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Thread: Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

  1. #1
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Feb 2000
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    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    For convienence sake, thinking of loading up the first batch of sheet film (B&W, Trannies, IR) at home, before international flight. But I wonder if the x-ray damage will be more because of x-rays bouncing off the metal in the holders (as opposed to leaving film in boxes, and loading afterwards? Andre

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    SF Bay Area
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    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    There has been a great deal of concern on this matter as not all airports have the same x-ray equipment. I would suggest having the unloaded film hand checked and loaded into holders at your destination; then unloaded and hand inspected on your return.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    68

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    On a recent international flight, film was fogged that went through the carry-on scanning machine despite written and verbal assurances that it was safe. It was not important film but it won't happen again.......

  4. #4

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    Jun 2000
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    Redondo Beach
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    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    When I take film out of the country, I will ask that it be handchecked, and sometimes the response will be 'yeah, yeah, yeah, just move along, It'll be ok'. I've even been told 'if you film is not 1000ASA it can't be fogged'.

    I will tell them that I insist on my right to have my film handchecked and several times they respond with giving me the 'treatment'. That is, since I've made them actually work for their money, they decide that everything I've got needs to be searched.

    I don't care, I willing to go through this because I have had my film fogged in the past by machines. Has C.W. or anybody else ever been given the treatment?
    Jonathan Brewer

    www.imageandartifact.bz

  5. #5

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    This is a very annoying situation. In my experience US airports are better than the European ones, especially the Paris and Amsterdam security officers seem to have no idea that film other than 35mm exists. Perhaps it would be an idea to set up a site with reliable film vendors abroad. One could contact them before embarking on a trip to see if the film needed is available. The same for processing labs. What do you think about it?

    Marcus

  6. #6
    Beverly Hills, California
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    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    Dear Respondents: I just read a December 14, 2000 post on same issue as my original question. Lots of concerns about air travel with film and risk for damage via x-ray. One good solution in that post was to mail your sheet film home Via UPS or Fed EX, DHL, etc.

    Question now is : Does anyone know if these packages get X-rayed as well, or is it that since they go via a courier company's cargo jet, there is no x-raying involved? Andre

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    101

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    Does anyone still make the lead lined film bag that I bought 25+ years ago for this very purpose? I'm not sure if there are current suppliers, but it's a plastic coated, lead lined device about the size of a lunch bag. You used to also be able to buy it in sheets and "gift wrap" your film prior to travelling. Mine has carried film to such exotic locations as Fort St. John, BC and Prince Edward Island without fogging by airport x-ray machines.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2001
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    50

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    There's no physical reason why x-rays would "bounce" off metal and somehow cause more x-ray exposure to film in film holders.

    It's just not how x-rays work.

    There's already an article on this site that states in no uncertain terms that 400 speed 4x5 film has been handchecked several times through carry-on x-rays with no adverse effect on exposure.

  9. #9

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    Maybe I am mistaken, but "handchecked through carry-on x-rays" is not what was said. "Hand checked" means that it did NOT go through the xray machine, but was visually checked by security.

  10. #10

    Loaded Sheet Film and Airport Carry On X-Ray Machines

    The effect of airport x-rays on film is an age-old question. Interestingly, however, I've never seen any testing or controlled experiments to fully examine the effect of x-rays on specific types of film stored under varying conditions. It seems like a fairly simple test provided that you could access the equipment.

    Has Kodak or any major film manufacturer conducted and published any tests? Are there any serious LF shooters who work in airports or who have access to airport security equipment? Anybody willing to take loaded filmholders down to the airport, walk in and out of security, process the film, and report results?

    I realize this seems a bit silly, but the reseach question/hypothesis seems basic and answerable with a straightfoward test.

    .....................................

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