Maybe I'm overcautious but I wouldn't even think about it. I've even been known to worry about putting holiday souvenirs, e.g. packets of local cooking herbs, etc., in my baggage in case they show up on the X-rays. Once had a couple of packets of spices looked at oddly by a customs man...fortunately they were sealed with the makers name, etc., on them.
My advice is to just do it. The worst that can happen in reality is they take the stuff off you. My wife brought back from PF some PPD that they wouldn't ship out of the US of A. She was on holiday with a friend and they shipped it to her daughter's place in NJ.
Not a thing was said at customs. It was clearly labelled if they had stopped to do a random search.
Having said all that you can get basics in NZ just like here (Oz). It's not as good as the old days but then, where is for photo supplies?
Hey! How about some caffenol? Instant coffe, pool pH raiser (NaCO3) and ascorbic acid or Na ascorbate?
Be prepared to explain. That's it.
I have flown once with liquid fixer, powder xtol, but it was within Europe from Germany to Austria. No problems detected.
This stuff is legal in the EU to take with you, to my understanding even in hand luggage. The problem though could be to differenciate these chemicals from forbidden items.
You should investigate at your air security authorities in advance.
I've flown from the US to Europe (Austria) with powdered chemicals more than once with no problems. I usually fly through London, Heathrow. I routinely bring a PMK kit from the Formulary back with me (expensive to get in Europe, but not impossible). I've also brought sodium metaborate back with me in a plastic bag. All with no problems and never a question, even though the last time there was a TSA inspection slip inside the suitcase along with a PMK kit.
I would recommend that you 1) make sure that none of the chemicals are restricted in any way (ORM-D, etc.), 2) leave the chemicals in their factory-sealed, unopened packaging, and 3) bring along the receipt and packing slip from the purchase of the chemicals and be prepared to show them if you are questioned. That will likely allay any fears.
The worst-case scenario is that your chemicals will be confiscated and you may be delayed in your flight.
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My friend from Argentina tried to take 5 sealed bags of XTOL in his carry on through the Portland Airport where I had dropped him off. He called me a few minutes later to say I had to come get it because they wouldn't let him take it. They did allow him to carry on a few 200 ml bottles of Palladium.
Although it may be perfectly legal to fly with these chemicals, the sad reality is that doing so is a gamble and when you consider the possible consequences, really not worth the risk. I think this is especially true with raw chemicals. You may be able to get away with a bag of Kodak Xtol or similar, but as people mentioned earlier, raw chemicals in a plain white plastic bottle is just asking for trouble.
I will have everything shipped via FexEd. There are some camera stores in NZ, but the prices are very high. A bag of fixer was listed at $30. I doubt that it would be easy to find raw chemicals in NZ, as I had difficulty locating those in a large city as Berlin.
It would be a gamble, not worth taking, from my point of view, especially as you can get most of the needed items at your destination, with a bit of planning.
Strictly speaking, you would need to make a "Dangerous Goods" declaration when shipping or flying with metol. It is a low risk item, but a dangerous one. Formally, it is classified as a Toxic Solid, UN No 2811, Dangerous Goods Class 6.1 (Poison), Hazchem Code 2X (not violent), Pack Group III (low danger). Phenidone would be very similar, speaking from experience of importing a small quantity into Ireland. All that means, is that a white form with red stripes needs to be filled by you, and accepted by the carrier, for it to be shipped. That includes couriers, like Fedex, UPS, or the post office. If you comply, and pay the extra fees, which can be exorbitant unless you often ship dangerous goods and have negotiated those fees, then it is perfectly legitimate to ship it, subject to local laws and customs rules.
Not declaring it as such, however, puts you at a serious risk. From an airline perspective, they want to know what they carry, so they can be sure they are not cargo-load-full of Metol at a time, that they have space for bunnies (I presume that would be a low risk item), and that they only take a reasonable amount of total risk, with regards to all of the goods they have accepted on board at that time. They would not want to carry a half-of-the-cargo-load of sodium sulfite next to to a half-load of hydrochloric acid, but they may be able to carry each, on its own, or in a smaller quantity. Besides, they have no obligation to carry anything they do not wish to carry, and so they need you to declare it. Ultimately, the captain will make the final decision—even if formally accepted by security, captain can always say no to the carriage of anything (or anyone). Strange laws we have created for ourselves, but there is a shred of sense in them.
And that right there is the problem with still shooting film. Air travel as a film shooter is a nightmare.
I'm taking along 70-80 rolls of film and I'm not looking forward to having to go through TSA and getting every roll swabbed.
But the real fun starts once you need to develop everything while on the road.
Finding stores that sell film material is becoming increasingly difficult. D76, XTOl or Ilford products are the most common, but if you use anything out of the ordinary, you are in for a whole lot of frustration.
My main developer is Barry Thornton's 2-bath and most of the time finding the raw chemicals to mix it is a serious PIA, even in a large city. Same for finding Diafine.
So, the whole excursion becomes an exercise in frustration and quite often you end up sitting there asking yourself why on earth you're putting yourself through this trouble, instead of just going digital.
I guess the simple solution would be to switch to something like Xtol, D76 or DD-X, which usually is available, but the results are different than my standard setup.
Last edited by Harry Lime; 10-23-2012 at 12:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
For what it's worth, having flown a LOT, I wouldn't even consider taking bags of white powder on an airplane. It may be legal, it may not, but the amount of hassle you're subjected to is up to a grade school graduate who may have had a fight with his wife just before he went to work.This is one of those times where I would bite the bullet and pay the extra $.