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View Full Version : 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans



Roger Beck
11-May-2018, 11:05
It was the one thing I was pretty sure of, but wasn't positive, until I processed the film. The film was scanned 2-3x (coming and going, re-scans) in Chicago, Brussels, Mumbai and Kochi. I shot about 150 images over two weeks in India. So far so good, I see no fog at all, not even a little and it was very hot and humid where I was.

cp_photo
11-May-2018, 12:49
Were the negatives in your carry-on luggage or checked luggage? From what I have read, carry ons are subjected to less harmful scanning than the checked bags, no?

Willie
11-May-2018, 16:15
Just as most have never been hit by a drunk driver - all it takes is that one time.

Why not do your best to limit scans when possible? That one time you hit the check in line with a scanner that is out of calibration or malfunctioning is out there somewhere.

Doremus Scudder
12-May-2018, 02:53
Just as most have never been hit by a drunk driver - all it takes is that one time.
Why not do your best to limit scans when possible? That one time you hit the check in line with a scanner that is out of calibration or malfunctioning is out there somewhere.

Faulty logic. Do you limit your driving so as to lessen the chance of getting hit by a drunk driver? How much a potential danger affects our behavior is determined by our assessment of the risk. Things that are highly unlikely don't have a great effect on our behavior, and rightly so. Scanners for hand luggage these days are very safe for film, and the OP has just corroborated that. Furthermore, it is unlikely that hand inspections are available in Brussels, Mumbai and Kochi; they are really only done in U.S. airports.

Best,

Doremus

Sal Santamaura
12-May-2018, 08:04
...Do you limit your driving so as to lessen the chance of getting hit by a drunk driver?...Absolutely. And for a lot of other reasons too. :)

Doremus Scudder
12-May-2018, 15:13
I should really apologize for my weak analogy: of course many need to limit, or at least drive more defensively due to higher risk in their particular situation, which is entirely justified. I really only meant to point out that risk for fogging from scanners these days is small enough that I don't consider it a real issue. I believe the OP was simply trying to corroborate that.

Best,

Doremus

Sal Santamaura
12-May-2018, 15:23
I should really apologize...No, you shouldn't. I was just giving you a hard time. :)

B.S.Kumar
12-May-2018, 17:18
Furthermore, it is unlikely that hand inspections are available in Brussels, Mumbai and Kochi; they are really only done in U.S. airports.

Not sure about Kochi, because I haven't been there in a long time. But in Mumbai I asked for, and did get my film hand-checked a couple of years ago. Last year I forgot to ask because we were running late for a connecting flight, and there was no problem even with Natura 1600. I sell and ship film worldwide (including to some stores in the US) and there has never been a problem.

Kumar

Roger Beck
14-May-2018, 04:25
It also went through a hotel security airport style scanner in Mumbai, a scanner that was made in the 90's, and I thought it might have a stronger dose, but it was also harmless.

germansaram
15-May-2018, 01:47
Just as most have never been hit by a drunk driver - all it takes is that one time.

Why not do your best to limit scans when possible? That one time you hit the check in line with a scanner that is out of calibration or malfunctioning is out there somewhere.

What would be the solution, not traveling? I'm just asking because I am not sure if you mean something else - a point I cannot see.

Kleiny41
15-May-2018, 12:43
May I asked what lens you used? The images are very beautiful.

John Layton
16-May-2018, 14:38
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!

Michael Kadillak
19-May-2018, 01:13
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.

B.S.Kumar
19-May-2018, 01:31
Without comment:

http://www.fedex.com/cm/shippingguide/terms/

11. INSPECTION OF SHIPMENTS

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.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1rjnw7/iama_fedex_express_package_handler_ama/

[–]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.

__________________________________________________________________________

https://www.quora.com/Does-fedex-X-ray-all-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.

Roger Beck
20-May-2018, 09:40
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.

Michael Kadillak
21-May-2018, 15:02
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.

Willie
21-May-2018, 17:24
Would 400 or higher speed films give the same results? Possibly not as they are more sensitive to the X-Ray buildup.

6x6TLL
21-May-2018, 21:17
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). This includes airports in the USA, all over Europe, and in Hong Kong.

Michael Kadillak
26-May-2018, 07:18
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.

Chris Chow
29-Jun-2018, 07:33
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.

