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

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koraks

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@Agulliver, exactly. Most people don't care, and security departments aren't likely to answer such questions in-depth for a variety of reasons.

As a traveler, there are two things to look out for (but usually you only know right before your stuff goes through the scanner):
1: The outward appearance of the scanner. An old-fashioned x-ray scanner will typically be a fairly thin-walled square box. The newer CT-scanners tend to have more a more streamlined design and if you look closely you can see that the housing can contain the torus-shaped CT device in the center. They tend to have more rounded corners or even have a semi-circular center section.
2: If the instructions to travelers still include that liquids and electronics devices (laptops etc) should be taken out of bags and passed separately through the scanner, then this is an indication that the older x-ray machines are used. Part of the reason why the newer CT scanners are used is that they do not require this separation of items since they are better able to reliably image the contents of luggage regardless of their physical makeup.

So in short: if you can leave everything inside your bags and the scanners look like they come from the iPad age, then you probably have CT scanner in front of you.
If you have to take your tablet, laptop and deodorant out of your bag and the scanner looks like something that was designed in the 1980s, it's probably an old-fashioned xray scanner.
 

AgX

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@Agulliver

As a traveler, there are two things to look out for ...:
1: The outward appearance of the scanner. An old-fashioned x-ray scanner will typically be a fairly thin-walled square box. The newer CT-scanners tend to have more a more streamlined design and if you look closely you can see that the housing can contain the torus-shaped CT device in the center. They tend to have more rounded corners or even have a semi-circular center section.

Concerning the outer shape, this is a misconception. Concerning those installed by now at passenger gates there is at least one model that does not look like this. (This by now is the 3rd time I hint at this.)

And concerning quite some baggage, parcels scanners in general I am not able to distinguish them just by photos in catalogs, I need the "CT" hint in their designation or respective information at the text.
 

koraks

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Concerning those installed by now at passenger gates there is at least one model that does not look like this.

From the list in #19 only the Smiths CTIX is a little harder to recognize, but even that has a clearly larger bulk in the center section that houses the torus device, setting it apart from the generally far less bulky xray scanners. Still, of course outward appearance is only an indication and in itself gives no guarantees as to the contents of the device. However, speaking of a misconception is not appropriate in my opinion. Then again, anyone is free to choose their own words.
 

AgX

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Misconception so far as that for an uninitiated (esp. under his restricted view) the scanners are basically to be distinguished by the characteristic look. In München for instance there was set up a CT scanner of "typical" spindle-look next to a CT one in box shape.



But as a proof here an assembly of scanners. Only one of them is a CT scanner. Koraks, I shall give you realistic 10sec to find out.
But I am sure you would no succeed in 10min without reading the text...

1656333764742.png
 

koraks

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an assembly of scanners

All from Smiths, including the top left CT scanner, which I noted in my post was the one brand on the list that I asserted was more of a box shape resembling the old-fashioned scanners.
Btw, the specific product you linked to seems to be primarily intended for use as a checked baggage scanner, not a carry-on scanner, given its integration into automated conveyer systems. So it's not the kind of scanner you'd expect to find in the public area of an airport terminal.
 

AgX

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-) the one CT scanner is not even that one used these days at passenger controls, which is even more box-like

-) that parcel or freight scanners look more box-like will not keep manufacturers from making passenger-control ones look the same

-) part of our shipped films will go through these freight scanners too. It thus is important to realize that they practically are not to be distinguished if one should gain a glance at such.
(And otherwise the scanner being of the stronger plain version would spoil film too...)



Well, I may be the game spoil here, but it seems to me with this scanners threads that quite some people linger for confirmations that things will not be as bad as excpected and that there will be workarounds as long as they are alert.
 

koraks

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part of our shipped films will go through these freight scanners too.

Yeah, but that transporting film in checked baggage is a very bad idea is not exactly a new thought. We've known that for years already.
And sure, CT scanners can be made to look box-like. But:
some people linger for confirmations that things will not be as bad as excpected

it's not clear to me how a box-like scanner ties into that.

