Is 8 XPF Xray protection enough for carry on film?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by mexipike, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. mexipike

    mexipike Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I have a good deal of 3200 speed film and plenty of 400 speed which I sometimes push. I know that the best way at the airport is to get a hand inspection, however this is always a pain, and in mexico a lot of times they have no idea what your talking about and have never seen 120 film and wonder what the hell it is. So I bought these lead bags, they protect up to 8 XPF. Is that enough protection for the carry on X Rays?

    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. eddym

    eddym Member

    Messages:
    1,927
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not if they make you take it out of the lead bag because they can't see what's in it.
     
  3. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,434
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It might be, but my experience with the lead bags is that they run the camera bag containing the lead bag through a few times until they figure out what's in the dark blob.
    My conclusion was that they weren't worth it, YMMV though.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,978
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I use lead bags some times. They do reduce exposure, and the manufacturer should offer a recommendation as to how much protection is adequate. Usually, in my experience, they see it's with a bunch of camera equipment and don't ask to see or X-ray the contents of the bag. Occasionally they ask to X-ray it.
     
  5. Shelly Grimson

    Shelly Grimson Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto Cana
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    Just got back from Argentina and Chile. Took 6 flights (starting in Toronto) in all, and always had the lead bag full of film in my camera bag. Never was held up or had it run through twice.
     
  6. mexipike

    mexipike Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Shelly-was the bag used rated for 8XPF or was it the 20XPF? Thanks
     
  7. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,434
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just heard that TSA has a blog for getting and responding to public comments and questions.
    http://www.tsa.gov/blog/
     
  8. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    1,435
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In December I flew Sydney-Auckland-Los Angeles-Mexico City & then the reverse in January. All airports were happy enough to hand inspect except for Mexico City where they insisted I put all luggage through the X ray machine. Mind you this is having disembarked the plane & about to leave the airport. I understand scanning before boarding a plane but it seems a bit pointless at the other end.
    I had bought a lead bag at Samys in LA & luckily I had all my fast films & 120 in there. I forget what the rating was & can't lay my hands on it at the moment. I was able to fit 40 or so rolls of film in two layers & it was in my carry on backpack flat against the back. So it may not have shown up on Xrays as anything but the support of the backpack.
    Anyway I understand what you mean about the staff at Mexican airports, at least DF. In my travels the TSA staff at LAX were best. they accepted the request for film inspections with good grace & were very quick. Staff at Sydney & Auckland were all private security. Sydney were OK but the NZ people were not keen on hand inspections & each time tried to coerce me into putting the film through their machine.
     
  9. Shelly Grimson

    Shelly Grimson Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto Cana
    Shooter:
    Med. Format Pan
    The bag I used was the Optex Airport X-Ray Film Protector. Features Quadruple laminated with polyester polyethline lead foil and barium impregnated polyethylene layers and is safe for up to 400 asa film. No other information is on the actual bag. It i distributed in Canada by Gentec International in Markham Ontarion L3R 9X6 www.gentec-intl.com. I will pick up my negs and scans tomorrow and it there seems to be anything worth reporting, I'll add to my post.
     
  10. mexipike

    mexipike Member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Thanks for the reports. Goldie-the airport I most frequently fly into is DF and so far I've always been able to coerce a hand inspection, speaking spanish and saying the word profesional seems to help. But really I'm just tired of dealing with it. Today I'm flying from Tijuana and I guess I'll risk giving my lead bags a try on the carry on scanner. The box claims that they are safe for LOW DOSE scans, I assume that carry on scanners are LOW DOSE SCANS? I"ll report back after I develop my film.
     
  11. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    This is flying around Europe but my delta3200(pushed to 6400) and fuji pro800Z (1 roll pushed to 1600) went through 3 carry-on x-ray machines without any effects. No one would give me a hand inspection(and was too rushed the one time to ask for one, speedy change through Oslo). No lead bags either.
     
  12. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

    Messages:
    4,090
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    NYC or Copak
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't understand this thread.

    The OP wants to avoid inconvenience by putting his 3200 etc. in a lead bag for carry-on because it's too hard to take the film out for hand inspection.

    But all a lead bag accomplishes is to "flag" itself so that the inspector then asks to see what's inside.

    At which point, having been now inconvenienced, you have to drag the x-ray film bag out of your carry-on so as to have it hand inspected!

    What a friggin' waste of time compared to just putting your film rolls in a clear plastic baggie and handing them to the inspector at the outset for hand inspection.

    EDIT: BTW, as has been discussed here several times - 120/220 rolls have no metal and so, unless you're carrying an armload, you can put them in your pocket and walk through the scanner without setting anything off!
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,092
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    From the various threads on this and the LFP forum it seems that the US airports have a very relaxed attitude to scanning and security compared to Europe and other parts of the world.

    The vast majority of airports outside the US won't hand scan film, they' also make you take bulky items out of pockets, jackets or coats have to be scanned, so it's difficult to bypass the scanners by putting film in your pockets. If they can't tell what an item is when they scan it the first time they'll make you take it out of your hand baggage & then they'll scan it again.

    Contrary to what some people seem to assume the airport security hand-baggage scans are designed to be safe, both to the operators, messengers and film. In the UK, and I'd guess other countries, there's a committee made up of representatives from the major film companies, Ilford, Fuji & Kodak along with airport security authorities to ensure that the checks are safe for film.

    The lead bags were originally made for older technology baggage scanners, the last time I saw one of these was at Philadelphia airport, but the airport was undergoing reconstruction at the time.

    So the lead bags are probably a waste of time, the chances are you'll be asked to remove the film and then have it checked again.

    Ian
     
  14. Michael W

    Michael W Member

    Messages:
    1,435
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The problem is that at Mexico City airport they have no interest in hand inspecting film. I tried to ask them & the security woman just barked at me in Spanish to put my bag through the machine.

    As for flagging itself, I had a lead bag with dozens of rolls of film in my backpack that went through LAX twice, Mexico City twice & once each for Auckland & Sydney & passed through each time without notice.

    I know there are people who think it's all drama about nothing & we should just put the film through the machines, but I have seen film with Xray damage, so it's not a myth. I found it pretty easy to pack everything in the lead bag, it's really just part of the whole packing process. A small price to pay to feel that my film will be OK.