Re: Fogged film from airport Xrays

From: Sam Wells (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 09:33:11 PST

Checking in luggage is indeed the worst thing you can do.

Xray damage is cumulative, so all those points......

I've gone through one x-ray scanner on the carry on with those same
stocks FWIW & didn't seem to have hurt (hard to be sure, I shot in
hard-to-avoid humidity & can see a little more grain etc than normal...)

But a hand inspection is the only safe way. With 100' rolls be
prepared to have the end exposed. Carry a changing bag anyway.
Arrive early, be _very_ polite.

They will always tell you the machines are "film safe" -- they do not
seem to understand, as I said, that the damage is cumulative. Nor do
they understand that - in motion pictures film even tiny fogging is
exacerbated by the frame differential nature of it.

In your case I would have suggested processing in Mexico City (if not
Havana) on a stopover. Even if it meant scheduling your trip that way.
Not to mention buying it in Mexico if possible.

I haven't done air travel recently, I'm sure the situation is worse

>> I recently bought a film xray safe bag from b&h which seemed to
>> is
>> meant for still photo so didn't hold much film but was easy to
>> pack in my
>> carry on luggage & opens via velcro which I thought would be handy
>> in case
>> inspectors needed to look thru it. (nobody did!)

You're lucky, that's usually an invitation to attention from the


On Feb 6, 2007, at 11:07 AM, DOMINIC ANGERAME wrote:

> My question is does anyone on the list know of a safe
> way to travel with unexposed 16mm film internationally
> in these days of heightened security. Checking the
> footage in luggage only makes it worse. I discovered
> that when I was in Korea last year.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.