Taking Film Abroad

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#1
Has anyone got any experience in taking un-exopsed film abroad?.

I am planning a trip to Italy later this year and would like to have done a project on film but unsure how the x-ray scanners will react with it.

I know people have said that they inform airport security but my dealings with airport security is they either don't listen or appreciate what is been said to them.
 
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#2
1. My experiences mirror yours with airport security - I find that about 1/3 - 1/2 of the security staff will hand inspect, but some just say 'no, the machine is safe' and that's that.
2. The machines have been safe. I've traveled to Italy, Romania, Germany, Iceland, and France and had no issues with X-ray related damage. The film I took on my trip to Romania and Germany passed through 5-6 scans and there aren't any problems.
3. It was mainly ISO 400
4. I think you probably already know this but just keep the film in your hand luggage
5. I think the problem is a bit overstated, to be honest
 

Asha

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#3
Keep it in your hand luggage and allow it pass though the scanner with the rest of your kit.
Avoid putting in hold luggage as that receives à deeper xray scan
 

excalibur2

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#4
No problem if you use hand luggage, IIRC film can go thru' the Xray m/c at least 9 times before any problems might appear on your shot ..luggage for the hold use a stronger X-rays m/c and could spoil the film slightly.
 
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#5
No problem, the dosage is small enough not to matter.
Many years ago I used to keep film separate and security would do a hand search- not sure if they would be bothered to do that nowadays...

Back then, lead lined bags were available - and the stories of security just turning up the power to see through the bags!
 

excalibur2

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#7
No problem, the dosage is small enough not to matter.
Many years ago I used to keep film separate and security would do a hand search- not sure if they would be bothered to do that nowadays...

Back then, lead lined bags were available - and the stories of security just turning up the power to see through the bags!
Well I thought the effects of x-raying film was cumuative and eventually it would have an effect....I sure I read Kodak did some tests and came up with a number of scans film could take, but it might be years ago and modern xray machines are better i.e. use less power.
 

ChrisR

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#8
Thats great to hear, i will be taking 120 roll film so im guessing it makes no different whether its 35mm, 120 or even 4x5
No particular evidence, but just as grain appears less (as an element of the whole image) in 120 versus 135, I suspect that X-ray impacts would tend to be less (and already very small... rather than zero).

In the end... I wouldn't take my full tock, but I've no hesitation in taking enough for the journey, and not bothered if some are left over. @skysh4rk has been travelling all over Europe and the world with 400 ISO 120 film and the results are excellent! Whether that's just his skill, or the creative effects of Xrays, I don't know ;) !
 
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#9
I went to Barcelona about 18 months ago and took a fresh box of Portra 400 in 120 with me, but accidentally left them in the big suitcase which was checked into the hold and went through the bigger airport scanners. When I got to our hotel and unpacked I realised what I'd done, so I played it safe and bought a new box over there to use. When I got home I used the original rolls (for non important stuff) and there was no difference.

Given that they must have received a lot more radiation and there was no effect, I have no issue with putting my film in my hand luggage and having it scanned with the rest of my stuff. I've read that higher ISO films might be affected more than lower ones, but the highest I usually use is 400 so it's not something that really worries me. Just stick them in your hand luggage and don't worry about it I say :)
 

Asha

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#10
Tbh my concern when travelling is anything but the xray effects on film, it's the fact that usually the bag is bursting with film kit, film and accessories and because it's not modern digital stuff, it tends to get looked upon as suspicous, so inevitably I get requested to open the bag and show the contents.
No big deal you think.....not until bits and pieces have to be removed from the bag and then I find I can't get the darned stuff repacked in the same manner:banghead:
 

excalibur2

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#11
Tbh my concern when travelling is anything but the xray effects on film, it's the fact that usually the bag is bursting with film kit, film and accessories and because it's not modern digital stuff, it tends to get looked upon as suspicous, so inevitably I get requested to open the bag and show the contents.
No big deal you think.....not until bits and pieces have to be removed from the bag and then I find I can't get the darned stuff repacked in the same manner:banghead:
The only time I've got stopped with a bag full of camera gear was when my wife unknown to me stuck a large bottle of some sort of liquid lotion into one of the pockets, I was so embarrased not knowing it was there and my wife who was standing next to me went red in the face (never seen that before) :rolleyes:
 
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#13
@skysh4rk has been travelling all over Europe and the world with 400 ISO 120 film and the results are excellent! Whether that's just his skill, or the creative effects of Xrays, I don't know ;) !
Ha. Fortunately, I haven't had to make creative use of x-rays. Yet.

