Airport Xray scanners effects on film


eaturiano

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Sep 6, 2008
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hi,

Im a newbie in film photography, and i was wondering how true is the baggage scanners in airports does affect undeveloped film (i.e fogging, heavy grains etc). I have read some articles about this issue, and they all suggesting to let the film go through hand inspection which is only applicable in US airports. But how about here in Singapore? Do they allow it?.
Im going to Phuket next month and im bringing few rolls with me.

I need your advise and suggestions like has anyone of you had the same experience, or any tips and suggestions on how not to spoil my undeveloped film when it is scanned,etc.

Thanks.:)
 

chiif

Senior Member
hi,

Im a newbie in film photography, and i was wondering how true is the baggage scanners in airports does affect undeveloped film (i.e fogging, heavy grains etc). I have read some articles about this issue, and they all suggesting to let the film go through hand inspection which is only applicable in US airports. But how about here in Singapore? Do they allow it?.
Im going to Phuket next month and im bringing few rolls with me.

I need your advise and suggestions like has anyone of you had the same experience, or any tips and suggestions on how not to spoil my undeveloped film when it is scanned,etc.

Thanks.:)
For up to ISO1600, I've not encountered any problem. It's safe to run through the x-ray scanner.

Some people said ISO3200 have problem. But I can't verify.

You can also get one of those bags for negatives storage which say X-ray safe. The only place I've seen it so far is at Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo.

My suggestion is that don't test the airport authorities... There are a few kinds of people who I don't want to talk too much to. And the securities at the airport is one of them. It's not worth arguing with these people for just a few rolls of negatives. They can pull you into a room and make you miss your flight and get you extend your stay in a foreign land.

That's my feel.
 

eaturiano

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Sep 6, 2008
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For up to ISO1600, I've not encountered any problem. It's safe to run through the x-ray scanner.

Some people said ISO3200 have problem. But I can't verify.

You can also get one of those bags for negatives storage which say X-ray safe. The only place I've seen it so far is at Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo.

My suggestion is that don't test the airport authorities... There are a few kinds of people who I don't want to talk too much to. And the securities at the airport is one of them. It's not worth arguing with these people for just a few rolls of negatives. They can pull you into a room and make you miss your flight and get you extend your stay in a foreign land.

That's my feel.



Thanks chiif...yeah, i'm also not keen talking to airport security officers..especially here..they quiet straightforward...

appreciate your suggestion..
 

enivre

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It's difficult to explain to airport officials who can't speak english that your film might be affected by their x-ray machine. Might even be worse when they can't "see" through a lead lined bag you have that protects your film.

So far I've not noticed any issues with my film after they go through multiple x-ray machines here and abroad. I've had a roll of 3200 totally gone before, but I can't verify if it's due to improper exposure or the x-ray.
 

leej0038

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Apr 3, 2007
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i've once had a roll of ISO400 film turn up with weird sine wave patterns before. but i really can't recall if it was due passing through any x ray scanners.
since then i've taken note whenever i pass through any x ray scanners, no issues so far. not even with the one at changi village jetty when you come back from ubin..
 

eaturiano

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It's difficult to explain to airport officials who can't speak english that your film might be affected by their x-ray machine. Might even be worse when they can't "see" through a lead lined bag you have that protects your film.

So far I've not noticed any issues with my film after they go through multiple x-ray machines here and abroad. I've had a roll of 3200 totally gone before, but I can't verify if it's due to improper exposure or the x-ray.
i believe they will insist their scanners are film safe
i've once had a roll of ISO400 film turn up with weird sine wave patterns before. but i really can't recall if it was due passing through any x ray scanners.
since then i've taken note whenever i pass through any x ray scanners, no issues so far. not even with the one at changi village jetty when you come back from ubin..



Thanks everyone for your feedbacks...will take note of it..
I think i will just try my luck or i buy the films there and developed it at same time..what do you think?
 

chiif

Senior Member
Thanks everyone for your feedbacks...will take note of it..
I think i will just try my luck or i buy the films there and developed it at same time..what do you think?
Depending on where you go... most places nowadays will give you a very funny look when you ask for a roll of film or send the film for developing. Japan is an exception.

Even if some places do sell film, some of them might be long expired.

