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  1. #11

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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.

  2. #12
    BrendanCarlson's Avatar
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    Put in a clear plastic bag and beg on your knees that they will hand check it.
    Everybody has a photographic memory, some just don't have film.
    My Website and Gallery is at www.bcarlsonmedia.com
    My Twitter is @brendancarlson

  3. #13

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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.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimFox View Post
    to tkamiya:
    Actually, the agents in the US do not have an "mA" knob to increase exposure.
    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?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #15

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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.

  6. #16

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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.

  7. #17

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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.

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