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  1. #11
    snegron's Avatar
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    What I don't get is that there have been so many articles in magazines indicating the damage done to exposed film going through X ray machines. They always show the damage as a shift in colors or rainbow effect. Are there certain emulsions (other than higher ISO) that are more prone to be damaged by X rays? Is slide film more sensitive to this than negative film?

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post
    What I don't get is that there have been so many articles in magazines indicating the damage done to exposed film going through X ray machines. They always show the damage as a shift in colors or rainbow effect. Are there certain emulsions (other than higher ISO) that are more prone to be damaged by X rays? Is slide film more sensitive to this than negative film?
    Almost one year after my subscription expired, Pop Photo finally sent me an issue that said it was the final one.

    I am very pleased, as I have not seen an article dealing with the supposed deleterious effects of airport X-rays on film in that magazine in many years (if ever). In fact, except for exhuming Herb Eppler every once in a while - I haven't seen anything in that rag about film for a long, long time.

    Have you seen these kinds magazine articles recently in other publications? Is there still a mass market photography magazine that discusses film in any context, much less how it is affected by airport x-rays?

    If so, please advise as I'd love to find a mass market photog mag that still talks about film!

  3. #13

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    yesterday, I walked up to the security area at LAX and after putting all my film in a separate bag, asked the security officials to hand check the film, they did and sent me on my way. No problem.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham View Post
    Oh, and one very important rule, be as polite to the TSA inspector as you would be to your Mom on Christmas Eve! Works wonders when you treat these folk with respect.
    This is really the only piece of information required beyond that provided by "the authorities". Why everyone worries this issue so much or tries to "outwit" the system is truely a mystery to me!

    http://www.apug.org/forums/346941-post22.html

    http://www.i3a.org/itip.html

    http://www.i3a.org/pdf/I3AFilmXrayTestReport.pdf
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 02-06-2007 at 08:38 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: just repeating my self repeatedly

  5. #15

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    Film: I fly out of Dulles...no problem having the film hand inspected even if it is crowded. Returned from Heathrow with exposed film. They will not hand inspect film. All film is xrayed. The film came out fine when I had it developed. Returned from Mexico and made the "mistake" of putting film in luggage. Came back fine as did second trip when it was xrayed in my carry on. As I understand it xray machines have become more "sophisticated". One technician showed me the xray of film in the black bag as it went through and pointed out that you could see right through it. I have also been informed that film up to ASA 800 (even slightly higher) will not be affected. There are other sites on the net with more info. than me.

  6. #16
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Unless you are using 800 speed film or faster, put it through the carryon X-ray, and don't worry about it. The danger of X-ray damage is highly exaggerated. I'm much more concerned about inspectors handling my equipment or accidentally opening boxes of LF film.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #17
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Does anyone else here realize that the only alternative to doing what we do is to shoot digital?

    Really, folks, if you're so darned worried about the effect of carry-on x-rays on your film (assuming that you cannot convince the TSA person to hand-inspect) then switch to digital!

    By and large, the TSA folk will do a hand inspection upon request and send you on your merry way. But if they insist on doing an x-ray (or if you're in some non-US jurisdiction that requires such) then you really have only two choices:

    1) Let them x-ray your film, or

    2) Become a digishooter and stop worrying about it.

    Is there anything else to discuss on this topic?

  8. #18
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham View Post
    Does anyone else here realize that the only alternative to doing what we do is to shoot digital?

    Really, folks, if you're so darned worried about the effect of carry-on x-rays on your film (assuming that you cannot convince the TSA person to hand-inspect) then switch to digital!

    By and large, the TSA folk will do a hand inspection upon request and send you on your merry way. But if they insist on doing an x-ray (or if you're in some non-US jurisdiction that requires such) then you really have only two choices:

    1) Let them x-ray your film, or

    2) Become a digishooter and stop worrying about it.

    Is there anything else to discuss on this topic?

    Replace film for digital? Blasphemy! Where are those pitchforks and torches! :o

    As for the TSA's, they are way too unpredictable no matter how nice you are to them. If they are having a bad day, you will pay the consequences regardless of your positive demeanor. In other words, don't count on TSA's handchecking your film because just out of spite they might refuse.

    I am sure I speak for many here when I say that X rays of our exposed film worries us, especially if the images are of any value. Our concerns stem from previous magazine articles and past bad experiences.

    Yes, there have probably been advances in X ray technology (I would not know if this is a true statement or not because I have not read about any "alleged" advances in X ray technology recently), but there have also been advances in film technology making emulsion more sensitive and accurate than ever seen before. How do our new, wonderful films react to X rays? We have had Kodachrome for years and know how it will react, but what about Fuji Astia or Provia? What about Porta 400VC? What about Ilford Delta Pro 400 (yes, it is B&W film, but who knows?)?

  9. #19
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I've walked through a metal detector with at least 20 rolls of TX 120 on my person (cargo pants, safari shirt with big pockets) and haven't had it go off. The wrapper is mylar, not foil, and the spools are plastic. If you're bulging out all over, though, they may ask you to put it through the X-ray.

    Despite all those past articles about possible X-ray damage, those of us who fly with some frequency have some experience in this, and in all these threads about X-ray damage, you rarely see anyone posting a credible example of X-ray damage.

    If you're really concerned, buy film on location if possible and have it processed locally or ship your film ahead and ship it back.

    You can also use lead film bags. Usually, if I put my film in a lead bag to reduce exposure on a trip where there will be multiple exposures, I'm not asked to remove it for X-ray, but occasionally it's happened, and I've let the film go through with no consequences.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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