X-Ray damage by multiple passes through airport and venue security; COLOUR AND MONO

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by RobertRF, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. RobertRF

    RobertRF Member

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    Hi,

    I'm planning to travel and shoot soon in the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan). I expect higer than normal X-ray passes, out from UK, internal flight x-ray out and back (?) multiple venues then back home: up to 5 x-ray passes.

    So far I'm considering 1 or more of the following tactics.

    A. Get film bought in the UK shipped to my hotel. This assumes all parcels are NOT x-ray scanned.

    B. Buy film in country, perhaps mail-order shipped to my hotel rather than at the local shop.

    C. Ship exposed film back to my usual processer in the UK (Peak Imaging, good for me so far). Again this assumes the stuff isn't routinely x-rayed.

    D. Have film processed in country then shipped to the UK (I'd need to avoid having film sent to the hotel as any delay in shipping could see me back in the UK and the film in Egypt!).


    I'm interested in experiences other have and any solutions employed. Is threre a way I can be accredited and avoid the x-ray risk? A trip to the USA was marred by my insistance on hand-searches and flat refusal in some places. Again an internal flight added passes but everyone said "our machine is X-Ray film safe...

    Finally may I place on record the willingess of security staff at the London Olympics to hand search my baggage? I expected to be refused.

    Robert
     
  2. antmar

    antmar Member

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    I always ask from airport security to hand check my films, never had a problem except once at the Vatican entrance (they reduced to do so) and this is not an airport. I am sure that if you ask it you won't have a problem either.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There is no guarantee that film is not x-rayed on the postal route. To the contrary.

    However I know of only one case where a film sent by a European dealer overseas arrived with radiation damage.
     
  4. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Post often goes through similar machines to carry-on luggage, if suspicious then it might be x-rayed.

    Carry-on luggage scanning isn't Xray, all UK airports use scanners that are film safe for a high number of passes. When I visited South America some of my films were scanned around 20 times with no problems.

    In some countries scanners are used on entering the country also at shopping centres, also scanners are used routinely on cruise ships every time you board.

    Over the past 7/8 years many of my films have been scanned many times and I don't have any worries about it at all. Most European airports, ports etc won't do hand searches and in fact you're at more risk of having film exposed and ruined.

    Ian
     
  5. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes it is, but it is at a low enough level that damage doesn't happen easily. Like you, Ian, I just put my film on the conveyor and let them xray it and have never had a problem. Things are different with really fast film.
     
  6. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    X-Ray damage by multiple passes through airport and venue security; COLOUR AND

    I will +1 that.

    Just ask for hand inspection.

    I've also had issues in "important" cities, like when I visited Washington DC I wasn't allowed in the LIBRARY because they needed to x-ray the film and I wouldn't allow it.

    What I noticed more than anything was that because the cameras had removable lenses, they insisted on looking inside OR x-ray, I chose X-Ray and when I got the film back all the rolls that were IN THE CAMERA at the time of X-Ray all had terrible banding.

    I don't know if its something in the metal body of the camera that amplifies the waves, but it's bad.

    So always finish off a roll before going through the X-Ray... That's my biggest advice.

    This banding BTW was on ASA 64 film... Very slow...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  7. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    You either had a 1:million chance experience or you inadvertantly let that film get CT scanned (checked baggage). You experience defies physics.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    A cranking up of dosis due to the camera body would not defy the law of physics.
     
  9. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    They can't "crank up" dosage; that is fixed by manufacturer. They use various software imaging techniques to the original scan and if that still not conclusive then their only option is to rescan. That is 2X exposure but it requires way more than that to get noticible damage. Banding is indicidive of CT not Xray.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    CT employs X-rays.

    In a recent thread banding of film in camera on carry-on luggage control was reported too, if my memory does not fail.
    EDIT: That was StoneNYC's case too...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2013
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes, CT also uses xray. In fact the new two-step checked baggage uses low-level xray then high power CT if required. It is "kinder and gentler" and saves wear-n-tear on the higher cost CT equipment. Rather than believe threads it is better to read mfg specs (all on-line).
     
  12. Brian Puccio

    Brian Puccio Member

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    Two summers ago, I went to Vienna, Salzburg and Berlin. I started and ended in NY. While in the US, you can ask for a hand inspection and they must oblige, the EU doesn't have a policy like this. So there were a few zaps of carry-on luggage in the EU, plus the handful of film I brought with me into the Reichstagsgebäude. So that's 3 zaps for most rolls with a handful getting 4. No issues with development. I even marked the ones that got four zaps of x-rays instead of three to see if there would be a difference since I had no idea how strong the x-rays were there. Not a single problem.

