I've carried 120 film in and out of the UK countless times without any visible problems at all. Clearly bringing the film in and having it processed at a place you trust will save you time and remove one area of concern at the possible expense of concern over X ray damage- which I don't share.
In common with many other markets its easier to buy 120 film in the UK from "out of town" outlets and bought by phone or internet. In general these outlets carry more stock and a bigger range than retailers or trade counters, and they are often notably cheaper. Try
Many photographic retailers, even in London , carry little in the way of 120 film either in terms of range or quantity. It would be best to call a selected retailer before you travel. Silverprint are OK, but they are in a rather gloomy area southeast of Waterloo Station that I wouldn't expect to be on most tourist routes, and it is a bit of a gloomy place when you get there.
If it were me I'd check my prices locally vs those from the dealers above and decide whether to carry it in or buy here, and similarly with processing. I wouldn't personally let X ray issues drive the decision.
Silverprint Gloomy; like Aladdin’s Cave was gloomy. Martin will be distraught to think his emporium could be described as “gloomy”; in fact cut to the quick I should think. By the way Silverprint is about 200 yards from the Old Vic, if that’s not on the tourist trail I don’t know what is.
'Silverprint are OK, but they are in a rather gloomy area southeast of Waterloo Station that I wouldn't expect to be on most tourist routes, and it is a bit of a gloomy place when you get there.'
Silverprint in my opinion is in an excellent location in London and a few minutes walk to the South Bank and Borough with all their delights. Some nice pubs nearby too but they are hidden away so best to ask the not gloomy at all staff for directions! I'm a big one for not shopping online if possible and the selection of film available in Silverprint and Process Supplies, (www.process-supplies.co.uk - another great London institution near Clerkenwell) is competitively priced, available over the counter and they have a far better choice of stock than these internet places which have Kodak, Ilford and maybe Fuji. I appreciate that we are lucky in London in that we have such good suppliers of photographic materials compared to other parts of the country so I do feel it is important to use them. Have a great time in London, it has a lot to offer photographers.
I too have had 120 scanned many times through xrays (mainly due to language and time restraints) with no apparent effects.
However, when I'm in the UK I have always politely asked at Heathrow for hand checks, they have seen "Professional" in the branding and have been happy to check by hand. I'm always polite and to add more fuel to a legitimate hand-search, I always say it has been rated at 6400 ASA. The machines state the highest range they are safe for (3200ASA if memory is correct) and this falls way over that range.
You can of course as others have said, simply buy your film in London and ship it home. Of course there is always the possibilty your favorite brand isn't available or the exchange rate is crazy!
Originally Posted by Mike Crawford
I'm too die-hard for not shopping online. However, two weeks ago I get back from Scotland and while on holiday I was also looking to fill up my fridge since the film prices in Croatia. I was at Jessops shop in Glasgow and the guy that works there said that Jessops don't offer discount on 10 pack rolls any more. Price of Ilford film at Jessops shop is something like 3.30 pound/pc and 10 pack ordered online is around 17 pound. I just had to buy it online but didn't buy anything off list. When I'm in store colorful bags on shelfs are too attractive not to buy something off list, resistance is futile. :-) This year I bough only stuff from the list.
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Originally Posted by Assaf
Can you scan the whole strip of your negative film? It is very difficult to judge on a single photo whether it has been striked by x ray. Film striked by x ray may show repeating pattern across frames. Please take a look at some sample film striked by x ray shown in Kodak's website:
I travelled with 120 film from Japan to the US and back last summer and I had no problems. I had two bulging xray bags which probably surprised the TSAs. At all inspection points both xray bags were opened and hand inspected (I didn't ask specifically.) My backpack, with the xray bag, was then rescanned. Everyone was professional.
About mailing your film back, I've read here and there on the internet that that might not be a good idea. Don't they xray packages?
Rule number one: always carry on your film. The checked baggage x-rays are definitely strong enough to mark your film, but carry-on xray machines won't hurt it.
To put your mind at ease, you can buy and process all your film while you are there, but it is really not necessary.
Re: the fellow above's statement that the carry-on machines are safe up to ISO 3200. The fastest films you can get, Delta 3200 and TMax 3200, are really only ISO 800-1000. How you rate them does not change the true ISO one bit, so even they are safe.
Interesting trivia re: x-rays: According to the data sheet for Efke IR820, there is more of a risk of ruining this film by bringing it out into room light than there is having it scanned by a carry-on baggage scanner (in 35mm, due to the felt's poor ability to block IR).
Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-05-2008 at 09:12 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
That is correct, however, the guys that scan the stuff aren't taught the intricacies of film. They are simply informed that 3200 is "safe" and anything above that isn't. I travel as a photographer on aircraft 95% of the year, and by stating that the film is rated higher, in my case 6400asa, they are always happy to hand check. Plus they also believe that "Professional" on the box means it should be hand checked too. I've never had a problem, with hand checks even to the point of it being tested for explosives. (Why can't they all do this, it's soooo much easier?)
Just remember to be polite and understand they have a job to do too.
Blimey ... I am unsure about the gloomy bit of the area. It offers lots of small restaurants and pubs, and it is a always a pleasure to walk around there, the side streets are probably off the beaten touristy track, surely for the better, and minutes walk from the big attractions towards the south bank as was mentioned before.
Originally Posted by David Henderson
Also, it is always worth a visit at Silverprint .. it is our one shop in London.
As for buying film over the counter, I find film competitively priced at Silverprint and Jacobs. I always have a discount at both places on film purchases, it being 20% off on all brands at Jacobs.
Also customer service is always excellent.