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03-08-2019, 08:17 AM   #1
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Flying with film

I know when I used to travel with film, I always requested it go around the metal detectors to prevent potential damage to it. It has been a long time since I travelled with film, is it still and issue? Will TSA even let me pass it around the scanners.


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Jim Fellows

03-08-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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TSA, maybe. Internationally, maybe not. The x-ray scanners the TSA uses on carry-on luggage is not supposed to fog film rated ISO 400 and slower, and my limited experience backs this up. This includes having HP5+ scanned multiple times on one trip.
03-08-2019, 09:28 AM   #3
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I have not had any trouble getting mine hand checked in the USA, haven't taken film on an international trip in decades.

I accidentally sent some Fuji Instax ISO 800 film through the scanner on my last trip and noticed no fogging. I think it is relatively safe to get the film scanned.
03-08-2019, 09:41 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimfellows Quote
I know when I used to travel with film, I always requested it go around the metal detectors to prevent potential damage to it. It has been a long time since I travelled with film, is it still and issue? Will TSA even let me pass it around the scanners.


Thanks,


Jim Fellows
Remember that there are two types of film, exposed and unexposed. Unexposed film is a lot more robust when it comes to x-ray damage. Once the film has been shot, it is over the threshold of exposure, and any exposure added to it has the potential for damage. Also, don't wind film all the way back into the cassette. The light trap is much more effective if there is film in it, and a lot of damage from x-rays comes from radiation entering the cartridge through the trap.
I suspect hand inspections are still the safest bet. Since film is no longer a common traveling companion for people, and the world is getting ever more crazed regarding risk abatement, I'm betting that the x-ray machines being used now are dosing a lot higher than they were when people commonly traveled with film.

03-08-2019, 05:46 PM   #5
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I've traveled with 400 speed film for the last summer to the UK. Didn't bother with a hand check, just had them scanned with my carry-on. They turned out fine.
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