film in airport xray machines

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Feb 4th, 2002, 06:25 PM
  #1
Chris
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film in airport xray machines

Have the x-ray machines at the security increased to the point where film is severely damaged?

If I put my film (not in the canisters) in a clear zipl lock bag, will the security officers check it by hand instead of throwing it through the machine? (I'd like to hear from someone who has recent experience with this.)

I'm trying to save money, so if I can avoid buying a film safe bag, I'd like to. I was going to wait until I got to my destination to buy fersh film, but I am afraid of exhorbanent prices.
 
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Feb 4th, 2002, 06:41 PM
  #2
me
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The xray machine will not ruin your film.
 
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Feb 4th, 2002, 07:52 PM
  #3
Les
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me's statement is a little too simplistic. The things that contribute to film fogging by xray machines are the speed of the film (faster film is more sensitive to xrays), and the number of times it goes through an xray machine (self-evident).
Generally, if you use film of ASA 200 speed or slower, you won't notice any effect from the xrays, even after several trips. But on my last trip to China, for example, I went through airport security 22 times in a month, so I always asked to have my film manually inspected. There's usually no objection to this, but sometimes you have to insist.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 03:22 AM
  #4
Monx
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Do not put your films in a lead bag. We have our 11 films in it and because security cannot see what's in it we had to remove them all and put through the x-ray machine anyway. I know we should insist they check them by hand but there was a long line, annoyed already, in Manchester airport.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 04:16 AM
  #5
kcd
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Just put your film in your carry-on. The machine that xrays checked luggage is the only one that will ruin your film. I flew 2 days after they started inspecting checked luggage and the girl at the ticket counter asked me if I had any film in my checked bag. I told her yes, and she told me to put it in my carry on. Easy enough.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 05:29 AM
  #6
CF
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If you are that worried, bite the bullet and buy the lead bag. when you get to security, hand it to the checker. They have beefed up the strength even for hand luggage and recommend you not put your film thru. The lead bag is great for exposed film coming home in checked luggage.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 05:54 AM
  #7
Harry
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Never, never, ever put your films in your check-in luggage. Even worse is to put it in a lead bag with your check-in luggage. If they won't see what's in that bag they will open your bag, take all stuff out, find you, and as a result plane will be delayed and you will find yourself feeling guilty. This is what happened to my sister on a flight from Lisbon last week.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 11:51 AM
  #8
CF
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You are right Harry. Before all this extra security hoopla, we put exposed film in our checked bags in the lead bag just so we didn't misplace it or have to carry anything more than necessary... I went brain dead there for a minute...it isn't a great idea these days. (You are also talking an international flight there too.)
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 03:38 PM
  #9
Howard
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I agree with CF. Buy the lead bag. One suggestion: Take the film out of the canisters before putting in the bag. Otherwise, when security checks it, they'll probably make you open every canister! Another suggestion: Don't load your camera until after you've passed thru security.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 08:22 PM
  #10
dan
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I can say that I HAVE passed a plastic baggie of about 25 rolls of 400 exposure film through in my carry-on with no negative results [no pun intended]... BUT had the worst possible experience with video film at the same time --->

I was returning home from a semester abroad, just two days before Christmas. I had spent the past two weeks with a cam-corder in my hand, traveling with a train pass through as many countries as possible and filming a narrative video-tape to present to my mom as a special gift for the holidays [she wanted so badly to visit for part of my time there, but alas she could not]. All in all, I spent about $350 making the Hi-8 format videotape, what with rentals and accessories [and a lost battery charger mishap on the train to copenhagen] and as much as I didn't want to pass any of my films through the machines, I almost missed my flight and had zero time to argue.

Christmas morning came, and although I hadn't had time to do anything with my film, I presented it as my most special gift ever to my mother, and we put in it right away to watch.

NOTHING. My jaw dropped, and my heart fell. The tape had been demagnetized, or whatever it is x-ray machines do, and there was simply no way to save what I had worked on for so long.

