Page 7 of 9 FirstFirst ... 56789 LastLast
Results 61 to 70 of 83

Thread: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

  1. #61

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Newbury, Vermont

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Gotta reiterate...time to dust off the old Rand McNally!

  2. #62

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Lately, I have been getting flagged a lot when I carry food through a (US, TSA) security checkpoint. I often carry something like sandwiches or fruit through the checkpoint, and recently if it's in my bag, they usually want to look through the bag until they find it. After this happened a couple of times, I started taking my lunch out of the bag and putting it through the X-ray separately in a tray, and that seems to keep them happy. I was told essentially that they've been told to look harder at such items. My guess is that it's something like the water content in food that shows up distinctively on the scanner; the traditional scanners have roughly 3 different bands that are sensitive to different materials.

    I haven't seen any carry-on CT scanners yet and thank Arne for making the test. I was in China over the summer and wound up putting a roll of 35mm film through scanners a bunch of times at subway stations, museums, airports, etc, but they were all the ordinary machines and there was no effect on the film. On exiting China, the airport scanned my checked bag and noticed a spare compact digital camera battery that I had forgotten, smaller than my thumb, and we had to go through the bag until I found it, so I could carry it on. That was impressive. It may have been with a CT scanner, but this hadn't come up yet so I wasn't looking at the machine type.

  3. #63
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Not the end of the world. Roll film can be shown to them unopened in a Zip-Lock plastic bag, sheet film in unopened boxes which they can swab if necessary. A film changing tent is portable enough. No sense gambling.

  4. #64
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Food can cause some issues with customs.. Certain types of food and plants are not legal to import into certain countries due to insects, food laws, etc.. e.g. you can't bring whale meat into the US from someplace where it's legal..

    When in Boston, I've bought Mike's Pastries, which have a distinctive box everyone working in Boston knows... They treat them with care at their airport.

  5. #65
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Huntsville, AL

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Some updates from both Ilford and Kodak Alaris with bad, but not unexpected news:

    From Kodak's Facebook page (

    "Kodak Professional January 27 at 7:00 AM ·

    CT Scanning X-Ray Technology and Film

    As many of you know, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently been installing Computed Tomography (CT) scanners for carry-on luggage in US airports. In the coming months these scanners will be operational at 145 airports in the US. CT scanning technology has been used for checked luggage for many years, and Kodak Alaris and Eastman Kodak have warned photographers not to check their film, but rather to carry it on and request it be hand-checked by TSA agents at Security.

    To better assess the risk to film from the new carry on scanners we brought a small quantity of Portra 400/135 to John F Kennedy Airport in NYC. With the help of TSA representatives the film was put through the new carry on CT scanners from 1-10 times. The film was then evaluated at Eastman Kodak Research facilities. The initial results are not good. Just 1 scan shows significant film fogging, leading to smoky blacks and loss of shadow detail. This will be more significant for higher speed films. Although it’s possible that a roll of 100 speed film would show less degradation, we strongly recommend against putting any unexposed or exposed but unprocessed film through a CT Scanner.

    We reached out to the TSA to ask what options there might be to warn passengers. We originally asked if it would be possible to add signage at airports that utilize CT scanning technology. We are developing warning stickers that can be placed on your film. These will be available in a label format so they can be printed on your in-home or in-office printer. Just attach the label to the plastic bag as described in the TSA description below.

    The TSA did tell us that all TSA screeners are trained to hand check roll and movie film as well as single-use cameras. Sheet film in boxes may require more diligence on the part of the photographer.

    From the TSA:

    Most x-ray machines used to screen carry-on bags should not damage undeveloped film under ASA\ISO 800. There are a limited number of screening checkpoints that use x-ray equipment that may damage undeveloped film. These airports will have signage in front of the x-ray stating that the x-ray may damage undeveloped film.

    If you are traveling with the following types of film, please pack it in a clear plastic bag, remove it from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint, and ask for a hand inspection:

    • Film with an ASA\ISO 800 or higher
    • Highly sensitive x-ray or scientific films
    • Film that is or will be underexposed
    • Film that you intend to “push process”
    • Sheet film
    • Large format film
    • Medical film
    • Scientific film
    • Motion picture film
    • Professional grade film
    • Film of any speed that is subjected to x-ray screening more than five times

    In most cases, the x-ray equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage undeveloped film; therefore, please place undeveloped film in carry-on bags.

