Computed Tomography vs. films & light meters

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by NER, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. NER

    NER TPF Noob!

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    fyi. Some of you may have read about the new CT machines being installed in airports - Beware: New 3D Airport Scanners Will Wipe Unprocessed Camera Film. This development should be of great concern to those trying to get film through airport security checkpoints because the new machines will unequivocally ruin photographic films of all kinds whereas the older machines used to scan carry-on items were relatively safe, certainly for slower films (I can report from personal experience that on my travels abroad, I put film thought carry-on x-ray inspection as many as 8 times without adverse effects). Everyone knows the machines used to scan checked luggage are far more intense and that films will not survive that examination without sustaining some serious damage - which is why we always carry film through vs. having it checked through. Immediately after the first of these stories about the new, higher-energy machines for scanning carry-on items came out, I contacted both Analog, the maker of the new machines, and TSA to ask what effect, if any, these new x-ray machines might have on light meters. Below is the response from TSA that I received today. (As an aside, for those who may think sending film home via mail is a sure-fire way around this problem, I would urge you to do some research first, because everything I have read on that topic indicates that USPS packages are also subjected to x-ray scanning. I do not know whether those scans are yet strong enough to ruin film.)

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com

    Here is the reply fromTSA:

    "Good Afternoon,
    We appreciate your recent inquiry through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Contact Center (TCC) regarding Computed Tomography (CT) scanners and photographic film.
    TSA does not have information on the effects that CT scanners have on the calibration or function of light meters in photographic film. Due to high sensitivity of undeveloped film and possible camera light meter issues, TSA recommends having film and cameras with light meters hand-inspected by a Transportation Security Officer to prevent possible damage.
    If you require further information, please contact the TCC for assistance.

    Thank you,
    APM Communications Team
    Contractor, E3 Federal Solutions"


     
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  2. NER

    NER TPF Noob!

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    Maybe I posted this in the wrong section. If not, I'm surprised no one seems interested enough in the issue to comment. Oh well. C'est la vie.

    N. Riley
    http://normarnrileyphotography.com
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Moved to 'Articles of Interest' for hopefully better traction.
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    I'll translate their response for you: "We don't care".
     
  5. NER

    NER TPF Noob!

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    "Moved to 'Articles of Interest' for hopefully better traction."

    Thank you.

    "We don't care".

    I assume you're referring to either TSA or the forum community, but I can't really tell which, so I will close with this: if and when I encounter one of these new machines I will ask for hand inspection of my films because it is not disputed that the CT scanners will ruin any and all film passed through them. I personally do know know whether these machines will damage the calibration and/or functioning of light meters, but it seemed prudent ask this question (there is nothing wrong with asking a question) and that is why I wrote to both TSA and Analogic. TSA replied that they have no information about this, and Analogic, the maker of scanner, never responded to my question - maybe because they don't care, though one would think they should care given the possibility of myriad claims against them for damaged equipment if the CT scanners are capable of inflicting such damage. In the face of this uncertainty, TSA recommends hand inspection of light meters (or cameras with light meters). Given that recommendation, I intend to ask for my spot meters and my iPhone to be hand-inspected until we have confirmation that these items will not be damaged by CT scanning. If forum readers don't care about this issue as you may be suggesting, that's fine. They may know something I don't ... probably they do. However, whether out of ignorance or caution, because I care about my film and light meters, I will follow the recommendation provided by TSA when I encounter one of these new machines.

    N. Riley
    http://normanrileyphotography.com
     
  6. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    The TSA.
     
  7. Tim Tucker 2

    Tim Tucker 2 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With the trademarks of:

    anal
    ogic ???

    conneCT ???

    Don't let the scientists name the product... ;);););)

    I remember similar scare stories about the original scanning machines. I'm also wary of articles that polarise things into stark B&W choices like it's either fine or completely destroyed in less than a second. (This habit distorting truth to fit an *ultimate jeopardy* narrative combined with a social media that has few journalistic standards is worrying because so many people just accept these *articles* as fact from start to finish).

