questions regarding travelling with film


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#1
hi i was wondering if anybody had any tips on travelling with film? as in, i heard the xray machines for checkin luggage will probably damage your film, so will my film rolls be safe in my handcarry luggage? and do i have to take them out separately like i do with my hp and laptop?

i'm asking as i was planning to bring quite a few rolls with me to australia as i heard it might be more expensive to obtain over there. also does anybody happen to have any information abt photography in sydney, by any chance? like costs of processing, printing or scanning, film? places i could learn to process film? because i found some places to be extremely expensive as to what i'm used to here, and it's ex enough! struggling student refusing to ask for parental financial assistance for own interest.. :/

please let me know! thank you!
 

Aug 31, 2005
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Bt Timah
#2
hi i was wondering if anybody had any tips on travelling with film? as in, i heard the xray machines for checkin luggage will probably damage your film, so will my film rolls be safe in my handcarry luggage? and do i have to take them out separately like i do with my hp and laptop?

i'm asking as i was planning to bring quite a few rolls with me to australia as i heard it might be more expensive to obtain over there. also does anybody happen to have any information abt photography in sydney, by any chance? like costs of processing, printing or scanning, film? places i could learn to process film? because i found some places to be extremely expensive as to what i'm used to here, and it's ex enough! struggling student refusing to ask for parental financial assistance for own interest.. :/

please let me know! thank you!
the scanners are film safe :)
 

ipin

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2005
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#5
If you want to be safe and use ISO 1000 and below, you can try this. CP sells them. :)
 

Nov 4, 2006
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#7
27 for size S, 34-35 for size M (cannot recall)...
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#9
First of all, in my experience, most customs officer will not "gladly" hand check films. They might do if you insist, but they have a lot more better things to do than to check your films, particularly when there are queues of people waiting to be cleared.

Secondly, do not ever check in films with the luggage. I have no personal experience with this. But I was told that the x-rays employed for checked in luggage will fry your films. I have not found a need to test this.

Thirdly, films with ISO rating 400 and slower are perfectly safe with the x-rays used for hand luggage. I had travelled with hundreds of rolls of film x-rayed more than 10 times with no ill effect that I can see.

Fourthly, do not be so daft to buy a lead bag. The customs officers will not be able to see what is inside. If you were the customs officer, and you see a lead-lined bag, what do you think you will do? So they might just crank up the power and/or ask you to show them anyway! Believe me, opening up the boxes/canisters one by one is no fun when you have other travellers staring impatiently at you!

Finally, if you have films rated higher then 400, prepare these to be handchecked. Take away the boxes and foils, put them in a clear ziplock, and show them to the customs officer.
 

#10
First of all, in my experience, most customs officer will not "gladly" hand check films. They might do if you insist, but they have a lot more better things to do than to check your films, particularly when there are queues of people waiting to be cleared.

Secondly, do not ever check in films with the luggage. I have no personal experience with this. But I was told that the x-rays employed for checked in luggage will fry your films. I have not found a need to test this.

Thirdly, films with ISO rating 400 and slower are perfectly safe with the x-rays used for hand luggage. I had travelled with hundreds of rolls of film x-rayed more than 10 times with no ill effect that I can see.

Fourthly, so not be so daft to buy a lead bag. The customs will not be able to what is inside. If you were the customs officer, and you see a lead-lined bag, what do you think you will so? So they might just crank up the power and/or ask you to show them anyway! Believe me, opening up the boxes/canisters one by one is no fun when you have other travellers staring impatiently at you!

Finally, if you have films rated higher then 400, prepare these to be handchecked. Take away the boxes and foils, put them in a clear ziplock, and show them to the customs officer.
From MY experience, it hasn;t been the case. The custom officers were the most tolerant of me.
 

Nov 4, 2006
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#12
You said it well. They were most tolerant of you.
haha, my personal experience... well, let's just say when I asked for the films to be hand checked, it wasn't so pleasant.

1st officer shouting to another "senior" officer, "hey.. hand check leh... how?"... the other officer then looked at me and asked, "you sure you want them to be hand checked?". That look wasn't pleasant - I interpreted that as a nasty threat... (God knows what she has in mind)

"Our scanners are film safe ok.. you still want to hand check?"

I decided then and there, what the heck, forget it.. the films passed through the scanners.. in the course of that trip alone, the films went through xray 6 times..

at the end of the day? the films turned out fine..
 

Aug 26, 2006
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Singapore
#13
Alternatively, if you're travelling to a more well developed country, maybe you can do a search to see if that particular location actually stocks the film that you actually need.
 

ipin

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2005
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#14
Or can courier the film back to your destination? :dunno:
 

student

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Jul 26, 2004
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#15
Alternatively, if you're travelling to a more well developed country, maybe you can do a search to see if that particular location actually stocks the film that you actually need.
In actual fact, I had done a lot more than that!

I had bought films where I was, developed the films there, and even have undeveloped films sent home by FedEx, fearing that the x-rays might damage my precious films!

Now, a little wiser, I understand that my paranoia was totally unfounded!

My current problem is how to carry 100 rolls of films in my pockets!
 

#16
whoa thank you for all your replies!! hm i doubt i'll be using films beyond iso 400 or 800. i checked some places in sydney where i could get films that i need, but they're seriously expensive. i could get a 120mm roll of fuji pro for abt s$4 thereabouts here, and it'll be abt AUD$7+++!! with the currency rate too.. :(

i heard aussie's abit strict sometimes. i think i'll just put them in my handluggage and pray for the best for now.. they wont purposely ask you to remove film from your luggage, right?
 

yeocolin

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May 2, 2003
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#17
Don't worry. They'll let your film pass through with the rest of your luggage. I've brought my film through airports of Mongolia, India, Beijing and never had any problems. The rest of the suggestions mentioned earlier, they are right, just follow them. :)

Quite rare to hear of folks in Singapore still using film. I'm still using film myself anyway. Do enjoy your stay in Australia and do share your pictures with us.

And you are right. Film in Singapore is much cheaper than almost everywhere except cities which have big photographic companies where you can buy film in bulk, ie New York (B&H) and Tokyo (can't remember what is the name of that company). So do stock up on them, especially professional slide film if you use them.
 

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