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Thread: Ilford Film Airports

  1. #11
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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    Some time ago, Feds claimed they could X_ray entire trucks moving slowly
    Tin Can

  2. #12

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme Hamilton View Post
    My local post office says everything going out of major cities gets x-rayed. They said there is no way around it, and no such thing as a hand check request or similar that you have at US airports. They also told me the "do not x-ray" labels would flag the package as suspicious and result in closer inspection, potentially involving more powerful x-raying. Not sure how this increasingly common practice is going to impact all the mail service labs, since most of us do not have a local lab that does e-6, its a real problem.
    If that applies to film, every roll or sheet of film that people buy that has been transported by plane, if not truck, has been x-rayed at least once before the retailer receives it, and again when retailers like B&H send out an online order that is transported by air. If post offices are handling X-raying, then all film that gets transported via mail is X-rayed regardless of whether it's transported by air or ground. Yet photographers, as far as I know, aren't saying that they're running into X-ray exposure problems with the film that they purchase.
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  3. #13

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    I have wondered about this, but here's the USPS statement on it and it is very similar to what the post office told me here in Dallas.

    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Mail-...d%20suspicious.

    Since learning this I have been shipping via UPS, and telling them it has batteries so they don't put it on a plane. Not sure if I am successfully avoiding X-rays. The truth is, I have never had a problem form the mail, but am concerned about one possibly occurring.
    Last edited by Graeme Hamilton; 30-Jun-2022 at 09:40. Reason: UPS

  4. #14

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme Hamilton View Post
    I have wondered about this, but here's the USPS statement on it and it is very similar to what the post office told me here in Dallas.

    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Mail-...d%20suspicious.
    Thanks, from the link:

    Is Mail X-Rayed?

    Some of the mail that is sent through the United States Postal Service will pass through an X-Ray machine. There are no specific guidelines as to what may or may not be x-rayed, though mail sent to or through larger cities is likely to pass through an X-Ray machine.

    If you have additional questions about X-Raying of items, contact your local Post Office.

    Note: Marking a mailpiece "Do Not X-Ray" will not forgo the X-Raying of a mailpiece, and may result in the item being considered suspicious.

    If we work on the assumption that there's a good chance that film has been X-rayed before we purchase it, with the probability increasing significantly if all cargo on planes is X-rayed, it becomes a matter of assessing the significance of additional passenger X-raying at airports. Personally, I'd be happy to mail film to my destination if I had confidence that it won't be X-rayed anyway.
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  5. #15

    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    My temporarily ex-pat grand-daughter will be coming back to CONUS for a visit next month, with her trusty K1000 (she's 13 and learning). The plan will be to have fresh film available here, and I'll process and mail the negs and whatever back to her in the UK. Awkward, but at least there is no COVID falderal involved. Patience is part of analog.

  6. #16

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    I have carried 35mm film through US airports recently (most recently May 2022) and they've been wiling to hand inspect it, and not surprised by the request. The last time, they did swab each of the canisters. Not sure what would happen with a box of sheet film. From reports, I wouldn't expect to be as easy in a European airport.

    Although mail can be X-rayed, the specific issue is with this new generation of CT scanners in airports (and the old generation of checked-baggage scanners, which have long been understood to be higher power). Whatever they use for mail is probably different. So it doesn't tell us that mailing film off to your lab is unsafe (I would have expected more reports of damage by now if it were a serious problem). Conversely, if mailing film is film-safe, that doesn't reassure us that airport CT scanners are film-safe.

  7. #17

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by reddesert View Post
    Whatever they use for mail is probably different.
    That's supposition, and it doesn't address post office intentions. It also doesn't address the issue of cargo scanning with respect to either planes or trucks. I think that the fundamental problem is that there isn't enough information to come to any conclusions about what the current and medium term issue is, although makers of films appear to be pointing to an issue emerging.
    Arca-Swiss 8x10/4x5 | Mamaya 7II | Leica M3, M240 | Blackmagic Pocket 4K
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  8. #18

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    What does this mean for those shooting LF X-Ray film?

    Would letting the inspectors see that it is X-Ray film make any difference?
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  9. #19

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    That's supposition, and it doesn't address post office intentions. It also doesn't address the issue of cargo scanning with respect to either planes or trucks. I think that the fundamental problem is that there isn't enough information to come to any conclusions about what the current and medium term issue is, although makers of films appear to be pointing to an issue emerging.
    Of course it's supposition, I did use the word "probably." What we know is that film manufacturers are warning us about new airport CT scanners for carry-on bags and have warned about checked bag scanners for a long time. We also have some known examples of fogging from the new CT scanners (Arne Croell shows an example in the other thread). I don't know of any examples of known fogging from mailing film, and people and stores mail film all the time. So my point is that one cannot reason from the mailing experience that the airport is safe, nor can one reason from the airport experience that mailing film is dangerous (for the film).

  10. #20

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    Re: Ilford Film Airports

    I order film from B&H or Freestyle, and it's sent USPS Priority, and I've never had problems with it being damaged from x-ray.

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