B&W film, ISO and airport x-ray scanners

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Alex Benjamin

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Simple follow-up question to the Current experience with X-ray scanners thread, as I'm about to travel to Europe with a bunch of B&W film. I've read somewhere—cannot for the life of me find the reference—that lower ISO films (20 to 100) are less sensitive to the x-ray scan and therefore not as susceptible to getting fogged.

Anybody has viable and verified info on that?
 

GregY

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Alex, Many airports have the new CT scanners. Travelling internationally from Calgary, the scanners are the old X-Ray scanners. I travelled to Seattle at the end of February. On the return trip, Seattle had both X-Ray & CT and the officer in charge of the lines told anyone with film to take the lineup to the XRay machine. I'm also travelling to Europe this summer. I'll take some film with me, as I don't expect YYC to have a scanner change soon, and I'm pretty sure i can get the film hand checked. I'll be buying more film in Paris and (for the first time ever) having my film processed in Paris at the end of my trip. Pro photographers I know who shoot film are following the same kind of practice.
In the past it was said that 400 speed films or lower could be safely X-rayed...... this is not the case with the new CT scanners.
 

pentaxuser

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In the past it was said that 400 speed films or lower could be safely X-rayed...... this is not the case with the new CT scanners.
Well while one or even two swallows do not make a summer( is that a N American expression as well ? ) I have picked up evidence on another site called FADU that suggests that both colour and b&w film passing through airports in the U.K. and Europe might not be affected noticeably by what my research says are the latest CT scanners

This may be of no interest if your travel is N America only but now that there are 2 members on FADU reporting no damage to film from 4 separate major U.K and European airports, I am beginning to wonder if the damage may not be bad enough to amount to noticeable damage

Once again my report of my findings were howled down as being unreliable so I have tended to withdraw from the other major very long thread on the new CT scanners.

If what I have said here is dismissed totally by the same group then OK I'll cease to report any other members finding from FADU

pentaxuser
 

MattKing

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Eastman Kodak has had examples of real problems with CT scanner damage to film transported internationally to movie shoots.
 

Andrew O'Neill

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Well while one or even two swallows do not make a summer( is that a N American expression as well ? ) I have picked up evidence on another site called FADU that suggests that both colour and b&w film passing through airports in the U.K. and Europe might not be affected noticeably by what my research says are the latest CT scanners

This may be of no interest if your travel is N America only but now that there are 2 members on FADU reporting no damage to film from 4 separate major U.K and European airports, I am beginning to wonder if the damage may not be bad enough to amount to noticeable damage

Once again my report of my findings were howled down as being unreliable so I have tended to withdraw from the other major very long thread on the new CT scanners.

If what I have said here is dismissed totally by the same group then OK I'll cease to report any other members finding from FADU

pentaxuser

the one swallow saying originated with Aristotle. Pretty sure he never made it to Canada... 😁
 

Craig

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I can only give anacodatal experience of traveling from Calgary to LHR. I carried both Acros and Delta 400 and I noticed no additional base fog or other defects related to X ray/scanner damage.

I did buy most of my film for the trip in London so it was only scanned once coming home at Heathrow.
 

GregY

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I can only give anacodatal experience of traveling from Calgary to LHR. I carried both Acros and Delta 400 and I noticed no additional base fog or other defects related to X ray/scanner damage.

I did buy most of my film for the trip in London so it was only scanned once coming home at Heathrow.

Was it X-Ray or CT scan?
 

GregY

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Well while one or even two swallows do not make a summer( is that a N American expression as well ? ) I have picked up evidence on another site called FADU that suggests that both colour and b&w film passing through airports in the U.K. and Europe might not be affected noticeably by what my research says are the latest CT scanners

This may be of no interest if your travel is N America only but now that there are 2 members on FADU reporting no damage to film from 4 separate major U.K and European airports, I am beginning to wonder if the damage may not be bad enough to amount to noticeable damage

Once again my report of my findings were howled down as being unreliable so I have tended to withdraw from the other major very long thread on the new CT scanners.

If what I have said here is dismissed totally by the same group then OK I'll cease to report any other members finding from FADU

pentaxuser

Pentaxuser. I'm not willing to risk a month's work to find out. I'll be following my colleague's advice and having my film processed in Paris before flying home.
 

mooseontheloose

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Ernst-Jan

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Many airports have the new CT scanners.
Some smaller ones in Europe don't have. My experience this year: departure from Schiphol (Amsterdam), it is no problem to get a hand check.
In Pisa and Venice (Treviso) the machines were of an older type and had stickers on the "film safe".
My film went through it and it looked normal.
 

mooseontheloose

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Some smaller ones in Europe don't have. My experience this year: departure from Schiphol (Amsterdam), it is no problem to get a hand check.
In Pisa and Venice (Treviso) the machines were of an older type and had stickers on the "film safe".
My film went through it and it looked normal.

That's good to know! When did you last fly, using those airports?
 