Mike,

Thank you for this recent information as I plan on traveling eventually with the view camera. I will surely utilize FedEx as a way of shipping film than risking TSA of not allowing hand checks and possibly opening the box by mistake. During my traveling experiences, I usually have roll film to be hand inspected. I have not yet traveled with having to deal with transporting sheet film.

Did you use any special FedEx shipping labels for light sensitive material?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Michael Kadillak
29-Jun-2018, 08:31
Mike,

Thank you for this recent information as I plan on traveling eventually with the view camera. I will surely utilize FedEx as a way of shipping film than risking TSA of not allowing hand checks and possibly opening the box by mistake. During my traveling experiences, I usually have roll film to be hand inspected. I have not yet traveled with having to deal with transporting sheet film.

Did you use any special FedEx shipping labels for light sensitive material?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

My additional advice to you on your specific trip is to carefully look at the logistics and get ahead of it to the degree possible.

Call the customer support division of Fed Ex and speak to them about your objectives of shipping sheet film and the options they have available to you. Then pay a visit to the drop off location to make sure they understand the corporate options for sheet film including special stickers on the package. The reason you personally visit the drop off location as opposed to a drop off box is to offer them identification. Also remember that rules change. If you are traveling abroad the logistical concerns expand considerably. I put a tripod in my suitcase and two 8x10 film holders and was willing to take that risk only because it was a direct flight from Denver to Hawaii. I figured everything on and off the plane en masse let me feel comfortable with this issue. When you start doing multiple stops and layovers or travel abroad the risk of luggage loss and control over Fed Ex package movement increases dramatically. Take this issue seriously.

If your travel logistics are dimensional look at the availability and costs of buying your film at your destination if possible.

Next time i go to Hawaii I will still have B&H expedite ship the sheet film to me but am contemplating processing my film there as the risk of Xray goes away. All I would need to do is bring my infrared monocle taped inside developing trays and an Inglis sheet film washer.

Have a Great Trip.

Andrew O'Neill
29-Jun-2018, 10:25
I'd rather just bring film with me and let it be scanned with my carry on... It's with me. I know it's safe. With my luck, if I sent it Fedex, the plane will go down over the Pacific, and some Fedex employee on board will wash up on the shores of a deserted island, along with my box of film, where he will look after it, and then 5 years he'll be rescued, return it to me all water damaged... and before he leaves, he'll see my kids playing with a volleyball and yell, "Wilson!!" ;)

B.S.Kumar
29-Jun-2018, 16:43
When you start doing multiple stops and layovers or travel abroad the risk of luggage loss and control over Fed Ex package movement increases dramatically. Take this issue seriously.

If your travel logistics are dimensional look at the availability and costs of buying your film at your destination if possible.

Next time i go to Hawaii I will still have B&H expedite ship the sheet film to me ...

If you are traveling within the US, isn't hand inspection possible? As advised by other posters above, you'd have to arrive well in time, be polite, carry a copy of the TSA regulations and so on and so forth.

I'm sure you didn't mean to write "Fedex" in your statement above.

Kumar

Michael Kadillak
29-Jun-2018, 16:54
I'd rather just bring film with me and let it be scanned with my carry on... It's with me. I know it's safe. With my luck, if I sent it Fedex, the plane will go down over the Pacific, and some Fedex employee on board will wash up on the shores of a deserted island, along with my box of film, where he will look after it, and then 5 years he'll be rescued, return it to me all water damaged... and before he leaves, he'll see my kids playing with a volleyball and yell, "Wilson!!" ;)

Nothing like unbridled optimism. If that works for you then go for it.

I actually had B&H ship my film to arrive at our AIRbnb destination so I could confirm its arrival before I took my flight. It was in the freezer waiting for me when I got there. Risk off.

All it takes is one adverse consequence traveling with sheet film to either push one to digital or manage the intrinsic risk with x ray alternatively. Film is in my DNA so there is not an option. However at the end of the day it is all about the produced results in print form not how one gets there.

I therefore revert to a quote from Louis Pasteur

"Chance Favors a Prepared Mind".

Michael Kadillak
29-Jun-2018, 19:22
If you are traveling within the US, isn't hand inspection possible? As advised by other posters above, you'd have to arrive well in time, be polite, carry a copy of the TSA regulations and so on and so forth.

I'm sure you didn't mean to write "Fedex" in your statement above.

Kumar

Actually I did mean precisely what I said about Fed Ex.

