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#1 Giles Perkins

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 04:38 PM

Quick question: hold baggage or hand baggage - which would be best for Vision 2 200T re: X rays?

Cheers
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 05:34 PM

Hand baggage. Never check film, the X ray machines for checked baggage are much more powerful than the carry-on. TSA in the states claims it's safe up to asa1600, I think kodak had it more 'round 800. Try to limit the number of times it has to go through as well.
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#3 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 07:51 PM

Always hand luggage!

Since more and more airports have switched to InVision Technologies' gear for hold luggage scanning, transporting any ray-sensitive material in hold has become seriously difficult.

If possible, try to call the airport authority in advance and schedule a manual or hand control for your films for your flight and get the acknowledgement in writing (although that is not a guarantee that the staff on duty will comply to written attests to actually do so). With either very small P2P airports or bigger yet not risk-sensitive hub airports (e.g. it works in Luton or Stansted, but not Heathrow here in the UK), these pre-arrangements usually work rather well.

As regards sensitivity of the emulsion: Last summer, I transported several packs of 3000 ISO (!) films around from LDN to Spain, and had to have them scanned as hand luggage. Despite them being 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 format, I had no fogging or any other negative effect.

Alternatively, try using Terminal 5 at Heathrow: you can be sure that your luggage will not be scanned at all, because it gets either lost, sold, stolen or ends up unscanned in Milano to be sorted out with 15'000 fellow suitcases.
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#4 Giles Perkins

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:33 AM

Thanks Michael - just thought I'd double check and get the current view!

Cheers
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#5 Tony Terziev

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 08:43 AM

So, there wouldn't be any bigger problem to scan E64 and some Velvia 50D?
The lower the ASA the lower the risk of getting fogged footage, right?
Is it possible to buy "do not x-ray"-stickers for my cartridges (in Sweden) to be completely
guaranteed that the footage will be transported safely?
Does anyone have experience with scanned footage at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm or/and Heathrow Airport in London?
Cheers!

/Tony
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 10:16 AM

Even Do Not X-Ray tags will sometimes still incur X rays. Slow ASA is generally safe, though; just try to limit it's time through the machines, or by film locally and ship it- talking to the shipper first- to where it needs to be in the end.
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#7 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 01:13 PM

Does anyone have experience with scanned footage at Arlanda Airport in Stockholm or/and Heathrow Airport in London?
Cheers!


I cannot comment on Arlanda other than that smaller (though still international) point-to-point airports might be more likely to accomodate pre-scheduled manual controls than global hubs of the scale of London Heathrow, LAX, Hong Kong (Chek Lap Kok), Dubai International or Tokyo Narita.
It worked for me in airports such as Basel, Newcastle, Granada, even smaller intercontinental one's such as Zürich Unique or London Luton.

As regards Heathrow: I wouldn't even consider thinking about asking for special arrangements. You can be happy if you get through security in time to reach your gate (if indeed the gate exists and will also have an actual airplane waiting there...). Security staff at all Heathrow terminals are barely coping with their jobs, and they are not only unlikely to come forward to a manual checking request, they will actually be quite miffed by that - and fellow passengers as well as nerves are blank with regard to waiting times and queuing hell at the security checks.

It is actually much less hassle to call your local Kodak rep and have your film material shipped to your destination by them, or if possible (i.e. if you are not traveling into the Burmese jungle) make arrangements to purchase film stocks on location via the local branch.

But with low-sens-stock such as E-64 or V-50 reversals, I would not worry too much about having it scanned once or even twice each flight. As I said, 3000 ISO films survived without a problem (... they didn't like the 45°C shadow-heat on location in Spain, though, and developed... ah well, that would go off-topic and is a disgusting story anyway :) )
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#8 Tony Terziev

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 01:55 PM

Thank you for your quick answers!
I will consider contacting my local Kodak store and ship through them.
How hard is it to correct x-rayed/fogged footage? Any examples with super-8?
Thanks once again!

