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International Travel w/ Film suggestions re:Xray
Old 09-27-2006   #1
Blue Distagon
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International Travel w/ Film suggestions re:Xray

Hey Folks !

Leaving for Paris & Venice on Friday . Its been a few years since I've gone international w/ film ( pre-911 ) . Before 01 I had gone to Asia with my 8x10 Deardorff and TriX with no Xray issues at all , but I just got off the phone with a Fedex rep and was told that they are as prone to Xray as the airlines are.

I was planning on putting the film in my check-in luggage . I'm shooting Ilford C41 XP2,Polaroid 667 B&W as well as TriX and 200 speed Foma .

Has anyone recently come back from Italy or France with film ? What did you guys /Gals do ?

I won't have the luxury of film processing , except for the c41 stuff while I'm over there....so it needs to come home to NY w/ me.

I'm real worried it might get nuked by the time I get back .

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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Old 09-27-2006   #2
PlantedTao
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I always put my film on my carry on - The last time I packed it in my check in, it got fried.
I just went on two vacations, both times I took Neopan 400 in my carry on and have developed the film since with no problems, even rated at 800. As mango said, have all high speed film hand checked...personally I would not even bring it.
I use to tell them that all my film was high speed and they would hand check it all...I would tell them that it was old containers with high speed I loaded myself. But, since the England plot, I don't even f' around with security...everything goes thru the x-ray, they have enough stuff to look at with out me worried about my film.

Cheers. Jason
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Old 09-27-2006   #3
Nikon Bob
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I have to agree with both ManGo and Jason. Carrying film can be such a hassle that I bought a digital for overseas travel. Hand checking, IF they will even do it, will take up half an hour of your time and theirs. Yes, they have better things to do. You really have to be prepared to have your film Xrayed in your carry on. Remeber to leave any liquids or gels in your checked baggage and not in your carry on.

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Old 09-27-2006   #4
Kim Coxon
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An easy solution is to take some mailers with you or normal envelopes. Buy film stock when you arrive and mail it back either direct to the lab or to yourself.

Kim
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Old 09-27-2006   #5
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Wow, maybe I'm in the minority here, but I say carry your film with you and insist that it is all hand checked - regardless of speed. While traveling within US airports FAA regulations state that security screeners must hand check your film at your request. It's their job, and it really only takes at most 60 seconds per roll/pack of film to be visually insptected and analyzed.

It also helps to "encourage" the screeners to hand check your film if you happen to have a roll of ultra high speed. I always take a roll of 1600 film, even if I don't plan on shooting with it. That way, when they try to bully me by saying, "what speeds do you have - don't worry the x-rays won't hurt it." I can say that I'm carrying all the way up to 1600. They won't split your film up - they will hand check it all.

I've done a fair amount of international travel with film too. The only place I've ever had any problems was at London Heathrow. It is their policy to x-ray all film, no exceptions. For those instances, purchase an X-ray pouch for your film and hope for the best.

Obviously, if you have the option of obtaining and/or processing film in the field then go for it, as you eliminate one variable.
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Old 09-27-2006   #6
Rod Fung
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I travel international to Asia and EU quite often and have never had a problem with film that goes through the 'carry-on' x-ray'. I have also sent exposed 35 and 16mm motion picture film through the 'carry-on x-ray' without a problem. Once in London I asked for a hand check of some exposed 35mm motion picture film; I got out the black bag and showed the security person how to use it (I was standing very close-by). The security person ended up gettting frustrated and lost the spool :-) . I asked that they get it back in the can, tape it up, and just send it through the carry-on x-ray and it turned out fine. You won't have a problem witht he carry-on X-rays.
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Old 09-27-2006   #7
Blue Distagon
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Rod-

I just heard from another friend who concurs that all his 400 speed film made it fine thru airport xrays at DeGaulle and JFK. I think thats what I'll do.

Make a strong argument for the value of c41 B&W film in the sense that I will have all my rolls processed there before I come home. Nothing like peace of mind knowing that "Its in the Can" so to speak.

