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Travelling with negative film


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#1 John Woosley

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:32 AM

Quick question...I have purchased some 50D negative stock from Pro8mm. Is this safe to scan through an airport x-ray? Most film is now a days, but wanted to confirm before I make the decision. Thanks for your help!

 

 


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#2 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:50 AM

Definitely not as checked luggage. With carry-on you should be fine, but I still tend to request a hand check. It takes 5 extra minutes. 


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#3 John Woosley

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 10:06 AM

Great thanks.


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#4 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:00 PM

Definitely not as checked luggage. With carry-on you should be fine, but I still tend to request a hand check. It takes 5 extra minutes. 

The film boxes will be scanned themselves. It is laughable to expect they would not be. Considering the size anything can be in them and no risk will be accepted.

 

50D is low sensitive and a few scans going out and in will cause no harm when going through modern x-ray scanners.

 

There are plenty threads here and on other fora about going through x-ray scans. Lots of myths and few facts.


Edited by Andries Molenaar, 30 June 2016 - 02:01 PM.

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#5 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 04:50 PM

Not sure what about it's laughable. I flew with film two weeks ago. I just ask the security agents for a hand check. They rub the little swab, put it in the machine, and off I go. 


Edited by Kenny N Suleimanagich, 30 June 2016 - 04:50 PM.

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#6 aapo lettinen

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 05:20 PM

If I have understood correctly, there is enough room in a Super8 cassette to fit such amount of certain materials that it can dr*p a plane. Not multiple cassettes, a single one  :wacko:

I can thus fully understand why they are so nervous about security and why they have to check everything thoroughly, and why they hesitate to let anything through without x-ray. 

It's a huge responsibility and completely underrated profession. I highly respect their effort to keep us safe  :)   

 


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#7 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 03:44 AM

Not sure what about it's laughable. I flew with film two weeks ago. I just ask the security agents for a hand check. They rub the little swab, put it in the machine, and off I go. 

That is not supposed how it should go. What you describe is sloppy security checking. Everything goes through an x-ray scanner when procedures are applied properly. Expecting to have a number of rather big super-8 boxes with sealed cartridges go outside any see-through is naïve.


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#8 Shawn Sagady

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 04:29 AM

So prepping my next project will be my first film experience. What is the standard method for moving footage from location to lab, first class shipping? I'm mildly terrified to let the cans leave my possession considering there is no backup like I would have with digital.  And I am of course very nervous about sending it through the X-Ray even though it supposedly is fine, id hate for the exposure to be mucked up at all.  I know that very often with all my digital gear the TSA will swab the gear to check for chemical traces of explosives etc, like hard drives and cameras etc because there are so many cables and electronics.  I assume if they dont need to break open the hard drive they wouldnt need to open the film can.


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#9 aapo lettinen

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 05:56 AM

one thing to take into account is that you easily get the films x-rayed multiple times during your journey. for example, when we went to Morocco for a film festival my photo films were x-rayed 7 TIMES total (for example two times at Helsinki airport when departing and all double checked and swab tested because my lens cleaning blowing bulb looked like a bottle in x-ray, didn't realise that at home so forgot to take it out of the bag. something to remember when travelling with photo gear, be extra sure there is nothing even remotely suspicious in your bag because they will double or triple x-ray it immediately with the films..  <_< ) 

 

If the material is very important I would buy the film locally and send it via courier to the lab so it never goes to passenger airliner during the trip. after it is developed you can use whichever shipping method you like.  


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#10 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 08:54 AM

That is not supposed how it should go. What you describe is sloppy security checking. Everything goes through an x-ray scanner when procedures are applied properly. Expecting to have a number of rather big super-8 boxes with sealed cartridges go outside any see-through is naïve.

 

I would direct your frustrations at Kodak, who were the ones that advised me on this in the first place. It has worked for me multiple times and in several airports around the world, US and EU included over a several year span. You have to be organized and take everything out beforehand. The film comes out, the rest goes, and they take it with them for hand-inspection which includes a check for traces of explosive etc.


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#11 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:08 PM

So prepping my next project will be my first film experience. What is the standard method for moving footage from location to lab, first class shipping? I'm mildly terrified to let the cans leave my possession considering there is no backup like I would have with digital.  And I am of course very nervous about sending it through the X-Ray even though it supposedly is fine, id hate for the exposure to be mucked up at all.  I know that very often with all my digital gear the TSA will swab the gear to check for chemical traces of explosives etc, like hard drives and cameras etc because there are so many cables and electronics.  I assume if they dont need to break open the hard drive they wouldnt need to open the film can.

Contrary to popular belief letters and parcels are NOT routinely x-ray-ed. I would also assume the gamma-ray-ing because bio-active risks has long been postponed. Only on suspicion of  contrabande parcels may be singled-out.


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#12 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:09 PM

 

I would direct your frustrations at Kodak, who were the ones that advised me on this in the first place. It has worked for me multiple times and in several airports around the world, US and EU included over a several year span. You have to be organized and take everything out beforehand. The film comes out, the rest goes, and they take it with them for hand-inspection which includes a check for traces of explosive etc.

Of course they take it with them to x-ray it elsewhere. They are not crazy.


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#13 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:11 PM

one thing to take into account is that you easily get the films x-rayed multiple times during your journey. for example, when we went to Morocco for a film festival my photo films were x-rayed 7 TIMES total (for example two times at Helsinki airport when departing and all double checked and swab tested because my lens cleaning blowing bulb looked like a bottle in x-ray, didn't realise that at home so forgot to take it out of the bag. something to remember when travelling with photo gear, be extra sure there is nothing even remotely suspicious in your bag because they will double or triple x-ray it immediately with the films..  <_< ) 

 

If the material is very important I would buy the film locally and send it via courier to the lab so it never goes to passenger airliner during the trip. after it is developed you can use whichever shipping method you like.  

Average people younger than 30 have no idea what photographic film is and how it is packed. If they jump up at a rubbery shadow of dustblower then what will happen when they see the row of shadows of the metal 135 cartridges?


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#14 Nick Collingwood

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:31 PM

Just to throw in my own 2 cents. I'm in the US and I've traveled with 35mm, Polaroid and Super 8 film, sometimes still in their original, unopened packages and I've asked for hand checks and they generally have no problem and they DO NOT X-Ray them, contrary to Andries comment. They just do the swap and overall check. Pretty quick and hardly delayed me anymore than TSA normally does.

 

With that said, I also had the experience in Morocco where they would not hand check my 35mm film and sent it through the scanner and luckily it was ok. The highest ISO film I had was Portra 400.

 

Kodak definitely does not recommend film going through any x-rays but especially checked bags. Carry-on bag scanning x-rays aren't great either but are much lower. http://www.motion.ko...ation/index.htm


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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:36 PM

For still photo film, I have used Domke Film Guard pouches: http://www.tiffen.co...itemnum=711-12B

It has worked well for me through carry-on x-ray machines even with Ilford 3200 and Cinestill 800T (Kodak 5219). I have done four passes on exposed and unexposed Cinestill before processing, no fogging.

For motion picture film, what Kenny says. The last time I travelled with 35mm raw stock, I was lucky enough to be traveling with a stewardess, so I just asked her to put it in her bag. Their bags do not have to go thru the x-ray machines. This obviously would only work with small amounts of film. Otherwise, just have your film shipped directly to location.
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#16 Doug Palmer

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 12:53 PM

Just to throw in my own 2 cents. I'm in the US and I've traveled with 35mm, Polaroid and Super 8 film, sometimes still in their original, unopened packages and I've asked for hand checks and they generally have no problem and they DO NOT X-Ray them, contrary to Andries comment. They just do the swap and overall check. Pretty quick and hardly delayed me anymore than TSA normally does.

 

With that said, I also had the experience in Morocco where they would not hand check my 35mm film and sent it through the scanner and luckily it was ok. The highest ISO film I had was Portra 400.

 

Kodak definitely does not recommend film going through any x-rays but especially checked bags. Carry-on bag scanning x-rays aren't great either but are much lower. http://www.motion.ko...ation/index.htm

Movie film of course is much more susceptible to damage than still film.  A very slight alteration in density may go unnoticed in a still image, but a row of movie iimages may show some fluctuation because the machine doesn't act equally.  I would be nervous letting a 400 iso film go through.


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#17 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 01:32 PM

For still photo film, I have used Domke Film Guard pouches: http://www.tiffen.co...itemnum=711-12B

It has worked well for me through carry-on x-ray machines even with Ilford 3200 and Cinestill 800T (Kodak 5219). I have done four passes on exposed and unexposed Cinestill before processing, no fogging.

For motion picture film, what Kenny says. The last time I travelled with 35mm raw stock, I was lucky enough to be traveling with a stewardess, so I just asked her to put it in her bag. Their bags do not have to go thru the x-ray machines. This obviously would only work with small amounts of film. Otherwise, just have your film shipped directly to location.

Well that behaviour of the stewardess is a breach of protocol and security.

The lead bags only give reason to turn up the heat. Don't expect that the will let such a dark shadow pass. Anything can and eventually will be in it.


Edited by Andries Molenaar, 01 July 2016 - 01:32 PM.

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#18 Marc Marti

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 04:49 PM

Some years ago, I travelled to Dublin with several single-8 cartridges of Velvia 50. 

First scan at the Spanish airport. No questions, OK.

When I was going back, at the Dublin airport, I asked for a hand inspection. No luck. They scanned my handbag with cameras and film. Then, they wanted me to get out my film equipment (including the cartridges) and put it in a tray to scan again.

I told them it was film and that it wasn't good for it. In bad manners, they did the scan again. Quite frustrating.

In the end, the rays didn't affected the film in any way.

 

Most of times, the security at airports is nicer and even proceed with a hand inspection, but after the Dublin experience I'm not afraid of X-Rays anymore...


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#19 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 05:49 PM

The lead bags only give reason to turn up the heat. Don't expect that the will let such a dark shadow pass. Anything can and eventually will be in it.


Um, no. I put the bag in its own bin and let the TSA agent know what is inside before sending it through the machines. They then do a hand inspection and swab if they are still suspicious. It's a relatively fast and simple procedure, they are completely reasonable when you behave respectfully and communicate effectively.
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#20 Heinrich Kronschläger

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:11 AM

One  month ago I traveled from Europe to Southamerica with 25 cartridges Velvia 50 and Velvia 100. I always asked for hand check and it always had been done. The carts were not x-ray-ed  elsewhere ! Otherwise, the films would had been sent 4 x through the scanner.

2 years ago I traveled to Myanmar. Hand luggage went all in all  8 x  through the X-ray machines. Handcheck of the cartridges ( Velvia ) was almost always possible ( even in Myanmar ),  except 1 x at the airport of Kuala Lumpur.


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