Yeah, I've travelled with plenty of 400 ISO film, 800 speed films, and even films that I've pushed to 3200 and I haven't had any issues to date (fingers crossed it stays that way!). Like @Carl Hall, I've even accidentally put film through my checked baggage and not had any ill effects.

I do try to minimise x-ray scans where I can, although that's quite hard in Europe most of the time, so it usually goes through the scanner. I've found it much easier in Asian countries to get film hand checked; I don't even have to ask sometimes. In China, where there are scanners to enter many public sites and buildings, I took the film out of my bag, just walked right through to the other side to pick up my bag, while still carrying my film, and no one said a word (so the rolls were never scanned or checked)...


In the end... I wouldn't take my full tock, but I've no hesitation in taking enough for the journey, and not bothered if some are left over.
Personally, I always take more than I think I'll need. Could you imagine being on the Great Wall and running out of film? You never know who/what you might encounter while on holiday, so I plan for the worst and take plenty of film with me.
 

excalibur2

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#14
...are you sure it's not just you that looks suspicious? :p :exit:
Too true I've been searched a few times :(..I thought I had solved it by taking my shoes, Jacket and belt off, all metal objects in the tray but last year left my wallet in my trousers and was pulled over and the wallet examined and the guy had the cheek to take a swab for drugs off my hands :rolleyes:
 
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#15
I accidentally took the same hand full of films on holiday twice along with some fresh film. When I got home the older film was very low contrast, I'm guessing it was something to do with being x-rayed 4 times?? I got scared and bought a Fujifilm X-T10 for holidays! haha (that was the excuse I gave my better half anyway)
 

Nod

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#18
Back when I shot just film, I took the same films through on 6 or 8 occasions (out and back 3 or 4 times) and never had any fogging or contrast issues on ISO 400 neg or slide (both colour). Always in hand baggage.
 

Nod

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#20
A few of them have even been useful! :D

I do actually get out and take some photos as well as being a fairly prolific poster. Tend not to post that many since IMO a screen is the worst way to see photographs - prints (the bigger the better!) are the way I prefer to show my pictures.
 

ChrisR

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#22
So, massive thread revival (@ianbarber for interest)... there's a thread on Photrio about the effects of new airport hand luggage scanners that seem to be updated versions of the CT-type scanners already used for hold luggage. The thread is quite long and mostly seems to consist of people saying, does anyone know if this is real? This post does include some actual evidence though: https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/new-airport-scanners.170709/page-5#post-2240260 . Interestingly, there's at least one person who sounds quite qualified (Physics degree, studied CT etc) claiming that CT scanners don't fog, they show typically curved regularly spaced artefacts. Hasn't showed up since this evidence AFAICS.

There's a lot of discussion about asking for hand inspections, and the chances of refusal (allegedly high in the UK, variable in the US). Some folk taking a 3200 ISO film with them to bolster their argument. Some concern about hand inspection of sheet film (risk of agents opening boxes!)

Apparently LHR gets these scanners 2022, Schiphol (AMS) already has them. Some other evidence shown for "serious damage" looks like very marginal fogging to me, but what do I know.

I'm not a Photrio member, got alerted via a tweet. I did tweet Analogue Wonderland to ask if they'd had any overseas consignments reported with problems (since a possible strategy is to post your film to destination and back again). They responded:

"No - but we're making some amends to our packaging in the coming weeks in anticipation of stronger customs tests in the future. Better safe than sorry!"

Not sure that's addressing the same problem!
 
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#25
I read an article the other day about this showing the effect of the new scanners on Ilford film (they went to Heathrow). I cannot find the article though.

I seem to recall it showing that it will affect Ilford films, and they've updated their FAQ accordingly.

A bit more info here (older news though) https://thedarkroom.com/bringing-film-airport-security-effects-x-rays-film/
 
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#26
erm the thread is about new scanners being introduced which could affect film :rolleyes:
'New' scanners - about 4 years ago! I should imagine that's changed significantly in the intervening period.
 
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#27
Tbh my concern when travelling is anything but the xray effects on film, it's the fact that usually the bag is bursting with film kit, film and accessories and because it's not modern digital stuff, it tends to get looked upon as suspicous, so inevitably I get requested to open the bag and show the contents.
No big deal you think.....not until bits and pieces have to be removed from the bag and then I find I can't get the darned stuff repacked in the same manner:banghead:
I get that with my digital kit and its just as big a pain.
 
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