Thanks for the replies !
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Old 09-29-2006   #8
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I've carried 800 film through at least 10 X-ray checks on numerous occasions, including African airports nobody has ever heard of and never had any fogging problems. Film-safe stickers on the X-ray machines mean just that- they are safe up to 1600 ISO for at least 5 runs through. Even third world countries comply nowadays. But never put film in your checked luggage. It will get blasted. Insisting on hand checking may even cause you missing your flight. Often it will mean going through at least three levels of supervisors - and even then it may be refused, even in countries like the USA where they should comply. Insisting on your rights in the face of officialdom resisting is singularly unproductive, even counterproductive in many countries. BTW in France and Italy you will find X-ray machines that are as advanced or more advanced than you'd find at home.
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X-ray
Old 09-29-2006   #9
Stanton
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X-ray

I have carried 400 film, both unexposed and exposed in the common protective lead bags repeatedly. I never have asked for a hand inspection. Last time was in Peru, August 2006, 6 flights, no problems. Dave
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Old 09-30-2006   #10
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I've flown quite a bit in Europe and Asia/Oceania.

Always put your film in your HAND CARRY. Other than that, don't worry. Don't bother with the hassle of getting it hand checked (only valid in the US anyway), don't bother with lead-lined bags, just put the film and cameras in your hadn luggage and let them pass through the hand luggage scanners.

In Europe, I used to always carry a Minox 35GT with me on my at least weekly business return flights. Always loaded with ISO400 film, sometimes the camera wouldn't be used for weeks on end. I never had any problems; the camera always went though the hand carry scanners.

On our trip round Europe before our return to New Zealand, I carried my Iskra with TriX, exposed at EI1000 (for developing in Diafine). The camera and films went through more than half a dozen scanners, and there was no discernable effect.

Remember, travellers in Europe have had to have their hand luggage scanned for years, and no one has documented, verifiable evidence that hand luggage scanners have noticeably damaged film.
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Old 09-30-2006   #11
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I often travel around Asia and occasionally the US and Europe and only China allows hand checking without hassle. I always carry film in a clear ziplock bag without the container. A neat trick is to mix in half dozen rolls of 3200 film (film I sacrifice for this purpose) to show the security people to convince them for a hand inspection since most xray machines I see have a sign that it is safe for films up to 1000asa.
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Old 09-30-2006   #12
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Carry-on X-ray is fine for film speed up to 800. These days the securities will insist you to x-ray everything.
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Old 05-20-2008   #13
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don't forget that the effect of x-ray is cumulative. That means that if the operator decides he/she needs a second pass on your gear or the purse next to your gear, that's a double dose. Never had a problem with the TSA in the US (it's stated on their website that they will manually inspect all film regardless of ISO). Wish it was easy to find the same info on other countries. I have a similar concern about my upcoming trip to Nicaragua,
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Old 05-20-2008   #14
Roberto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P C Headland View Post
I've flown quite a bit in Europe and Asia/Oceania.

Always put your film in your HAND CARRY. Other than that, don't worry. Don't bother with the hassle of getting it hand checked (only valid in the US anyway), don't bother with lead-lined bags, just put the film and cameras in your hadn luggage and let them pass through the hand luggage scanners.

In Europe, I used to always carry a Minox 35GT with me on my at least weekly business return flights. Always loaded with ISO400 film, sometimes the camera wouldn't be used for weeks on end. I never had any problems; the camera always went though the hand carry scanners.

On our trip round Europe before our return to New Zealand, I carried my Iskra with TriX, exposed at EI1000 (for developing in Diafine). The camera and films went through more than half a dozen scanners, and there was no discernable effect.

Remember, travellers in Europe have had to have their hand luggage scanned for years, and no one has documented, verifiable evidence that hand luggage scanners have noticeably damaged film.
I agree 100%, I live in Italy and I traveled in almost all the European Countries: never had a problem with exposed film.
Second sometimes (when the airport is crowded) they will not hand check anything..
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Old 05-21-2008   #15
Niall Bell
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I travelled Scotland/Italy return a few weeks ago and to Netherlands a few days later. I hand carried film, inlcluding Delta 3200, Rollei IR and HP5+. I packed these into one of those 'x-ray safe' film bags and shoved it in my camera bag. All of the film was all x-rayed six times and some of it eight times in total between the two trips.

No film was affected- there was no fogging of any description. All OK.
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Old 05-21-2008   #16
Arvay
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I use two of Hakubas 1600 and put them into the luggage.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Case_1600.html
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