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Thread: Traveling overseas with film

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Traveling overseas with film

    Hi all,
    hopefully this summer I will be traveling overseas and I am just trying to get input on how I should go about traveling with my film. I know that i will get hassled at the airports and probably end up getting it xrayed but if I send it to where I am going, the package could possibly be xrayed anyhow. Even more of a concern is how to get the exposed film back.

    How do you deal with this issue?
    Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Re: Traveling overseas with film

    I travel to Europe a couple of times a year. Traveling with film isn't that big of a deal. I get it hand checked if carrying 3200 film. For 400 or 100, I don't worry about it and send it through X-ray in my carry on luggage. In the last 15 years, I've had one roll of 35 film ruined by X-ray. And I'm not sure if that was in the US or abroad.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    New York

    Re: Traveling overseas with film

    It's always a good idea to search before starting a new thread. This topic has been discussed in detail and there are already several threads on the same subject.

    See thread under "Location & Travel" called "Flying with Sheet Film".

    You will find helpful commentary and information there. A while back i posted a copy of the TSA regulation (around the 4th page in, post #33) which sets forth info on requesting a hand check for those carrying sheet film.

    Sometimes TSA agents are less than willing to do a hand check. Many fellow LF photographers have found that carrying a copy of this document and showing it to a TSA official can save much explanation and headache - especially when faced with an obstinate agent. Although the document disappeared from the original website, it can be printed from the forum page referenced above.
    I know just enough to be dangerous !

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Oregon and Austria

    Re: Traveling overseas with film

    Go ahead and ask for a hand-inspection on the US side. Explain that the film might be scanned quite a few times and that you want to keep the number of scans down. Get to the airport early and bring the TSA page that Dennis refers to above with you.

    You simply won't get a hand inspection of your film in Europe. Take your film (sheet film I assume, since this is an LF forum) out of the carry on and run it through the scanner separately. This is to avoid re-scans if you have other confusing stuff in your carry on (cables, shutters, etc.). It's best to have your film boxes in clear plastic ziploc-type bags. Make sure the boxes are well sealed and taped shut.

    I have traveled within Europe with loaded film holders as well, no problem just leaving them in the carry on and running them through the scanner. I also bring film back from the U.S. (cheaper there). I've had 320Tri-X and TMY go through seven or eight scans with no problem.

    And do read the other threads on the subject...



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