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Thread: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

  1. #21

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    I've been through Schiphol quite a few times with film without problem. They've been more understanding and professional than staff at Cardiff and Heathrow in my experience. Luck of the draw? I think staff are trained that anything out of the usual is suspicious, and carrying big film cameras has become increasingly unusual.

    A family member visited me in Korea a couple of years back and did me a favour by bringing a batch of film I'd bought with her -unfortunately in checked luggage. The film turned out to be fine, that had gone through scanners in Cardiff and Schipol.

    I've not had problems with film going through multiple carry on scans. Maybe fears of x-ray scanners might have been blown out of proportion a little, with regard to film.
    Peter

  2. #22

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Quote Originally Posted by JW Dewdney View Post
    some excellent points there. i blame the forums and what i read there rather than any sort of personal cultural attitudes ... i'd simply assumed these 'rules' were 'international' in nature and never really had much of a problem with hand checks in europe before ... well ... live and learn i guess!
    the reason i posted though ... was to help anyone else who got in a sticky situation... perhaps they can use the same 'trick' i did ...
    JW,

    It's good then that the subject has come up again and we can emphasize that rules about hand-inspection of film vary from country to country (and even airport to airport it seems!) and that we should study up before we depart. I don't know about recommending your trick though... the security agents might just confiscate the film, especially if they're having a bad day or feel somehow insulted. I recommend smiling and saying "yes, sir" to the security guys now. My impudence and sarcasm got me escorted by a Marine to a flight several years ago (not about film inspection, however). I've toned it down a bit since then

    It seems some have got lucky a couple of times carrying film in checked baggage. However, and to clear up any confusion here, we should emphasize that film should not be transported in checked baggage, rather in carry-on baggage. The scanners for checked baggage are generally much stronger than those for carry-on, and can (and have) damaged film.

    I sure hope that the multi-image scanners that Corran mentions don't become common, or that they at least are not damaging to film. At any rate, it seems they are being introduced in the U.S., where you can ask for hand inspection.

    My M.O. when traveling with film is to ask for hand inspection where possible (i.e., the U.S., where I've had nothing but good experiences with the TSA in this regard) and to allow the film to go through the carry-on scanner everywhere else after removing it from the bag and putting it in a separate bin. This ensures that the film only gets scanned once; if you leave it in the bag, especially if you have loaded filmholders or any kind of electronics, the security personnel often aren't sure what it is and will ask you to remove it and run it through the scanner again separately.

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #23

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    from what i understand
    there is more radiation bombarding your film IN the plane as you fly 20K feet up, than the scanners emit ..
    ==
    ive travelled from the states to europe bunces and no one but the states will hand inspect your film.
    that said, i have had film travel through these baggage scanners countless times 800+3200 speed
    nothing happens. if this was 1980 i am sure it would be a different thing, but its not.
    UMMV
    Problem can be old scanners one can find perhaps in remote locations. The x dose has been shrinking a lot in modern times.

    Sebastiao Salgado cited a problem he had with X-Rays on his 220 format TXP as a factor in his move to digital, he got his film scanned 6 times (because a long trip)... but IMHO he got film damaged in a single old scanner.

    I'm thinking in a test to know any damage level, this is x-scanning 20 times a sample film and then comparing with a control sample than has not been scanned. This can be made by shotting 2 sample rolls, and always travelling with one of the samples until it accumulates a number of x-scans, then developing both samples...

  4. #24

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    On a recent trip from England to Italy I deliberately took a sacrificial roll of 120 FP4, HP5 and Velvia.
    They went through the x-ray going out, unexposed, and came back through the x-ray, exposed, and all developed fine.
    Give it a try to put your mind at ease.
    It didn't, of course, prevent the discussion with the security staff in England about what was this strange 120 roll film stuff

  5. #25
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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Quote Originally Posted by Pere Casals View Post
    Problem can be old scanners one can find perhaps in remote locations. The x dose has been shrinking a lot in modern times.

    Sebastiao Salgado cited a problem he had with X-Rays on his 220 format TXP as a factor in his move to digital, he got his film scanned 6 times (because a long trip)... but IMHO he got film damaged in a single old scanner.

    I'm thinking in a test to know any damage level, this is x-scanning 20 times a sample film and then comparing with a control sample than has not been scanned. This can be made by shotting 2 sample rolls, and always travelling with one of the samples until it accumulates a number of x-scans, then developing both samples...
    yeah, i think you are right ... big places have new-stuff and it is the olde-stuff that is bad.
    in hospitals the direct digital scanners use a tiny amount of radiation compared to the olde ones
    but CT ( xrays to digitally make 3d images ) still uses a giant amount.
    i guess airports are stuck in the vast-middle.
    the monitors for the direct digital cost more than $70K
    so i am guessing the TSA isnt' there yet ...

