Airport X-ray film question

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Christopher Bogart, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. I know there are issues with film being scanned through the checked baggage
    X-ray machine.

    And I've heard instances of asking for hand checked screening of film if
    it's in your carry-on luggage.

    I'm wondering if film would be damaged if it undeveloped and still in your
    camera? (ie: take a few shots at home, then travel and complete the roll and
    get it developed at your destination)

    Christopher Bogart, Sep 19, 2004
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  2. No, not if the film is 800 ISO and below. You probably can go through a
    half dozen inspections with the types of x-ray machines used to inspect
    carryon bags without any visible problems in the resulting prints or
    slides. The slower the film speed, the lower the effect on the film.
    James Robinson, Sep 19, 2004
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  3. And this includes pictures already taken, but the roll is not fully used?
    Christopher Bogart, Sep 19, 2004
  4. Yes.
    James Robinson, Sep 19, 2004
  5. Yes, and you might note that file exposed and not processed is more
    sensitive than un-exposed film.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 19, 2004
  6. Christopher Bogart

    ThomasH Guest

    It always depends on the number of airports which you cross!
    I prefer to carry a few rolls of 1600 and let it all hand inspect.

    However, on our way back from Europe I forgot a roll of
    400 Sensia in my body and it got twice checked in Amsterdam.

    I see no damage of nay kind, as I can see. With my eye
    I cannot see any difference in saturation or contrast.

    ThomasH, Sep 19, 2004
  7. Christopher Bogart

    Alan Browne Guest

    Film you bring on board (in bag or camera) will get less of a
    dose than film might get in checked luggage. For "low speed"
    films (say up to ISO 800) there is very little risk even if you
    go through a half dozen x-rays along the trip.

    Google away on this subject. It has been discussed at length.
    Look up, also, a study done at Heathrow airport (applies to their
    equipment, of course) but shows you have to run film through a
    machine many, many times before fogging occurs.

    Alan Browne, Sep 19, 2004
  8. You may want to consider that long flights expose the film to more
    potential fogging during the flight than the gate security machines.
    Joseph Meehan, Sep 19, 2004
  9. Christopher Bogart

    Bandicoot Guest

    Of course, that study _only_ looked for fogging, not loss of contrast
    which will happen a very long time before fogging does. The study was,
    after all, organised by the airport...

    All the same, I've stopped worrying much about single passes for low speed
    film. I strenuously avoid multiple passes though.

    Bandicoot, Sep 20, 2004
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