X-Ray Film Fogging

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by ektachrome, May 23, 2012.

  1. ektachrome

    ektachrome Member

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    Hello Everyone
    In July, I am going to France with the aim of taking many pictures.
    I will be taking: 10 rolls Kodak EBX 100, 2 rolls Fuji Provia 400X, 2 rolls Ektachrome P1600, 1 roll of Ektachrome 320T and 1 roll of Konica SR-G 3200
    I am quite worried about the X-Rays on the journey to and from France. I am travelling by ferry.
    Can anyone tell me how to avoid X-Rays, especially since I have some very high speed film.
    Thanks
    Ektachrome:smile:
     
  2. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Put it in your hand-luggage, not your checked baggage.
    The scanners in security checks should not fog your film, the scanners for checked baggage might.
     
  3. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Agree, I have put a roll of Natura 1600 film through 4 different x-rays on one trip, looks fine. That's in hand luggage of course. If you're very paranoid, like me, then you could request a hand check.
     
  4. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Carry on only. Hand inspection. High quality lead bags, not the thin plastic ones but the thick multilayer ballistic nylon covered type. They do weigh a ton though as a down side.
     
  5. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    In Europe, you normally do not have the right to hand inspection of film.
    However, with a box labelled "1600" or "3200" speed, you might be able to get hand inspection.
    To make it easy for the authorities, keep your film boxes in transparent plastic bags.
    Never put film in checked bags: those x-ray machines need to be much stronger to penetrate suitcases and are guaranteed to fog film.
    They don't even lie about that!
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Even in US, when the agents see something they don't know what it is, they just increase the output until it's visible. Lead bags are probably useless now because of that. I had all agents refuse to hand check films ISO 400 or lower on my recent trip. Since you have pretty high speed ones, I'd definitely request for hand inspections.
     
  7. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    Didn't think the authorities worried too much about baggage on cross channel ferries. After all, there are far bigger dangers in the form of fuel tanks and cargo on the vehicles on board. That said, it makes sense to carry your camera gear and films as hand luggage, so if there is any concerns about xray damage, stick the films in your pocket. That's what I've done in the past when flying with 120 & sheet film - Most of the time, the security goons don't notice a slight bulge in the trouser pocket.
     
  8. tim elder

    tim elder Member

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    I would tell them about the high speed films and ask them for a hand inspection. I've never carried high speed film through airport security before and I have never asked them for a hand inspection. I recently came back from a trip to Sicily and had no problems with film fogging, but again, all film was 400 ASA or under.

    Tim
     
  9. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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    Just as a note, I traveled by plane and had a roll of Ilford 3200 in my hand luggage.
    It was scanned two times in the carry-on security check, no problems.
     
  10. MaximusM3

    MaximusM3 Member

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    I've carried TMZ and Delta 3200 in hand luggage and two scans, no issues whatsoever. Hand check is a gamble..some agents will oblige and some won't be in the mood at all. It depends on how crowded it is.
     
  11. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    to tkamiya:
    Actually, the agents in the US do not have an "mA" knob to increase exposure. In the USA, the formal regulation is quite clear that you have the right to hand inspection of photographic film. Some airports are good about posting this regulation, but you will find agents who are unwilling. A polite request by me has always worked in the US, but not abroad. The regulations even recommend hand inspection for large format and professional film. The magic words "professional reversal film" usually work for me. When returning with exposed sheet film in original boxes, I don't push my luck in case an ignorant inspector wants to open the box. One x-ray (carry-on) won't affect sensible speed sheet film. Incidentally, if the agent swabs the outside of the film box for explosive residue inspection, that has no effect whatsoever on the film.
     
  12. BrendanCarlson

    BrendanCarlson Member

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    Put in a clear plastic bag and beg on your knees that they will hand check it. :wink:
     
  13. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    Serious comment: when approaching authority figures, I never find it useful to challenge them on the first round of a discussion. If I approach one politely, and he/she responds inappropriately, then I will definitely stand my ground and pull out the printout from the FAA regulations. Assuming beforehand that the agent will deny a legitimate request can be self-fulfilling. Even though there is nothing that needs an apology, if does not hurt to initiate the discussion with "excuse me, I need...".
    This usually works at O'Hare. No comment about LAX or other large airports.
     
  14. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I've seen it myself though. The agent stopped the conveners, called another agent over, did something to the equipment, then the image appeared. They had a few second discussion, then they went on to clear the bag. The object in question probably wasn't a film - in fact, I have no idea what it was. It wasn't mine. I was just standing there waiting for my own things to be cleared.

    Maybe there are more than one type of equipment in use?
     
  15. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    Modern x-ray imaging equipment for security inspection has other controls to enhance the image presented to the operator. Turning up the x-ray power would be a safety violation. They might also re-orient the bag on the belt and re-scan to get a better point-of-view.
     
  16. cajuncc

    cajuncc Member

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    I was carrying some Portra 400 on a recent trip (domestic US air travel) and, due to some airline mixups and such, I ended up going through security more than normal (i think 6 times total) and after the 4th time, I just politely asked to have the film hand-inspected, as I'd been through security a number of times on the trip already. They had no problem with it at all. Took a little waiting around, but worth it for my own peace of mind. I'm sure two more times through the xrays would've been fine, but better safe than sorry. :smile:
     
  17. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    I don't have the link, but Eastman Kodak did actual measurements on this problem, based on Kodacolor 400 C-41 film.
    Their conclusion was that one scan at normal conditions (FAA guideline for radiation dose per scan) did make a "measurable" fog, but not enough to be a noticeable problem.
    Extrapolating that to more than 6 scans would almost certainly be noticeable.