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  1. #1

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    Taking vintage nitrate still film on a passenger plane?

    G'day all.

    I shoot vintage film as a hobby and have shot over a dozen B&W films of the 1930s and 40s. Anyways I am going down to Tasmania in a few days and plan to capture some vintage 19th century heritage buildings on some 1930s 116 films, the problem is though I am not sure if they are safety base or nitrate base. Also been trying to find info on taking nitrate still films on public transport, in my case an airplane and have came across a couple of sources that say yes you can take nitrate film on an aircraft and no you can't and I am confused. On this Kodak pdf http://www.kodak.com/global/en/corp/.../pdfs/H182.pdf on page 4 it says nitrate film can be transported in a passenger plane within it's specified limits, and this pdf article http://www.amianet.org/groups/commit...ateIGNov08.pdf on page 3 says nitrate can't be taken on any passenger plane under any circumstances. So I am confused!

    I have attached a pic of the films I'm unsure of below, they include:
    2 x AGFA Isochrom 116 films (expired 1932)
    2 x Gevaert Superchrome 116 films (expired 1949)
    Lumiere 116 film (expired 1934)
    Kodak Verichrome 28 120 (expired 1949)
    Kodak Verichrome 120 (expired 1952)

    Can anyone here tell me if any of those are nitrate or safety base as I am not sure? If they are nitrate are they prohibited from being taken aboard a passenger plane and can get confiscated at the security check??? If I can't take them on a plane then I will of course leave them at home.

    Any help on this will be much appreciated.

    Cheers
    Troy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails film.jpg  

  2. #2

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    Ask the airline. If they have anyone on their helpdesk who knows what film is, it will only be to say "the scanner is fine for up to ISO400". When you say the materials are flammable and/or explosive then they will (as a safety orientated just-in-case position) refuse to take them.

    Don't forget that the carry-on scanner colourises the image seen by the operator, depending on the image-processor's best guess at what the material is, and cellulose-nitrate is not a million miles from gun-cotton style explosive materials so your carry-on might well receive extra attention.

    If you definitely want to use the materials then why not take a boat to Tasmania (presumably there are ferries for commercial traffic at least) after flying as near as possible and hiring a car, or just drive the whole way of course? Good luck with your project.

  3. #3

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    I did a bit of research into nitrate film after i acquired a couple of dozen rolls, and the amianet & kodak pdfs are really the best resources.

    As you'll have found, it really is nasty stuff once it lights up and I'd guess that it will be covered by international air regs as a hazardous material. So maybe the best way is to contact the airline(s); I'm not as pessimistic as MartinP in finding someone who knows what's what - they'll have hazardous materials specialists somewhere.

    Personally, I won't take rolls of nitrate stock anywhere they might cause a danger to anyone but myself.

  4. #4
    MDR
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    Better don't also different countries have different rules regarding nitrate it is consider an explosive in some countries for example in Austria and Germany it fell under the "Sprengstoffgesetz" explosives act and there were/are very strict rules on how to handle cellulosenitrate film. Also contact the airline the IATA rules are more restrictive than the ICAO rules but even they are very strict about dangerous goods aboard planes. You can also contact the CASA which is responsible for civil aviation in Australia. phone: (within Australia) 131 757
    ICAO Dangerous goods regulation: http://www.icao.int/safety/Dangerous...s/default.aspx

    Have a nice trip

  5. #5

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    good info, MDR

  6. #6

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    Things have certainly changed. Back in the 80's I was boarding a flight at SFO and was suddenly surrounded by a lot of big guys in black suits when the X-ray machine scanned my duffel bag. Flashes were going off too. I asked what the trouble was, and they asked if I could unzip the bag and take the contents out. Inside were metal easels, about 50 tubes of paint, my brushes, and two gallon cans of turpentine, both of which had been opened. All they wanted to know about were the easels, which must have looked like gun barrels on the machine, and the paint tubes, which were made from tin and would not show the contents on the x-ray picture.

    After asking a few questions they were happy, and I zipped the bag up and boarded the plane. I probably lit up a Camel on the plane too. The bag, complete w/ the turpentine cans, went right into cargo. I shudder to think what would happen these days. But then I don't fly anymore. Who needs to be treated like a terrorist? If I can't get somewhere by boat, bus, or train, I don't need to go there.
    Last edited by momus; 06-12-2015 at 07:29 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7

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    Dear Troy,

    Under NO circumstances should you transport any NITRATE film on an aircraft in hand or checked baggage.

    Under UN Material Classification 132 Cat 4.1 it is classed as a flammable solid and requires highly specialist transportation.

    Any film before 1951 'could' be nitrate : I would not even transport it in a car.


    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I'd be concerned about how the OP is storing the films anyway. I worked for a company who specialised in silver recovery from films and the company had taken over a competitor company who'd lost their factory due to a fire caused by Nitrate film. We did reprocess Nitrate film but it was handled with extreme care and there was a charge. I seem to remember we took quite a bit of Nitrate film from the National Film archive (UK) after it was coppied and also digitised.

    I just looked an a 194o Kodak Professional catalogue and when a film is on Safety film base it's stated clearly. Pan X, Super X and Tri X sheet film were on safety base, however there's no mention of Safety base for Verichrome or other roll & 35mm films, Unless it states Safety film on the box it most probably won't be.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    Okay after reading everyone's replies, I have decided I ain't taking those films with me, will reserve them for photographing local heritage buildings. I will take only film that says "Safety Film" on them.

  10. #10
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