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Airline travel with film

Each time I have traveled with film I have requested had searches at security checkpoints without incident. I am traveling again in February and I am wondering if this is really necessary. Most of my film is below 400iso although there will be some 3200. I keep getting conflicting reports on web searches. What experiences have you had with film that has run through regular airport checkpoint scanners? Should i continue to request had searches or simply not fret? Kenyatta airport in Nairobi had three checks before getting on the plane!

by Christopher Scrivens at 2013-01-05 00:00:03 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Three checks is abit over the top! But then given the current situation in Kenya, with bombs going off when you least expect it, I guess its permissible.

The most I have experienced is 2 at Julius Nyerere (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda).

It would definitely be good to hear others’ experiences especially with exposure to airport scanners.

by Moses Bert Mabonga | 05 Jan 2013 09:01 | Kampala, Uganda | | Report spam→
I always travel with my films stored in Rowi x-ray protection bags (120, 400 asa bw +slides) and never had any film damaged. I also "tested"a film of Portra 120 (400 asa) keeping it outside the protection bags during all my trips for 4 years. It passed many airport scanners and also those old type scanners you can find in India at the entrance of temples. The same film was also scanned in my camera bag in Katmandu airport were they have a huge old fashioned scanner (they scan the large luggages of trekkers -tents,camping stuff,kajaks, etc).
I recently expose the film and had great results, no light leaks or other visible damages…

by Federico Caponi | 05 Jan 2013 10:01 | Warszawa, Poland | | Report spam→
Hi Christopher,
I recently travelled with both 400 and 3200 form London to Jakarta and with some of the same film from London to Cairo, must have been through about 15 scanners with no ill effects. I have all but given up asking for hand searches at airports but will never put film through hotel or tourist site security scanners as these have caused problems in the past.

by Walter Rothwell | 05 Jan 2013 10:01 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

by DPC | 05 Jan 2013 13:01 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
What is this thing “film”? Airlines I know about but film?

by Barry Milyovsky | 05 Jan 2013 19:01 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Christopher, I might have some film bags you could borrow, if you want, since you seem to be close by (if you’re in Chester at the moment). Look me up and send me an email, if you wish.

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 06 Jan 2013 16:01 | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
A number of you have mentioned film bags, but if I have a film bag in my carry luggage, won’t it show up on the security scanner and trigger a bag search anyway? If so, I might as well just carry the film in a clear plastic bag and ask for the search.

by Christopher Scrivens | 06 Jan 2013 19:01 | New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
Yes, the x-ray proof film bag will trigger a hand search/visual inspection – asking for a visual inspection will often trigger an argument with TSA.

so fastest approach, in my experience: film in clear plastic bag, inside lead-lined x-ray bag. TSA sees the blacked-out area in their x-ray monitor, then tells you that they’ll have to perform a visual inspection. pulls out clear plastic bag, does the swab test, on you go.

Of late, I come across TSA employees who are totally confused by the black out, since film is so rare that they’ve probably never seen an X-ray bag.

by teru kuwayama | 07 Jan 2013 02:01 | Pescadero, California, United States | | Report spam→
also, fyi, in two decades of putting bags of film through X-ray machines (repeatedly) around the world, with lead bags, and without, 3200ASA, DHL, FedEx – never had any problems with film being damaged by X-ray.

by teru kuwayama | 07 Jan 2013 02:01 | Pescadero, California, United States | | Report spam→
Out of interest, does anyone know what, if any, x-rays stuff shipped via DHL or UPS etc is subjected to?

by DPC | 07 Jan 2013 13:01 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
don’t know for sure, but I’ve sent film by DHL from Kandahar Air Field to the US, and assume its gone through multiple high dose X-ray. no problems observed.

also, it appears we’ve all had this conversation before:


by teru kuwayama | 11 Jan 2013 07:01 | Palo Alto, California, United States | | Report spam→

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Christopher Scrivens, Pastor, Missionary Christopher Scrivens
Pastor, Missionary
(Rank Amateur)
Chester, Nj , United States
Moses Bert Mabonga, Fixer Moses Bert Mabonga
Kampala , Uganda ( EBB )
Federico Caponi, Photographer Federico Caponi
Warsaw , Poland
Walter Rothwell, Photographer Walter Rothwell
London , United Kingdom
DPC, Photographer DPC
Paris , France
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
John Louis Lassen Perry, Photoanthropologist John Louis Lassen Perry
Califon, New Jersey , United States
teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States


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