My point is that US control over international package movement can change when going outside of this jurisdiction as the rule of law is being applied to highly volatile security issues. Fact of the matter is we have no control over these decisions.

B.S.Kumar
29-Jun-2018, 19:46
Michael, I'm a bit confused. Please understand that I'm not trying to argue! I only hope to understand what you're saying.

You traveled from Denver to Hawaii, which is within the USA. A hand inspection would have been possible, provided you did not exceed your cabin baggage limit, correct? If you are traveling within the country, with your film, how is Fedex involved?

If Hawaii has a separate screening for agricultural products, are Fedex packages exempt from it?

Does the US control international package movement once the package leaves US jurisdiction? How do we know whether or not Fedex has to compulsorily submit all shipments to x-ray inspection in a different country?

You advised visiting the Fedex facility personally to provide identification. Someone who has an account with Fedex would have presumably provided identification on registration. Would a trip to the Fedex facility still be necessary?

We have 39,318 members, of whom 3,310 are active. Isn't there one person who has some inside knowledge, either personally, or through friends or relatives?

Kumar

Michael Kadillak
29-Jun-2018, 20:32
Michael, I'm a bit confused. Please understand that I'm not trying to argue! I only hope to understand what you're saying.

You traveled from Denver to Hawaii, which is within the USA. A hand inspection would have been possible, provided you did not exceed your cabin baggage limit, correct? If you are traveling within the country, with your film, how is Fedex involved?

If Hawaii has a separate screening for agricultural products, are Fedex packages exempt from it?

Does the US control international package movement once the package leaves US jurisdiction? How do we know whether or not Fedex has to compulsorily submit all shipments to x-ray inspection in a different country?

You advised visiting the Fedex facility personally to provide identification. Someone who has an account with Fedex would have presumably provided identification on registration. Would a trip to the Fedex facility still be necessary?

We have 39,318 members, of whom 3,310 are active. Isn't there one person who has some inside knowledge, either personally, or through friends or relatives?

Kumar

Yes, no question TSA allows one to have a hand inspection when traveling domestically. The question then becomes how this event takes place.

To properly do a hand inspection at the airport you have to bring a changing tent with you for sheet film which is one more thing to carry with you. Secondly, factually speaking the average TSA employee you encounter at the security screening is not very savvy when it comes to these "issues" so being able to fins someone that will stick their hands with you into the changing tent to "feel" the film is problematic at best. The infamous square peg into a round hole module comes to mind. My point is hand inspection is not for me as the challenge of overcoming the lack of understanding of TSO's own rules among the worker bees is not a battle I am wanting to fight heading into a relaxing vacation. $23 for two day shipping to have my film waiting for me at my destination is a much more palatable option. I am an engineer not a lawyer, but my instincts tell me that sovereign law of the country of origin takes precedence on shipment under their control and their protocol's are in place. One word for this comes to mind. - risk.

When you go online to secure an account you do not have a security requirement for providing a formal ID, only a credit card. All I am doing in suggesting that one goes to the shipping location personally is take a variable out of play and see if I can get the proper warning labels affixed to the package. It surely can't hurt. Secondly, dropping a package in a drop box subjects the film to heat for an unqualified time before it is handled for shipment is also a non starter at least for me.



These folks that claim that they go countless times through security with sheet film unquestionably have FB+F added to their film in the process. The hope of ascertain is that this cumulative event is not an encumbrance when they are printing the negative.

B.S.Kumar
29-Jun-2018, 21:26
I can certainly understand that $23 is a small price to pay for avoiding the hassles of hand inspection. Last year I carried two boxes of 4x5 Acros for a close friend in Bangalore. The film got a hand inspection in Kansai International airport, Osaka. In India, all cabin baggage has to be screened for dutiable goods. I removed the film from my bag, and told the security lady that I would like to avoid xraying, if possible. She was very courteous, and promptly called over her superior. He took a look at the boxes, saw that the seals were unbroken and promptly began looking at something on his smartphone. A minute later, he waved me through.

Different countries have different import and export laws. It may be legal to export item XX out of country A, but illegal to import it into country B. Similarly for security checks. In China for example, entry into train stations is allowed only after putting your bags through an x-ray machine. I doubt someone importing something into his country can claim that the laws of the exporting country will apply!

If you could also answer my question about Hawaii's exemption regarding screening for agricultural products for Fedex packages - if you know, that is.

