View Full Version : Travelling (flying) with photochemicals
What are (if any) the restrictions on carrying photochemicals onboard aircraft? guessing they would have to be in checked luggage. Can you get fixer in powder form? Thinking of taking the darkroom on holiday :rolleyes:
Diafine plus powdered fixer plus tank and bag and I should be done, trying to avoid taking film in and out due to the strength of US x-ray scanners...
I don't know but a similar thought has crossed my mind before. Let us know what you come up with and how it works out!
Liquids are very very restricted at UK airports for carry on.
That includes bottled water, shampoo and medicines. So almost certainly noxious chemicals used by people without a digital camera.
i am not sure abt regulations themselves, for the checked luggage, but i would say you run a high risk of opening upo your luggage and ending up with a mess, depending on your location and luck only.
If you are visiting the US. Buy them on arrival.
I'd hate to think what the TSA would get up to if they found the stuff in luggage.
I had the same thought when I went to China last Autumn. May be the security situation has changed but I was told - no. That was from Heathrow (BAA) with KLM.
I don't even take lens cleaning solution with me anymore when I fly in the USA. I clean all my lenses prior to my trip, and if I need more I buy it at my destination.
Of course as more photo stores go under, this will get more difficult going forward.
I would call a US photo shop like B&H Photo and see what they say. I would think that if you bring the Diafine in powder form, in it's unopened box, you should be fine as long as it is in checked luggage. I would also imagine that film that is iso 400 and below is ok for checked luggage. You will be surprised by how difficult it can be to buy quality film here anymore unless you can find a dedicated photo store. The problem is that every airport seems to have their own policies, and every security ck in person has their own level of training, or lack thereof. Don't give them any reason to give you any hassle, but it is still up to luck how things will go. Some airports are just dreadful to deal w/, others are a breeze. I have had trouble lately just getting businesses to ship me developing chemicals, which is why I would call someone that ships stuff every day and get their input.
Don't put anything you do not want stolen in the checked luggage!
I would also imagine that film that is iso 400 and below is ok for checked luggage.
NO! don't do that! never do that.
I have seen what those scanners do with film (iso 200 C41 of a colleague of mine that he used on Maui - full with green grains, every single frame ruined, see below)
ps: of course he concluded "film is so much worse than digital!" since for non-underwater he used a digital P&S... :rolleyes:
hmm, thanks all. I'm flying into Orlando from London so already knew I couldn't bring liquids in hand luggage. I'm just equally dubious about having a tin of white powder in my checked luggage!. Film will come in via hand luggage and I'll mostly be shooting CN400 so I can develop it at Walgreens, but also wanted some silver halide...
There is overwhelming evidence from those who travel with film for a living that the CARRY-ON scanners do not visibly affect films of ISO 400/800 and under, even after dozens of passes through the scanner. I have heard also anectodal evidence that films such as P3200 can be scanned safely.
I have had 400 speed film scanned from Luang Prabang, Laos (where they had one scanner for the whole airport) to Montevideo, Uruguay and many places in between with no problem, over and over.
Ask folks who travel with film all the time, all you have to remember is NEVER check the film in your suitcase, ALWAYS carry it aboard. I have seen a lot of other problems blamed on x-ray damage.
If you DO check film in baggage (in the hold of the plane), the x-ray damage will look something like this:
of course there are other reasons for wanting to devlop your film on site!
You could call the airline, or better, TSA and ask. The chemicals in original sealed packaging might go through, but I bet they cause some delays and would be prepared to abandon them. Probably it isn't worth the trouble.
Film is safe in carry-on luggage and stands a significant risk of damage in checked luggage scanners.
Film processing chemistry is still available in the US but you won't find it in many, if any, of the Kits/Ritz mall shops. Some of our Florida members could tell you where to look.
pablito, thats approx the same what I was showing, just that mine was on a non-blakn frame, and magnified.
Carry-on is not a real issue. I was hesitant in the beginning, but i got refused a few tomes to have film hand checked, and i still have never seen any traces of the scanner on films up to delta 3200 at 3200. DOuble or triple scanned.
I had some sensia 1600 go through the carryon and it got fooked.. I don't know if its different with E6 but I was pissed when they came back with the little green goblins of grain!
I don't understand why you would want to carry chemical on a holiday trip, regardless what restrictions are in place. Don't you have better places to go.
Anyway, you can always count on UPS/Fedex next day. As far as I know, they don't x-ray the package, only scan the bar code. You can mail the chemical to the hotel in advance.
Never, ever, put unprocessed film of any speed in checked baggage, unless you want it ruined. I fly within the US at least once a month, and always carry film. I just let it run (film under 800 speed) through the carry on baggage scanners without worry, but the damage is cummulative, so I try not to let any individual rolls run through more than once or twice.
As for carrying chemistry, I used to do it all the time, but with the current regulations in place, I don't. Buy what you need on arrival in the US- you can take advantage of great prices because of the lousy value of the dollar. Just carry your tanks, reels, and dark bag in your checked luggage, and get chemistry here.
Maybe you can meet up with a fellow RFF'er here who might loan you use of chem and a space to process while in the States? Where are you traveling to and when?
I'v had several students go to Europe from the US and return, in every case films in checked baggage (HP5 and Tri-X) developed out completely black. Different people, different planes, and yes they knew how to handle & develop the films. Dumb (or drunken?) mistakes in all three cases- film left in a jacket pocket or tossed into suitcase and not seen.
Carry-on scans are indeed cumulative, and worse in my experience for exposed (films you've shot wise-guy) films even at 400 speed. I guess it might depend on what airport you're going through also.
I'd agree you're just asking for trouble trying to bring chemistry with you.
If you are coming into the States, the suggestion above for film goes for the chemicals too. Buy on your arrival. The problem I see even with powdered developer and fixer is that at least Kodak's, have a metalic liner. That might cause suspicion and get your luggage opened. They might question it, and hopefully not, but expose your luggage to theft of cherished items.
Buy what you need when you get there. Although that might be a problem for the developer you like.
There is always Fed-Ex for shipping your film & chemistry ahead. Fed-Ex here understands photo-sensitivity, I always get nice big neon stickers on the package warning everyone not to xray it or even put it near anything radioactive that might fog it.
Thanks all. Going to be in Florida (Orlando area) for two weeks from January 15th. Staying in a villa so plenty of space/time to develop but I guess for ISO400 i'll risk bringing undeveloped silver halide back through in hand luggage. I'm thinking I won't have much use for Neopan 1600/Kodak P3200 in sunny Florida :)
As mentioned have also taken out insurance in the form of Kodak CN400 as I know I can take that to Walgreens or similar. However, if anyone can recommend somewhere in the area where I can buy Tri-X, Neopan, or Ilford films that would be handy. 120 & 35, although have a ton of 120 so that's of less concern...
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