/ Tony
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#9 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 03:17 PM

How hard is it to correct x-rayed/fogged footage? Any examples with super-8?


No examples possible from me. In... puh... many decades of filming with cine-film, incl. S8 neg or reversal while air-travelling overseas, I must admit I have never had fogged cine-films or indeed higher-sens. photo films, incl. those 3000 ISO Polas. I also never heard of anyone shooting S8 who had such issues. I know that alot of folks at the BVK (the German ASC or BSC) were very worried in the late 1990s when InVision Tech started selling their "film killers", and I wrote a lengthy article about the Röntgen units per mm and stuff trying to spread info about it, but I also never heard of a major project suffering from fogging. Sorry that I can't be more helpful here.

Honestly, I wouldn't be too worried with E-64 or V-50 or K-40 or E-100, even V2-200. I would avoid transporting V2-500, though, just for good measure.

Cheers, -Michael
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#10 Bart Smith

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:37 PM

Honestly, I wouldn't be too worried with E-64 or V-50 or K-40 or E-100, even V2-200. I would avoid transporting V2-500, though, just for good measure.


Seems a pretty arbitrary cut-off point to me, there's only 1 1/3 stops between 200 and 500. What would your considered opinion be on a 320 ASA stock as that's pretty much half way between an example you consider a 'yes' and another that you consider a 'no-no'?

Some people are of the opinion that V2 500 is 'really' a 320ASA stock. Does that sway you towards giving it the thumbs-up for a quickie dose of X-rays?
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#11 Bart Smith

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 01:44 PM

Some people are of the opinion that V2 500 is 'really' a 320 stock. Does that sway you towards giving it the thumbs-up for a quickie dose of X-rays?

Last summer, I transported several packs of 3000 ISO (!) films around from LDN to Spain, and had to have them scanned as hand luggage. Despite them being 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 format, I had no fogging or any other negative effect........As I said, 3000 ISO films survived without a problem


On the one hand you seem to be saying that 500 is a no-no, and on the other that 3000 can be fine. Make your mind up purleeeeze.
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#12 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 01:32 PM

...[500 ISO] [s]eems a pretty arbitrary cut-off point to me, there's only 1 1/3 stops between 200 and 500. What would your considered opinion be on a 320 ASA stock as that's pretty much half way between an example you consider a 'yes' and another that you consider a 'no-no'?

Some people are of the opinion that V2 500 is 'really' a 320ASA stock. Does that sway you towards giving it the thumbs-up for a quickie dose of X-rays?

On the one hand you seem to be saying that 500 is a no-no, and on the other that 3000 can be fine. Make your mind up purleeeeze.



Sorry for the tardiness in coming back to your wittily formulated inquisitive points, Bart.

I have not written that 500 ISO is a "No-No", as you put it. I said, as you quoted me yourself, that "just for good measure" (! - which is not a categorical no-no, pleaaaaazzzze), I (as in me personally) would avoid travelling with 500 ISO if these rolls contain mission-critical stuff!

Please bear in mind that x-raying baggage is to some extend not an exact science, as various parameters such as the type of film material, what is exposed ON THE film, the position and placement of it in the baggage, the surrounding stuff in the bag, the type of x-ray machine used etc. all play a role here.

The discrepancies are obvious in various white papers from lobby groups, gov depts, and manufacturers: Adrian stated above that TSA in the states claims it's safe up to asa1600, while kodak had it more 'round 800 now. When InVision x-ray gear was launched in the late 1990s, Kodak had it at a mere ISO 100! So they upp'ed their recommendation over the past deade. Persnally, I transported S8 up to 200 ISO, both neg and reversal (which react differently to various doses of x-rays) and never had fogging. I also transported up to 3000 ISO Polaroid pack film around without any issues - these also react differently than neg or rev. cine-film. In my surrounds, I never ever heard of fogged film material, being cine-film or still-film or instant film or large format sheets.
This is not merely about the nominal ISO number being high or low, as you seem to presume based on reading my posts.

