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Is it true film gets messed up by x-rays?

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May 20th, 2005, 10:01 PM
  #1
MalTru
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Is it true film gets messed up by x-rays?

Is it true that film gets messed up by the x-rays used to look inside luggage? How do you get film through the check in point then? Does checked baggage get scanned, or just carry on luggage? Should I put my film in the same little tray as my keys and stuff? Just wondering!

(The crazy thing is that I actually have traveled quite a bit; I just never had to deal with this kin dof stuff before.)
 
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May 21st, 2005, 04:42 AM
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sandi
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It is strongly suggested to NEVER put film in checked luggage. As to the film in your carryon bag, any film 800ASA or less should not be affected by the Xray used at the Security check points.

In the US you can request that your camera and film be hand-checked by the agent - who will take these from you and not pass them thru the Xray at this point. Most TSA personnel are agreeable to this.

However, there is no requirement for such hand check be done in other countries. So unless you are using film speed over 800ASA, your camera and film should be okay.*

An alternative is a lead shield bag into which you place your film, packed in your carryon. Lead bags can be found at most shops that sell cameras, come in various sizes, weight and prices. Consider the weight of the bag if the air carrier you are flying has limits on the weight of your carryon bag.

This bag shows up on the screen as a black blob and you may be asked to open it by the agent; then you may not, but be prepared.

* when we traveled through Southeast Asia and passed thru no less then 10 Security points, all our film survived; the photos developed were absolutely perfect.
 
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May 21st, 2005, 06:42 PM
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MalTru
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Thank you.
 
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May 22nd, 2005, 01:26 PM
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Here is what a professional photographer told be about the lead film bags, which I have used.

"The security staff just turns up the x-ray strength so they can see through the lead bag, thereby giving your film a larger dose."

I'd be interested in others opinions on the bags.
atravelynn is offline  
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May 22nd, 2005, 03:26 PM
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A highly respected camera store told us the same thing about using the lead film bags aravelynn. I finally got rid of ours consequently.

I did not know that film 800ASA would not be damaged by Xray's at Security check points. I have always been nervous about my film but have never had any problem but just thought I was lucky. So that is good news to know.
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May 22nd, 2005, 04:19 PM
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Longer term solution is to invest in a digital camera and take a clean memory card or cards. X rays don't touch them.
With conventional film I usually leave the film out of the camera and hand over all the film at the security check. I've never had it passed through the X-Rays.
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May 24th, 2005, 09:57 AM
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ASA 800 is usually fine through the carry on scanner.... 1600 is another story.

My suggestion is to take all of the film out of the containers and put it all in a ziploc bag. Hand the bag security at the carryon baggage scan and ask them to hand check it.

I've probably done this 30 times and only had 1 'pain in the butt' at Heathrow give me a hard time about it.
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May 24th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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Craigellachie why did you say, "clean memory card"? Will photos that are already on the card be effected?

You did say Xrays do not touch them. But I am curious why you specified a clean one.

I just got a new digital camera, and I am leaving for Florida on Friday morn. Just want to make sure as I have some pics on my card right now.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, I am new to this computer and digital stuff.

thanks.
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May 24th, 2005, 11:12 PM
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MalTru
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May 25th, 2005, 02:04 AM
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Also, consider how many times your film is likely to get "zapped."

On non-stop trips, it's only twice: Once on the way there, once on the way back.

But if you'll be going through security more than that (even at a high-security site such as the Vatican) consider buying your film at your destination to minimize exposure to X-rays.

I've had film ruined a couple of times -- I should listen to my husband who makes a living with a camera and switch to digital for vacation snaps. But I guess I'm just an old-fashioned girl.
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May 25th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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I travel often with both a 33mm camera and my digital. I never check either camera, film, or cards but do keep them in my carry-on.

I agree that having film hand checked is ideal, but I'm finding less and less airport security personnel willing to do this. However, my experience in having the film/cards in my carry-on baggage and going thru x-ray an average of 4 times per trip has not been a problem.
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May 25th, 2005, 05:32 AM
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Sorry for the typo. That should have been "35mm."
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May 25th, 2005, 06:28 AM
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I used to be really fussy about my film and had it hand-checked all the time - 35mm. This past trip I had 7 flights in and out of 5 countries and my pictures have never turned out so beautifully. Although, I would have to attribute that to the developer. I have always taken my film to places like Costco and this time took it to a small camera store. Every picture looks like a postcard - I could hardly believe it as it is the same camera and film I always use.
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May 27th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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Dsm22,
Sorry if I've confused things. I can't see how x-rays would affect anything on a digital camera memory card, no doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
Why a "clean" card? Nothing to do with x-rays but I always transfer the contents of my card onto my PC and / a CD Rom before and after a trip. In the days when 1Mb of card space cost a small fortune I once missed the photo of a lifetime because I couldn't find a card with space on it. Now I always empty every card and carry more than I can ever need.
Related tip - check out the price of memory cards wherever you go. There can be big diffrences in price in different countries.
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May 31st, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Hi, I got back home this morning from FL. I was hoping that you would post before I left on fri. I held my breath while stuck my full-ish memory card and camera through security.

It was fine. Thanks for the post to clear it up though.
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Jun 3rd, 2005, 02:22 PM
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Done it all. Once left the camera with film in it in the checked-in luggage. Kept it in the carry-ons. Asked for a hand-checked - they looked at me like I fell off the moon, called some specialist to come to the check point - San Francisco airport!

The end results were all the same - the film/paper quality is good, it's me who's a bad photographer
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Jun 7th, 2005, 05:50 AM
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rfb
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X-rays will not affect memory cards.

Multiple x-ray exposures WILL affect film. The best approach is the zip lock bag mentioned above. If security agent insists x-rays won't hurt your film, yelling and a temper tantrum usually help protect it.
 
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Jun 17th, 2005, 02:33 PM
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Here's the TSA page that addresses film questions and at the very end recommends not using lead lined bags as they will be hand inspected.

http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/e...orial_1035.xml
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