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02-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Travelling with Film

I'll be travelling in Puerto Rico for a month; it's going to get quite hot - as much as 35C sometimes and lots of sunshine (I hope).

I plan to bring 50-60 rolls of 120 film with me for this trip and would like to make sure I'm protecting those rolls correctly.

Maybe some of you have tips to share from similar voyages... How did you keep your film cool? And is it such a big deal if it overheats sometimes?

02-07-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dubesor Quote
I'll be travelling in Puerto Rico for a month; it's going to get quite hot - as much as 35C sometimes and lots of sunshine (I hope).

I plan to bring 50-60 rolls of 120 film with me for this trip and would like to make sure I'm protecting those rolls correctly.

Maybe some of you have tips to share from similar voyages... How did you keep your film cool? And is it such a big deal if it overheats sometimes?
I use the hotel room's mini-bar fridge for storing my film. If your room does not have a fridge then keep your film out of the sun in the coolest/darkest place you can find. Film is pretty durable, so you should be ok. Just don't leave it in a car to cook in the heat.

Phil.
02-07-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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First - yes, heat is death to film. When I travel with film in hot places, I take a cooler and put the film in it. 35C isn't all that bad, but leaving film in a closed car can run the temperature much higher than that. I also have some blue freezer packs that can be used in the fridge overnight to store "cold" for use in the cooler.
02-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #4
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well, i'll pretty much never be leaving my cameras / film in a car on this trip.

but it might have to be out in the sun on my back in my daypack - on the days when i'm passing through without a room to stay in.

i think i'll bring a drink cooler bag like this one - but not sure if that'd help much for those situations?

02-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #5
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Keep your day's supply of film on your person, i.e. in your pockets.
As long as you aren't overheated your film won't be either.

Chris
02-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
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I am going to Asia in March. I will bring some Fuji superia 400 films. Would this film be damaged by the security x-ray?
02-07-2012, 06:49 PM   #7
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I lived in Las Vegas a few decades and forgotten an unfinished roll of Kodak 100 film in my garage. After more then 5 years I found the camera, finished the roll and had it developed and it came out normal. I am certain my garage gets well above 120 F for months during the summer time. Just a fluke maybe? It was also not uncommon to have leave my film and camera in the car or boat for days on end - E6, C41 & b&w. Again not in direct sunlight but it's not cooler then my garage. My stash of film stays in the fridge till it's time to use but I can't say I have had any anomalous results because of it.

Last edited by LesDMess; 02-07-2012 at 06:54 PM.
02-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by violini Quote
I am going to Asia in March. I will bring some Fuji superia 400 films. Would this film be damaged by the security x-ray?
Ask for a hand scan, most airport security (they are supposed to oblige) will do this as long as they are not too busy. If you do get your film x-rayed at most first world airports you should be ok, as long as the same film doesn’t get x-rayed too often over your trip. The slower the film the less of an issue with x-rays. You can also use an x-ray proof film pouch, for those times when a hand scan is not possible. I got mine from B&H Photo.

Any film that gets x-rayed in checked luggage will be fogged, even in one of these pouches.

Phil.

02-08-2012, 11:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Ask for a hand scan, most airport security (they are supposed to oblige) will do this as long as they are not too busy. You can also use an x-ray proof film pouch, for those times when a hand scan is not possible. ...Any film that gets x-rayed in checked luggage will be fogged, even in one of these pouches.
Phil.
I've wondered about those. So the checked-luggage x-rays are stronger? And what happens with the film pouch in carry-on... if it's x-ray-proof, then they're not going to be able to see what's in it, & they make you open it, or what? Then they HAVE to hand inspect?
Whether they "oblige" seems to depend on the individuals & what sort of mood they're in. Going across Canada one way, they barely blinked at my film but wanted me to take a drink out of my water bottle. Coming back the other way, they passed the bottle through (this was 2005) but really balked at the film.
Flying home from the U.K., they flatly refused to hand inspect the film, even though I had it all neatly clear-plastic-bagged, no boxes, etc. I tried reminding them politely about air transport regulations & how they were "supposed to oblige", but they sounded like it was either "we x-ray it or you don't get on the plane". I was mad! A once-in-a-lifetime trip's photos ruined? Fortunately the films were ok (200 ISO). But THEN they demanded I take off my shoes as well.
Some of them hassle just because they CAN.
(BTW Dubesor, say hi to the HMS Bounty for me if she hasn't left San Juan by the time you get there...)
02-09-2012, 09:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alliecat Quote
I've wondered about those. So the checked-luggage x-rays are stronger? And what happens with the film pouch in carry-on... if it's x-ray-proof, then they're not going to be able to see what's in it, & they make you open it, or what? Then they HAVE to hand inspect?
Whether they "oblige" seems to depend on the individuals & what sort of mood they're in. Going across Canada one way, they barely blinked at my film but wanted me to take a drink out of my water bottle. Coming back the other way, they passed the bottle through (this was 2005) but really balked at the film.
Flying home from the U.K., they flatly refused to hand inspect the film, even though I had it all neatly clear-plastic-bagged, no boxes, etc. I tried reminding them politely about air transport regulations & how they were "supposed to oblige", but they sounded like it was either "we x-ray it or you don't get on the plane". I was mad! A once-in-a-lifetime trip's photos ruined? Fortunately the films were ok (200 ISO). But THEN they demanded I take off my shoes as well.
Some of them hassle just because they CAN.
(BTW Dubesor, say hi to the HMS Bounty for me if she hasn't left San Juan by the time you get there...)
Yes the checked luggage x-rays are more powerful and will fog all film.
The x-ray pouch I have is small and when inside my camera bag does not seem to attract attention, all the screeners really see is my cameras and lenses.
They have never questioned me about it.

Security Tundra Film Security X-Ray Standard Bag 25T24S B&H


Phil
02-09-2012, 11:37 AM   #11
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I found this article from Kodak covered the x-ray stuff pretty well:

Baggage X-ray Scanning Effects on Film
02-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by adelorenzo Quote
I found this article from Kodak covered the x-ray stuff pretty well:

Baggage X-ray Scanning Effects on Film
Good article, thanks for posting.

If you are polite and arrive early, 9 out of 10 times they will hand screen your film and you will have no issues.

This quote from the article has probably the best advice:

Be polite, helpful and patient. Please remember that security personnel are trying to protect the traveling public.

Phil.
02-09-2012, 02:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Good article, thanks for posting.

If you are polite and arrive early, 9 out of 10 times they will hand screen your film and you will have no issues.

This quote from the article has probably the best advice:

Be polite, helpful and patient. Please remember that security personnel are trying to protect the traveling public.

Phil.
If you're going to ask for a hand scan, remove the film from its packaging and put it in a plastic bag. I've never had to deal with 120 film, but for 35mm, that means taking it out of the box and out of the plastic cannisters. If they have to do too much work to get to the film (remember, they're trying to get people through the checkpoint as quickly as possible), they may refuse and insist it go through the x-ray.

I have heard that film below ISO 800 will take a couple of carry-on scans.

And, yes, be polite. Even if they're being grouchy, be polite. There are two things to remember; they carry guns (or someone close by does), and they can make your life miserable for just long enough to miss your flight. AND, your film will get fogged.
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