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Photo film through security

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Well-known member
Feb 20, 2002
My dad just got back from Hawaii and alot of his pictures that he took are blurry. He forgot to take the film out before screening the baggage through security (like he had a choice or something). Will the X-rays of the machine blurr the film? Has anyone experienced this, and if so, what was the result of your film?
What I have been told

I have asked about this at several airports because I often carry film in my bags. SUPPOSEDLY if you put it through the x-ray at the gate screening area (carry ons) it will not affect it unless it is 1000 speed or higher. I may be a little worried if it is 800 speed (the new kodak "max" film). They said it is definitely a problem if your bag is selected to go through the special screening x-ray(checked bags). This is the big new machine that throws your bag about 10 feet when it comes out. The ticket agent is supposed to ask if you have any film in your checked bag before they take it to the special screening machine. I have never had any problems, but I only use 100 or 200 speed film. Thats about all I know about that....
i agree with what sewertube said above about film speeds and what not. the higher the speed, the more likely fogging will occur.

some solutions if you're worried about it...

1) buy a lead lined film bag. they'll make you pull it out after it goes thru, but then it's just a hand search. also, most of those bags can't take a huge amount of rolls, and they are $pendy.

2) put all your film in fuji cases (clear), and then in a ziplock. they'll be more inclined to pass it around the machine if they can see everything.

oh yeah...
3) buy a digital camera.

-sr :cool:

If the photos are blurry, it is more likely a result of not being focused, or the camera moving slightly when the photo is taken.

It's not true that only 1000 speed film or greater is affected by X-rays. All film is affected by X-rays. Higher speeds (more sensitive) films will be affected more, but they're all damaged to some degree. When they tell you that the machines only affect 1000 speed or greater, what they are really are telling you is that for slower films, the average amatuer photographer probably won't notice the damage done by going through an X-ray machine a couple of times. 400 speed film which is passed through an x-ray machine 3 times will be affected more than 1000 speed film that goes through once.

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Thanks for your input, everyone. I know that his film was 200 speed. He said something about having a good pic or three and then four or five bad ones. Whatever......Just thought I'd pick your brains....Thanks!
Before 9/11 the security had a requirment that said that they must provide when asked a hand check if film. I think that is still in effect but I am not too sure about that.
If you take a camera or film in your carry-on luggage, you can request a physical inspection of it at the screening checkpoint. You'll have to take it through the metal detector with you, and then you'll alarm and have to be hand wanded. After they inspect you camera, they will probably run the trace detector over it to detect explosive type chemicals. This won't hurt the camera or film.
Like was stated earlier, the machines that x-ray checked baggage will damage film, remove it before they run your bag.
I always have a disposable camera in my flight case. I have had one just incase you see something that is just too cool not to get on film. You know, when you are doing a close parallel with a 747 *SMILE*. Anyway. point being that that camera passes throught the x-ray about 5 times a week. All in all about 100 times before I get it developed and I always get clear pics!!


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