protecting unprocessed film from security x-ray.

Old Feb 9th, 2003, 07:06 PM
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ed
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protecting unprocessed film from security x-ray.

I have heard that unprocessed film should not be put in checked luggage, but I bought
the lead carrier from TravelSmith and took it though China without trouble. Are the new screening machines that much more powerful?
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 03:35 AM
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From everything I've read,yes,they could be that powerful.They vary and some are more so then others.In addition under the new heightened security having something in your checked luggage that the xray can't "see through" is asking for trouble.I also use the lead bag and have for some time but only in my carry on as that xray machine isn't as powerful.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 11:13 AM
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Don't check film, period. Xrays, lost luggage, pilferage -- surely the single most irreplaceable item is your visual record of your trip?
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Old Feb 12th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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I can only speak from my personal experience, and what I've read. I've been traveling extensively with my gear for about 10 years now and I ALWAYS carry it on. Period. In that time, I have had my bag hand checked once (which was, I might mention, a very unpleasant experience). I have never used a lead bag nor protection of any type (for neg. or slide film) and I can count the number of damaged or "fogged" rolls on no fingers.

There are numerous sources of documentation (including Shutterbug Mag.) that have published articles stating airport x-rays will not harm film; also, see numerous "real world" experience posts @ photo.net on the subject. Not a negative (pardon the pun) post there, in fact most say it's nearly impossible for an airport x-ray to damage your film.

Just this week there was a post siteing a pro travel photog. who tagged a roll of Kodak S100 film this past year and took it with her on every trip (I believe it was in excess of 40 airports from U.S. to 3rd world countries). No damage.

I guess my advice is carry it on and don't worry about it. It's never been a legitimate issue for anyone I've ever head of.
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Old Feb 12th, 2003, 05:51 PM
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If you put you film in checked baggage, it will be ruined in the new bomb detection equipment, even if in a lead lined pouch. Always put your film in a carry on. However, I respectfully disagree with the last poster. The x-rays used for carry on luggage do have a cumulative effect on your film. While a couple of screenings might not hurt the film, eventually it will, particularly if you are using high speed film. Why would you want to take a risk with your memories. As a precaution, I try to get my film hand inspected, and if they won't do it, I always put it in a lead lined pouch before it goes through the screening machine.
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Old Feb 13th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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I suppose if you want to hear what the film manufacturers say you can go here:

http://www.fujifilm.com/JSP/fuji/epartners/Faq.jsp?id=239184&returnTo=Search&search=x%2Dray&s earchMode=1#239184

or here:

http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/tib/tib5201.shtml

But they are big coorporations with lots of lawyers so I'm sure they err wayyy on the side of safety.

The previous poster is correct in stating that higher speed films are more sensitive (I've also heard that cummulative scans are an issue, and I imagine they would be with high speed films, but my experience and the article I've recently read makes me even more confident about slow speed films (i.e. the 40+ passes of 100 speed film with no problems)).

This article:
http://www.vividlight.com/articles/1211.htm

from Vivid Light magazine states that film speeds 1000 and higher shouldn't be scanned at all, and 1-2 scans even for 800 speed film should be fine.

If you are really that worried about your film and you decide you MUST do something here's what I'd do: I'm hearing of more and more people for whom the lead bag is becoming a problem. Post 9/11 anything they (airport security) can't see though seems to get you tagged for further inspection. Take your film out of it's boxes and canisters and put it in a ziplock bag, and put that in an accessible area of your carry on. When you get to the machines, either put it in the container with your keys/watch/etc. or ask for it specifically to be hand checked. DO NOT leave film in your camera which will either pass through the machine or on occasion(shudder), have the back opened by the security agent. This will not guarantee you an easy pass through, but from what I've heard from others, it's your best shot.

Finally, if you're REALLY that concerned about the issue buy and process your film at your destination (research prices first, tourist destinations generally have poor quality film choices and both film and processing prices are inflated). If that is not an option, FedEX or DHL always is.

Oh, and remember, no matter what NEVER check any of your photo gear.

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Old Feb 13th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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There have been other threads on this, but just for the record, our experience was that security (at LAX) would hand check 800 and faster film, but NOT anything slower. They insisted the slower film go through the xray machine.

If you put your film in a ziplock bag, as previous poster suggested, you might want to separate the 800 and faster film so you can at least get that hand checked. That's our MO now.
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Old Feb 17th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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The TSA on their own web site
www.tsa.gov recommends that if you have film that will be screened more than 5 times ask that it be hand inspected. Also: the following gives the inspectors here in the US no choice, see the last sentence.

Rick

Code of Federal Regulations
TITLE 14--AERONAUTICS AND SPACE
CHAPTER I--FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Sec. 108.17 Use of X-ray systems.
(e) No certificate holder may use an X-ray system to inspect carry-on or checked articles unless a sign is posted in a conspicuous place at the screening station and on the X-ray system which notifies passengers that such items are being inspected by an X-ray and advises them to remove all X-ray, scientific, and high-speed film from carry-on and checked articles before inspection. This sign shall also advise passengers that they may request that an inspection be made of their photographic equipment and film packages without exposure to an X-ray system. If the X-ray system exposes any carry-on or checked articles to more than 1 milliroentgen during the inspection, the certificate holder shall post a sign which advises passengers to remove film of all kinds from their articles before inspection. If requested by passengers, their photographic equipment and film packages shall be inspected without exposure to an X-ray system.
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Old Feb 18th, 2003, 07:47 AM
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After our last trip when the developed pictures didn't look as good as usual, using the same camera and film type, I decided to join the 21st century and get a digital camera. No X-ray problems with digital.
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