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Thread: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

  1. #11

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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    X-ray machines for luggage are a weeeeeee bit more powerful than ones for carry-on.
    That's an understatement. They're significantly more powerful, plus you risk the chance of someone opening your luggage without you being around to supervise (not to mention stolen) or the boxes opened and then put back. Always, always, carry-on.

  2. #12

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    I think SergeiR was suggesting to check empty filmholders and carry the sheet film in boxes in your carry-on baggage. With 8x10, that would give you a lot more flexibility; more holders and more film possible. Do pack the changing tent, though.

    I travel regularly in the US, from the US to Europe and within Europe carrying film. I like to carry sealed boxes, but with the rather impractical packaging of 8x10 film, I would likely consolidate a bit. Recently, inside Europe, I packed a carry-on with 20 loaded filmholders and a 50-sheet box of 4x5 Tri-X. It went through 6 or 7 scans, two of those scans after exposure, with no problems. I did have to show the Italian airport security how a filmholder works. I had an empty and a scrap sheet of film for demonstration purposes.

    Usually though, I just carry the film in boxes. You can ask for a hand scan in the US and maybe get it, but it's much more unlikely in Europe. I have outfitted a small rolling suitcase with foam inserts to pack holders and my camera (when I carry them; these days I have cameras and holders on both continents). I always carry on lenses and meter, but have had no problem checking the less fragile stuff, even filters in their cases make it just fine with a wrap or two of bubble wrap.

    Just to repeat: Do not put film in checked luggage, it will be ruined. Always carry it on.

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #13

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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    Well to be completely honest - last time i wanted to shove some 4x5 Efke to shoot in Russia, i carried some in luggage (4-5 boxes.. i had 4 in carry-on, and some camera gear and laptops), and it survived. But it was desperate measure and i knew that i can get away with it for 25/50 iso , and there was no other option (getting sheet film while in Russia is MAJOR pita, unless you in Moscow). Now i got stash, so every time i am just adding one box or so, when go there.

    Best way to transport is to have them in boxes, imho, and if you really feel like not going through x-ray - you can ask for hand inspection. Unless security folks are complete ... umm.. well, you know, they will be ok with it and will never pick on camera equipment , and will be asking polite questions. There is always possibility to meet some twits, but they are few.

    Most of camera gear in luggage is just taking some serious risks , specially if you travel internationally. I had things stolen from my luggage in Amsterdam's Kasthrup in stopover. Had bags ripped apart while loading on recieving transporter in Houston's IAH.. & etc. So if you can cram up stuff in carry on - always do it. If you need extra space for two more boxes of film - wear denim jacket and shove them into pockets

    (PS:. speaking of pockets - keep thinking about buying some gear from this guy.. for travel.. http://www.scottevest.com/ )

  4. #14
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    If you must, put the empty holders in your suitcase, and carry just the film on the plane. I can speak from personal experience- do NOT send film of any speed through checked luggage. The scanners will absolutely fog it. As to infrared in airport scanners, I took some Kodak HIE (far more sensitive than any current infrared film) with me to Cambodia(!!!). I did the hand-check thing in DC, New York, Amsterdam. I got to Singapore, and the security guy there just didn't get it, so I had to send it through. It then went through again in Siem Reap, back in Singapore, Amsterdam, and New York. No fog. And it wasn't in any special case or lead bag or anything else.

  5. #15
    Lida
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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    So Scott, when you request the "hand check" how do you ensure that the film boxes are not opened up? Also, how does this work in Europe?

  6. #16
    Scott Davis
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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    Frankly, I've given up on the hand-check. I'd much rather have it go through the carry-on scanner than have some idiot try to open a box of film to see what's in it. I can think of two ways to avoid getting boxes opened when hand-checking. #1 - be vigilant during the hand check, and if possible, tape a very simple note ("small words") to the outside of the box in the local language if traveling somewhere that you don't speak the language explaining that it is film and will be ruined if opened. #2 - make sure to open your outside box with a razorblade to minimize the appearance of having been opened. Open your inner package with scissors so it folds closed neatly, again minimizing the appearance of having been tampered with. When you are done with the box, tape it shut NEATLY so that it appears factory sealed.

    I was bringing back sheet film from a trip to Argentina, and fortunately had double-bagged it. Some nosy dingbat at the gate was checking bags, and tried to open one of my boxes. She didn't ask before starting to open the box, so I lunged at her, screaming "PELICULA!!!!!" (Film in Spanish). Poor dear almost fainted I think. But she stopped inspecting it and let me get on with boarding. Thus the importance of the vigilance and the knowledge of the local language.

  7. #17

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    Re: Air travel with 8x10 sheet film as carry-on... Request for tips!

    I don't think you are going to get a hand-inspection anywhere except the US and maybe Canada. Keep in mind, the FAA does not make rules that apply internationally... nor the TSA.

    If you are outside the US, just take your film box(es) out of your carry-on, put them in a bin so that they are easily identifiable as film and let them go through the scanner.

    Best,

    Doremus

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