Traveling with film

CJL

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So I am going on vacation skiing out in Utah next week. I plan on taking my digital and film camera. I didn't think anything about transporting the film till this morning when i saw a film safe x ray bag on craigslist today. Will I need one of these bags to transport my film? How do you bring your film when you travel? Can i just put the film in my pockets when i go through the metal detectors and show them that I have it and don't want to ruin it? Any other things that might hurt the film that I don't know about like temperature ect? I am new to using film. Thanks for the help.
 

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So I am going on vacation skiing out in Utah next week. I plan on taking my digital and film camera. I didn't think anything about transporting the film till this morning when i saw a film safe x ray bag on craigslist today. Will I need one of these bags to transport my film? How do you bring your film when you travel? Can i just put the film in my pockets when i go through the metal detectors and show them that I have it and don't want to ruin it? Any other things that might hurt the film that I don't know about like temperature ect? I am new to using film. Thanks for the help.

For 35mm or 120, try to keep it separated from the rest of your carry-on stuff and ask them to hand-check it. If they ask what speed it is, tell them it's 1600 or 3200. If they insist on running it through the x-ray machine, you'll most likely be perfectly fine anyway unless it's high speed.

As a side note, when I travel with 4x5 film, I repackage it in a box of x-ray film I bought on eBay. No matter how badly they want to avoid hand-checking, they will not x-ray x-ray film.
 

Helen B

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Here are the guidelines prepared by the TSA: link.

They are fairly comprehensive, but remember that they apply to travel in and from only the USA.

I fly between 40,000 and 120,000 miles a year (excluding trips on my broomstick) and I don't bother getting a hand check for 35 mm and 120 up to and including ISO 800. I mark an X on each film package for each time it is X-rayed, so that I can keep track of exposure.

Good luck,
Helen
 

JC1220

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I've never had any issues with film going through x-ray machines. Ask them for a hand check, have a changing bag with you for LF films, often you can convince them to check it in the bag by feel.

Otherwise, if you are really concerned, FedEx your film to and from.
 

usayit

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I remove all of the film from their cardboard and plastic containers. Place all of them in a zip lock bag. I put 1600-3200 iso in a seperate bag and request a hand check.

I used to use a lead lined bag but now-a-days it just causes a rise in suspicions when they see it in X-ray. Just show them the bag of rolls and be upfront.. you want hand check.
 
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CJL

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thanks for all the help so i guess if its under iso 800 i don't have anything to worry about unless it goes through more than 5 times?
 

Alpha

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In most cases, no. But I tend to lie to them anyway in case I need to push-process my black and white. They can x-ray my color film all day long. Besides, if they actually realize that the box speed of the film is below 800, it won't be until they're already in the middle of hand-checking your bag.
 

nealjpage

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Remember to carry it on, even if it's less than 800 ISO. The xray machines for checked baggage are much more potent.
 

IanG

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On a recent trip to Chile & Peru which included 12 flights and at least 16 baggage scans (some airports scan as you arrive & again before you board) only one airport offered a hand-check of film, and then only for specialist scientific films.

Outside the US you generally are never given an option of a hand check. They don't havre the staff or time.

Most of my film had already been through carry-on scans twice before and all were fine when processed.

A word of warning about film x-ray packs, if they can't see something clearly they may well ask you to take the films out and put them through separately. I had problems 3 or 4 times because the operators couldn't recognise what my 6x17 camera was, and also were suspicious of cable releases, this lead to rescans.

Ian
 

IanG

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You have a 617? :drool:

Yes, it was my only film camera in Chile & Peru, but I shoot & use half-frame, 35mm, 645, 6x6, 6x9, 6x17, 5x4 and 10x8, oh and forgot 9x12cm. Plus toy cameras.

But to be fair my main format is nearly always 5x4, but now supplemented by 6x17.

Ian
 
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CJL

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Remember to carry it on, even if it's less than 800 ISO. The xray machines for checked baggage are much more potent.
my camera bag will be my carry on so i guess i should be all set. thanks for all the info
 

Alex_B

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i agree with those who said never check the film in ... in the worst case, when they do a detailed scan, they can do this with checked-in luggage with focussed Xray beams, which are only applied on spots where they suspect something. If your film happens to be in that spot, good night.

i lost some exposure due to radiation on the plane once I believe. on some rolls I had blue spots on some frames although i managed to get the film through without any xray inspection.






I once got into a heavy argument with airport security about what is "pro" film and what not. I had some pretty robust ISO 50 film with me, and said also those rolls should be hand inspected without xray since i did not trust thei xray-safety. they asked me if this was pro film, i said it was, then they had a look and saw the ISO 50
.. wohaa, then the person exploded, almost shouting at me. he told me he was not an idiot and knew that real "pro" film would start at at ISO 1600 and this what I was carrying was just film for vacation shooters.
I told him about the price of my "cheap" film and the argument escalated.

Luckily, a female security person separated us and send the other security person away.
 

IanG

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I once got into a heavy argument with airport security about what is "pro" film and what not. I had some pretty robust ISO 50 film with me, and said also those rolls should be hand inspected without xray since i did not trust thei xray-safety. they asked me if this was pro film, i said it was, then they had a look and saw the ISO 50

"pro" film would start at at ISO 1600

At San Paulo, Brazil, the criteria was scientific film, they meant Infra Red and highly specialised films that most photographers never use or realise exist.

No-one seems to notice that the so called x-ray machines at check-in security are used by operatives with no dose meters, older machines were suspect and more harmful, but I've only seen those in use in one country in the last few years, and it might surprise you - that was in the US.

Ian
 

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