Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

is it safe to put 800 speed film through the airport x-rays?

is it safe to put 800 speed film through the airport x-rays?

Old Apr 8th, 2004, 03:37 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 511
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
is it safe to put 800 speed film through the airport x-rays?

I will be travelling in the US and Europe with 800 speed film. I am concerned that the airport x-rays will damage the film. What should I do? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
RJames is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 04:10 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We remove the high speed film from the cardboard boxes and separate it in a clear plastic bag. When we go through security, we request that it be hand-checked. They usually comply.

Some people use film bags. Others will tell you that they have never had even high speed film damaged. A search on this forum and the Europe board will turn up lots of info and viewpoints.
Marilyn is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 05:17 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,305
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely ask for a handcheck of 800 speed film. In fact, most US airports have a sign mentioning the hand inspection of 800-speed or faster film.
HowardR is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 05:19 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,305
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
PS: And, as Marilyn recommended, take the film out of their cartons and plastic cannisters and carry them in plastic bags.
HowardR is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 05:33 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually, we leave it in the plastic cannisters but discard the cardboard boxes.
Marilyn is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 06:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've decided taking 800 film isn't worth the hassle of digging it out and waiting for them to go through it.

Last week it got me body searched.

I vowed it would be the last time I took 800 film with me.
Connie is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 09:19 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 833
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I shot two rolls of 800 film in Seattle over Christmas and then threw it in my bag and forgot about it. I flew from San Jose to Seattle, Seattle to San Jose, San Jose to Burbank, and Burbank to San Jose twice before I got it developed and it was fine (although I did have a sinking feeling once I realized how many times it had been x-rayed). BUT, if it's really important film, make them do their freakin' job and hand inspect it.

love
roxy
turn_it_on is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 09:52 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, depending on how many flights you are taking and which airports, you might want to get it developed once it's exposed. You should be able to find a decent lab in any major city in the US or Europe.
Marilyn is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 10:04 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 538
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have been following this thread, and don't quite understand. Are x-rays more damaging to 800 film than 400 film?

Connie: Why would they body-search you for carrying 800 speed film?

I must be missing something here.
dwoodliff is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2004, 10:15 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The faster the film, the more sensitive it is to damage by xrays.

I assume (unless there's something Connie isn't telling us) that because she asked for her film to be hand checked they selected her for a thorough security search. Still...
Marilyn is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2004, 03:34 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,565
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The camera shop we frequent places in every bag with film they sell a notice advising film be hand inspected - when I spoke with the owner, he said that just a little difference in strength of x-ray can make all the difference with the film - so he believes it is better to be safe. He believes that there is often a very slight cloudiness that occurs on prints, sometimes so slight as to be difficult to notice, but obviously not something you want on your vacation photos.

Someone on this board (last summer) said that they get film developed during the trip if possible - either at photo shop or using mailers. Then you have extra bulk of carrying the prints and worry of damage (by bending, etc) to them - we brought a small plastic box to put them in and did some sorting and labeling while waiting at airports, etc. Added advantage of I actually got around to doing that immediately rather than stuffing them in a drawer.
gail is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2004, 05:19 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,305
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I find a five-minute wait (at the most) for my 800-speed film to be inspected a very, very small price to pay for luxury of having the film available.
Further, I find it hard to believe that someone was subject to a body search because they asked to have film hand inspected.
HowardR is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2004, 05:47 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I brought 100, 400, and 800 speed film on a recent trip. 4 flights in 4 different airports and it only took an extra 1-5 minutes to have the hand check. One airport (Maui) refused to hand-check anything under 800 though. One disposable camera (panaramic with 800 film) was accidentally left in the carry-on for one segment and turned out OK.
Oh and I wasn't selected for additional searches on any of those flights.
I put all the disposable cameras and film in a plastic bag without the canisters.
I've heard that screeners don't like film bags. The lining that protects your film means that they can't see into the bag, so they may end up keeping it under the x-ray longer, or turning it up, or whatever they do, and it kinda defeats the purpose.
pb_and_j is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2004, 07:13 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All I know is I was going through the regular line and when I asked them to hand inspect my camera (with film in it) and extra rolls of film, they said I would have to go over and be searched.

When I say body search, I mean doing the spread eagle thing with the wand going over every part of my body, front and back---right in front of everybody. And, they took their sweet time doing it.

What was weird was at big DFW, they didn't think anything of it and at little Lexington, KY, it seemed like a big deal.

I decided (during the search) that I would take slower film or buy it when I got to my destination, next time.
Connie is offline  
Old Apr 9th, 2004, 07:39 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On one trip (2001) I went through 9 xrays with 800 speed film (mostly in Russia, including some old Siberian units), and didn't have any problems with approx. 75 rolls; I didn't ask for hand inspection.

You can try to ask for hand inspection, but don't count on it (my experiences in Russia were totally hit or miss, which is why I didn't bother that time).

Needless to say I now have a digital camera.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2004, 06:33 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 316
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just got back from Paris (two flights each way) and I carried my 800 film in my carry on, in their cannisters. I got Perfect Touch developing and all photos turned out beautiful. Never have had a problem with photo quality from airport x-rays.
TravelerGina is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2004, 07:13 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 442
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have found the easiest thing to do, in the States at least, is to ship the film to the hotel am staying at. Since I backpack alot I usually only stay at a hotel at the end of the trip. Have never had a hotel say no they would not hold this package for me. Be sure to put a hold notice on the outside of the package along with your phone number. Call them before you send it to see if ok to do so and after to make sure it arrived. Best also to have exposed film processed before you leave or ship to the processor using pre-paid film mailers. Have never had problems doing this with either US Mail or Fed-X.
Under no circumstances put your film into your Checked Luggage. The new scanners they are using will destroy any film regardless of ISO.
Photodog is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Bonjour_Voyageurs
Europe
4
Apr 21st, 2006 01:33 PM
FainaAgain
Europe
12
Feb 19th, 2005 03:36 PM
ThisBuds4ME888
Europe
11
Mar 23rd, 2004 06:27 PM
baymtnman
Europe
17
Sep 29th, 2003 06:25 PM
ed
Travel Tips & Trip Ideas
8
Feb 18th, 2003 07:47 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information