations in various jurisdictions FedEx is required to undertake (random) X-ray screening. FedEx may undertake such screening and the Sender and Recipient hereby waive any possible claims for damages as a result of screening.


    []Btotherest 1 point 4 years ago
    How do you check what is in the box you are shipping?

    []sjcpilot[S] 1 point 4 years ago
    Usually the hub x-rays packages.


    Astrophysics Marketing, Design & manufacture X-ray imaging scanners for security applications
    Answered Aug 11, 2016
    It depends on how the packages are shipped. In the U.S. TSA requires 100% of cargo carried on passenger jets be screened via X-ray, ETD or physical inspections (Cargo Programs). And freight companies, including FedEx, are sending more cargo on passenger planes in an effort to cut costs and reduce their expensive air cargo fleets (Fewer Cargo Planes, More Cargo in Passenger Planes). So more and more air cargo is being scanned and inspected as these companies send packages on passenger planes and these shipments hitch rides with vacationers and travelers.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Oct 2016

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by Kleiny41 View Post
    May I asked what lens you used? The images are very beautiful.
    Thank you. I brought a bunch of lenses and used one lens for 90% of the shots. An 1858 Jamin Darlot 160mm reversible lens. Its called a cone centralisatour. I almost returned it when I bought it because it didn't quite cover 4x5, now its used all the time.

  6. #16

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Fed Ex is a service provider and given specified shipping details on order I believe they can accommodate any number of specified logistical requests. B&H offers expedited shipping services for X Ray sensitive photographic materials as do many other large volume wholesalers. One bad experience would get a hell of a lot of air time. Just saying. I would have to believe that when there is a label on the box stating Do Not X Ray - Photographic Sensitive Materials the odds are good that they will not do so. Large shipping parcels are a horse of a different color as far as I am concerned. Small photo boxes likely fly under the radar relative to this situation.

    I get my film back from Hawaii on Wednesday. My next trip abroad I am going to plan on developing the film at the destination and printing the processed negatives back with me. Takes half of the risk out of the equation because you can process a sheet before you use the film to ensure it did not get zapped previously.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Would 400 or higher speed films give the same results? Possibly not as they are more sensitive to the X-Ray buildup.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  8. #18
    Large Format Curious
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Here and there

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    I travel extensively with a MF rig (Rolleiflex and a bunch of 120 rolls of film), and always ask for a hand check rather than x-ray. I've been refused once in about 10 years. If they say it's film safe (all the modern ones are), I simply explain that I'm traveling through multiple airports, and while one or two x-rays may be fine, they add up. Never had a problem (knock on wood).

  9. #19

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Recent experience as per this topic.

    Spent 10 days on the Big Island of Hawaii with my 8x10 camera and had a glorious time. B&H shipped my purchased film to our Airbnb location and not wanting to leave my exposed film in a metal shipping box over the weekend to roast in the heat for the trip home (we left Hawaii Saturday evening and the Fed Ex office there closed on Friday afternoon at 2 PM - i.e. two more days of shooting), I left the shipping box with our Airbnb host for a pick up scheduled online on Monday and got it two days later at home in Colorado. Processed the first six of 40 negatives I made and they look fabulous. Clean film edges all around. I tapped up a thick garbage bag over the bathroom window in the master bathroom we stayed at and also tapped up the door perimeter when loading / unloading during the day and that worked great.

    I was glad that I went Fed Ex because Hawaii has two separate screenings at their airports with X Rays. The first one was TSA and the second one was for agricultural products screenings. Yes, i will admit that one can print through a certain level of FB+F and achieve acceptable results, but why risk the issue of the x ray technology being current or the screeners reversing the belt direction a couple of times to give your bag a second look? IMHO there is a fine line between some radiation that is tolerable and too much that deteriorates the results. Considering the time and effort I made in making the images I feel managing this risk is the sensible thing to do. I also spoke to two Fed Ex agents and they told me that they can put on a visible Do No X Ray sticker on the package at the customers request. One has to remember that Fed Ex ships any number of specialty items from refrigerated insulin to delicate electronics and all parts in between. Establish your credentials and take this risk out of play. Lastly I would offer a question. Considering the cost of the trip and your effort in making photographs, how much would you pay to not get back film that has harmed with radiation after the fact?

    If you cannot take your tripod with you on the plane (which was my situation), try to get a direct flight (which fortunately I was able to book) because taking luggage all off from one leave location ensures greatly the odds your luggage will not get lost. I ran into a photographer from Australia that lost his luggage with his carbon fibre tripod in it and the only tripod he could find in Hilo was a Walmart special that barely functioned.

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