Traveling With 8x10
So I know this has been discussed on the boards before, but I'm having some trouble finding the threads, so I figured I would just ask my specific questions and hope for the best.
I will be traveling to Oaxaca Mexico in January to do a short winter semester class. I will be documenting the villages outside of the city for 12 days. I'm very excited, but I don't travel much so I have a bunch of questions.
First, I'm planning on bringing my 8x10. I have an F64 bag and I'm pretty sure its going to be too big to use as a carry on, so how safe would people think checking it is? Both handling wise and possibility of it being lost/stolen. I'd feel very uncomfortable doing that, if something happened, not only can I not afford to replace it, but I'd be in Mexico for a photo class without a camera. The same question goes for a tripod (although I need to look up the American Airlines rules for that because I think I might be able to carry it on.
Second, I have to make a bunch of transfers to get there, and don't want my film to go through the x-ray machines that many times, so if anyone has experience with getting sheet film handchecked I would appreciate it. A friend of mine went to Ireland last year and she said the security made her open the box of film up for them to hand check it. Luckily it was tri-x so it was still in those supposedly light tight pouches...but it still makes me nervous. I was thinking about shipping it FedEx to arrive with the people I'm staying with, but that might get to be really expensive so if theress a better way I'd love to hear it.
Third, any other suggestions that I haven't thought of? I know I need to do a very thorough check of my gear and make sure I have everything I can think of before I go, but besides that?
Thanks a bunch for any help
Let the film go through the carryon X-ray. I'm more worried about inept inspectors than X-rays.
I check my tripod in a Tenba TTP34 case. I've watched it go flying off a baggage truck onto the tarmac, and my tripod has always come through fine.
I use a Gowland 8x10" PocketView, which fits with 5 filmholders, several lenses, and all the usual accessories in an ordinary knapsack for laptop computers. I put my empty filmholders in my checked luggage, but carry the knapsack with my film and usually a laptop computer on the plane.
I flew to Oaxaca two years ago with a Hasselblad kit. I brought 200 rolls of film and my developing tanks.
The camera and film went with me and the tripod and tanks were checked. No problems at all. I even had the film xrayed in Oaxaca and still no problems.
In case you did not know, you can not photograph in a variety of places like churches and ruins like Monte Alban.
Oaxaca was an amazing place two years ago. Not sure about how it is now since the riots and chaos of last year.
Also, there were a couple of photo shows near the Zocalo and one of them had sheet film up to 8x10. But this was two years ago.
I don't have specific 8x10 experience, but:
Don't check the f64 bag.
If you can afford it, get a Pelican case and check that with the 8x10.
How many lenses are you taking? If you can't get the Pelican, then take a smaller carry on with the lenses, camera and film. Pack film holders, tripod, etc in checked luggage and then re-assemble when you get there. Don't worry about the film. I have checked film more than 25 times over the course of 6 months (Velvia 50) with no problems. All of the previous posts here have suggested not to worry.
The largest carry on Pelican should be big enough for the camera and a couple of lenses. I have used a Pelican case for months at a time in South America and Africa, very dusty conditions, hot, humid, etc. with no problems except that I need more upper body strength.
Check out this case:
A good investment for traveling.
My general rule of thumb when traveling is, "if you care about it, put it in your carry on."
Take out any extra pairs of socks or underwear - you can recycle what you bring!
Those who know, shoot film
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Don't check your camera...
If the bag's to big, fill it with other stuff and check that, and take your camera as carry on, and find a less bulky option for the carry on camera bag/case.
....but don't check your camera...
If you're carrying on sheet film, the inspectors will be much less confused by it and more likely to be understanding if you can show them the camera that it goes in. That's another reason to carry on the camera, apart from all the many other reasons not to check it.
Thanks for the replies. I'll have to find something else to bring the camera in, those pelican cases look pretty great, and I think I actually know someone who will let me borrow one for the trip. I'm not taking all that much, 2 lenses, the camera, and 6 holders. and maybe a small flash so it shouldn't be hard to find a bag that will work with everything that I can carry on.
So the film should be okay to have xrayed? Even if I have to make 3 transfers each way, giving me the potential to have my film xrayed 6 seperate times? I'm planning on bringing a pretty large amount of film (probably 150 sheets) so I really need to make sure it gets there alright. Again, it looks like the consensus is not to worry...but I just want to make sure. Haha.
The carry on Xrays are generally not a problem unless you plan to really push your film. Many times you can get a hand inspection anyway. That said, if you can find a way to process when you are there, and return with negs, that would be the best.
Originally Posted by dc1215