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  1. #1
    winger's Avatar
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    X-ray exposure indicator?

    As far as I know, there aren't any little gadgets like the badges worn in some jobs that will tell you how much X-ray radiation the gadget has been exposed to. I originally wanted to come up with the product myself (I thought of it about 10 years ago), but it wouldn't be such a mass market thing now, so I'm asking if anyone has an idea.

    What I'd like to have figured out is whether there's an amount of radiation that can be considered "safe" and an amount that's just before it isn't safe (since exposure is cumulative) and then have a little card-type thing that can go in with film that's getting X-rayed (yes, different ones for different speeds or a sliding scale on the card). As long as you use the same card with the same rolls of film (so basically one card per trip), you'd have an idea if your film is getting close to too many X-rays.

    Not that this is necessarily a viable business opportunity, but maybe as an off-shoot from regular radiation badges?
    This would help with the fact that not all machines at airports are exactly the same or running at the same speed. 'cause I hate when the TSA people say "Oh, 400 speed film is perfectly safe" It might be the first time, but that doesn't mean you can toss a roll of it through 5 times and it'll be fine.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by winger
    "Oh, 400 speed film is perfectly safe" It might be the first time, but that doesn't mean you can toss a roll of it through 5 times and it'll be fine.
    Usually it does, though. By way of experiment I put the same roll of Delta 3200 through machines in the UK, Goa, Bombay, Goa (again) and Bahrein without problems.

    Besides, without wishing to be unduly negative, what is the use of your projected device? It tells you that the film has been fogged. What are you going to do about it? The film itself tells you that, and a roll of film is probably cheaper than an X-ray badge.

    I get a hand search whenever I can, on the precautionary principle, but if I can't get one, I don't worry about it.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  3. #3
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Well, if you use that little badge in the machine BEFORE putting in your film (I'm thinking carry-on xray, not checked luggage x-ray) then it would be useful for "testing" the machine. If the badge comes out black, then ask for a hand search; if not then go for it and don't waste other people's time.
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  4. #4
    winger's Avatar
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    I was actually thinking of having it show a sign just before the point where the film would start to show fogging. That way, if you use the same little badge with the same pile of film when you go on a trip, you can decide before you put it through somewhere to use it up faster and to process what you've already shot. This would help to prevent cumulative damage, not for one shot, too strong machines.

  5. #5

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    Dear Bethe,

    I really think that your market is growing smaller by the minute. If you can get your film processed reliably en route, why wouldn't you? And if you can't, why would you risk it?

    Besides, cumulative X-ray damage isn't a sudden 'either/or'. It's a question of what's acceptable -- and as I have yet to see indisputable X-ray damage in carry-on film, I suspect that it's almost always acceptable.

    You'd need a different gauge for each film (not just speed, because of crystal variations) and you'd need several per trip if you wanted to check at each stage.

    And, this is only much use with more than (say) four X-rays, and how many people run that risk on enough trips to make it worth while?

    As I say, I don't wish to be a wet blanket, but I can't see any significant demand even if the testers were free. Certainly I wouldn't bother after 53 years flying, 40 since I took up photography.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  6. #6
    winger's Avatar
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    Hey, I'm a forensic chemist because I have a curious mind. I never said it was a viable plan.

    I did lose a few rolls when in the UK because the users of an X-ray machine at one of the castles kept stopping the belt and exposing the bags to several seconds of X-rays. The queen was in residence at the time. My faster slide film from that trip has damage that is very likely from that (the only other suggestion has been heat, but it happened to just the faster rolls and it wasn't hot at all while I was there. I had purchased the affected film at 2 separate shops, too. Since it was the day before we flew out, it wasn't possible to get it processed before leaving and I hadn't anticipated it happening in the first place, so hadn't processed it before then. So it got me thinking. I figured if anyone would know if it could be done, it would be this group.



 

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