My suggestion was that CT scanners can often be recognized. Sometimes they can't, depending on the brand of scanner and the acumen of the observer. In those cases, the instructions regarding liquids and electronics are additional indicators. None of those indicators are 100% fail-safe and in case of doubt, it's always a good idea to (1) ask for hand-inspection or (2) at least ask the operator what kind of machine they're running to make an on the spot risk assessment.

Nothing of the above changes anything about what I said earlier:
if you are traveling by air, you will have to be prepared to encounter CT scanners along the way, but there's no guarantee you will.
 

BAC1967

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I travel with ISO 100 or less film frequently and run it through the scanners Without problems. The only time I have run my film through one of the Smiths CT scanners was in the Phoenix, AZ airport, I didn’t notice what model it was until after I went through. The film was Ilford Pan-F+ 50, I couldn’t see any damage after I developed it, see below.

The only time I ever had a problem was with some Ektachrome E100D 8mm movie film. It was scanned several times in normal X-Ray machines and showed some damage while viewing. I think it was an older X-Ray at the Empire State building that did the damage but I can’t prove that.

Saguaro Cactus by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr

Saguaro Silhouette by Bryan Chernick, on Flickr
 

AgX

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Yeah, but that transporting film in checked baggage is a very bad idea is not exactly a new thought. We've known that for years already.
And sure, CT scanners can be made to look box-like.

Again you did not get my point...

You quote me on "shipped film" but refer yourself "to checked luggage", blaming me on the latter.

Both are two completely different transporting ways. At least at first sight... And that is why shipping film is again and again advised as safe alternative to taking film with at travel.
But there is a risk of shipped film to be scanned too. I as often as that shipping idea came up I hinted at this. Seemingly only few listened.

The risk is is hard to evaluate as we cannot predict the exact transport of a parcel (and for safety reasons likely never will), but it is still there and seemingly highest in Germany.
 

Sirius Glass

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Misconception so far as that for an uninitiated (esp. under his restricted view) the scanners are basically to be distinguished by the characteristic look. In München for instance there was set up a CT scanner of "typical" spindle-look next to a CT one in box shape.



But as a proof here an assembly of scanners. Only one of them is a CT scanner. Koraks, I shall give you realistic 10sec to find out.
But I am sure you would no succeed in 10min without reading the text...

View attachment 309173

That is what I noticed. One has to ask and then if in the EU the response may well be less than polite.
 

Paul Verizzo

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Get a lead bag. I have a large one that a buddy who was a courier in the movie business gave me decades ago. Even in the 1980's they weren't going to take chances.

Did a hell of a lot of "hand check, please," back in those days.
 

AgX

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That is what I noticed. One has to ask and then if in the EU the response may well be less than polite.

My impression, based on Apug reports, was so far that hand inspection was non-existent in the EU. But from recent reports here I learned that meanwhile this exists, be it occasionally. And at bavarian airports you even got a right on this, stated by the respective authority*. Whether this got through to the very person in charge and is fulfilled may be a different story.



*This only applies on security checks. At these the basic idea is to exclude certain compounds.
This does not apply on customs control. Here the idea is just to know what is inside...

Yet another can of worms opened...
 
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Sirius Glass

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My impression, based on Apug reports, was so far that hand inspection was non-existent in the EU. But from recent reports here I learned that meanwhile this exists, be it occasionally. And at bavarian airports you even got a right on this, stated by the respective authority*. Whether this got through to the very person in charge and is fulfilled may be a different story.



*This only applies on security checks. At these the basic idea is to exclude certain compounds.
This does not apply on customs control. Here the idea is just to know what is inside...

Yet another can of worms opened...

In France it varied from down right rude "How dare you ask!?! to out right hostile [read: verbally threatened]
 

BAC1967

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Get a lead bag. I have a large one that a buddy who was a courier in the movie business gave me decades ago. Even in the 1980's they weren't going to take chances.

