Protecting film from x-rays

Jul 2nd, 2001, 07:47 AM
Posts: n/a
Protecting film from x-rays

I don't want to rehash old ground here. I know that:
- checked luggage gets zapped much harder;
- the x-rays to which carry-on luggage is submitted is "generally" not a problem for "most" film; and
- the people checking carry-on will sometimes do a hand-check.

I got, as a father's day present, one of those lead-lined pouches to protect film. Great, I thought. Now I don't have to battle with the guards for a hand-check. But last night, I read in a guide book that when one of those pouches goes through the machine, the operator turns up the x-rays to full blast, totally defeating its purpose.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? (We leave tomorrow!!!!!!!)
Jul 2nd, 2001, 08:05 AM
J T Kirk
Posts: n/a
My problem with the lead pouch is that sometimes I've had security people pull me aside and have me open my bag, then open the lead pouch. To me it's too much trouble. I just carry my film (nothing of a higher speed than 400) loose in my camera bag and send it thru the X-ray machine. I have never (knock on wood) had an exposure problem.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 08:32 AM
Posts: n/a
I always use the lead bags, pack them in my carry-on luggage and have no problems.
If you're not carrying that much film, the easiest thing to do is take the film out of the canisters, pack them in a plastic bag and have them handchecked by the security person. Also, to make things easier, don't load any film into your camera until you go thru security, thus alleviating any fear of ruining any film in the camera when it goes through the xray.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 12:16 PM
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I had my film out of the containers, in a clear zip-lock bag and in my hand ready for hand inspection at Heathrow airport. The lady at the metal detector just grabbed it and sent in through the x-ray anyway. So even that isn't fool proof.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 02:21 PM
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On a recent trip to London, I used the lead bag for film for the first time. I was stopped and had to open my carryon each time so I finally caught on and took it out of my carryon and sent it through by itself. That seemed to make them happy. My pictures turned out good.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 03:05 PM
Posts: n/a
I read in a Photography magazine only a couple of days ago an article on this issue.

First of all, a bunch of professional photographers tested film after going through an xray. Their verdict was anything less than 12 trips through an xray machine had no impact on the film, but even after 12 passes it was truly neglible. Only after a good 30 passes through did the film show signs of the xray.

Secondly, it stated that BAA UK airports would not agree to handcheck film without prior written agreement.

Lastly, it also repeated that hold luggage gets zapped harder as Bill states above.

Jul 2nd, 2001, 04:37 PM
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Another vote for the lead-lined film bags-have used one for years, including entering/leaving 3rd world countries, without problems. Seems the only thing that presents a problem in my carry-on bag is the hairdryer and what its shape resembles.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 05:14 PM
Posts: n/a
Go to a source and find it out yourself in case of involving CTX5000 scanner:

hope you don't have to go thru one of these machine...

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