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Thread: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

  1. #11

    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Vuillemenot View Post
    Just make sure you have no film in your pockets or down your pants when you go through one of the new whole body scanners!
    If you aren't going through the whole body scanners, and it's getting harder to predict, I find that sticking 120 film with it's plastic rolls in my shirt and pants pockets are never questioned.

    Of course, the whole body scanner would alert like a retriever in a duck field if you try this.

    12 passes without visible effect is good to know.

  2. #12

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    There was also a report just in the last week of an FAA (or was it NIH?) study that indicated many airport scanners are emitting higher levels of radiation than specified.

    I don't wish to submit film to scans, especially considering it's unnecessary if you request a hand search instead (true at least in the USA. Fuji Quickloads make this really easy and straightforward, incidentally.).

    Xray damage to film is cumulative. It's perhaps been zapped already if you ordered it via mail-order. No need to add to this unnecessarily, whenever possible. Some of my boxes of film may linger for awhile before being used; I also don't want to be tracking which sheets have had how many doses.

  3. #13
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Vuillemenot View Post
    I think Vinny was just getting at the fact that not all scanners are created equal. The OP had his buddy run the film 12 times through the same scanner. Great, we know that scanner doesn't affect the film. What about the 12 million or so other scanners out there? We all know that the vast majority of them have no effect (I've put film through countless times), but there's always the possibility that a few of them will emit far more radiation that could have an effect. It's the same deal with the whole body scanners, which have quite a few ethical issues associated with them as well.
    What's that got to do with foreign scanners? I'm sure that London Heathrow has better machines than Des Moines.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  4. #14
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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Xray damage to film is cumulative.
    I don't think there's any reason to believe that without evidence. There is a certain threshold below which film won't respond.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

  5. #15
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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan J. Eberle View Post
    I don't wish to submit film to scans, especially considering it's unnecessary if you request a hand search instead (true at least in the USA. Fuji Quickloads make this really easy and straightforward, incidentally.).
    I'm finding that it is more and more difficult to get a reasonable hand-inspection done.

    And Quickloads are history, despite that I still have a freezer full of it.

    Lead bags will require them to pull the bag aside for a separate search, pull out the bag, inspect it, and often run its contents through the scanner again. Or they'll back up the belt and look at the carry-on bag again, before pulling it aside. Many airports through which I have traveled will not let anything get past security without having been scanned.

    The rules say you can ask for a hand inspection. I didn't see the part where they agreed to conduct one that doesn't require opening boxes of sheet film and lead bags. We've heard stories on this forum of hand inspections resulting in opened boxes.

    I just run it through the scanner and don't worry about it.

    I do try to avoid the full-body scan if possible, because I fly very frequently and don't want to accumulate more doses than necessary.

    And I'm usually the guy most likely to challenge stupidity in the security line (stupidity that does not conform to policy). But I would really rather not make a scene or slow the line down--the people behind me don't need it and neither do I.

    Rick "who doesn't have the choice to not fly" Denney

  6. #16

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Agreed to most of your points, Rick. I'd certainly like to see Q/L and especially R/L come back, but since there's little likelihood of that, I stockpiled a bunch of Q/L and they don't get scanned. Last time I flew I shipped my boxed film and Grafmatics ahead. I do have the choice to drive or fly most of the places I go in the West for LF photography-- and drive wherever I can.

    BetterSense, don't take my word for it; Kodak warns that Xrays are cumulative on film and to avoid scanners when shooting professionally

  7. #17

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by markinwaterloo View Post
    I asked my willing and able friend to scan a couple of Kodak 160NC rolls 12 times through the airport scanner. I just processed and scanned it in and there is no problem whatsoever.

    You replicated research done years ago to establish the TSA and film company guidelines. That research (conducted by the I3A industry consortium) was assuming "standard" equipment commonly found at airports. Also assumed good maintenance and calibration.

    Replication of scientific research is a good thing.

    I have done likewise but as a passenger, not a researcher. My standard process has been to just put it through the machjine and not raise a fuss... and I've been doing that successfully for several decades.

  8. #18

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lachlan 717 View Post
    What's that got to do with foreign scanners?
    Can you tell us who the manufacturer of "foriegn scanners" is? The American scanner makers, Rapiscan and others, put their specs, capabilities, and technical data online. I'd sure like to look up whatever is out there on the 'foreign scanners".

  9. #19

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Let's say you're sitting out on the long tail of the film's exposure curve and taking some shots at night. Your exposure is three hours. Do you think you could do that in 3 one hour exposures or do you have to do the whole three hours at once? How about a hundred 1.8 minute exposures or one thousand .18 min exposures? Why should X-ray exposure be any different?

    I've measured the radiation output on two separate government x-ray machines and the dose worked out to about the same you'll get at altitude in an airliner flying at 30,000 feet for 5 hours (which I've also measured). I wouldn't worry about it - unless a large number of exposures is involved and/or hight speed film, or I'm flying somewhere where there is a risk of older less sensitive technology being in use. Thanks to the OP for the independent test. Someone referenced another test some time ago that spanned several films speeds which might be worth a google search.

    Don't discount the possiblity there is superior technology in use elsewhere and the dose might actually be lower than with machines in use in the USA. Often health concerns in other countries are much higher than here and they're willing to pony up a few extra bucks for better equipment.




    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    I don't think there's any reason to believe that without evidence. There is a certain threshold below which film won't respond.
    Last edited by Jim Michael; 12-Apr-2011 at 08:17. Reason: correct exposure at altitude ref

  10. #20

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    Re: Airport Scanners - the age old question (finally somewhat settled)

    Quote Originally Posted by rdenney View Post
    The rules say you can ask for a hand inspection. I didn't see the part where they agreed to conduct one.
    Rick, I generally put the period earlier in the sentence!

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