airport x-ray machines from hell

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by MyOwnPath, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. MyOwnPath

    MyOwnPath TPF Noob!

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    What's your experience about those nasty airport x-ray machines and film? I'm told that anything above 400 speed is risky, but below that is fine. I don't understand how this is possible for nothing to happen to slower film when it wipes out faster film.

    I just returned from Central America with a couple dozen spent rolls in my bag, and the woman in the Panama airport would not let me get my film hand checked, like I always do. She made me put it through the machine.

    I am still traveling, so have yet to get any developed. Some was color ISO 800, some was B&W C-41 process ISO 400 and some was regular ISO 400 B&W.

    Of course, I'll find out soon enough what happened, but I'd like to hear any information as to why it affects some and not others.

    --Trav--
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    X-rays fog film, period. The question is how much? The airlines say that 400 and below is fine, but you'd have no problem finding web posts and articles about x-ray damaged film that is ISO 100.

    I don't know what to do in other countries, but here in the USA I carry a print out from the National Air Transportation Safety organization (or whatever it's really called) that states my rights, which includes the right to have my film hand checked. The peons at the machine don't want to do it, but handing them my business card and making the comment "Are you a professional photographer? I'd be glad to talk to a manager." usually gets them off my back. The funny thing is that I've never ever been hassled by a manager type once they are called over. They politely "sniff" my film for explosives, drugs, whatever... and send me on my way, but the folks actually standing at the machines act like I'm the biggest pain in the ass ever.

    I try not to travel with a lot of film. Usually I overnight it with Fed Ex. They aren't X-raying packages yet, although someday they might start.

    Another alternative is to get it developed before the return plane trip. Once it's developed the film isn't affected by x-rays.
     
  3. BrettG

    BrettG TPF Noob!

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    I heard this, and before I just recently went on my trip to Alaska I purchased 200 ISO film because I knew anything below 400 was supposed to be okay.

    My pictures didn't turn out as well as I was hoping. There are a few reasons behind this, but I wasn't sure if the film getting x-ray'd was one of them. That's something to consider now. If I ever travel by plane again I'll have them hand check the film. How often do the people at the airport refuse to hand-check your film (how often do you have to talk to the manager)? Not being a professional photographer, they might be less eager to do that to my film.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It doesn't matter if you are a pro or not. In the US you can ask to have your film hand checked.

    http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/editorial/editorial_1248.xml

    I just noticed that they don't even mention any particualr film speeds.

    From the NTS website:

    Edit: they do mention film speeds on further pages..., but it's still all hand checkable.
     
  5. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    When I fly with film, I label all of the containers:

    Attn: Lab
    Push to 1600

    Never had a problem getting them hand checked :) Just make sure you don't put them into the lab with those labels still on.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Wow! Great idea!!!
     
  7. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Xrays never messed with my CF cards.



    Sorry, you know I had to! :p
     
  8. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    Small Avery labels work great and look professional! Cheap too! ;)
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Hey, Ilford just went under! No taunting the film geeks while we're down!

    :wink:
     
  10. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Aww did they actually go under? That blows, I love their inkjet papers. :? Guess I'll have to stock up while they're still available.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The inkjet division is surviving strongly. :cokespit:

    Just the BW film division up for sale or something. I don't understand all the jargon. I just understand that it's not a good sign for film geeks! Rats!!! :irked:
     

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