I recall buying some film in Nepal a few years ago that were expired 2 years ago. And that's the best they had...
 

enivre

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Thanks everyone for your feedbacks...will take note of it..
I think i will just try my luck or i buy the films there and developed it at same time..what do you think?
Buying film that isn't expired is one hurdle... getting it developed is a whole different ball game...

I would suggest just asking for hand inspection, if they turn it down just let it get zapped. Don't worry too much about it. My film gets zapped 3-5 times per round trip, some places x-ray my bags more than once from entering the airport to boarding the plane.
 

eaturiano

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Depending on where you go... most places nowadays will give you a very funny look when you ask for a roll of film or send the film for developing. Japan is an exception.

Even if some places do sell film, some of them might be long expired.

I recall buying some film in Nepal a few years ago that were expired 2 years ago. And that's the best they had...
Thanks chiif...noted
 

eaturiano

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Sep 6, 2008
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Buying film that isn't expired is one hurdle... getting it developed is a whole different ball game...

I would suggest just asking for hand inspection, if they turn it down just let it get zapped. Don't worry too much about it. My film gets zapped 3-5 times per round trip, some places x-ray my bags more than once from entering the airport to boarding the plane.

Thanks enivre...appreciate your advise

Nice set of photos from your gallery btw..:)
 

brian

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Aug 1, 2004
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by the way, put it through the hand carry carry. Never check in your film as they tend to use stronger xray machines. I don't bother with hand check anymore as they will be suspicious and sometimes wanting to open up everything to make sure you have film in the canister. Ok for a few rolls, but if you transport 40-50 rolls quite troublesome.
 

thinman

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Feb 20, 2005
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When I shoot film years ago, I used to tear away the paper box packaging, and transfer the film (Kodak) into transparent canisters (Fuji ones) and then put all of them in ziplock bags. This is to facilitate the easy inspection at the inspection point before boarding. And I always make sure that I have ample time before boarding, in case I meet with a over zealous officer who insist on checking every roll.

Nowadays, the x-ray machines are film-safe (you can see it stated clearly on the machine) so it should be alright for low ISO film.

Do not leave your film in the check in luggage as the x-ray machines for those are very much stronger, film will get fogged.
 

Third Sunday

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i had some 3200ISO film ruined recently, not sure if it was the singapore side or heathrow side that caused it. otherwise, low ISO is ok at most airports.

having said that, i had many many rolls of 100 and 400ISO film ruined from a trip to the middle east, after 3 weeks of shooting, i came home empty handed :cry: i suspect it was the israeli airport security, but you never know... :dunno:
 

chiif

Senior Member
i had some 3200ISO film ruined recently, not sure if it was the singapore side or heathrow side that caused it. otherwise, low ISO is ok at most airports.

having said that, i had many many rolls of 100 and 400ISO film ruined from a trip to the middle east, after 3 weeks of shooting, i came home empty handed :cry: i suspect it was the israeli airport security, but you never know... :dunno:
That's really scary! I can't imagine going for a trip and no pictures back... :bigeyes:
 

eaturiano

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Sep 6, 2008
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i had some 3200ISO film ruined recently, not sure if it was the singapore side or heathrow side that caused it. otherwise, low ISO is ok at most airports.

having said that, i had many many rolls of 100 and 400ISO film ruined from a trip to the middle east, after 3 weeks of shooting, i came home empty handed :cry: i suspect it was the israeli airport security, but you never know... :dunno:

aaaawwww...sorry to hear that...hope that won't happen to me..

Thanks for the tip btw
 

shaoken

Deregistered
For me, I think high ISO films are affected but low ISO films are not so.
If I'm not wrong, I heard that you can purchase a "film-safe" bag from Orient Photo.

Don't know how true.. :dunno:
 

eaturiano

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Sep 6, 2008
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For me, I think high ISO films are affected but low ISO films are not so.
If I'm not wrong, I heard that you can purchase a "film-safe" bag from Orient Photo.

Don't know how true.. :dunno:
Thanks...will take note on that...;)
 

free2move

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I'll be going China in this coming Dec, will be bringing film over there, so I'll update you guys on the effects on my film (if any). Hopefully all turns out well. :)
 

enivre

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I'll be going China in this coming Dec, will be bringing film over there, so I'll update you guys on the effects on my film (if any). Hopefully all turns out well. :)
I've been to Yunnan recently, no problems with my film. I had Acros 100, Neopan 400, Provia 400, 100VS and Porta160/400VC. All came back in one piece. :)