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Super 8 Through Metal Detector at Airport?


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#1 Tanner Almon

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:12 PM

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow I will be flying from Los Angeles to Maryland for Thanksgiving and I am hoping to shoot a short super 8 film when I am home. I have been looking through old posts and from what I can tell the x-ray machines (even the carry-on one) can fog my film.

So here is my dilema... I only have four rolls of super 8 and I think that they may be able to fit in my pockets if I wear a sweatshirt. My question is this...

Is it safer to go through the walk through metal detector with my film, or to send it through the carry-on x-ray machine? Any help, advice, experience would be much appreciated.

If it helps the film I have is K40.

Best,
Tanner
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 03:33 PM

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow I will be flying from Los Angeles to Maryland for Thanksgiving and I am hoping to shoot a short super 8 film when I am home. I have been looking through old posts and from what I can tell the x-ray machines (even the carry-on one) can fog my film.

So here is my dilema... I only have four rolls of super 8 and I think that they may be able to fit in my pockets if I wear a sweatshirt. My question is this...

Is it safer to go through the walk through metal detector with my film, or to send it through the carry-on x-ray machine? Any help, advice, experience would be much appreciated.

If it helps the film I have is K40.

Best,
Tanner


Best bet is to carry the cartridges in a separate clear plastic bag, and ask for a hand inspection of them, without having them go through the carry-on x-ray inspection. The TSA rules specifically allow hand inspection of ALL motion picture products. Here is the "official" TSA policy:

http://www.tsa.gov/p...90005198018583a


Put undeveloped film in carry-on baggage because equipment used to screen checked baggage will damage film. Also, high-speed and specialty film should not be put through X-ray machines, so passengers may ask security officers at the checkpoint to physically inspect film.


http://www.tsa.gov/p...90005198004a860

Transporting Film

WARNING: Equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage your undeveloped film.

Traveling with Film

Never place undeveloped film in your checked baggage.
Place film in your carry-on baggage* or request a hand inspection.

* Carry-on screening equipment might also damage certain film if the film passes through more than 5 times.

None of the screening equipment - neither the machines used for checked baggage nor those used for carry-on baggage - will affect digital camera images or film that has already been processed, slides, videos, photo compact discs, or picture discs.

General use film **

You should remove all film from your checked baggage and place it in your carry-on baggage. The X-ray machine that screens your carry-on baggage at the passenger security checkpoint will not affect undeveloped film under ASA/ISO 800.

If the same roll of film is exposed to X-ray inspections more than 5 times before it is developed, however, damage may occur. Protect your film by requesting a hand-inspection for your film if it has already passed through the carry-on baggage screening equipment (X-ray) more than 5 times.

Specialty film **

Specialty film is defined as film with an ASA/ISO 800 or higher and typically used by professionals.

At the passenger security checkpoint, you should remove the following types of film from your carry-on baggage and ask for a hand inspection:

Film with an ASA/ISO 800 or higher
Highly sensitive X-ray or scientific films
Film of any speed which is subjected to X-ray surveillance more than 5 times (the effect of X-ray screening is cumulative)
Film that is or will be underexposed
Film that you intend to 'push process'
Sheet film
Large format film
Medical film
Scientific film
Motion picture film
Professional grade film

Other Tips and Precautions:

If you plan to request a hand inspection of your film, you should consider carrying your film in clear canisters, or taking the film out of solid colored canisters and putting it into clear plastic bags, to expedite the screening process.
If you are going to be traveling through multiple X-ray examinations with the same rolls of undeveloped film, you may want to request a hand-inspection of your film. However, non-U.S. airports may not honor this request.
If you plan to hand-carry undeveloped film on an airplane at an international airport, contact the airport security office at that airport to request a manual inspection.
Consider having your exposed film processed locally before passing through airport security on your return trip.
We recommend that you do not place your film in lead-lined bags since the lead bag will have to be hand-inspected. If you have concerns about the impact of the X-ray machine on your undeveloped film, you can request a hand inspection.
You may still consider bringing a lead-lined bag if you are traveling through airports in other countries as their policies may vary. Check with your airline or travel agent for more information on foreign airports.


Although the walk-through magnetometer or wands won't affect the unprocessed film, the film cartridges are likely to set off the alarm anyway, requiring a hand inspection.

Do leave some extra time for hand inspection, as security is likely to be busy during the holiday season.

NEVER put unprocessed film in CHECKED baggage, as it is very likely high intensity x-ray scanning will be used on your checked bags.
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#3 Norbert Shieh

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 06:07 AM

I shot about 4 cartridges (2 k40, 1 tri-x, 1 plus-x) of super 8 while traveling in Asia last month. Went through 5 different airports, hand checked film in 2 of them, but got them carry-on scanned at the others. Just recieved the processed film last week and everything seemed fine.

Do your best and NOT LEAVE film in your baggage, as those scanners are more intense and may fog up your film. Also, if you ask security to hand check your film, mention that you have motion picture film not 35mm. Otherwise, they'll just tell you that film under 800 ASA is fine to be scanned.
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#4 Mike Crane

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 12:23 PM

I myself have seen disastrous results from allowing the airports to Xray film from both carry on or luggage stations. The result is usually a repeating fog pulse (depending what position the film was in when it got zapped).

I highly recommend a hand check as John suggests if you intend to fly with the film.

If you do not want to be bothered with a hand check, shipping the film ahead UPS, FedEX or DHL has never presented me with a problem. And, I ship a lot of film. Perhaps John could enlighten us further on shipping separately.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 07:47 PM

I highly recommend a hand check as John suggests if you intend to fly with the film.

If you do not want to be bothered with a hand check, shipping the film ahead UPS, FedEX or DHL has never presented me with a problem. And, I ship a lot of film. Perhaps John could enlighten us further on shipping separately.


You need to work with your air shipper (e.g., UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc), as they have different requirements for manifesting and labeling film shipments.
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