When you went to the Fedex office, did you have to pack the film in front of the Fedex employee? Otherwise, how could he have any assurance that the package contained film? And how would he even know if the apparently sealed boxes really contained film or something else?

Kumar

Michael Kadillak
30-Jun-2018, 06:30
I can certainly understand that $23 is a small price to pay for avoiding the hassles of hand inspection. Last year I carried two boxes of 4x5 Acros for a close friend in Bangalore. The film got a hand inspection in Kansai International airport, Osaka. In India, all cabin baggage has to be screened for dutiable goods. I removed the film from my bag, and told the security lady that I would like to avoid xraying, if possible. She was very courteous, and promptly called over her superior. He took a look at the boxes, saw that the seals were unbroken and promptly began looking at something on his smartphone. A minute later, he waved me through.

Different countries have different import and export laws. It may be legal to export item XX out of country A, but illegal to import it into country B. Similarly for security checks. In China for example, entry into train stations is allowed only after putting your bags through an x-ray machine. I doubt someone importing something into his country can claim that the laws of the exporting country will apply!

If you could also answer my question about Hawaii's exemption regarding screening for agricultural products for Fedex packages - if you know, that is.

When you went to the Fedex office, did you have to pack the film in front of the Fedex employee? Otherwise, how could he have any assurance that the package contained film? And how would he even know if the apparently sealed boxes really contained film or something else?

Kumar

I am not familiar with Hawaii's ag exemption policy for Fed Ex screening. I was totally surprised by the double X ray screening for carry on items specifically for agricultural products leaving the island. Was glad at that moment I did not have my film with me. I carried my 8x10 camera with me on the plane since my F64 backpack fit perfectly in the overhead compartment as I checked the aircraft schematic. Was pleased it was not one of those overhead compartments that was fixed and not the drop down version. That way the overhead could not be stacked as I was cobcesrbed about the GG. I did not pack my film in the box at the packaging center but that is a good idea. I felt getting on their surveillance footage at the drop off center was sufficient for the task at hand.

Last point. When you consider all of the unique items that Fed Ex ships from refrigerated insulin to delicate technical components engaging them specifically to the service task I needed I felt was warranted as opposed to just being a generic shipper. I would also suspect that B&H in using Fed Ex has gone down this road as nothing would upset a film consumer than film that has been nuked.

Drew Wiley
6-Jul-2018, 11:36
Having dealt with both Fedex and UPS on a daily basis for decades at work (sometimes multiple delivery trucks daily), I don't categorically trust either. All it
takes is one idiot temp employee; and during holiday season, they've got lots of temps and idiots; some steal. So you take certain chances regardless. As per
Hawaii Ag screening, it's no big deal. I've deliberately run film up to 400ASA (TMY) through multiple ag screening with zero effect - densitometer tested for any fbf or deep shadow change. Color film too. I always carry it onboard, and simply run the whole pack through TSA X-ray. But I'm not qualified to comment
on international flights. Hand inspection all depends. Sometimes it just makes them suspicious if you ask. A lot of TSA roles are subcontracted. Sometimes
you can get someone very polite and careful, sometimes a klutz. So I just leave film in the carryon with the camera and that's it.

Jim Andrada
7-Jul-2018, 17:43
I've flown a fair amount for work over the last 50 years. Stopped counting 15 or 20 years ago when it was between 2000 and 3000 flights - might be up to 4000 or more by now for all I know. Including over 200 round trips between US and Japan.

Let's say I carried a camera and film on half of them so somewhere around 2000 times. I had film fogged once. Auckland to Sydney in the summer of 1986, when they were still using old scanners. More recent trips through Auckland - no problem. I've stopped worrying about it. I'm more concerned with how many times my brain has been fried at high altitudes.

Willie
7-Jul-2018, 18:54
"Faulty logic. Do you limit your driving so as to lessen the chance of getting hit by a drunk driver?"

Yes. Driving near bars in our area late on Friday and Saturday is foolish. Why chance it when I can take another route or do something else? There are good reasons for the Drunk Driver checkpoints.

Not getting on your Doremus, just reality where you know the bars and when the drinkers tend to start going home. Have pulled too many of them from the ditch, stuck in snow and such when their inebriation contributed to poor driving.