    For more information please download the film Storage and Care Information sheet from our website:…/f…

    For more information on TSA use of CT technology, please:

    For more information on TSA screening procedures, please visit…/!zT1yW… .

    These US airports currently use CT scanning technology:

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
    Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
    Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
    Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
    Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
    Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
    John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
    Logan International Airport (BOS)
    Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
    Miami International Airport (MIA)
    Oakland International Airport (OAK)
    Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
    Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
    St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
    Tampa International Airport (TPA)
    Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)"

    And here is Ilford (

    "Advice for Airport X-ray scanners: Film & papers

    We are working with the DFT and Heathrow airport in the UK and will shortly be updating our information relating to the new CT type x-ray scanners being installed at major airports worldwide.

    Based on our initial testing it is almost certain the new CT type x-ray scanners for cabin baggage will be deemed unsafe for any of our ILFORD and KENTMERE film products irrespective of ISO speed rating.

    You must therefore ask for hand inspection of your films if the airport is using one of the new type scanners. We will be issuing more specific advice as we complete our testing and evaluation.
    How to identify the CT type x-ray scanners

    The following machines are currently on the market;

    Smiths – CTIX
    L3 – Clearscan
    Rapiscan - 920CT / Connect CT
    IDSS - Detect 1000
    Nuctech - Kylin
    Analogic Cobra

    For airports without the new machines, the following advice is still relevant.

    If you need to travel on aircraft with film, we recommend always taking your film in carry on cabin luggage. The X-ray scanners used to check hand luggage are safe for all but the highest speed films, so except for DELTA PROFESSIONAL 3200, this is our recommendation. It is also possible to request a hand inspection for films and most security staff will allow this (although this varies between airports and countries). For DELTA 3200 you should request a hand inspection or alternatively buy the film at your destination.

    Please Note: We do not recommend taking any film in your checked hold luggage, the X-ray machines used for scanning hold luggage are more powerful than the hand luggage scanners and may cause fogging of your films."

  6. #66
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Good to know

    and I bet scanners will have stronger intensity going forward

    Thank you
    sin eater

  7. #67
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Huntsville, AL

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    And here is a rogue's gallery of our CT nemeses, using the list from Ilford's FAQ:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CT scanners.jpg 
Views:	51 
Size:	45.8 KB 
ID:	200110

  8. #68
    Corran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    North GA Mountains

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    I went through Atlanta (Hartsfield-Jackson) this week and I didn't see any of these, and from what I've read online, one tell-tale sign of the new CT scanners is not having to remove your laptop or liquids from your bag, which I did have to do. So I assume they were normal scanners.

    I didn't ask for a hand-check because I was kind of in a rush and I just had a few rolls of 35mm film and my Widelux as a travel camera since I was on a work trip. Haven't developed anything as I only shot a few images on one roll.

    Anyway, I wanted to mention the tip about not removing electronics/liquids, since that's easier than trying to ascertain whether the new CT scanners are installed. And somehow I doubt TSA agents will take kindly to probing questions about what scanner they are using.
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #69

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Alberta, Canada

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Thanks Arne - great summary. Does anybody know if commercial freight gets similar treatment or is it just public travel? I haven't seen anything but I wonder if suppliers are at any risk if they ship airfreight.


  10. #70

    Join Date
    Sep 1998

    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Quote Originally Posted by DHodson View Post
    Thanks Arne - great summary. Does anybody know if commercial freight gets similar treatment or is it just public travel? I haven't seen anything but I wonder if suppliers are at any risk if they ship airfreight.

    How does Kodak ship? Truck? Air? Train? Ship? How do their distributors ship? How do their dealers ship? At some point UPS, FedX, USPS or their equivalents are involved. If they ship by major carriers then you can ship undeveloped film the same way and bypass those scanners.

Similar Threads

  1. Midtone Machines - Automatic Film Processing Machine
    By AndrewBurns in forum New Products
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: 23-Feb-2020, 13:06
  2. Did I just ruin my film?
    By nimo956 in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 9-Jun-2015, 13:08
  3. X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film
    By ki6mf in forum Location & Travel
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Sep-2008, 11:55
  4. Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines
    By Andre Noble in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 29-Aug-2001, 20:34
  5. Question for Travelers
    By Bob Passage in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 17-Feb-2000, 23:03

Tags for this Thread


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts