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Thread: Effect of X-ray on film

  1. #1

    Default Effect of X-ray on film

    Has anybody experienced fogging with their film, especially pro slide film, after passing them through the airports' x-ray machines? The literature says iso400 and below is safe even for multiple scans, so I would like to hear personal experience, especially post Sep 11, when airport security is at an all-time high.

    Has anybody tried asking for hand search for their film instead of passing them through the x-ray machine? Especially Singapore?


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeocolin
    Has anybody experienced fogging with their film, especially pro slide film, after passing them through the airports' x-ray machines? The literature says iso400 and below is safe even for multiple scans, so I would like to hear personal experience, especially post Sep 11, when airport security is at an all-time high.

    Has anybody tried asking for hand search for their film instead of passing them through the x-ray machine? Especially Singapore?

    The new X-ray machines being installed world wide are variable power units that allow the machine operator to keep on increasing the power until they resolve what's inside the luggage being examined. Sadly for film these units are pretty lethal on even slow ISO film. To make matters worse most operators aren't exactly 'skilled' and tend to use excessive power. From memory the AGFA website carried a warning about the new machines last year or the year before.

    Getting a hand inspection of film for a non professional photographer (who may the clout to pre-organise film passing through customs and check in) is a hit and miss affair at most airports these days as it depends on the officials on duty at the time.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  3. #3

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    I was travelling recently and carried with me some rolls of films. I ask the immgration officer if i can ask for manual inspection, he said the X-Ray machine is "film friendly" ... So took a risk and let my films and SLR went thru the x-ray machine...

    So far manage to dev my film and glad that they are ok...

    This is in Changi Airport

  4. #4
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    No problems with any airport so far.... not noticeable on my 800 films yet.
    but try to avoid multiple passes. Usually, I only allow my film to be scanned once. I develop them overseas if I could afford the time before I bring them back.

    But dun ever leave your film in your check-in lugguage, it's as good as a goner. I've had a friend who got his notebook motherboard fried when he checked in his notebook.

  5. #5

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    I am not sure in singapore esp with the tightening of the security measures nowadays.

    to be on the safe side, i used to place all my film canisters into a clear big ziplog bag. So far, they would let it pass by jus hand examining it, most time not even opening the ziplog bag. I guess when they see so many rolls of films n our equipment bag, they know we are serious n not jus trying to make trouble for anyone.

    cheers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jus_a_Nick
    I am not sure in singapore esp with the tightening of the security measures nowadays.

    to be on the safe side, i used to place all my film canisters into a clear big ziplog bag. So far, they would let it pass by jus hand examining it, most time not even opening the ziplog bag. I guess when they see so many rolls of films n our equipment bag, they know we are serious n not jus trying to make trouble for anyone.

    cheers.
    Plenty of C4 can go in those canisters, you better report the officeers who lets you pass without inspecting the film contents!

    As for X-ray, the machines in the airport can already see through any luggage bag that we carry. There is no need for higher power. If there is anything suspicious, like a lead bag hiding something, the officers will surely do a manual check for safety.

  7. #7

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    I have gone through 4 X-Rays machines(different types) in a trip with a bunch of ASA125 B/W films and everything was fine. The films were zapped once in KLIA, which the officer was unwilling to do hand inspection eventhough I asked. At Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, the films were zapped twice upon arrival and also departure. Then finally, the same bunch of films were zapped again at Woodlands CIS complex.

    Moral of the story : Shadow details of my zapped film actually looked a tiny bit better(purely unscientific observation). Could it be due to the xrays zapping that serve to increase the film sensitivity in the shadow area ?

    e905591s

  8. #8

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    I have just came back from Nepal . Using Provia F100 ang Superia 200 .
    Nothing happen and able to develop my film . Has been scan in Singapore ,
    Thailand and Nepal . So dont worry it should not be a problem .

  9. #9

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    i rather not take the risk.
    I refused x ray inspections at singapore, xiamen, beijing. no problems if you are polite about it.

    I have managed to bypass all xray scans except for 2 exceptions:

    KLIA airport (the officer simply wouldn't allow. )
    Sistine chapel in Rome, Italy

  10. #10
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    I've gone through X-ray machines a total of 4 times during my recent trip with Fuji 800NPZ, Kodak Tri-X and Ilford HP5....didn't see anything wrong with them and they developed beautifully

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the enthusiastic feedback about your personal experiences. I always thought asking for hand inspection of film was impossible, but it seems not necessarily so.

    Its even more heartening to hear that some of you had your film zapped and they still survived to tell their beautiful stories.

  12. #12

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    I had a trip to Vietnam trip couple of years back and had a total of 5 scans throughout the whole trip (lostsa domestic flights). The machines were rumoured to be soviet styled power units.

    In the end all came back well and safe.

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