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Kim Mar 29th, 2002 08:24 PM

Photographers, Help
What do you do about film now that xray machines are on "high"? Do you still take film or purchase upon arrival? I use 1000 speed film at nite outside, as well as in places where a flash is a no-no. What do "professionals" do?

topping Mar 29th, 2002 09:58 PM

another late night orphaned unanswered question<BR>

Myer Mar 30th, 2002 02:42 AM

This subject has been covered in some other threads.<BR><BR>Essentially the responses were as follows: Your film is of little concern to those checking. There is a web site ( that has a 23 page guideline. Section 108.17 appears to instruct that you are entitled to have photographic equipment checked without going through x-ray equipment.<BR><BR>Some observations. I can just see myself standing there pointing to a 23 page document with a million people behind me. Also, this is just an American document. What about foreign countries?<BR>

Myer Mar 30th, 2002 02:47 AM

Do a search on 'film' and see the one about Newark refuring to hand check.

Gretchen Mar 30th, 2002 02:54 AM

This has been covered EXTENSIVELY. Put your 1000 speed film out of its canisters in a plastic bag and ask for it to be hand checked. You may succeed. Otherwise buy it in Europe and have it developed there. Definitely put it in your carryon bag.

Randy Mar 30th, 2002 05:11 AM

In the past the machines never had and effect on my film. Last year I took a digital camera and that has almost eliminated a need for a flash. I took many pictures in the Louvre without a flash and they all came out well. <BR><BR>Last year while in Angers I took pictures of the Tapestry of the Apocalypse without a flash and they came out well considering the very low light enviroment.<BR><BR>Two years ago I would have never thought I would say that a Digital Camera is the only way to go, but after 580 pictures in France last year I have changed my mind.

jw Mar 30th, 2002 05:20 AM

OK, I have no pride, here is a really stupid question. Does the use of a digital camera eliminate security x-ray concerns? How about weight? What do you have to carry? Is there a really small digital camera that gives you pictures that actually look the way you remember a scene? Thanks all.

Susan Mar 30th, 2002 11:03 AM

Randy -<BR> Please tell me more about your digital camera - brand? cost? easy to use? weight?<BR>Thanks.<BR>Susan

Kim Mar 30th, 2002 04:33 PM

Gretchen,<BR>Where have you been? I've flown several times since the 11th and there is no more "hand check". Every topic, city and country have been discussed however, that's what this forum is for. If everyone uses "search" there would be no new questions. Besides, things change daily.

Joy Apr 2nd, 2002 04:34 AM

Interesting read. Just returned from France - I bought a lead bag here in the states, which can be purchased at any good local camera store (not at a Wal-Mart or Target). Make sure you buy a good brand of the lead bag and look at the rating of what it can protect as to X-ray. <BR><BR>I've been told by some security personnel that soon most X-ray machines will "fry" the film even the lower speed. I use 400 and 800 speed. I will always ask to be handchecked and will ask at least 3 times and I arrive early so that I can have enough time to make these requests. <BR><BR>Regarding the lead bag - some airport security will just put your bag through the machine and not ask about that "dark hole" in your luggage and some will take your hand carry out and ask to see what caused that "dark hole" and hand check it after all. There is ABSOLUTELY no standardization on security behavior.

Mark Apr 2nd, 2002 04:53 AM

A few things to keep in mind (again, all have been discussed on this forum before):<BR>- The effect of X-rays on film is accumulative, so each pass through security increases the chances that your film will be damaged<BR>- The faster the film, the more likely X-rays will harm it; ISO 1000 is VERY fast film<BR>- Never count on getting a "hand check" of your film. I've been having troubles with this for years, long before Sept. 11th. As other posters have said, buy a good-quality lead-lined film bag RATED FOR 1000 FILM (if that's what you're taking). This is not the place to be "penny wise and pound foolish."<BR>- Maybe some accomodation will be worked out if enough amateur and professional photogs start raising hell with the FAA and the new U.S. transportation security agency. Write letters, call, and email them!<BR>Good luck, Kim!

