anyone had probs w/airport scanners & fog?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by samcomet, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. samcomet

    samcomet Subscriber

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    I've been reading a bunch of posts about potential probs @ airport x-ray scanners, but has anyone had any real issues....would love to hear about them...pls include the iso/asa, manufacturer and type (B&W, colour, neg, reversal) of any film "compromised" by scanning. Also would love to see what it looked like (fogging) and where the film was kept (hand v. stowed luggage), if poss. Just curious. thanks & cheers. sam
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Kodak's article is 6 years old and based on older data, the scanners have changed quite significantly in that time, and become very much more sophisticated making them far more film friendly.

    Ian
     
  4. Denis K

    Denis K Member

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    No but I take a lot of business trips and I've thought about doing the following test. Take a 4x5 ready-load and glue a quarter to the front and back of the outside cover so that the quarters overlap front-to-back. Put the ready-load in my bag and carry it around for numerous trips. After a reasonable number of trips develop the unexposed ready-load and compare the base+fog in the general image area to that where the quarters are. Perhaps someone could put this thread to sleep once and for all.

    Denis K
     
  5. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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  6. Old Micky No 9

    Old Micky No 9 Member

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    The first time I read about it was an article about them old russian scanners adding some cool thunder&lightning effects to your B&W negs. That was in the 1980´s
    Personally I haven´t had any problems with the west-european scanners, and I´ve past a few hundred rolls of all kinds during frequent flying the last 10 years or so.

    Cheers Micky
     
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  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i have brought film overseas a handful of times
    from asa 25 to 800 ( even tmy ) in my carry on
    ( a few years ago, maybe 12 passes through scanners ...
    heathrow had LOTS of scanners )
    never had troubles in the last 10 years. i even put exposed film
    in my luggage without knowing any better ( 1999, 2000 ) and had no trouble.
     
  8. Fluidphoto

    Fluidphoto Member

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    You have to keep in mind that the scanners are different at every airport and each country has its own rules that govern what their airports need to adhere to. That being said, in the post-911 security driven society that we now live in, there is becoming a higher prevailance of scanners that will damage the film that you carry and those scanners are changing on a nearly daily basis.

    The carry-on scanners aren't generally the ones to be afraid of. The scanners that scan your checked luggage is an entirely different matter as they are designed to scan through large bags and packages to not only see what is in your luggage but to look for certain substances that items are made of. That kind of scan uses huge amounts of power and that's what does the damage. I've personally made the mistake of putting some 120 colour neg film in my checked luggage on a flight home from Hawaii and there was a very noticable fog difference between that and the roll that was still in the camera that I carried through security that came from the same pro-pack box.

    I'm not generally a fear monger or someone who thinks that Big Brother is constantly leaning over my shoulder, but to think that the technology is getting better for film is way off base. The scanners are getting better... at being scanners. They may not be X-rays anymore but they will still damage your hard earned work.

    Ryan
     
  9. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Carry on baggage scanners are what we're talking about here. No one disputes that the checked baggage scanner will damage film.

    Regards, Art.
     
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  10. Old Micky No 9

    Old Micky No 9 Member

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    Definatley not. And reason no 1 for not putting your films in the checked-in luggage is that it tends to get lost from time to time. And maybe passing through a few scanners more on its way.

    Cheers Micky
     
  11. rternbach

    rternbach Member

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    Anyone have any success requesting alternative inspections of carry-on film: visual, manual, or hand in lieu of scanning? My experience has been inconsistent in this regard.
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    In Europe hand scans aren't done any longer. Only airport I've seen that offered them (scientific films only) was San Paulo in Brazil, the other South American airportt didn't offer them.

    Modern airports usually just don't have the staff or the time.

    Ian
     
  13. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    SXF - Berlin 2008 - Presented a bag of assorted 120 films and asked for a hand inspection (pointing to the Delta 3200). Not a problem, stuck a sniffing device in and was done in seconds.

    LAX - Los Angeles 2007 - They spotted the bag of films and offered a hand inspection, didn't even have to ask.

    STN - Stansted London 2008 - Staff grumbled & bitched, but did a manual inspection.

    LHR - Heathrow London T5 - Staff bitched and would only hand check the 3200 roll.

