View Full Version : Photo paper through airports

Walter Foscari
22-Nov-2005, 13:14
Does anyone has any experience with carring photo paper (b&w mg) through airports? Not really practical to carry 16x20 boxes on board. Is it likely that the x-ray zapping of the check-in luggage is enough to damage it?


Jay W
22-Nov-2005, 15:21
It's been a bunch of years, but I have hauled 50 sheet boxes of B&W paper through airports. A box would fit in the pocket of my garmet bag. I don't remember if it fit above the seats, but I seem to remember the waitress (grin) or eh...stewardess hanging it next the exit. Yes...I warned her it was heavy. I didn't notice any problems except it being hard to walk fast.


Jay W
22-Nov-2005, 16:06
I guess I should have said 50 sheet boxes of 16x20 paper.


Walter Foscari
22-Nov-2005, 17:21
Thanks for the answer Jay. However I would like to avoid having to take it on board. My intended question is: does anyone knows whether the x-rays used on the check-in luggage are strong enough to damage photo paper?

Michael Kadillak
22-Nov-2005, 21:51
They say that anything over 800 ASA is not advised to go through the personal check X Rays. Since paper has a very low ASA if I remember correctly (maybe in the 6-12 ASA range?), I would think that it would fare fine in a modern X Ray screening set up.

Next business trip I take I will put a small box with a few sheets in it and run it through and see how it does.


chris jordan
22-Nov-2005, 22:43
Yep, any undeveloped film or photo-sensitive paper will be totally destroyed if you check it in your luggage. They use a new high-intensity focussed X-ray machine that zaps your luggage with the equivalent of thousands of watts of light.

So one way to handle it is to carry it on and ask for hand inspection. Most airports will just swab the box and let you through; a few (such as Seattle, the security department of which is run by a butthole, as discussed in previous threads) will insist on either opening or x-raying the box, so in that case run it through the carry-on X-ray. The other option is to FedEx it to the destination in a box that says "Please do not X-Ray" on the outside, which is what I have been doing lately with no problems.

Good luck,


22-Nov-2005, 23:55
I think the question is about those x-ray machines they use on the checked luggage. Those things really blast the bags. They warn you about checking film through, and maybe even computers and any magnetic media.

I have no idea if they have specific ASA recommendations for those machines, or even if the machines are at all standardized.

One thing to keep in mind is that a wee bit of fog is irrelevent on film, but can be a real problem with paper.