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Sherry Apr 29th, 2002 10:03 AM

Problems with xrays ruining film?
On a recent talk show all callers and the host suggested purchasing film in the country of destination and then developing it before returning to the US. All had trouble with the machines damaging their film leaving it useles. Have you had any problems with xray machines since Sept.11th ruining your film?

Howard Apr 29th, 2002 10:21 AM

I don't know how many responses you'll get here, as this question has been asked and answer dozens (hundreds?) of times. <BR>In short:<BR>You should be okay if your film is under 1000 ASA speed and that you pack in your carryon luggage. NEVER pack film in your checked luggage!<BR>2.

Amy Apr 29th, 2002 10:27 AM

I have never had a problem, but I use a lead bag in my carryon. Never put the film in checked luggage.<BR><BR>That said, I have to propose a differing fact pattern than what Howard just said. I just came back from Italy with a group of 15 other photographers. Those who didn't use film bags had damaged film (foggy or no pictures). Those who didn't were fine. We went through 6 total security checks with the film in carryon bags. You be the judge.

Howard Apr 29th, 2002 10:36 AM

Amy, I should have also mentioned that my advice applies if you don't go through 5 or more security checks! <BR>Also, since it was a group of photographers, is it possible that they were using film faster than 1000 ASA?<BR>PS: I always put my film in a lead bag!

dan woodlief Apr 29th, 2002 10:56 AM

It is hard to get a definite opinion on this. The consensus of the experts seems to be that a few passes through "correctly set" carry-on machines will not damage lower speed film. Then things diverge. I have read articles in some photo magazines apparently suggesting those machines won't harm film at all, but Kodak and others suggest that damage can certainly occur after several passes, and I believe this is likely true. Just yesterday I read an article in our local paper about this issue, based on Kodak's findings. Kodak suggests 5 passes as a safe number. Kodak is supposed to have examples of film damage on its site now as well, but I haven't looked yet. You are more likely to have a problem in less developed parts of the world where the machines are more likely to be incorrectly set. Film in checked baggage is a no no, and I think everyone would agree on this one. <BR><BR>If you want to be perfectly safe, you can buy the film abroad, then have it processed before coming home or mail it back through a carrier that doesn't x-ray its packages (probably harder to find than a few months ago). I don't do this because I am very picky about the film I use and don't want to spend time searching it out when I get there, and I am also picky about labs, thus I am reluctant to use new labs (to me) for important photos. If you're not that picky, it is probably a good option or if you can find reviews from others who have used a given lab.

mariana Apr 29th, 2002 11:08 AM

I've NEVER had any trouble with film....but then I use nothing above 400 speed, so perhaps there is something to that theory. I pack extra film in my checked luggage, and carry camera an extra film in carry on. Just returned 10 days ago from Ireland and England, passed through 5 security checks.....and last March to Italy and France,another 5 checks....with no bad results. I just leave them in their original canisters, and return the used one into a canister,and put those in a pull string top shoe bag. (of course it is not a disaster IF I lose the pictures I least my husband thinks not !!!(:&gt;) )

Heather Apr 29th, 2002 12:32 PM

I have 800 speed film of Kodak. I assume this is ok in my carry on like people mentioned. I dont have a lead bag to put it in so do you think this will still be ok?

chris Apr 29th, 2002 12:36 PM

One of the advantages of a digital camera.

Howard Apr 29th, 2002 12:41 PM

Heather, you're probably okay. But, why not make a small investment of $15-20 for the lead bag?

Heather Apr 29th, 2002 12:43 PM

Where can I buy one?

mpprh Apr 29th, 2002 12:45 PM

Hi<BR><BR>Forget hand inspections.<BR><BR>The outside contractors need to call a supervisor, and they are targetted on people per hour.<BR><BR>Other threads say a lead pouch results in increased radiation to see through it.<BR><BR>I have not had problems with ASA 1000 film used for action photography on the arctic circle in winter. Includes 2 checks there, and two back.<BR><BR>It is cumulative, though. So if you will pass several detectors, buy the film locally, and think of local processing. These days they have the same computer driven processing machines in Bali, Sydney, Chicago, Paris ?<BR><BR>Peter<BR><BR>

Heather Apr 29th, 2002 12:49 PM

Thanks Peter. As mentioned I have the 800 speed Kodak Max. If I knew then what I know now I would have gotten the 400 speed.<BR>Anyway doesn anyone know a good place to develop film in Paris and London?<BR>Thanks again

Howard Apr 29th, 2002 12:50 PM

Heather, just about all camera stores sell the lead bags. And, I would assume that some websites that sell film (, I think that's one) might also have them.

Tina Apr 29th, 2002 12:53 PM

Heather, probably can find lead bags in a camera store. Not one of those chains whose primary focus is film developing (Wolfe's /Ritz) --- rather an individually owned shop. OR you can find them in either a catalog or store that carries travel items. I bought mine thru Travel Smith.<BR><BR>

Tony Apr 29th, 2002 01:01 PM

For a complete answer, suggest you go to the Kodak site:<BR><BR>One problem that is cropping up with the use of lead bags is that the screeners are turning up the power on the x-ray machines to see through them. It defeats the purpose of the bag. The best solution (if security personnel will go along) is to have your film hand inspected. I put mine in a clear plastic baggy and hand it to the security person when I walk through the metal detector. So far, no one has refused to do it that way.

Heather Apr 30th, 2002 05:50 AM

I printed out the info from the Kodak site. It looks like they say just don't put it through regular baggage. Is the issue with an unused roll of film that has been used and one that has not been developed or just the film in general.

janis Apr 30th, 2002 08:17 AM

Heather - It is very important to note: put your film in regular CARRY ON luggage. Never ever put it in checked luggage. The scanners used for checked bags is much higher power and definitely will ruin your film.<BR><BR>Once film has been processed (either slides or prints) it is safe in hand or checked luggage.

Heather Apr 30th, 2002 09:10 AM

Yep I know not to put it in Checked baggage. Just concerned anyway. I am just seeing so many different posts about this!<BR>I am wondering if I should buy a pack of 400 speed film and not use my 800 speed. Some people mentioned don't take anything about 1000 (like Kodaks site) and then some mention that you are safe at 400 and below.

up Apr 30th, 2002 09:58 AM


Amy Apr 30th, 2002 10:08 AM

Heather, I took Kodak Max 400, in the lead bag and had no problems. People who lost there film had either 200 or 400 and no bag. (None of us were professional photographers, just hacks!) Personally, I was denied hand-checks 5 out 6 times I requested them. I requested it because I knew they'd up the dosage on the xray to see through the bag. Only got the film hand checked once, but it's worth trying.

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