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Thread: Fresh film in luggage scanner

  1. #1

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    Fresh film in luggage scanner

    Unthinkingly I checked my carry-on bag with a fresh box of Adox Art 50 inside. I know it would be toast normally, but in this case I had the film, and several loaded film holders, in a Filmsafe bag (one of those lead lined bags). Does anyone have any idea if the film might be okay, or if it is toast anyway. I don't want top shoot it if it is ruined, and my only other option at this point is to try to find chemicals locally (Tucson) and test it. I might be able to do that today, but with all the holidday stuff going on that might be difficult.

    I continue to discover new ways to screw up...

    Tim

  2. #2

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    The conventional wisdom is that if the bag was scanned, the lead might attract extra attention and dosage. I'd find a local lab and give them a sheet out of the box. If the holders were not positioned right on top of the box that doesn't mean they'd be OK. There is a significant chance the film is ruined, do you want to take that chance and shoot it? They don't x ray every bag so things may be OK and maybe the bag was enough protection if they did. Or just buy some new film in Tucson and use that and test the rest when you get home.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    Not all checked luggage is scanned. Only some percentage (less than 50%) is actually xray scanned. So your film might be ok. I would test a sheet from the top and bottom of the stack and if they are clear I would assume the film is good.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

  4. #4

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    Okay. Thanks guys. I think I will try to pick up some chemicals and do some tests. Otherwise, maybe I'll just buy some film now and test when I get home.

    Cheers, Tim

  5. #5

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    It's ISO 50, it's probably fine. Why not buy some fresh film and mix it in so you have half and half?

  6. #6

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    It's ISO 50, it's probably fine. Why not buy some fresh film and mix it in so you have half and half?
    I don't travel with film much any more so I may not be up to date on the latest information but I've never heard that ASA 50 or even 25 is o.k. if it's in the luggage. I wouldn't take a chance without testing and I don't think I'd mix it in with film I knew was good even if one or two sheets pass a test. Why do you suggest that?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  7. #7

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    I don't mean mixing it blindly, I just mean shoot the potentially fogged 50 stuff and buy some fresh "whatever you can get on location" film and shoot that too, doubling up on the shots, at least the best ones.

    I don't know whether it's fogged but it sounds like there are enough instances being reported where people have not had trouble with even their normal ISO 100-400 film, plus the fact that he used a lead bag... that I'd probably go for it, unless it was a job or something really important. But for general fun shooting, why not shoot half and half?

  8. #8
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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    I don't know whether it's fogged but it sounds like there are enough instances being reported where people have not had trouble with even their normal ISO 100-400 film, plus the fact that he used a lead bag... that I'd probably go for it, unless it was a job or something really important. But for general fun shooting, why not shoot half and half?
    Don't confuse the toy X-rays in the security line, which seem to leave slower films unaffected, with the big honking X-rays used in the checked baggage inspections. And it is true that they crank up the dosage when they can't see something, such as the contents of a lead bag. Also, the lead in those bags is so thin that it doesn't do that much anyway.

    If a person normally makes two exposures of every shot, then, sure, use new stuff for one and old stuff for the other, if keeping them straight isn't more trouble than it's worth. But if they don't do that, doing so will be little better than just throwing the old stuff away.

    What price peace of mind? Buy new stuff (if you can) and ship the old stuff back home for careful testing.

    Rick "thinking there are already enough things that can go wrong with large-format" Denney

  9. #9

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    What manufacturer and model of x-ray devices do they typically use? Find that out and locate a manual or test data, then calculate your shielding required and see if your bag had sufficient sheilding. Or, just pretend you have a Holga and go shoot it.

  10. #10

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    Re: Fresh film in luggage scanner

    The checked bag x-ray treatment is MUCH worse than carry on. The damage looks like intense lightning marks (stripes, sort of) on the film. I don't think slower film can be immune to this, what I have seen is very high density lines.

    You could use just developer, give it a normal time, turn the lights on and check. The damage I have seen would be obvious even at that step of processing. If you do a water rinse, you'd have a little longer to look.

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