Film vs airport security?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Tolyk, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. Tolyk

    Tolyk TPF Noob!

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    Okay, another question. I remember reading/hearing at some point in time that film should not be exposed to x-ray, at all. Is this still true (or was it ever?) because I plan on traveling in the near future, and have a lot of extra film I want to bring with me to expend, then develop upon my return. So it will go through airport security twice. Will it be alright?
     
  2. j_mcquillen

    j_mcquillen TPF Noob!

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  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My sister brought 60 rolls of film into Namibia last year in October, exposed most of them and got a huge amount of wonderful photos out of them. No harm done to any by the airport x-rays. And she has been to Malawi before, also by airplane, of course, and to Vietnam, and all her photos came out all right, despite her having her luggage checked.

    And personally I have never had any harm done to any of my film whenever I took some along on the airplane. Actually I am planning to also pack the SLR and film for the trip to England next Thursday, and the rolls are definitely going into the suitcase that I'll need to check in, and I am confident it will be ok.
     
  4. nicname

    nicname TPF Noob!

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    I've always been told under 800 should be fine.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    High speed (800 +) is more susceptible to x-ray damage.

    The carry-on X-ray machine is much less powerful than what they use to scan the checked luggage, so carry it on with you, if you can. Before last week, it was probably pretty easy just ask them to check it by hand, rather than sending it through the x-ray. Maybe have all your film out of the plastic container and in a clear plastic bag...that way you won't get stuck at security while they open every single container.
     
  6. SleepingWolf

    SleepingWolf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I talked to a security guard this August - they have had complaints with films being fogged at 400 ASA.

    Photo supply stores used to sell lead foil bags to protect film, i'm sure they still do. Another option you could try, and I did this several times before 911, was to hand the film over to the security guard so that it does not pass thru X-rays. They might not do this anymore...particulary since the latest incident.

    Having said that, although i no longer shoot film, it is exceedingly rare that film at 100 or 200 ASA gets spoiled...but if this is a trip of a life time you might want to consider local development - as long as it is a professional lab.

    why take chances?
    for similar reasons, i try to have my memory cards burned to DVDs while on vacation or business travel...just to have the DVDs as backups in case i lose or have the cards stolen.
     
  7. JaimeMC

    JaimeMC TPF Noob!

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    I work at a one hour photo lab, and develop vacation pictures all the time. It's generally hit or miss with the fogging from air port x-rays. I notice people who use one time use cameras generally always have the fogging, and these cameras generally use at lease 400 speed film, but mostly 800. With people who are using their own cameras and 200 and even 400 speed film for the most part I see no problems with their development. But I personally wouldn't take any chances if I didn't have to. Try to get it developed before coming home if possible, or contact the airport ahead of time to see if they will allow it to be hand checked instead of going through the x-ray.
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    In my experience, the easiest way around this is to lie, plain and simple. I don't take any chances with my film, so when I get to the security checkpoint, I ask them to hand check it. They invariably ask what the ASA is, and I tell them it's something like 1600 or 3200. They usually respond with "oh my god, I didn't know they made film that fast," and then they hand-check it for me. It's rather easy to get them to hand-check roll-film. Trying to carry exposed sheet film could turn into a real battle, because they can swab the box to run it through their explosive-detecting machine, but they really want to open it anyway. After this latest tightening of airport security, such problems are most likely exacerbated.
     
  9. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    okay, the basics have been covered here, but i am the film/airport guru, i've had my share of strife, and know all the tricks of the trade, got a toughie? then PM me.
     

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