Travel Update JFK in New York 9-26-03 120 film causes scare!

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by bmac, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Just got back from New York. Wanted to let everyone know about my experience with the hand check of my film while on the trip. SFO was fine when I was departing, I had it out in a baggie and the guy actually asked if I would like a hand check instead. JFK on the way back was interesting. From past experience I knew it would be an ordeal if I asked for a hand check of a lot of film, so I ran everything through the machine except for one roll of 120 that I plan on pushing to 800. I handed it to the guy working the machine and he was so shocked that I handed him the film. hehe he hased what it was and was totally staring at it... it was funny. I explained it was pro film. He then tried to pry the end of the spool off "to get the film out for inspection" I let him know trhat it was just a spool and we would expose the film if we unspooled it. He got the lead guy who came over looked me over twice and then told the guy I had to go through the second checkpoint and have them do the extra tests. The supervisor left and the guy looked me straight in the eye and said "Fuck that... just keep it in your pocket" LOL My 120 film made it home safe and sound.
     
  2. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    The way things are going with film and film cameras it'll soon be easier to sneak a bomb inside a digicam because security will simply assume these cameras are less dangerous.

    Reminds me, I wonder what a batch of antique nitrate film negatives would do to bomb detectors?
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've walked through various metal detectors with as much as 20 rolls of 120 in my pockets (I usually travel with a lot of pockets so that I can quickly manage documents, tickets and such). No reason to put it through really.
     
  4. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    they have changed the amount of radiation that is being shot through things. just to be safe I would rather take the time and have them hand inspect it if I had to go through the stands more than once with film.

    The worst I have seen was in Seattle this past summer. While my fi8lm was being hand checked they brought a little old lady in a wheel chair over to the machines. they nearly stripped her to her underwear, then went over the chair with a fine tooth comb. If it had been me I would have been giving them a well deserved peice of my mind. The poor lady was barely able to mumble and move one hand let alone do damage. I think some of that has gone over board. But going to Seattle, at SFO, they thought my hubby l;ooked strange, he had to drop his pants in a special marked square. I had a good laugh, he didn't.
     
  5. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I have yet to have aproblem with hand inspection. I did however have a box of 4x5 film in my pocket, was pulled out of line for the pat down and closer inspection and was thouroughly questioned as to why I didn't empty it form my pockets at the metal detector. After that I did some tests, repeatedly let them xray the same box of HP5 on a couple of trips through 6 different screenings. No sign of fog. So if there is no hassle about needing to open the box you are fine.

    DO NOT put film in checked baggage. They use extemely high doses of energy on checked baggage and from various accounts on other forums it will COOK the fim.

    And most everyone probably knows by now, don't have film in a camera in carry on because you will be required at some point to open up the camera for inspection.
     
  6. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    It's still pretty much a crap shoot at each airport. Two weeks ago I went from Raleigh NC to Missoula MT. No problems. On the return trip I had to put my Swiss Army "gentleman's knife", (1.25" blade) in checked luggage. I was stopped at hand search and pulled out because I had an LF lens spanner wrench in my camera bag. The Security folks were nice enough to let me go to the gift shop where I paid $3. to mail the wrench back home. All the hunters had a bit more of a time going through security.
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Keep the film in a ziploc baggie that can be quickly popped out of the camera bag, carry your gear. The *only* time I had a problem was recently with Korean Army security, they didn't listen & xray'd my baggie — I'm not sure if they were being jerks or just ignorant. After a recent airport check I asked the hand-checker (Seattle) if there was a better way to pack film (I had 60+ rolls) and he said "no, this is pretty much the best for us."

    Some checkers will waste time, sure — a lady in the UK last year wanted to inspect and swab each canister and 35mm spool — about 50 of them — and that was boring but liveable. Yet also at Heathrow, I walked on carrying a steel-spike-tipped hiking pole. I offered it to the ticket clerk, the security guards, and the flight staff, for them to mind it, at each door — they seemed satisfied and let me carry it on board anyway.

    One hint — buy your film as you travel if you can, minimize chances for screwups.
     
  8. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    I am toying with the idea of taking my 4x5 to Bali at the end of October. Not sure about the film situation as far as getting it there and back while in boxes. I will be using Grafmatics while there and loading with a bag at night. Has anyone got any suggestions?
     
  9. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    If you are stopping over in New Zealand or Australia on your way there you could pick up film on your way. The other choice is to have it couriered to your hotel and get them to hold itfor you. You could get a shop in Australia to do that for you, Vanbar is one that springs to mind.

    Having travelled in the area with 5x4 the best thing to do is, if you are taking the film on the plane, is to arive early at the airport with a change bag, explain what the packages are and tell them that they can check the film in the closed bag. Worst comes to worst they will xray it. My experiance has been that they are generaly understanding. If you smile a lot it also helps. If using 5x4 in Bali, expect a crowd which you can turn to your advantage by taking photos of them. In the past I have taken a polaroid camera with me and taken photos of people then taken polaroids to give them. That often works a treat.

    Good luck