    I also don't like it when they report that photographer *A* only saved their film by refusing to comply to the new rules when one of the rules is that hand inspection of photographic film is allowed on request. Though I don't doubt that CT scanners can damage film, the last thing you want is for passengers to start being aggressive towards security personnel when all they really have to do is ask politely...
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Bit of clarification:

    X-ray scanners have ALWAYS been detrimental to film regardless of when employed.
    In the late 1980's there was instituted a form of x-ray that used a pulse system that left a highly specific and very damaging sine-wave shape on film depending on the canister's orientation in the machine as it was scanned. Typically leaving behind a greenish tint that could not be removed and in some cases recovered at all.
    after 9-11 I saw ALOT of processed film coming through the shop I was working in that had some extremely serious damage. This was because of a new system put in and also that some of the TSA robots loved to double-triple and even quadruple scan the film.

    When lead lined bags came about and you had to open the bags for security (pre TSA) there were instances of film being burned by residual that were never scanned. (Makes you wonder about the machines.)

    ANY device or mechanical material like film WILL be (not possible,) WILL BE affected by the scanners.

    As for USPS there were many multiple articles on their highly aggressive and quite frankly unnessecery need to x-ray packages.
    Irradiation of packages was started because of the Anthrax scares and to this day the single digit IQ folks running our government thinks they know better than you because they are in DC.

    Work with the TSA and the USPS at your own detriment.
     
  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    "We don't know, and we don't care."

    So be sure to bug one of the nincompoops at the checkpoint and try to explain the issue to him/her in a way that does not pi$$ him/her off so much that he/she places the camera in the ultra-high-power x-ray machine, swabs your bag, swabs your hands, makes you wait for a supervisor, all the while giving their fellow agents the eye-roll look.
     
  10. Tim Tucker 2

    Tim Tucker 2 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yea, right... And because of the tone of the original article we have the polarized opinions creeping out of the woodwork. It's not the security services taking personal pleasure over persecuting you individually boys, there is no deep state. The system was not developed to inconvenience you or seek out and destroy your personal property. It's not *you against the security services* who really are only doing their job of trying to keep you and your fellow passengers safe, it's not their fault that the foe tries to be invisible.

    Perhaps if you just ask politely to have the film inspected by hand as is allowed? Perhaps you could help them? The sort of comments I see above just make me want to scream!!! Honestly if you can't see past your own personal inconvenience or see beyond those right in front of you to blame for that inconvenience. So @Designer how many times has that happened to you, all the swabs and the wait with the eye rolls? Are you just playing the *ultimate jeopardy* card and presenting your fears and phobias as fact, going for the emotive, trying to get people angry to support your own opinion as to why you shouldn't be inconvenienced?

    Time to lock the thread...
     
  11. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With respect to you....

    I have been in many screening areas of airports. My honest opinion has been that most of those folks are fine people, but they have not the time or inclination to understand, nor the responsibility to know how their system affects every level of society.
    As for the single digit IQ comment.....

    I am IN government. I deal with the lower level folks daily and they are fine, but I also know many politicos.

    They leave much to be desired. So my comment stands.
     
  12. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I see that you have failed to read and comprehend that I wrote; to "try not to p*** him/her off.."

    Facts, son, facts gathered from personal experience.

    The question that is NOT being addressed is; why are ANY of us being inconvenienced, considering that the entire protocol and the agency itself is nothing but a political "solution" to a practical problem. As I understand it from several reports, the number of actual terrorists that the TSA has intercepted and apprehended is about.. lessee.. ZERO.

    And the number of travelers who are unnecessarily detained, hassled, and embarrassed is about... lessee... MILLIONS !!!! DAILY!!!!

    And the number of TSA agents who are working toward a fat government pension? Lessee.... Thousands!

    Is it any wonder that I would rather drive across country three days (each way) rather than fly?
     

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