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Thread: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

  1. #21

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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    the big issues at the moments seems to be that old school xray machines are being replaced by CT scanners at certain locations. The old carry-on xray machines weren't a problem, I even flew ISO 1600 film that wasn't affected. I've never encountered the new machines but the word is that even a single scan can cause issues. Kodak has officially warned about them:

    https://petapixel.com/2020/01/27/kod...uin-your-film/
    For years I've just let my film (Porta 160 and Trix 320 in 4x5 and Portra 800 and Trix 400 in 120) go through the scanners in my bags. My film holders go under the plane with my tripod and everything else. I've never had a problem. But with the new scanners, I am getting worried. I flew back from Detroit in April and noticed that the line I got in had the old scanners, but the line to the right of that had the new ones (different machine and different rules for what had to come out.) I guess I'll be taking new boxes of film and asking for hand check from now on. And all of this for an organization with a 95% failure rate for detecting threats.

  2. #22
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    So hand inspection not the carry-on bag X-Ray then?

    Well OK, but I am a bit nervous about that.

    Back in 2011 we made the same trip. In Houston I asked for hand inspection of a fifty sheet box of Tri-X. We talked about it for a minute. I described the inside packaging and the sensitivity of the film. A TSA agent took it away and brought it back in five minutes or so. The factory seals were broken. When I loaded film holders a day or so later, I found that the inside pouches had been opened. I shot a few but not many. When they were processed, one edge had been exposed black for about an inch and the images were partially fogged.

    That was a week or so after we got back and four weeks after the inspection, so not much recourse.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
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    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  3. #23
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    Having worked for a firm that made radiation sources for industrial uses, I understand about background radiation at 35,000 feet, and from the thorium-sand beaches in faraway places. If high levels of background radiation keeps you awake at night, do not stand in the rotunda of the capitol building in Austin Texas. . .its the granite.

    Its the TSA I am worried about. Will be traveling with family, so I will just try the hand inspection rout rather than adding the complications of shipping.

    The bulk of my kit will fly in a Pelican 1520 hard case that used to fit in the overhead. Hope it still does.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  4. #24

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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    I suppose you could ask if those are the new CT scanners they have and if so, ask them for a hand check. Generally, a hand check is usually an agent swabbing right there in front of you. A long time ago I let them open the box, but told them they could not open the packages. Someone came over and said if the factory seals were in place then it was fine. Sadly, there is no consistency with TSA. I experience all sorts of differences of what happens depending on airport and even the people running things that day. If they get backed up at SeaTac I've seen them forego separating out electronics and shoes to get people moving more quickly. Some airports don't care about my Hasselblad or 4x5 because they're not electronic, but some do. Because of lenses and such my luggage almost always get pulled out for a swab down.

    I use a ThinkTank roller bag for my equipment. My clothing and such goes under the plane with my tripod and such.

  5. #25

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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    Funny thing when traveling home from LA my camera bag sailed right through, but my carry on back pack got flagged for....chocolate bars.
    Go figure. Something about the shape and density maybe?

  6. #26

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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    Those lead lined bags are a big reason for them to open your non carry-on luggage...

    Carry on, and let them scan the film... Easiest path of least resistance for them... I have seen more film damage from drying out on very long flights due to very low humidity while in transit... If still worried, ship film separately before/after...

    Steve K

  7. #27

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    Re: Traveling by Air In July: How should I handle LF Film?

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    Most of us buy film that is shipped to us, so that would suggest that regular, in country parcel carriers (USPS, UPS, FedEx) are probably safe. Iíve never bought film internationally, but some in the US have bought from Fotoimpex. I donít know their experience.
    Agree, but I would welcome information specifically concerning:
    Especially private-to-private mailing; parcels from stores might have relaxed rules.
    And, in the CT era. Here in Yur'p trucks are occasionally CT'ed.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #28
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Air Travel Wwith LF Film: What should I Do?

    Just ask for a hand check and allow a few extra minutes to get to your flight...
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram | Portfolio
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  9. #29

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    Re: Air Travel Wwith LF Film: What should I Do?

    Corran is correct about asking for a hand check. However TSA (typically) will only do a hand inspection of factory sealed boxes. I don't take loaded film holders when I fly and only take factory sealed boxes of film. I ask for them to be hand inspected and then load the holders when I get to where I am traveling. When I am ready to return I FedEx the holders and film home before I fly. That way the film is never run through an X-Ray machine. They say it will have no effect on modern emulsions but I'd rather not risk it.

    -Joshua

  10. #30
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Air Travel Wwith LF Film: What should I Do?

    Hand Check: Sounds as though that is the best option. Shipping the film would just complicate a shortish family vacation.

    Factory sealed: Coming back I'll have forty sheets of unprocessed, exposed film. What is the best way to handle that?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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