May seem *somewhat* trivial, but considering its personal meaning, it was one of the biggest disappointments of my life, and hopefully it can serve as a warning. Do Not Take ANY Risk if your film means anything to you.
 
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Feb 5th, 2002, 11:56 PM
  #11
Allan
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Chris,

if you are concerned, one option is to buy your film wherever you are tripping to and then have the film developed before returning home; most labs will develop your film without providing prints for a few dollars. Also check out these sites
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/tib/tib5201.shtml

http://forums.consumerreview.com/[email protected]@.eedd4b6!RANDOM=7737512

hope this is of assistance
 
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Feb 6th, 2002, 04:11 AM
  #12
nolead
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I work for the airport security and let me tell you that those lead bags are useless now. Take your films out of the canisters, put them in the plastic bag, ask nicely with a smile if they can check it for you without sending through the x-ray machine.
 
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Feb 6th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #13
Chris
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Thank you SO much everyone for the tips!

I took the film out of the canisters and put it all in a zip loc bag. I wikll ask nicely to have it checked by hand, but if they refuse and throw it on the belt at the security checkpoint, I won't be too concerned.

Thanks again for all the helpful links and replies!
 
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Feb 8th, 2002, 07:10 AM
  #14
Jeanne
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For Debbie
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 04:53 AM
  #15
ttt
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For Mike from european forum
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 06:55 AM
  #16
Chris
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Hey chris,
I am currently taking a photgraphy class and this was one of the subjects that came up the first night. My instructor/professional photographer for 20 years said to NEVER put your film thorugh and x-ray machine. It also states this in the class textbook reading. My instructor said he has fought and fought with airport security on this issue. Your best bet is have it out of your luggage, buy it when you get there, or buy a leadproof bag and let them inspect it.
Good luck
Chris
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 07:24 AM
  #17
nolan
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It doesn't make a sense to buy a lead bag if they have to inspect anyway and in the end they will throw it on the belt anyway. It happend to a person in front of me. Plastic bag will do
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 08:08 AM
  #18
Buzz
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Well, I have an answer and a question.

First, I've beed a professional portrait/commercial photographer for nearly 30 years and, yes, some films are very prone to damage via x-ray, particularly b/w films like TRI-X, if it is not outright fogged it will at least turn "muddy". I've never had too much of a problem with color.

My last two trips security refused to hand-expect, insisting that there would be no damage. Both times I came to the brink of causing an outright scene until I acquiesced, and I have lived to regret it.

I'm going to England/France in a few weeks and I've bought a lead film bag. I'd already figured out that this needed to be in the carry-on, otherwise it was going to show up as a solid form in the x-ray...

The problem is that I've been asked to do photos for a local publication and so can justly difuse part of the trip expense as a legitimate business expense. BUT...they want b/w infared pix. KODAK advised me that exposure to ANY radiation/light will definately spoil the film. In fact, it is advised that the camera be loaded/unloaded in a darkroom. DO NOT OPEN THE CANISTERS!

I've decided to hand it over in the lead bag still in the original Kodak boxes, un-opened.

This film is very expensive and hard to have processed. I'm thinking about taking the EXPOSED film to a KODAK lab in London or Paris, instead of bringing it back to the States for processing and, hopefully, avoiding light contamination and hassles with security, thus my question: Any suggestions as to where such a developer might be in either city? In other words, here in the U.S. you cannot take this film to just any corner store for processing, it has to be an actual Kodak facility. Any advice?
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 08:53 AM
  #19
CF
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Saw in the new Magellans catalog right next to the lead bag that they have jacked the price up on, they recommend carrying your film in a plastic bag, handing it over to be checked and advise against putting it in your checked luggage due to the changes in the xray machines.
 
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Feb 9th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #20
Howard
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Buzz, your information may be correct, but I would think that security will probably make you open up the film cartons for inspection!
 
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