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Old 01-27-2009, 11:57 AM
tomauer tomauer is offline
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Default Film and Airport X-ray Machines

I have heard many stories, and all the legends of the devastating effects of Airport X-ray machines on your undeveloped film. So far i have not bothered to bring anything other than p&s digital with me for ease of use, and also a fear of losing everything due to some x-ray machine last minute.

Considering we are a Travel/Photography oriented bunch here, many would have experience with this i would guess. Does anyone have any personal experiences? If so, what can you do? other than develop your stuff before going through to the airport? I have heard and seen those lead lined x-ray proof pouch/bags, sure thats great and all but i have also heard that the x-ray simply jacks up its power to see what your trying to hide, which will most likely fry your film more than simply letter it do its job.

- Im also referring to carry-on-x-ray's as the check-in baggage x-rays are much more powerful i hear (naturally i have my camera around my neck anyway).

Any help regarding this? or should i keep my film at home (and yes, i have a thing for film, nothing wrong with that) :D

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Old 01-27-2009, 05:07 PM
mossphoto mossphoto is offline
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Default Re: Film and Airport X-ray Machines


I'm not sure about other countries, but here in the States, security will hand check film if asked. NEVER, NEVER, put your film in your checked baggage. The strength of the checked baggage x-rays are much stronger than those used to check carry ons. I've traveled with 1000's of sheets and rolls of film, and never had an issue. Just give yourself extra time at check in.

Check with the countries you are traveling in to see if they will allow hand checking. Also, don't let them talk you into using the x-ray by telling you in only effects high-speed film. It is cumulative. Every time film is x-rayed, the fog will build up. Tell them it is professional film.

Good luck!

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:27 AM
tomauer tomauer is offline
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Default Re: Film and Airport X-ray Machines

Hi Vic, thanks for the information. Much appreciated! I will try and get my camera bag hand checked.. It may be hard to get this in some of the countries i visit, as it truly is a mess in the airports, especially security checks.

It will be hard if i plan to travel in between many countries, so i guess i will try and develop all my film before i move onto the next country to avoid this anyway... Their is not much i can do. Shame! i wanted to lug my iron brick wherever i go.. But i will take your advice, on the other hand i have heard of people not having any issues with the x-ray machine (even with 4-5 machines to go through), i guess lucks involved.

I have also read that apparently US machines are more safer for this, but in most developing nations they still have the older x-ray machine models. So thats bad news for me. I will try though, Thanks again!

Take care
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:37 AM
Eicas Eicas is offline
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Default Re: Film and Airport X-ray Machines

if ISO is higher than 800, It will hav problem
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:41 PM
ronners ronners is offline
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Default Re: Film and Airport X-ray Machines

I recently traveled with a bunch of TMax and in San Francisco and Maui they were happy to hand screen it - you will need to allow a few more minutes to get through security though. Another idea I've heard is to take pre-paid processing envelopes with you and mail them from wherever you are traveling to (helps with the return leg only though).

[Nice to see a fellow film user BTW - what film/camera are you using?]


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