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traveling with super 8 film cartridges


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#1 chris buddy

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:50 AM

I flew to park city last week and airport security tried desperately to make me put my 6 new rolls
of film through the xray. when i asked them to just hand inspect them like i've had done before,
they tore into every single roll. How long will new film last with the foil packaging opened?

Also i did send my camera through xray with a roll of plus x inside by accident. any chance it survived?

Any thoughts? thanks for the help
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 06:55 AM

I flew to park city last week and airport security tried desperately to make me put my 6 new rolls
of film through the xray. when i asked them to just hand inspect them like i've had done before,
they tore into every single roll. How long will new film last with the foil packaging opened?

Also i did send my camera through xray with a roll of plus x inside by accident. any chance it survived?

Any thoughts? thanks for the help


Quite awhile, I've had rolls survive for over a year with ripped foil. As for the x-ray, hmm, that's a toughie as not every x-ray place is the same. I use a lead lined bag to force hand-checking.
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#3 Troy Warr

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:17 AM

I've honestly never assumed that the foil was there to preserve anything about the film's life, I'd thought it was just packaging to keep dirt and moisture out, etc. I've shot rolls before and waited months to develop them (left in the fridge of course) with no obvious effects.

I'd guess that your Plus-X would be mostly OK, hopefully the camera helped to insulate the effects of the X-ray somewhat. I worked at a camera shop years ago and I always recommended the lead bags, too, but other salespeople often told customers that the lower the ASA, the less of an effect the X-rays have. I'm not sure if that's true, though...
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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 12:07 PM

The foil seals the film against changes in humidity. Without it you can't really refrigerate the film for fear if getting condensation on the emulsion surface when you take it out. I suppose if you could heat-seal it, thenmake sure it was up to ambient temperature before opening it, that would be OK. But don't keep it in the fridge as-is.
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 12:32 PM

The foil seals the film against changes in humidity. Without it you can't really refrigerate the film for fear if getting condensation on the emulsion surface when you take it out. I suppose if you could heat-seal it, thenmake sure it was up to ambient temperature before opening it, that would be OK. But don't keep it in the fridge as-is.


I recall reading somewhere on a forum that X-ray machines only do damage to higher ASA films, if they do any damage at all. I don't recall if this was related to the 800 ASA negative that Kodak used to make or what the threshold Negative setting is for potential X-ray damage.
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#6 Alessandro Malfatti

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 12:45 PM

I've traveled with 100ASA film before, had it scanned various times (!) by X-Rays, and it came out perfectly, I suppose you have to worry more if you've got something like 400ASA.
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#7 Terry Mester

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 08:49 PM

I flew to park city last week and airport security tried desperately to make me put my 6 new rolls
of film through the xray. when i asked them to just hand inspect them like i've had done before,
they tore into every single roll. How long will new film last with the foil packaging opened?

Hi Chris,
The first point to make is that these security people who did this to you are f*****g a******s. There was no justification for this vandalism. Just wrap the Cartridges with Saran Wrap, and they'll be perfectly safe in your Fridge or Freezer.
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#8 chris buddy

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 12:06 AM

Thanks all for the help. I greatly appreciate it.
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#9 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 05:34 AM

always recommended the lead bags,

If they can't see trough the lead bag they'll turn up X-ray-power to see something, your film might be harmed even more, or they ask to open the bag...

there has been former posts about this issue, check them to find more answers... search for hand inspection or x-ray


cheers, Bernhard
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#10 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 03:44 PM

Hi Chris,
The first point to make is that these security people who did this to you are f*****g a******s. There was no justification for this vandalism. Just wrap the Cartridges with Saran Wrap, and they'll be perfectly safe in your Fridge or Freezer.


I doubt Saran wrap would keep the moisture out of the film cartridge the way that foil does. I don't agree that the guards were out of line. One way to ensure that a camera is not a weapon is to actually demonstrate that your camera actually works the way a camera works.

I wonder if being able to do a quick google search when security doesn't know what something is would be a decent compromise. Since they knew very little about what it was that you were carrying, a quick google would have gotten them up to speed, certainly a quicker way than arguing or people just standing around detaining other people.
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#11 André Bacher

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:40 PM

Hello!

i want to add here some links to Kodak Documents about X-Ray, maybe its helpfull for you:

Do X-Rays Harm My Film?

Air Shipping Film

H-340: Downloadable 'DO NOT X-RAY' Labels

Airport X-Ray Security, US Mail Sterilization and Motion Picture Film:


greetings,
André
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#12 Frank Barrera

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 10:49 PM

I flew to park city last week and airport security tried desperately to make me put my 6 new rolls
of film through the xray. when i asked them to just hand inspect them like i've had done before,
they tore into every single roll. How long will new film last with the foil packaging opened?

Also i did send my camera through xray with a roll of plus x inside by accident. any chance it survived?

Any thoughts? thanks for the help

Dude this is totally F'd up. I have never had a problem getting through security with both 35MM still and motion picture film both exposed and not exposed. This just sends shivers down my spine.

Do you think it was just the total lack of experience with ever seeing a S8 cartridge that made them snap?
I guess it's just another reason not to shoot S8... just kidding.

good luck
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#13 Antonio Bunt

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 04:42 PM

Maybe it's a question of luck or fate... who knows? I flew through Atlanta right after 9/11 with a bunch of film and I didn't have any problem with the x-ray machines given the fact that airport security was tightened. Before that, in Montreal I had a huge argument with a security officer and he made me open all my 16 mm rolls and even show him the first foot or so, luckly they were 100 feet loads. I also forgot some rolls in my luggage when I shot a feature in El Salvador. They were 400 ISO and they came out great. I'm travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia this summer with a bunch of Super 8's. Any experience in those airports anyone?
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#14 Terry Mester

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Posted 22 February 2007 - 06:49 PM

... Before that, in Montreal I had a huge argument with a security officer and he made me open all my 16 mm rolls and even show him the first foot or so, luckly they were 100 feet loads. ... I'm travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia this summer with a bunch of Super 8's. Any experience in those airports anyone?


As far as that a***ole at Montreal Airport, you should have gotten his name and ID, and filed an extensive complaint with his bosses. He was clearly abusing his power to harass you by making you actually open your Film containers. If you know someone at your first destination in Vietnam or Cambodia, I would suggest that you mail (via land / ship post) your Cartridges to your contact person there, and thus keep your Carts away from any Airport Security.
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