Gretchen Apr 2nd, 2002 06:17 AM

To JW and digital cameras. Digitals don't use film--they use memory chips that are not affected by x-ray. I loved taking mine last fall--could put it in my pocket, VERY light, it does everything my SLR's do except give me stacks of prints to leaf through.<BR>You carry a battey charger (or buy batteries) and the camera. There has been lots of discussion about downloading from digitals in order to re-use the memory card. Devices are available for this but with memory cards becoming very reasonable in price it may be easier to just take more cards. Another possibility of taking more pictures is to lower the resolution of pictures, particularly if you are not going to enlarge. No need to take 1000 speed--just set the digital to that ASA and shoot. Then re-set to 100 for the bright light.

Steve Mueller Apr 2nd, 2002 06:41 AM

<BR>I use a digital and a conventional SLR - both Nikons. The quality of the digital images does not come close to that of the film images.<BR><BR>For your night shots, considering taking a stable tripod and you shouldn't need such high speed film. I have gotten great night shots with Kodachrome 64 using a tripod. So speed isn't critical if you can stablize your camera. The tripod may not help you with your interior shots, however, because most places that don't allow flash also don't allow tripods.<BR><BR>Good luck.

Capo Apr 2nd, 2002 01:19 PM

Steve, you said the quality of the digital images you take doesn't come close to the film images. I admit that I don't know much about digital cameras (yet), but doesn't that depend, to a great extent, on the number of megapixels on the digital image? Thanks. <BR>

Marc David Miller Apr 2nd, 2002 01:30 PM

Quality of a digital image is more than just a function of megapixals per image--lens sharpness, bokah, distortion, effective film speed, sturdiness of the camera, lens speed, shutter response time--which is sort of the opposite of what the camera manufacturers are promoting. Did you know that Nikon has a digital camera that is "only" 2.1 mp but costs over $3000--that is because it is designed for high speed (rapid) picture taking, something that most digitals currently cannot achieve.

jd Apr 2nd, 2002 05:57 PM

Another alternative is to buy Kodak mailers (you can get them cheaply from a number of websites, such as B and H photo). Just drop each roll in the mail when it's done, and when you get home your pictures will be waiting for you.<BR>

Paula Apr 2nd, 2002 06:04 PM

Just returned from Paris last week. They WOULD NOT hand inspect anything at the airport for securityb reasons. Luckily I had brought some of those "Film Shield" bags (leaded pouches) and got out of line to putn the film and camera in them. You can get a pretty good deal on these at Ebay, usually less than 1/2 price. Hope this helps.

ann Apr 3rd, 2002 12:27 PM

Another vote for digital. After many years and trips lugging my heavy but much loved Nikon I just came back from Paris with only my Olympus digital. I shot over 800 shots - something that would have been extraordinarily expensive with film - for no cost beyond the equipment (well once you get home you still have to print, but only those shots you want). I did have a digital wallet (about $200, holds 3000 shots at 1mb - which I have successfully enlarged to 8x10 prints). The quality is slightly less than that of film at that size but for your standard 4x6 print no one I've shown them to can tell the difference. Digital is great for low light and inside shots too.

Amy Apr 3rd, 2002 12:40 PM

The camera shop that I bought my lead bag from had an interesting bit of news about the next wave of xray security. They said that the screening machines at the terminals (not checked baggage) that are due to be installed by the end of this year wipe out digital cameras, laptops, PDAs, mp3 players, etc. I don't know anything more than that, but when I said I'd be switching to digital for my next trip, they warned me of the above. Anyone else heard anything about this?<BR><BR>And to second what was said above, I was refused hand-checks at 5 out of 6 security points between Boston and Naples two weeks ago.<BR><BR>Amy

Steve Mueller Apr 3rd, 2002 01:41 PM

<BR>Sorry Capo, I didn't notice your question until today. If I were to use enough pixels to simulate the grain resolution of slide film, I would only be able to fit about three to five images per 8Mg card. Because I shoot about 50-100 images per day, it would cost a fortune to buy that many cards. Moreover, the quality of the digital images would still not be as good because the lens quality is inferior. Also, the shutter speeds on my digital are lower, so the images tend to blur slightly even under relatively bright conditions. I could resolve the blur by using a tripod, but considering that the major advantage of a digital camera is convenience, it is easier to use my conventional camera.

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