As for the scanners we know that not all countries inspect and check things as often as they might. Knowing some who have had fogging problems, confirmed by Eastman Kodak tech guys - why not be as safe as possible. I seldom fly these days and when I did before most(not all) of the inspection/scanner folk were decent. Some very helpful. Best was getting those interested in Photography who were interested in the 5x7 and 8x10 and I actually had time to visit with them before boarding. Then there were a few pricks - Salt Lake City had more of of these than other airports when flying often years ago.

Michael Kadillak
7-Jul-2018, 19:08
I've flown a fair amount for work over the last 50 years. Stopped counting 15 or 20 years ago when it was between 2000 and 3000 flights - might be up to 4000 or more by now for all I know. Including over 200 round trips between US and Japan.

Let's say I carried a camera and film on half of them so somewhere around 2000 times. I had film fogged once. Auckland to Sydney in the summer of 1986, when they were still using old scanners. More recent trips through Auckland - no problem. I've stopped worrying about it. I'm more concerned with how many times my brain has been fried at high altitudes.

Cudos for the extensive experience as a passenger. Back in the day they even had smoking sections on flights if you can wrap your head around that concept in todays reality. But realistically, that was then and this is now and that experience is absolutely meaningless. International terrorists constantly looking for a weak point in the airline / airport security systems and drug smugglers doing the same thing causes a dynamic response to security intelligence on the fly for which the average person trying to go from point A to point B has no clue. Add to that the fact that if you get caught in this unpredictable noise there is no fall back position because all of the efforts to dial in the consummate image is meaningless. This cowboy has decided to take the high road and try to take this risk out of the equation. As is always the case, you can always roll the dice at your convenience.

Jim Andrada
7-Jul-2018, 20:16
I think the point was that back in the day x ray scanning was pretty bad and used high doses. They also were more cavalier about human exposure. Remember x ray machines in shoe stores? Modern machines have never fogged any of my film. I think the probability of FedEx losing it is higher than the probability of x ray systems fogging it. To each their own.

Doremus Scudder
8-Jul-2018, 12:03
"Faulty logic. Do you limit your driving so as to lessen the chance of getting hit by a drunk driver?"

Yes. Driving near bars in our area late on Friday and Saturday is foolish. Why chance it when I can take another route or do something else? There are good reasons for the Drunk Driver checkpoints.

Not getting on you Doremus, ...

No offense taken. But, to defend my logic a bit, I was trying to find an example of being unreasonably cautious, with the result that one's lifestyle is negatively affected (keyword here is "unreasonable"). Certainly, avoiding a stretch of road that is particularly dangerous, for whatever reason, is justifiable. Being housebound because of unreasonable paranoia about getting into a traffic accident isn't. We all take calculated risks, weighing the potential benefits against the odds of something going wrong. My point in this discussion being that avoiding flying with film entirely because there is an extremely slight chance that one's film may get damaged by an x-ray scanner is unreasonable.

My car got backed into in the supermarket parking lot the other day. That's not going to stop me from shopping...

Best,

Doremus

Peter Lewin
10-Nov-2018, 06:15
Bringing an older thread back to life because I just came back from a week in South Carolina with my 4x5, and had what in the end was merely a humorous trip through TSA on the return. I'm of the school that believes the scan of hand luggage is OK for film, so long as there are only a couple of scans (in this case outbound and return). Still, I figured my backpack, with the Canham might cause issues because the inspectors wouldn't recognize the scan of a folded 4x5. I asked my wife to take the exposed and unexposed film, and the holders with exposed film (just shot that morning, no way to unload in the dark), since her pack was unlikely to raise questions. So when both packs were pulled aside after their scan, I was a bit worried about what might happen next. Turned out that my pack was pulled aside not because of the camera, but because of questions about the food we had packed for the flight (apple slices, tangerines, some bread and cheese). My wife's (I was thinking of horror stories about opening film boxes) not because of anything photographic, but because the spray bottle of insect repellant was over the liquid allowance. So some concerns that turned out to be nothing other than unexpected. (Will start developing negatives tonight, but expect that any problems will be my own mistakes, not the scanners.)

Rayt
12-Nov-2018, 22:34
In India and Pakistan the hotels have X-ray scanners at the front door so getting your film scanned once or twice is unavoidable until they recognise you after a few days. Their airports have scanners when you enter and then at customs and again through security. Coming out at the other airport get another scan going through Customs. My roll film must have gotten scanned over 30 times during my trip to Delhi, Karachi, and Lahore. I didn’t see any damage from the scans and some of those scanners were ancient. I scanned and made a pdf album from the Lahore shoot.