So how do current X-ray machines actually work?

InVision Technologies, Inc. new generation of technology fundamentally changed the way x-raying was performed in the aviation industry: The original InVision CTX-5000SP and the succeeding CTX-5500 DS of the 1990s (when x-raying really got scary for the photographic industry) set out with a low-intensity beam of 1 mR (which stands for milli-Röntgen, the measuring unit used). This was what was normal in x-raying tech in previous decades and was of no danger for photochemical material.

The revolution was that due to computer-assisted analysing, where when the x-ray machine discovers materials in the baggage its embedded software categorises as suspicious, it rescans the item in question with a high-intensity 100 mR beam bundled to a 1cm concentrated focus. Should the material not be analysed to the machines satisfaction, or if it discovers an item that it still cannot penetrate with this intensity, it automatically increases the density of the beam in focus and value up to 300 mR.

The troubling thing was that originally, materials containing high levels of silverhalides or high amounts of metal triggered this high-intensity beam.
That meant: photo-chemical film materials, and the metal boxes in which the films where then delivered from Kodak and Fuji.

PIMA tests then showed that CTX-5000SP totally fogged EXR 100 T.
Extensive testing by the BVK (for which I drafted earlier mentioned paper) showed that depending on how the film boxes or film reels where lying in the baggage, in which they were transported or what was with them (clothing, metal camera accessories etc), the fogging varied greatly. In fact, it could well happen that a suspicious camera accessory shaped like a weapon or containing suspicious trace elements could trigger a high-intensity scan from the machine even when it was programmed not the react to silverhalides at all, thus fogging the next-to-it cine-film as a sort of "collateral damage".

This is why those leadboxes recommended to hobbyits in the 1970s for transporting film material and re-recommended by Damien above ARE EXACTLY NOT BE USED!!
Putting film in a container made of lead (or any other dense material) or wrapping it in aluminium foil is completely pointless and may be counterproductive! The scanner has automatic exposure adjustment to its x-raying capabiliies: if the object being scanned absorbs more radiation because it is atomically dense (like a leadbox) the scanner increases both the amount of radiation and the energy of the x-ray beam according to its programming until the scanner's detector receives a radiation 'dose' emerging from the object sufficient to produce a satisfactory see-throug image, i.e. the leadbox or whatever has been fully penetrated and all its inner details can be clearly seen by the operator or (for hold baggage: the computer analysing application).
Thus encasing your film or camera merely ensures it gets a higher exposure inside the casing! In consequence, foil bags or leadboxes for film actually increase the faint possibility of raised base fogging normally avoided with initial 1mR scans. The lead of the boxes blinds low-intensity scans and exactly triggers the high-intensity doses in order to penetrate the boxes, thus exposing the inside film to x-rays anyhow, potentially at damaging doses.

I think you get the complexity of the issue at hand here.
(and I havn't even mentioned I test by Michael Gööck BVK who had cine-film fogged on purpose and wrote a white paper about the degree of fogging visible and digitally eradicable depending on what was filmed, from 500 ISO night shots to 50 D daylight shadowy shots... it all depends what you have actually filmed, too!)

The current state of affairs is that current embedded software recognises cine-film as such due to its chemical composition and should in theory avoid "overdosing" it as it used to do in the late 1990s during the "big filmkiller scare". That is why Kodak can give a safeguard of up to ISO 800 (which covers most photo and cine-film material sold from all manufactures today).
However: depending on whatever else is transported - and "gestalt"-identification capabilities of the scanners (believing to see a pistol rather than a Nikon R 10) plus stuff in the bag that might trigger high-intensity beams due to its composition could still result in a scan that damages film material. The more sensitive the material, obviously the more likely it can be dammaged. Vision2 500 T is significantly more sensitive than for example Vision2 200 T, as the T-grain crystals are disproportionally smaller. There comes my personal tipp from to avoid transporting 500 " just for good measure "... you know: as in: if you are sensitive soul prone to heart-attacks, avoid engaging in enraging political debates with radicals... :)

