Thanks for the comments, folks. Glad to hear that most film is still safe in carry-ons. I've heard a few horror stories before 9/11 so I assumed that things were worse nowadays. I now wish I'd saved all those transluscent Fuji film canisters. I've always preferred the black ones from Kodak because they're more light proof, but the TSA people would probably want to open them and look inside each one. Haha!
To give you an idea of how safe most carry-on xray machines are, I took Infrared film to Cambodia and it went through the xray machine there with no problem. It also went through the xray machines the whole way home (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Singapore (2x), Amsterdam, New York). So, no worries. If IR film can survive Cambodian x-ray machines, not much out there will do any real harm. Your film actually gets more negative radiation exposure from the cosmic rays passing through your 14 hour plane flight than they do at the x-ray machine. THAT's what the lead bag is good for.
Anyone traveling with the faster films? I'm going to Morocco for two months, with my flights in and out of Spain. I intend to bring about 120 rolls of 35mm b/w film, and I really really want half of it to be Neopan 1600. I would unpackage all rolls and put them into gallon size ziploc bags, with strips of tape on the outsides that would say something like
"Sensitive film, 1600 iso, please do not xray"
Something like that. Too risky? I would pass through inspection no more than four times, and I would of course request hand inspections. Would a hand inspection of 120 rolls surely piss someone off?
What would Dziga Vertov do?
I always have the TSA people hand check all of my camera equipment and film.
I've never had a problem with them getting upset about it. Yes, they get annoyed extracting each one of my Tri-X 120 rolls, but they're usually OK with it.
Except at LaGuardia in the City, but thats just New York ...
I travelled with TriX (120) exposed at 1000 and had no problems. You can always ask for a hand inspection, but outside the US they are under no obligation to grant your request.
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I think the IR aspect of this might be misleading, isn't IR at the opposite end of the spectrum to X-rays and therefore less likely to be affected than visible light film ? Whatever, I think it's been fairly well established that carry-on X-ray machines should not to do any harm.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
Regarding checked-in baggage, I have tried a couple of the rolls Velvia 100 that went through with my checked in baggage when I went to Iceland (from London Heathrow) in August, and just to muddy the waters I cannot see any sign of damage. They were packed inside my aluminium camping cooker/pans so had a couple of millimeters of aluminium around them, but I doubt if that would make a huge difference. So I think with checked-in baggage it's entirely down to luck, some have had really bad fogging, while I got away with it.
This thread really belongs in 'Geographic Locations' (or perhaps there should be new forum for 'airport xray machines' .)
Now for your information the airport has two different devices! One is the handbag scanner which does not harm your film! That doesn’t hurt either to ask for hand visitation! The second one is what you don’t see is the big high intensity X-ray machine which they use to X-Ray your goods which goes into the cargo aria! That is will affecting your film and specially film with high ASA/ISO.
So don’t put any exposed/unexposed film to your baggage which goes to the plain's cargo aria! Have it on you all the time! See the bright side of things! If you go down you go with your art!
Last edited by uraniumnitrate; 11-07-2006 at 05:52 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I believe the big cargo scanners in the baggage handling area are actually C/T Scanning machines, but regardless, they are unsafe for any film at any speed. I had some sheets of 4x5 Fuji 160 NPS loaded in some film holders that I forgot, and they were in the checked baggage. When I got them back from the lab, the sheets closest to the outside of my suitcase were all irreparably fogged.
Originally Posted by uraniumnitrate
I don't know if IR and X-ray are on opposite ends of the spectrum or not - I use the IR film as an example because it is so sensitive to just about anything it seems. Perhaps that is a false impression of delicacy on its part - it is just sensitive to visible light plus a little, but that little makes handling it a challenge.
That’s exactly what I stated “That is will affect your film and specially film with high ASA/ISO.”
Now there is two type of X-ray one we call low intensity X-ray also called soft X-ray and high intensity so called hard X-ray! Usually the low intensity x-ray (low in energy) used to (scanners) which is okay for handbags but if something doesn’t shows because the scanner is not able to penetrate it than personal will surely ask you to open your bag!
That’s exactly what happened with me twice recently when I had my Tomiyama 6x24 cm in my bag! The stuff never seen a camera like this and they just asked me to open my bag and when they see my camera I could see a big smile on their face and than got a couple questions and than they asked me to pack it down again! I think it was very educational for the personal at the airport!
Now the high intensity X-ray is totally different it’s uses high energy and therefore it can’t be used in scanners (very dangerous) but for penetrating bigger and ticker things you need to have them! Also it’s possible to increase or lower the amount of energy and it’s possible to change the viewing dept too! It’s makes it possible to concentrate on finding bombs and specially manufactured arms and stuff similar to it!
Those will definitely damage your film! All of it more or less! Film pushed to High ASA react as usual films but manufactured high ASA/ISO film would be totally damaged!
Last edited by uraniumnitrate; 11-07-2006 at 09:50 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: the spelling thing again
Iím sorry but I do forget about this IR situation!
The X-rays are very low in radiations 0.001 up to 10nm on the scale and the radiation which we actually use for IR photography goes from around 500nm up to 900nm! Now, films call for extended they are not truly IR films just an extended sensitivity up to lets say 790 nm or less.I would think that they react similar as any other film!