X Ray Bags

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by njkphoto, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    Hi,

    It's been a looong time since I travel with film and this summer I am going to travel with some Tri-X. I used to have a bag that it was safe for airport X-rays. What do you guys use? Do I need the bag? They say airport X-rays are pretty safe but I want to be 100% sure.

    thanks
    njk
     
  2. Depth

    Depth Member

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    I just get mine hand-checked.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    There are many threads on this topic already; some within the past several weeks. Search the archives.

    The gist of them all is that carry-on x-ray machines are perfectly safe, therefore you are fine as long as you do not check your baggage, and that you are better off without the lead bag, as it may cause increased scrutiny and delays for everybody behind you and yourself...which is rude, because it is unnecessary, because your film (ANY film) is perfectly safe going through carry-on machines.
     
  4. weldong

    weldong Member

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    Just request to get them hand checked.
     
  5. Focus No. 9

    Focus No. 9 Member

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    is tri-x not sold around the world? is x-ray concern about fresh film or exposed film? or both?
    -just curious
     
  6. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    It has been a while since I have had to transport film through airports. However, when I did, it was usually color slide and/or color print film in 35mm or 120 format. The ISO ranged from 100 to 1000. It was fresh unexposed film minus the original cardboard box, exposed film, or custom loaded film in Nikon AM-1 film cassettes. I transported all my film in lead-lined containers and packed it in my carry-on baggage. In spite of the x-ray proof containers, I still asked for hand inspection of my film.

    I started transporting my film this way because on one of my earlier trips, I allowed my unexposed film to be x-rayed at the beginning of the trip and my exposed film was x-rayed on the return trip. When I processed the 35mm slide film, I noticed a loss in image quality (slight fogging and loss of contrast). Since then, I did all I could to avoid getting my film zapped.
     
  7. SilverGlow

    SilverGlow Member

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    Last weekend, on a flight from LAX to Salt Lake City, I asked for hand-inspection and it was granted, fast and no one was held up behind me. They checked 6 rolls of unexposed Tri-X and on the return the same thing. They are really fast and cool about it.
     
  8. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    If you have your film in an X-ray proof bag, they will open up your luggage and take the contents out and run them thru the X-ray machine, so the X-ray bag is useless. Last flight I made I took 2 bricks of 35mm Ektar, and I asked for hand inspection on the first leg, and the official took every individual roll out of the factory sealed paper boxes and looked at it. I think I just won't bother with asking for hand inspection in the future, just use carry-on which uses "safe" x-rays.
     
  9. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I think I will just have to go without the X-ray bag. I used in the pre 9/11 world going to Europe but now it will sketchy when they see it. I will maybe ask for a hand inspection at JFK but I will be going though Europe and I think there they won't spend the time doing that. But then again who knows. I am also considering getting some chemicals with me and develop the film there. I will have to think about that.

    Thanks
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    As far as hand checks as an option, I would rather have my film scanned repeatedly by carry-on baggage scanners (which, yet again, are perfectly safe) than touched even once by an airport security officer. Any time your film is out in the light, it is at risk, especially when being handled, and especially when the person handling it is not a knowledgeable and respectful film photographer.
     
  11. Depth

    Depth Member

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    I've had my stuff hand checked multiple times; all they do is swab all the film and camera gear. I usually keep my Hasselblad unloaded when traveling but still haven't had one of them pull out the darkslide.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Forget the X-ray bag and get hand inspections done when you can.

    Steve
     
  13. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    I have used xray bags and still had the film destroyed, other times it was fine. I don't chance it anymore and either ship the film to my destination if it's a large amount or hand inspect it. Better yet, buy film when you get to your destination and mail it back. It's not worth the chance for me anymore and I have a few of them kicking around. I don't even want to sell them as they might cause more misery and false security for someone else.
     
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  15. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I would think that the x-ray causes no noticeable problem, however what happens when you are on an extended or multi-leg trip and you film passes through the "safe" x-ray 6 or 8 or 10 times. You will have a hard time getting me to believe there is no damage from multiple passes if it will cause problems in a single pass for high speed film. I always ask for a hand check. That has proved to be a problem a time or two. The most difficult one was trying to get someone to understand that if the open a box of 4X5 sheet film, it would ruin the film. I don't think they require IQ tests for these jobs and I do appreciate what these people have to do. I'm glad they are screening and hope they are profiling. Bill Barber
     
  16. njkphoto

    njkphoto Member

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    Just a thought. How about if you put the film in the X-Ray bag and put it in the suitcase between clothes. Would the more powerful check in baggage destroy fog it?
     
  17. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Forget x-ray bags.

    If at any point in air travel an item cannot be ascertained it is liable to destruction. All an x-ray bag will do is to show the x-ray operator an item that cannot be "seen" or identified. At best this will lead to the bag being opened/searched at worst taken to one side and destroyed. They are a wast of time.

    As others have said here, and it is very good to hear actually, requests to have film hand searched are granted. Go this route or bite the bullet and pop them in the x-ray machine. Save the weight of the bag and use that wieght allowance for more film! :D

    The safest route will be to buy film at the destination - perhaps a dealer will deliver to a hotel on the day of arrival? Unless you are going to Siberia!
     
  18. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    You would think that if you had not read Kodak's data sheet on the matter, available for free via their Website, and if you had not safely passed all speeds of film through carry-on e-ray machines who knows how many times (but much more than 6 or 8 or 10) on a trip, with no ill effects.

    There is no way in hell I am letting an airport security guard bring my film out in the light and fiddle with it. Carry-on x-ray machines are far safer than doing so.
     
  19. Depth

    Depth Member

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    Can you explain some more?
     
  20. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I agree. I have flown with film pushed to 1600 having it scanned multiple times and never had any trouble with fogging. However, I have had TSA goons mess up my stuff. I don't want them handling it. I ship all sheet film film though, because while roll film is recognizable as film, it's harder to explain why they shouldn't open a box.
     
  21. Depth

    Depth Member

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    That makes sense.
     
  22. Itsacraig

    Itsacraig Member

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  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The effect of X-ray shielding bags, as already hinted at here, would be that either it would be opened, which would make the bag useless, or that the radiation dose would be enhanced until the cartriges show up. This again might be detrimental to the film inside.

    For this reason Fuji advises NOT to use lead bags.

    (By the way, what would 100% X-ray proof mean in that link?)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Waste of time, as soon as airport security spot an X-ray prof bag they'll want it opened up, and the contents scanned separately.

    Most airports outside the US don't do hand checks, it's better to just carry film away from metal objects, so it gets minimal scanning. I fly very regularly with film & never have a problem.

    Welcome to APUG BTW.

    Ian
     
  25. imokruok

    imokruok Member

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    Aren't there potentially issues with mailing it, though, particularly if you're overseas? What fraction of packages are getting x-rayed these days? My guess is that shippers who have to x-ray a package would do so with a device that's closer to a baggage scanner in strength, as opposed to a carry-on scanner.
     
  26. clayne

    clayne Member

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    Yep - and this is the elephant in the room that nobody ever seems to address.