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  1. #1

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    Traveling to Europe with lots of film, what's the best strategy?

    I've done a few searches and read as much as I can on this site about airport x rays and film but wanted to hear some current answers and come up with a good plan for my trip.

    I will be traveling with a bunch of film almost all of it Ilford Delta 3200. Obviously I understand that this is going to be some of the most sensitive film to X-rays. I guess one advantage to it is that at least the X-ray technician will recognize it as high speed film.

    I will be flying from Austin to London then taking a train to Paris then on to Munich with possible other excursions after. From what I understand I probably won't get x rayed for the train, right? On the way home I will fly from Munich, change planes in London then on to Austin.

    In the past I have always brought all of my film in a ziplock bag and carried it on. I've flown from various places in Texas to Mexico and have rarely had an issue except a long argument once in Mexico. I plan to use this same method but have heard that sometimes European officials will not allow it. I've read that heathrow is especially problematic. I assume I won't have to pass through security again there since I will be flying in on one end and changing plaines on the other, though when I arrive I may have to,

    Anyways I guess my main question is what's the best way to avoid the scan? Also, is it wise to ship film back to the states or will they most likely x ray it as well. If I do have to give in and have my film scanned will the 3200 survive one pass?

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    polyglot's Avatar
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    Carryon only. You will need to pass security for every boarding, plus at some train stations etc.

    I would not travel with such a fast film, personally.

  3. #3
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    There are many locations where you can buy film in London. Unless you are very short of time, I would buy there if you are concerned with X rays.

  4. #4
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    (duplicate post deleted)

  5. #5
    wiltw's Avatar
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    If you need to go thru Security at London Heathrow, they absolutely refuse to pay any attention to any requests for hand inspection of film, even for film rated faster than ISO 1600! The security guys must only speak very early versions of Old (pre-Chaucerian) English, as they do not comprehend any requests in modern English. Never have, and I have gone thru London dozens of times, put my film in clear plastic bags, etc.

  6. #6

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    I would not bet on them seeing you have film, and expect to have it hand inspected. Specially in a very busy airport. Also I personally would never carry such High speed film while doing x-rays. There was x-rays for the train ride from Paris to London, you have to go through security from what I remember from being there last year.

  7. #7
    hoshisato's Avatar
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    Don't bring anything faster than ISO 400 (you can always push the film) and you'll be fine as long as long you put all undeveloped film in your hand luggage.
    As for London Heathrow, I used to live in London for 8 years, the security people are always seemingly on the verge of a nervous breakdown but that seems to be everywhere now. Most airports have advice for film photographers up on their website: http://www.heathrowairport.com/plan-...-photographers

  8. #8
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    I'm doing this next weekend. My strategy, as above is: Low speed film (Fuji Neopan Across 100 (80 rolls of 120) & Kodak TXP320 (150 sheets of 5x4"), all stuffed into my 5x4" camera backpack and carried on.

    I've done this for a few years, and even with lots of connections (and x-rays), I've not noticed any fogging at all. Higher speed films and I'd begin to worry. Hand inspections are a recipe for making travelling stressful - if I had to do that every time I'd almost (almost) take a digital camera...!!

    Marc!
    Marc Morel
    photographie argentique!
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    http://mrmarcmorel.wordpress.com/

  9. #9

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    Never noticed any problem with Delta 3200 (35mm) going through airport x rays. At least, not yet. In London, these are two very fine shops to stock up on goodies.
    http://www.processuk.net/
    http://www.silverprint.co.uk/

    Have a great trip!

  10. #10
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    That film is a worry. Delta P3200 in 120 format is the very last film I would want to take on an international tour, because of so many x-ray examinations and so much propensity for getting a great many noses out of joint to protect it. It is at the trigger/high point of film speeds that will potentially be damaged. Avoid a scene with security by remonstrating re hand inspections (it also holds up the already impatient people behind you). If security insists on putting everything through x-ray, do that, even if on returning home your worse fears are realised. Heathrow does appear to have an unsettling reputation when it comes to dealing with photographers and their film.

    I've reported here in other threads how my sister last year took with her to Canada two 35mm rolls of Provia 100F for her small film camera. One roll loaded in the camera, another in the checked-in luggage. The luggage went through at least 16 x-ray passes over 4 weeks — neither roll of film was damaged in any way. BUT, two SD cards containing the bulk of her travel adventures were somehow ruined and unreadable — that was the major upset.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






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