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Thread: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

  1. #1
    ki6mf's Avatar
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    X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    I recently forgot to take hand carry on a box of unexposed 4x5 HP5 Sheet Film. It went thought baggage check in my suitcase and was X Rayed. When I later did a film test and looked at the edge of the film my "eye ball" method of checking the film looked about 1.5 to 2 zones more dense over the base. I shot two images and developed at the same time and with the same chemistry adgtation etc.

    Don't believe the TSA when they say there will be no damage!

    I have always found the TSA to be cooperative if asked to hand inspect film. I also always get in the first class line when going through security. I indicate that I am a photographer on assignment. This has always got me though with no problems. Once the TSA asked to show my field camera to the staff so they could see one of these cameras for real.
    Wally Brooks

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  2. #2
    lazy retired bum
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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    Sorry this happened to you. It is well known that film placed in baggage is subject to x ray damage because of the strength of the machine used for checked baggage. I have still not seen evidence of film damage from the machines used for carry on and I have carried 400 speed film from the US to Africa and back. The TSA actually does caution against placing any film in checked bags.

    Eric

  3. #3
    Hopelessly Lost
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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    yeah, it is well documented and warned against checking film. Also, with going through the carry on scanner, it is cumulative so dont go through, say 8 of them. I try to limit it at 4 passes max, regardless of emulsion or speed, just to be safe. At that point, you are better off just shipping the film to the lab. Lucky that the film was unexposed.
    www.hollisbennett.com

    Huh? Oh, right, keep moving.

  4. #4
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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    Quote Originally Posted by ki6mf View Post
    Don't believe the TSA when they say there will be no damage!
    Here's what TSA says:

    Never place undeveloped film in your checked baggage, our security equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film. Place your film in your carry-on baggage or request a hand inspection. Please note that our carry-on security equipment might also damage certain film if the film passes through more than five times.

    If your film cannot be cleared by X-ray inspection, or you desire to have it inspected by hand, you may be required to open the box, canister, or wrapper so our Security Officer can inspect it. We recommend leaving your film in the unopened manufacturer’s packaging.

    Our security equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film. Carry undeveloped film with you to the security checkpoint.


    http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtrav...rial_1035.shtm

  5. #5

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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    yeah, it is well documented and warned against checking film. Also, with going through the carry on scanner, it is cumulative so dont go through, say 8 of them. I try to limit it at 4 passes max, regardless of emulsion or speed, just to be safe. At that point, you are better off just shipping the film to the lab. Lucky that the film was unexposed.
    you mean the courier/shipping company will not put the films through XRAYS?
    will they open the package?

  6. #6
    ki6mf's Avatar
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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    I went to one of those U Mail It stores and asked how to ship film so it would not be put through an X Ray. With appropriate documentation I was told Fed Ex ground will ship with our using X Ray.
    Wally Brooks

    Everything is Analog!
    Any Fool Can Shoot Digital!
    Any Coward can shoot a zoom! Use primes and get closer.

  7. #7

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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    Quote Originally Posted by ki6mf View Post
    I went to one of those U Mail It stores and asked how to ship film so it would not be put through an X Ray. With appropriate documentation I was told Fed Ex ground will ship with our using X Ray.
    All my film comes via air, using either FedEx or USPS. Either when I buy it or when I send it for processing - I live in Hawaii and have no choice. I've been doing it for YEARS without a single bad incident. You are worrying, unnecessarily. Cargo is not x-rayed.

  8. #8

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    Re: X Ray Machines at Airports and Fogged Film

    Shouldn't cargo be inspected or x-rayed? I mean in terms of preventing terrorist attacks? Or just plain dumb shippers, like the oxygen containers that blew up in a plane once? I kind of hope they do x-ray cargo....

    But that's what gets me -- none of the shippers -- USPS, UPS, FedEx -- ever say 100% that their packages won't be x-rayed and in some cases I don't think they would or could even tell you, even if they might have a clue at whatever desk you talked to.

    I still say film on your person is the best. Heck I bet the Kodak/Fuji stuff that goes to the dealers is x-rayed once in a while.

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