Ship or Fly with 120 Film

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by naturephoto1, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    I am going to fly out to take photos at Zion National Park in part for preparation for our next years workshop in Zion and will be traveling from November 5 through November 19. I plan on carrying my Mamiya 7 II and my 4 Mamiya 7 lens along with my 2 Canon Digital Point Shoot Cameras (G9 and new G10). I will not be carrying 35mm or LF cameras and film this trip.

    I have not traveled by air since the changes subsequent to 9/11 with 120 film (I have with 35mm and LF). I am trying to get an idea as to how people get their 120 film to their locations when they fly at this point.

    Basically, I can either try to get the film hand searched through TSA or I can send it to my partner in Denver and get the film once I arrive.

    I would appreciate your input and suggestions. I do not want to have to remove the rolls of 120 film from the foil packaging. By the way, I forgot to mention, I will be traveling with Velvia 50 and Velvia 100 transparency films.

    Thanks.

    Rich
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2008
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    What you can't do is put the film in checked luggage. You can just put the film through the regular Xray machine unless it is Delta 3200. I just went through 3 scanners with Tmax 400 and it was fine.
     
  3. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Carry on only. Most airports will hand check films that are asa800 or higher, but you can't always count on it, depending on how busy it is, and whether or not the screener has more than a 5th grade education. I just returned from a cross country trip and had no issues with the film at all.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    They are supposed to do a hand check if you request it. But the experience of most people is that film slower than 800 is fine in the carry-on scanners. The only time recently that I've requested a hand check was leaving LA a few months ago with about 20 rolls of freshly purchased film. They weren't busy, and they did the check with no complaints, it took probably 5 minutes or so. I think they swabbed each roll, but they didn't remove any from the sealed boxes or inner wrappers. I did my part by having that film separate in it's own ziplock bag so I could just hand it to them. I sent a couple single single rolls through the scanner with the camera on that trip.

    Other than that, the camera and film go through the scanner and I've noticed no ill effects.

    I've done the "stuff a 120 roll" in your pocket trick a couple of times, however, on my recent trips they are asking specifically if you have anything in your pockets.

    Another aspect is that it's too much trouble to ask for the hand check without a good reason, IMHO anyway. I always travel with a laptop, which has to come out of its case. Your shoes must come off, if you carry liquids, those must be separate, and now it's coat season (which also comes off), then there's the camera case, not to mention possibly a suitcase . Managing all the stuff and keeping track of it without holding things up, and asking for a hand-check of film is too much. YMMV.
     
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  5. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Just take it carry on and put it on the belt. You can get a hand inspection but that tends to hold up you and others.

    Implicit here is that if you buy the film at home then you'll be able to use your preferred supplier that may be cheaper than anything you can easily find in Las Vegas, and that time at the other end is precious.
     
  6. climbabout

    climbabout Member

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    film/xrays

    The last 2 times I flew, I just put both my 8x10 film in holders and my 120 roll film on the carry on xray belt. Fp 4+ and tmax 400. No problems at all - some fil passed through 4 times - and absolutely no problems. I won't hassle with hand inspection again.
    Tim
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    ISO 50 and 100 I'd just put through the carry-on X-ray. Even 400 speed films that I plan to process at 800 I put through the X-ray. I'd rather not have TSA inspectors going through my bag by hand. Put the film in a separate bag, so that if they want to X-ray the camera bag twice, they won't X-ray the film twice.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I'd much rather risk the carry-on xray than hand inspection, especially when travelling with sheet film. Sometime some moron WILL insist on opening a box to take a peek at your film. Same with roll film- I'm sure some twit who hasn't a clue about 120 rollfilm will want to open and unroll a roll. Just let it go through and don't stress...
     
  9. Windscale

    Windscale Member

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    I have travelled for years with up to ASA 400 speed films, both in checked and cabin baggage. X-Ray, for many times on some trips, never presented any problem. I can't speak for higher speed films as I never went any higher than 400.
     
  10. Aurum

    Aurum Member

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    If you have the option of posting it ahead, and you don't want to risk scanners, do that instead. Saves the worry, as I believe the USPS doesn't scan internal mail
     
  11. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Hand inspection is a right, only within the USA...go anywhere else, and they will listen to your request and then let you watch your film go thru the Xray machine. As indicated, ISO 400 film can endure multiple passes thru an Xray machine, so if your itinerary takes you thru multiple airports, don't worry be happy. Never send it thru checked baggage because the CT scanner will zap film for sure!
     
  12. langedp

    langedp Member

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    As everyone has said, just put it through the carry on if you're going to take it with you. I've been shipping it ahead lately using UPS or FedEx, especially with loaded 4x5 and 8x10 film holders. Saves a lot of space and weight with the carry-ons. I then ship everything back the same way and process the film when I get home.
     
  13. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Velvia 50 in 120- run through a carry on xray machine up to 4 times- no ill effects IME.