    Haven't noticed any fogging patterns on the films to date. Should point out the the Delta 3200 is a sacrificial roll, well out of date by now, and only gets packed because of the "do not xray" warning in multiple languages :D
     
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  15. Ian David

    Ian David Subscriber

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    In my experience (as with many others it seems), I have never had any trouble going through hand baggage scanners with films up to ISO 400. Multiple passes, including in places with dubious looking scanners (eg Vietnam, Jordan) have never caused a problem.

    Re hand inspections, I don't have any recent experience in the US, but my experience elsewhere is that these are becoming very hard to get. Probably rightly so too. If scanners are generally fine for film, then items as big as film rolls should be scanned.

    Ian
     
  16. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    I3a published tests of films being scanned with an Xray scanner; seems like it was published a year ago so tests should be made in 2005-2007
    http://www.i3a.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/i3afilmxraytestreport.pdf
    SO far it seems safe to pass 3200 film (people say real sensitivity is around ISO 1000-1600) 5 times under a scanner and get nothing considerable.
     
  17. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    The only place that would not hand inspect my film was Paris, France. I would only carry on film (and cameras) because you never know where or when your checked luggage might end up. Having experienced my luggage once go to a different country on an airline I wasn't traveling on, I now make a luggage tag with contact numbers and my itinerary for each day. I use 120 film and remove all the rolls from their boxes and the outer wrapper and keep them in a ziplock bag or a nylon mesh bag so it is easily checked.
    jeff
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Is it necessary to remove the outer wrapper? [For scanning, I know it has to be removed before using.]

    Steve
     
  19. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Airport scanners don't scare me. The real damage is done in the mail when the trays of mail pass through the irradiation devices. In the first year or two after 9-11, they hadn't quite gotten the hang of what dosage to use and any higher speed film passed through them were damaged. The glassine windows of windowed envelopes were frequently melted or burned.
     
  20. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    I also had trouble with the Paris CDG inspectors. They wouldn't hand inspect and were very anxious I shouldn't take their picture, later, covering their nametags with their hand.

    Below is a frame from a stowed baggage X-ray in Wellington, New Zealand. This is APX100 and unfortunately the last I saw of my father before he died 3 months later.

    Always take your film in the hand baggage.
     

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  21. clayne

    clayne Member

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    By far, UK is the worst. Bunch of jerks when it comes to checking film. However, 3rd world countries I've been in I didn't even bother. 10+ scans of 100 or so rolls. NO ISSUES, including lots of 1600PR and Tri-X, etc.
     
  22. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Perhaps it's you that's the jerk :smile: not them :D at least in their eyes.

    Unlike some countries, in the UK there is testing done and as I pointed out earlier in this or a parallel thread the UK has had a committee for many years that oversees film safety and airport security scanning. Kodak, Fuji, Ilford etc are involved along with Professional Associations and the RPS.

    I was most insistent on having my film hand checked 2 or 3 years ago at Gatwick, but was given a BAA sheet indicting that the carry-on scanners had been thoroughly tested to ensure they were fully film safe. Once through security a more senior official came to re-assure me, it turned out that he was very keen film photographer, and also the RPS member of the airport film safety committee, he had access to all the data on film testing and visited the factory making the scanners.

    The BAA no longer uses the film/scanner safety sheet as no-one was interested in it.

    Ian
     
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  23. DutchShooter

    DutchShooter Member

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    I've had the same 15 rolls of film pass 13(!) consecutive hand-luggage x-rays when travelling through Asia (everytime a few more which were already exposed). ISO 100-400, B&W and color-negative. Not a single problem.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    No issues here, with any film sent through any carry-on x-ray machine in the U.S.A. I shoot HP5, Delta 3200, and Fuji Press 800 almost exclusively for small format, especially on trips, when I try to K.I.S. and consistent as far as my selection of emulsions. (I do always bring some tungsten film, some medium-speed color transparency film, some IR820, and occasionally FP4 or T-Max 100 and 400.) No problems with NPH, NPZ, HIE, or IR820 either.
     
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  25. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I have not had probs with multiple scans of hand luggage. I have heard of Paris CDG hand baggage scanners fogging film on one pass but dont know how reliable those reports are. It was interesting to see that same airport crop up several times in different threads so I would be seriously wary of this airport. Maybe its some machines at some terminals (or none), but I have not heard a reliable account of carry on fogging at other airports. I ask for hand checks if I can to reduce overall exposure, esp of D3200.
     
  26. Ian Grant

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    Tom, I've been through Paris, CDG airport, with film twice and had no problems.

    Ian