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Thread: Will film get damaged by airport baggage scanners?

  1. #1

    Default Will film get damaged by airport baggage scanners?

    Hi Clubsnappers,

    Will films get damaged when your bags go thru the airport baggage scanners?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2

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    yes!
    ...even if the machine claims its "film safe", i dont think you'd want to take the risk.

  3. #3

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    pack your film seperately, in a clear zip loc bag without the plastic containers, and depending on the airport you are at, you can request for hand inspection so that it doesnt have to pass through the x-ray machine.

    Al

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Hedge
    Hi Clubsnappers,

    Will films get damaged when your bags go thru the airport baggage scanners?

    Thanks for your help.
    Don't pack your film in your check-in luggage. The luggage scanners in use now (post 9/11) can fog film.

    While the scanners for carry on luggage are ok. But buy a lead lined film safe bag to be sure.

  5. #5

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    my 10 rolls of film can still be developed.

  6. #6

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    I would advise against using lead-lined film safe bags for carry-on. Ive been told that newer scanners used at many airports will automatically intensify the x-ray strength if it encounters an opaque object, until it finally penetrates it. Your film will then get the maximum dose of x ray possible.

  7. #7
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    so ,what is the best thing to do?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by vincentt_whale
    so ,what is the best thing to do?

    The best thing to do is to buy your film at your destination and have it developed there before you return. Do a bit of research before you leave to find a reptuable pro lab in the area you are visiting.

    You don't have to have any prints made - just have the negative processed. Most pro labs will have quite fast turnaround time. A processed negative should not be damaged by x-ray (but still put it in your carry-on, in case your hold luggage gets lost).
    When you return home you can print it at your regular lab.

    If this is not possible, then do what reactan suggest - put undeveloped film in clear ziplock and ask for hand ispection.

    Problem is, most European airports do not allow hand inspection and insist on x-raying everything. Forget about it at London Heathrow - if you ask for hand inspection, this is considered "suspicious" according to new terrorism guidlines laid down after the Madrid bombing and will result in you being taken aside and searched.

    In USA, you have the right to ask for a hand inspection.

    The higher the ISO the film, the greater the risk of fogging and streaking. Most ISO400 films and below should be quite safe, but I still wouldn't take the risk. Films of ISO800 and above are almost
    certain to be damaged.

    Tip if you are travelling and asking for hand inspection: bring several rolls of ISO1600 films with you even if you are not using them. You are more likely to be granted hand inspection if you are carrying high speed film.

  9. #9
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    never pack film in check in luggage. You are going to fry your film. Always handcarry as the strength of the X-rays used is weaker.

    I've travelled quite a bit, and on several trips my film has been scanned at least 4-5 times (airport, museums, etc), but I've yet to see any fogging. The highest speed I carry is 800, and it turns out fine (but I normally carry 100, 200 and 400).

  10. #10
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    i once witnessed in a foreign airport a scene where a man of Arab origin was protesting loudly because he requested for a hand inspection of his camera equipment. The checker had pulled out every one of his unexposed rolls of film from the canisters, and opened the back of the camera to verify that the canisters and camera contains film. So don't be surprised if you got the same special treatment.



    Quote Originally Posted by reactan
    pack your film seperately, in a clear zip loc bag without the plastic containers, and depending on the airport you are at, you can request for hand inspection so that it doesnt have to pass through the x-ray machine.

    Al

  11. #11

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    Thanks guys and gals, you've been a great help.
    BTW, I'll be going to Tokyo for a couple of days. Hopefully, the custom inspectors are kind to my camera and my films

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Hedge
    Thanks guys and gals, you've been a great help.
    BTW, I'll be going to Tokyo for a couple of days. Hopefully, the custom inspectors are kind to my camera and my films

    I have been told by others flying through Narita recently that customs at Narita does not allow hand inspection of film there anymore. Please be prepared for that.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKSC
    I have been told by others flying through Narita recently that customs at Narita does not allow hand inspection of film there anymore. Please be prepared for that.
    Hmm....which means I have no choice but to leave my film camera behind...and settle for my digicam.

  14. #14

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    ya might want to know that Japan airports have a limit on the length of handhelds.
    i.e ya tripod if ya decided to handcarry it.
    the manfrotto 190 will just get thru if ya break the center column off...
    else... good luck.

  15. #15

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    ya might want to know that Japan airports have a limit on the length of handhelds.
    unless u have everyting strapped on ya bag ya haha....

    wat bout x-ray bags/?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektar25
    erm... your film will be x-rayed twice at Changi going out and then once at Narita coming back - 3-6 times is not excessive unless you are planning to shoot ISO 1000-1600 film there is no reason why you must leave the film camera behind ... just my 2cents
    Just a tot..... I can keep the films in my pockets, rite? That way, they don't have to go through X-ray.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by tucker
    ya might want to know that Japan airports have a limit on the length of handhelds.
    i.e ya tripod if ya decided to handcarry it.
    the manfrotto 190 will just get thru if ya break the center column off...
    else... good luck.
    Thanks for the tip, tucker. I'm on a biz trip...so prob won't be carrying my tripod along. Laptop and all is already heavy and bulky enuff

  18. #18

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    Changi Airport allows hand inspection.

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