Airport Security.. is it safe

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by chrisburke, May 11, 2008.

  1. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    i've heard different things about taking cameras on planes.. some people have said the xray scanner messes up the camera, others have said it doesnt.... I'm traveling in less than a month and would like to take my camera on the plane with me... is it safe to to go through the scanner...
     
  2. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    It will not affect digital cameras. It WILL mess up film, the only question being how much. One pass with ASA-100 film will probably not be noticeable. However, the effect on film is cumulative. Even with low-speed film, multiple X-ray scans will be a problem. In the U.S., federal law requires hand-inspection of any item upon request of the traveler. Good luck getting the inspectors to comply with the law. I was unable to get compliance at a time when I was employed as a TSA instructor!

    By the way, checked baggage is MUCH worse. Those gigantic machines are actually Cat-scans, multiple X-rays produce 3-dimensional images! Film doesn't have a prayer in checked baggage.
     
  3. Phazan

    Phazan TPF Noob!

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    I doubt it. I've taken my P&S camera on planes and it's been alright.. I've even taken video on the takeoffs! ;)
     
  4. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

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    thanks... i figured it was for film, but wanted to make sure.
     
  5. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    I would never ever ever check my camera!!! Take it on the plane with you. The theft-and-damage risk from putting your camera into checked baggage is just too high. And as Socrates said, the really high powered and multiple scans are done to checked bags anyways.
     
  6. lockwood81

    lockwood81 TPF Noob!

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    I've taken my dSLR on many flights and as Antarctican mentioned, I've never checked it. It's been fine going through the scanner, only quetion I got once was about the monopod.
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I lugged around about 30lbs of camera gear through several airports on my last trip, and everything was fine.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    carefull if you are thinking of comming to the UK - there are new and tight restrictions on handluggage in place at the moment - they are better than they were a while ago, but still a pain for photographers (I am thinking of those oh so easy to damage lenses)
     
  9. Atropine

    Atropine TPF Noob!

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    Well the UK airports seems to be quite extreme. Lately I've been through swedish, portuguese and italian airport security checks and they have never showed any interest in my camera bag. But when I went to Birmingham earlier this year they went through every camera part and pocket in my bag. They even used an electronic sniffer. The only good thing was that they were very careful and polite.

    But I've been told that the US controlls are far worse, and that the security people are rude and not very careful.

    And no, I would never consider checking in my camera and my laptop (or anything else that is fragile and/or expensive). A friend of mine used to work at an airport...
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have a strong feeling that boats are going to become popular again for photographers - think about it a long cruise - you could not only take some scenic shots of sunsets/rises but also of the people on the boat - might make a nice little earner for the trip over (pay for the ticket back ;))
     
  11. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    Took mine to Hawaii not to long ago and went thru several scans with no problems. And as said above, I'd never check my camera in or anything that valuable unless it was a piano or something.
     
  12. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I heard some hype about needing to have paperwork and proof of ownership for bringing camera gear back into the US to get past customs (if travelling internationally) but the only people getting stopped had pelican cases and tens of thousands of dollars worth of pro level equipment. Not something that's going to be an issue for your typical tourist/photog with a single backpack worth of gear and mainly amateur level equipment.

    The biggest thing to watch out for are weight restrictions these days. They're getting pretty anal about it, even for carry on. The last time I travelled internationally they were actually screening carry-on baggage for weight and making people re-pack if they were over coming back to the US on the long-haul. Luckily I weighed all my gear ahead of time and made sure it was all within the lowest common denominator baggage weight restriction and didn't have any problems.

    I would absolutely not check any photography gear. Take it all on with you. If you check it they can't lose it, nor can they toss it around carelessly.
     

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