If you want this to be pushed to the max here, we can as well include the issue of radiation exposures in high altitude flights, particularly long-haul intercontinental ones!
After all, background radiation levels in the atmosphere vary in intensity with latitude, altitude and phase of the solar cycle. These background levels are generated primarily by galactic cosmic rays (GCR), consisting of energetic nuclei of all naturally occurring elements, interacting with atmospheric constituents, primarily through atomic and nuclear collisions Precisely. No material, not even lead from those hobbyist boxes, can "stop" ionising radiation.
Dense materials like lead just attenuate (absorb) more of the radiation per unit thickness.


As recommended in other posts - the best way to ensure your film is not harmed by the scanner is to put it in a plastic bag, transport it as hand luggage, and pass it through the hand luggage scanner on its own, separate from all other items. In this way the scanner will automatically apply the mimimum radiation dose.
Dosages currently employed by today's scanner technology has not caused any problems with fogging currently available cine-, photo- and instant-film to my knowledge, particularly at the low-sensitivity end of the exposure index spectrum and with reversal films, however, the higher the potential sensitivity related to the size of the used grain structures, particularly for top-end negative films, the more possible (yet not necessarily probable) is a fogging damage occuring that is also visible after development of the film.
Asking for manual or hand-control checking of the films should well be attempted, but it is neither legally required from the security staff or by IATA. If you want to have manual controls performed, always pre-book this well in advance by contacting the airport operator when this option is available - check in advance with the airport operatorat hand. As a guideline, you can assume that smaller continental point-to-point airports are more likely to accomodate your request, whereas bigger intercontinental or high-profile/high-thru'put hub airports are least likely to find time nor nerves to cater for your special needs.


I hope that helped clarifiying the issue as much as possible. Feel free to correct me if any aspects are incorrect.

Cheers, -Michael



P.S.:
As far as the debate between V2-500 actually being V2-"320" is concerned, honestly, I cannot be bothered by that. Kodak applies its labbeling according to SMPTE standards, and I won't start to debate anything of that technical nature with someone from the SMPTE - those guys are too hard-core anoraks for me.
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#13 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 06:21 PM

How hard is it to correct x-rayed/fogged footage? / Tony

Virtually impossible.

If you had uniform and consistent slight fogging across every frame you could probably manage to correct it on telecine up to a point. But X-ray fogging usually comes in a strong pattern that becomes part of the image. Once you've got it, you can't separate it from the image.
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#14 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 05 May 2008 - 11:09 AM

An FAQ-style post as been added to the Reader's Digest pinned thread at the top of this sub-forum named:

AIR TRAVEL, FILM MATERIAL AND THE BIG LUGGAGE/BAGGAGE X-RAY SCARE

- what to know - what to do - how to relax -

CLICK HERE to visit.

Cheers, Michael
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#15 tom doherty

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 06:59 PM

hi
i have a smiliar question. in june i am flying from bristol to barcelona and intend to do some super 8 filming. i was wondering how the ektachrome 64t will react to the x-ray, and wether i should take it on as hand luggage, or baggage.
thanks in advance
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#16 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:16 AM

If you read throw the hyperlinked FAQ post in the post #14 of this thread just above, all you need to know is presented to you.

E-64 for an intra-European flight is no issue at all re.l x-raying and potential fogging if you follow the things in the FAQ post. I wouldn't worry wathsover about that. I think in respect to E-64, I would worry much more about storing the films cooly when in Spain over the summer (cool dark place, potentially a non-freezing mini-bar if films don#t get used within 2-3 days) which batch of film your carts come from, as 309 batches suffer from transportation issues in in CLA'd cams - as was discussed in another thread here recently.
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#17 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 05:18 AM

As I said 1000 times: films ALWAYS HAND LUGGAGE!
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#18 tom doherty

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Posted 16 June 2008 - 11:57 AM

alright thanks
hand luggage it is
will keep the e64 in hotel fridge most likely
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