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

  1. #21

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    TSA says you can put film in checked baggage. They also say CT scanning is currently being used for checked bags. Anyone have any experience with film being affected in checked bags? I assume hand inspection is still an option for film being carried on.
    If true that is new information. Can you quote a source for that?
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  2. #22

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

    "If true that is new information. Can you quote a source for that?"

    No he can't because it's not true. All reliable indications are that film transported in checked luggage will be adversely affected. However, he is correct in stating that hand inspection remains an option for carry-on, and I believe this should not be a problem most of the time so long as the boxes are factory-sealed. (The last time I tried this, October 2019, the agent swiped the boxes for traces of explosives, but did not insist on breaking the factory seals and opening the boxes.) I have grave concerns about hand inspection for exposed sheet film which I transport home in boxes that are taped, and clearly labeled in all relevant languages as "Exposed photographic film, Please do not open in daylight" (an image appears below). As far as I can see, the best option for the time being is to fly, however inconvenient it may be, through airports that have not yet installed the new Analog scanners. If anyone has a better idea short of "stop using film" or "become a digitographer" I'd love to hear it.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com

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  3. #23
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Quote Originally Posted by NER View Post
    "If true that is new information. Can you quote a source for that?"

    No he can't because it's not true. All reliable indications are that film transported in checked luggage will be adversely affected. However, he is correct in stating that hand inspection remains an option for carry-on, and I believe this should not be a problem most of the time so long as the boxes are factory-sealed. (The last time I tried this, October 2019, the agent swiped the boxes for traces of explosives, but did not insist on breaking the factory seals and opening the boxes.) I have grave concerns about hand inspection for exposed sheet film which I transport home in boxes that are taped, and clearly labeled in all relevant languages as "Exposed photographic film, Please do not open in daylight" (an image appears below). As far as I can see, the best option for the time being is to fly, however inconvenient it may be, through airports that have not yet installed the new Analog scanners. If anyone has a better idea short of "stop using film" or "become a digitographer" I'd love to hear it.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com

    Click image for larger version. 

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    1. From the TSA website, under the heading "Advantages of CT": https://www.tsa.gov/computed-tomogra...X-XzRaHn8LG_7Q

    2. If hand inspection is still an option, why all the fuss?

  4. #24

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    1. From the TSA website, under the heading "Advantages of CT": https://www.tsa.gov/computed-tomogra...X-XzRaHn8LG_7Q

    2. If hand inspection is still an option, why all the fuss?
    No where does the link you provided say it's okay, i.e., safe, to put film in checked baggage - if it does then I have overlooked that information and ask you to point it out to me - you will have not only my apology, but my gratitude as well. The reason for the fuss - which is only with respect to exposed film in boxes no longer factory sealed - is that there is no reason to think a security agent will always believe the boxes contain only what you say they contain. I've flown enough to know not every TSA agent (or their counterpart in foreign countries) is familiar with large format photography - in fact most of the time I am pulled aside when going through security because the average inspector is not familiar with LF cameras or lenses and wants to see those items in my carry-on up close. If you happen to get tangled up with an agent who's in a bad mood, overly zealous, or otherwise skeptical that the box contains exposed film as you say vs. some contraband, there may be little or nothing you can do to prevent them from opening the box and ruining your work. That's my only concern. I am not at all worried about hand inspection for my light meters or factory-sealed boxes of film. I'm worried about getting my exposed film home without being molested because I refuse to put the film through one of the new CT machines.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com
    Last edited by NER; 4-Dec-2019 at 20:03. Reason: typo correction

  5. #25

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    1. From the TSA website, under the heading "Advantages of CT": https://www.tsa.gov/computed-tomogra...X-XzRaHn8LG_7Q

    2. If hand inspection is still an option, why all the fuss?
    Where in that page (or anywhere else) does TSA say you can put film in checked baggage?

  6. #26
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Quote Originally Posted by NER View Post
    No where does the link you provided say it's okay, i.e., safe, to put film in checked baggage - if it does then I have overlooked that information and ask you to point it out to me - you will have not only my apology, but my gratitude as well. The reason for the fuss - which is only with respect to exposed film in boxes no longer factory sealed - is that there is no reason to think a security agent will always believe the boxes contain only what you say they contain. I've flown enough to know not every TSA agent (or their counterpart in foreign countries) is familiar with large format photography - in fact most of the time I am pulled aside when going through security because the average inspector is not familiar with LF cameras or lenses and wants to see those items in my carry-on up close. If you happen to get tangled up with an agent who's in a bad mood, overly zealous, or otherwise skeptical that the box contains exposed film as you say vs. some contraband, there may be little or nothing you can do to prevent them from opening the box and ruining your work. That's my only concern. I am not at all worried about hand inspection for my light meters or factory-sealed boxes of film. I'm worried about getting my exposed film home without being molested because I refuse to put the film through one of the new CT machines.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com
    I (nor the TSA) never stated it is safe to put film in checked baggage. All I was pointing out is that people are getting their shorts in a wad over the new CT scanners for carry-ons. I asked if anyone had had film ruined in checked baggage, sine the CT scanner seem to be in use for that.

  7. #27
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    I just flew to OKC and they had signs up that said film would be ruined if in checked baggage.

  8. #28
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Travelers: New X-ray machines WILL ruin your film

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    I (nor the TSA) never stated it is safe to put film in checked baggage. All I was pointing out is that people are getting their shorts in a wad over the new CT scanners for carry-ons. I asked if anyone had had film ruined in checked baggage, sine the CT scanner seem to be in use for that.
    I will find out. I had my 35mm film camera in my checked bags.

  9. #29

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

    Time to dig out the old Rand McNally I guess!

  10. #30

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post
    I will find out. I had my 35mm film camera in my checked bags.
    Unfortunately, all you'll find out is whether that particular film, run through that particular scanner, at that particular time was safe or not.

    I don't know how these new scanners will effect film. My suspicion is that these new scanners may require some time to "dial in" and their impact on film today could be better or worse than it is 6 months from now. Personally, I will continue to hand check film and allow extra time through security.

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