Film and X-ray Machines

Old Apr 26th, 1999, 02:08 PM
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Film and X-ray Machines

Is it ok to let 400 speed film go through the x-ray in a carry on bag?
Old Apr 26th, 1999, 04:53 PM
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We took 24 rolls of 400 with us. Went through the X-Ray machines four times. Pictures came out just fine. Even those taken inside museums where no flash is allowed and the lighting is quite dim. Highly recommend a small, flexible, "tripod" which screws into the bottom of your camera to assist in holding it still. Next time, though, we're going to take a few rolls of 1000 for nighttime.
Old Apr 26th, 1999, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the info! Going to run out for a few rolls of 1000 now.
Old Apr 26th, 1999, 06:17 PM
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Even though they say the machine doesn't hurt film, I usually carry a lead lined bag that you can purchase through many travel catalogues. Better to be safe that sorry.
Old Apr 26th, 1999, 08:02 PM
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I should be noted that recently new more powerful x-ray machines can affect your film. Also, try to limit your films exposure to x-rays. Multiple exposures can affect your film. 1000ASA would concern me. do your best to limit exposure whenever you can.
Old Apr 26th, 1999, 11:57 PM
George Holt
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As I understand it the more powerful 'x-ray' machines (which may use another technology than x-rays) which are not film safe are generally only used for hold baggage. Message here is to carry all your film, exposed or unexposed, in your carry on baggage.

I'm a professional photographer and I too worry about too many repeated passes through these machines, its not just airports, leaving and arriving, but some museums and other public places in some countries also use similar machines.

Whilst I usually only travel for pleasure my holiday snaps are valuable to me. I used to carry my film through the metal detector in a polythene bag and have them hand examined, it has to be said this doesn't make you flavour of the month. I was put off this one time when I had a block of 10 films straight off the wholesalers shelf in their plastic wrap, the security guard insisted on opening each box and opening each plastic tub. I was left with an untidy mess of opened boxes which I had to repack, and it considerably eroded my shopping and drinking time! I've never used the lead bags but I'm told that if the operators get anything they can't see through they simply turn up the power until they can.

Nowadays I grit my teeth and pass the film through the filmsafe machines, I haven't had any noticable trouble but I tend to use colour neg where a little overexposure is not a great problem, colour slides are a different matter. Additionally 'filmsafe' is a relative term and while machines may be effectively safe for 'normal' films, say around 100 or 200 ASA, they may not have been tested extensively on the faster 1000 ASA and up films which have only recently been commonly available to amateurs.

I'm sure the security people don't want to give us tourists a hard time but any concessions or loopholes they allow tourists will be exploited by terrorists and smugglers.

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