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Thread: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

  1. #21

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Chow View Post
    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.

  2. #22
    おせわに なります! Andrew O'Neill's Avatar
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    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    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!!"

  3. #23

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    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Kadillak View Post
    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

  4. #24

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew O'Neill View Post
    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".

  5. #25

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    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.

  6. #26

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    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    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

  7. #27

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    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.

  8. #28

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    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    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

  9. #29

    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    Quote Originally Posted by B.S.Kumar View Post
    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.

  10. #30
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: 4x5 FP4 survives a dozen airport scans

    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.

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