  6. #26

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    yeah, i think you are right ... big places have new-stuff and it is the olde-stuff that is bad.
    in hospitals the direct digital scanners use a tiny amount of radiation compared to the olde ones
    but CT ( xrays to digitally make 3d images ) still uses a giant amount.
    i guess airports are stuck in the vast-middle.
    the monitors for the direct digital cost more than $70K
    so i am guessing the TSA isnt' there yet ...
    Today a torax rx has a dose (0.1 mSv) equivalent of average some 10 days of natural radicativity, while a CT may dose from 6 months to 7 years of natural radiactivity. CT delivers a synthetic image that is obtained after thousands of point to point readings. In fact the computer solves a large amount of Simultaneous Equations, each equation is from a point to point reading, a reading see the added opacity of a row of pixels. From that large number of simultaneous equations it is found the opacity of each pixel, and just displaying the opacity of each pixel the tomographic image is obtained. 20 years ago (still I remember it ) I studied the EMI case http://tiger.gatech.edu/files/Kauffm...ngnote_Ch1.pdf

    There was a UK vynil importer, Odeon, and some guys from Liverpool (The Beatles) signed a contract with them. So Odeon bought Electro Medicine Industries, EMI, since then EMI-Odeon. EMI had a visionary man in the house that invented CT. That business case is a very teached example about patents and tech business. At the end General Electric got the lions share...

    Today rx CT machines are increasingly seen in the food industry to detect problems in the food, for example a 2mm fragment of an steel saw inside hamburguers... it is considered safe with food, but not as safe with living humans...


    But if it is a NRI (Nuclear Resonance Imaging) there is no dose, the synthetic image is obtained in a similar way, but system uses strong magnetic fields to trigger resonance in H atoms, and antenas take the signals from that. In this way NRI can deliver a large amount of tomographies to build a 3D without any radiactive dose.

    Sorry for the off...

  7. #27
    Serious Amateur Photographer pepeguitarra's Avatar
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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    A friend had all his film exposed (even the ones he had shot) when living Israel via Tel-Aviv Airport. They did not care, they wanted to make sure it was safe. Think that when going there.

  8. #28

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Way back in the early 50s my father received an Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s badge for Fairfield County, CT. After he died I was given it and put it in my overcoat pocket. Now forward to the early 80s and I had a business trip to Broncolor in Basel, Switzerland. Since Basel is in Switzerland, Germany and France the airport has separate entry and exits to each country.
    When I left I was wearing that overcoat and was having a very difficult time getting my equipment through the security checkpoint which was in the French area. My rudimentary French was not understood by the gendarme and things were getting a bit heated! They then wanded me and the beeper went off as it passed over my pocket which he mimed for me to empty.
    Much to my embarrassment the Sheriff’s badge landed on the table in front of the collected crowd of gendarmes! One took a look, said “Ah gendarme” and I said no, but they wouldn’t listen. They closed up my cases and waved me through!

  9. #29

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    All this discussion about difficulties getting film safely through airports only confirms to me why I am NOT planning to take any of my MF or LF film cameras out of the country, or even on flights within the US where I live. I am retired now about 3.5 years, and travelled all over the world (30+ countries, many visited 3-4 times) for the last 11 years of my work career, usually with DSLR in tow. But when I go out of the country now with my wife on vacation I only take my very compact digital photo kit and a traveller's tripod. Over those many years of international travel I often thought that there are so many interesting places in the US that I have never seen and enjoyed; so now I look forward to driving trips with my cameras to explore, enjoy and photograph!
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  10. #30

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    Re: an interesting experience at Schipol Airport Amsterdam - re: X-RAYs

    Quote Originally Posted by JMO View Post
    All this discussion about difficulties getting film safely through airports only confirms to me why I am NOT planning to take any of my MF or LF film cameras out of the country, or even on flights within the US where I live. I am retired now about 3.5 years, and travelled all over the world (30+ countries, many visited 3-4 times) for the last 11 years of my work career, usually with DSLR in tow. But when I go out of the country now with my wife on vacation I only take my very compact digital photo kit and a traveller's tripod. Over those many years of international travel I often thought that there are so many interesting places in the US that I have never seen and enjoyed; so now I look forward to driving trips with my cameras to explore, enjoy and photograph!
    JMO,

    Do what you will, but really, getting film through airports is easy and safe as long as you carry it in your hand luggage. I do it all the time. In the U.S., the TSA agents are more than willing to do a hand inspection if asked. However, unless you anticipate your film getting scanned more than 6 times, just let it go through the scanner. No problems these days with multiple scans of film.

    When traveling abroad, hand inspections are usually not available; just let them scan the film. Again, no problems with multiple scans.

    I currently have homes on two continents and travel a lot with film. I've never had any film damaged from hand-luggage scanners (320/400 ISO). I've carried loaded 4x5 filmholders, both unexposed and exposed, and boxes of unexposed and exposed film - no problems with up to 8 scans at times. As far as I'm concerned, the bulk of traveling with LF gear is more of a constraint than carrying film.

    I recommend removing your film, filmholders, camera backs, etc. from your hand luggage and having them go through the scanner separately. That's it; no fuss, no muss and no film damage.

    BTW, I like road trips too! (Doesn't stop me from flying, though.)

    Best,

    Doremus

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