    Film included:
    Adox CMS 20
    Neopan 1600
    Provia 100F
    Provia 400x
     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    US carry on scanners aren't all film safe which is why they'll allow hand checking, however in the UK/Europe they are safe and virtually all airports will refuse to hand check film. Even if you hand them the film boxes for checking they will still scan the film, there may be a the very odd exception.

    Unlike the UK/Europe the US has a large number of smaller commercial airports and not all have modern scanners, my own experience was that even in a major hub airport the scanners were years old compared to the ultra modern scanners I've seen in UK/Europe, South Aerica etc.

    Ian
     
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  15. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Kodak's previous published wisdom a few years ago:
    1. With film of ISO 400 and less, the carry-on baggage scanner is safe for multiple passes of the film thru scanner
    2. With film of ISO 1600 and higher, try to get your film hand inspected (which NEVER WORKS in London Heathrow airport!!!!)
    3. NEVER EVER put your film thru checked luggage, which is put thru a CT Scan which will ruin unprocessed film
     
  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I'd love to see the supporting documentation that any US carry-on is not filmsafe. Which airport and which make or model of screening device?

    The visual inspection and trace detection was intended to address high-speed film sensitivity to xray.
     
  17. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Kodak's current stance, which seems to indicated that there may in fact be higher exposure scanners in use for some hand carryons! Note, however, that this is for motion picture films, which Kodak had previously mentioned as more prone to fogging.
    http://motion.kodak.com/motion/Support/Technical_Information/Transportation/xrays_airport.htm
    "Carry-on baggage inspection conveyors using low intensity x-rays, used at security checkpoints in US airports, usually do not affect film. However, these machines may now be supplemented in some cases by high intensity machines that will fog all unprocessed film. Travelers should be wary of all scanners at foreign airports."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2013
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That wisdom is based on industry research done for FAA, and the scanners have become even more film-friendly since then!
     
  19. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Brian, read my post 16!
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That is a decade old, amigo.
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Carry on scanners have been updated and reaced at least twicw since Kodak issued that notice.
     
  22. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

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    True, that. Last April, I flew out of Boston, and it's a good thing I read the sign twice: it said the carryon scanner was NOT film-safe. I asked for and received hand inspection. I wish I could remember the terminal, because this was unusual.
     
  23. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That's exactly what I saw at Philadelphia but to be fair at the time that part of the airport was undergoing major re-development. They may well have had film safe scanners elsewhere.

    Another point that's missed is the scanners made outside the US aren't necessarily the same spec as those made inside the US even those made by the same company.

    Ian
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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  25. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I've seen signs like that in Los Angeles once too. It was in front of a Invision CT scanner at the international terminal. Indeed, that is not a fimsafe scanner. But that is only used for scanning carry-on for certain "high risk" international flights. I won't mention the airline... y'all probably know which one is more cautious than all of the others.

    In general (99% of the time) the carryon is scanned by Rapiscan equipment which is film safe within well-known limits. The signs will tell you that film over 800ASA might be affected. Every screening area I've ever been to in American airports have had that warning sign. Calling that equipment "not film safe" because of a condition that has existed since the dawn of xray scanning of carryon baggage is understandable, but perhaps a tad extreme. Within the well-known conditions of film speed and exposure rates, there is little risk of film damage.

    But if people want to be especially cautious, that's fine. That is exactly why TSA opened the opportunity for hand check and the use of trace detection as an alternative.

    Like Ian said a couple of years ago... I've never had a problem with it and I travel a lot. "As someone who travels extensively with film I've never had a problem and my films get scanned many multiples of times. Sometimes more than 20. " That was you, Ian , wasn't it? :laugh:
     
  26. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Data point: I had 14+ scans in a trip around the world (including an old machine at the entrance to Tianenmen Square) in 2011 with no damage to my film. Fastest were TMY2 & Portra 400. I also left a sacrificial roll of Ektar in my checked luggage for the last 3 flights (including ex-China) with no damage to it.

    So 5 passes through standard carry-on scanners is nothing to worry about. I would worry much much more about a fumble-fingered hand-inspection fogging my film.

    I vaguely recall someone saying you get a far higher dose merely from being at high altitude for the duration of your typical international flight than you do from the scanners. If you wanted to be paranoid and/or carry very fast film, have a lead bag to put the film in while it's on-board but not while it's being scanned.