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04-19-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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X-rayed Film

Hello,

I read somewhere that when a film are exposed to x-ray during the inspection at the airport, it will degrade the image of the film. Is this true?
Is there a difference between the x-ray powers for the hand luggage and the check-in luggage?

Airports in Japan do remind passengers that check in film may be fogged by the x ray machine. HK airport x-ray machine do fog my friends' ISo 100 film.

04-19-2010, 09:55 PM   #2
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Never put your film in checked luggage always put it in your carry-on bags. Try and get
your film hand scanned, if not possible most "modern" airports x-ray machines will be ok for slower ISO films.

Phil.
04-19-2010, 10:30 PM   #3
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Oh! I see.

You meant to put all the films in the hand carry luggage and used only slow ISO films like thh 50, 100,200.

If I were to carry ISO 400 and 800 films, will these be affected by the x-ray machine?
04-19-2010, 11:53 PM   #4
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You can buy x-ray film bags, then your as safe as you can get.

04-20-2010, 01:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
You can buy x-ray film bags, then your as safe as you can get.
The danger is that the machine operator increases the power of the x-rays because he can't see through the bag.
04-20-2010, 02:28 AM   #6
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Is there any go-arouund this? Can you actually tell the guy that youre carrying film without getting in trouble? How about exposed film or developed one?
04-20-2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
You can buy x-ray film bags, then your as safe as you can get.
THat is not safe at all! They simply increase the radiation level, until they can see the contents of the bag.

The bags are useful (to a limited degree, though) to shield the films during the flight from the increased radiation at flight level.

Ben
04-20-2010, 02:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by summonbaka Quote
Is there any go-arouund this? Can you actually tell the guy that youre carrying film without getting in trouble? How about exposed film or developed one?

Developped film is fine and will not degrade. Exposed film is the most sensible to radiation, as it already got sensitized even in the faint shadow areas and thus may show the radiation expsoure the most.

Usually film below ISO400 will not be damaged by x-ray scanners - but you never know, whether the operator has a bad day or the scanner works out of specs, due to poor maintenace etc. Heiman (the biggest manufacturer of these scanners) once realeased an explicit warning about their digital scanners a couple of years ago…

Ofcourse it would be best to get all film with ISO 800 and higher searched by hand - but I also know, that (despite this is officially an option in most countries), at some airports, staff simply refuse to do that. I have experienced that in Spain and the US.

Now, in digital days, I never carry high sensitivity films when air travelling so the problems somewhat vanished.

Ben

04-20-2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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There are some pouch with lead inserts to protect the film. Do not risk any film by going thru the airport X-ray machine. Always demand hand inspection for the film. Keep it handy for this process. It is always better safe than sorry.

See one here:

Delta | Pro Pouch 911 with Leadshield | 20140 | B&H Photo Video

I hope it helps.
04-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjdgti Quote
There are some pouch with lead inserts to protect the film. Do not risk any film by going thru the airport X-ray machine. Always demand hand inspection for the film. Keep it handy for this process. It is always better safe than sorry.

See one here:

Delta | Pro Pouch 911 with Leadshield | 20140 | B&H Photo Video

I hope it helps.
COMPARE replies 5 and 7.

Ben
04-20-2010, 03:49 PM   #11
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I agree with Ben & Vendee, the x-ray pouches could do more harm than good. Also they are no good if you use them in checked luggage.

The best thing to do is politely ask for a hand check. Nine times out of ten they will do it if it’s not too busy, allow extra time for this and come early to the airport. To speed things up take the film out of the box & container and put everything in a clear plastic zip lock bag.

Another option is if you are going to a big city, wait and buy your film after you arrive and also have it developed before you leave.

Phil.
04-20-2010, 04:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
most "modern" airports x-ray machines will be ok for slower ISO films.Phil.
While that may be the case, keep in mind exposure is cumulative. If you have to fly to several places with those films, additional degradation occur every time you pass through another x-ray machine.
04-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by song_hm Quote
While that may be the case, keep in mind exposure is cumulative. If you have to fly to several places with those films, additional degradation occur every time you pass through another x-ray machine.
Yes very true, no x-raying is still the preferred choice. However I’ve had 100ASA or slower film scanned over the years with zero effect on the film. (Usually two to four times)

Phil.
04-20-2010, 08:36 PM   #14
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I just recently came back from an international holiday, flying through Aussie and NZ airports.
My film was in hand luggage and would have been scanned a total of 6 times. The film speeds were mostly 100 with a couple of rolls of 400, both B&W and colour.

On development and scanning I haven't been able to notice any issues caused by x-rays, which was a big relief. I started asking for hand inspection at the first scan, but security just told me to put them through the scanner... From then on I either asked if the scan would effect my film (answer was always "no") or saw a sign explicitly saying that photograhic film would be OK...

Still made me nervous but I managed to get away with it.
04-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by goddo31 Quote
From then on I either asked if the scan would effect my film (answer was always "no") or saw a sign explicitly saying that photograhic film would be OK...
In Australia they have been saying that for the last 10 years how the machines have been improved and don't effect film now (don't ask them to see there qualifications on the machine, that just slows the process down ).
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