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Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin

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Off topic, but in Dutch it is. Litteraly.

Slightly modified to "Une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps" in French. Don't know why it got changed from summer to spring, but to me it somehow makes more sense.
 

Agulliver

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I know Heathrow was introducing the new CT scanners, but having not been there personally in years I don't know if they have replaced them all or if some are still the older standard X-ray scanners.

Do bear in mind in the UK that the Department for Transport has instructed all civil airports to action requests for hand inspection of photographic film.

Kodak and Ilford reckon that film will (or is highly likely) to be damaged in CT machines. The results would not be uniform fogging but would be patterns, lines, squiggles. What we don't know is if those CT scanners are also able to do regular X-ray scans and if the CT function is only invoked when the staff are wanting a better look at what's in a bag. It's also possible to "get away with it".

Film speed *is* important, but due to the nature of the CT scanners, one can no longer simply say that lower speed film won't show any effects. Lower speed film will show less serious effects.
 
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Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin

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I know Heathrow was introducing the new CT scanners, but having not been there personally in years I don't know if they have replaced them all or if some are still the older standard X-ray scanners.

Do bear in mind in the UK that the Department for Transport has instructed all civil airports to action requests for hand inspection of photographic film.

Kodak and Ilford reckon that film will (or is highly likely) to be damaged in CT machines. The results would not be uniform fogging but would be patterns, lines, squiggles. What we don't know is if those CT scanners are also able to do regular X-ray scans and if the CT function is only invoked when the staff are wanting a better look at what's in a bag. It's also possible to "get away with it".

Film speed *is* important, but due to the nature of the CT scanners, one can no longer simply say that lower speed film won't show any effects. Lower speed film will show less serious effects.

Thanks for the detailed info, Agulliver.
 
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Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin

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Did find this on Ilford's FAQ Page. Don't know when it was last updated.

ADVICE FOR AIRPORT X-RAY SCANNERS: FILM & PAPERS

We are working with the DFT and Heathrow airport in the UK and will shortly be updating our information relating to the new CT type x-ray scanners being installed at major airports worldwide.

Based on our initial testing it is almost certain the new CT type x-ray scanners for cabin baggage will be deemed unsafe for any of our ILFORD and KENTMERE film products irrespective of ISO speed rating.

You must therefore ask for hand inspection of your films if the airport is using one of the new type scanners. We will be issuing more specific advice as we complete our testing and evaluation.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE CT TYPE X-RAY SCANNERS​

The following machines are currently on the market;

  • Smiths – CTIX
  • L3 – Clearscan
  • Rapiscan - 920CT / Connect CT
  • IDSS - Detect 1000
  • Nuctech - Kylin
  • Analogic Cobra

FOR AIRPORTS WITHOUT THE NEW MACHINES, THE FOLLOWING ADVICE IS STILL RELEVANT.​

If you need to travel on aircraft with film, we recommend always taking your film in carry on cabin luggage. The X-ray scanners used to check hand luggage are safe for all but the highest speed films, so except for DELTA PROFESSIONAL 3200, this is our recommendation. It is also possible to request a hand inspection for films and most security staff will allow this (although this varies between airports and countries). For DELTA 3200 you should request a hand inspection or alternatively buy the film at your destination.

Please Note: We do not recommend taking any film in your checked hold luggage, the X-ray machines used for scanning hold luggage are more powerful than the hand luggage scanners and may cause fogging of your films.


@mooseontheloose : the list of CT Type X-Ray scanners might be relevant info on your sticky page.
 

pentaxuser

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Pentaxuser. I'm not willing to risk a month's work to find out. I'll be following my colleague's advice and having my film processed in Paris before flying home.

Fine and my posts on CT scanners were never intended to dissuade anyone from so doing. All I am trying to do is build up evidence in either direction as to the damage or more probably the extent of damage that CT scanners at various airports may be doing

So far one member from another site has reported no perceptible damage to an Ilford SFX film that passed through Berlin scanners twice and twice through Edinburgh scanners

I can report that another member reports no damage that he can see from C41 film that passed through Manchester and was developed at a min-lab

All I was able to do was to check various sources to try and ascertain if all of the above airports mentioned are using CT scanners and the best I could manage was some evidence that certainly Edinburgh seems to be using CT scanners. In the case of Manchester I asked whether there was any signage to indicate danger to film and the member said none that he could see but it seems strange that in probably the major airport in England outside of Heathrow there would be no signage of danger but equally strange if CT scanners aren't in use there

I had thought that getting a straight answer on whether CT scanners were in use at the above-named airports would be simple but seeming not so

Sp please anyone here using any U.K. or European airport who chooses to risk passing their film thought the scanners, please report your findings or at least ask the security on the scanners if they are CT ones and what they know of the risk to film


All we can do is build up evidence as reliably as possible about the effect of these scanners

Thanks

pentaxuser
 

Agulliver

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For the record, here is the communication I received from the UK DfT last year when I raised this with them.

DfT.jpg
 

Sirius Glass

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