Did a hell of a lot of "hand check, please," back in those days.
They won't be able to see what's in it so they will have you remove the film from the bag and re-scan it or they will do a hand inspection.
 

MattKing

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They won't be able to see what's in it so they will have you remove the film from the bag and re-scan it or they will do a hand inspection.

Or they will move it over to the CT scanner, because that technology is like the baggage scanners - more power.
 

Sirius Glass

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Or they will move it over to the CT scanner, because that technology is like the baggage scanners - more power.

And that is what happened to me in France.
 

Ernst-Jan

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My impression, based on Apug reports, was so far that hand inspection was non-existent in the EU. But from recent reports here I learned that meanwhile this exists, be it occasionally. And at bavarian airports you even got a right on this, stated by the respective authority*. Whether this got through to the very person in charge and is fulfilled may be a different story.
Flew two times tis year from Schiphol, both times they did an hand check after I asked for it.
 

Agulliver

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Ok, gotcha, I agree on that. The mystery that still remains unsolved is how smaller retailers have their film shipped, apparently safely.

As far as I am aware, nobody in the world has ever had an issue with film being shipped/mailed. Unless the good citizens of Photrio have a horror story there too?

Looks like I am travelling to the USA (Moderator's deletion of political reference here) in October so I'll have a report then. Will likely be using at least two US airports in addition to LHR.
 
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GregY

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I just returned from a month in Europe. I took film. (Calgary International still has old-school scanners) & I had it hand checked in Calgary. I also bought more film in Paris. I travelled through the Alps in France, Dolomites in Italy and then Austria, Switzerland and back to Paris. I had my film processed by Atelier Publimod in Paris. Great people, great location and i got very nice clean negatives (they process in Bergger developer). On the last day i brought back one roll exposed and one unexposed. The scanners at CDG are old style. Last friday Sept 17 was nightmarish for most in the airport as thousands of flights were cancelled due to the air traffic controllers' strike. I flew Westjet Direct from CDG to Calgary and we got out with just a two hour delay. Due to conditions at the airport that day, there's no way i could have gotten the film hand checked. The two rolls i processed came out fine. I may just mail the film home next time as i do prefer to process my film in Pyrocat HD. Nonetheless, i have a list of pro labs in Europe in major cities and i wouldn't risk film w the new scanners.
 

wiltw

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@Agulliver, exactly. Most people don't care, and security departments aren't likely to answer such questions in-depth for a variety of reasons.

As a traveler, there are two things to look out for (but usually you only know right before your stuff goes through the scanner):
1: The outward appearance of the scanner. An old-fashioned x-ray scanner will typically be a fairly thin-walled square box. The newer CT-scanners tend to have more a more streamlined design and if you look closely you can see that the housing can contain the torus-shaped CT device in the center. They tend to have more rounded corners or even have a semi-circular center section.
2: If the instructions to travelers still include that liquids and electronics devices (laptops etc) should be taken out of bags and passed separately through the scanner, then this is an indication that the older x-ray machines are used. Part of the reason why the newer CT scanners are used is that they do not require this separation of items since they are better able to reliably image the contents of luggage regardless of their physical makeup.

So in short: if you can leave everything inside your bags and the scanners look like they come from the iPad age, then you probably have CT scanner in front of you.
If you have to take your tablet, laptop and deodorant out of your bag and the scanner looks like something that was designed in the 1980s, it's probably an old-fashioned xray scanner.
Unfortunately, as this photo from
https://www.idsscorp.net/en/news/20...administration-tsa-apss-level-1-certification
shows, this CT scanner clearly does NOT much different from what we are accustomed to seeing in X-ray machine at gate Security

CT_scanner.jpg


And a different CT scanner which does not have much difference in appearance from classic X-ray

CT_scanner2.jpg


Astute readers will note the NEITHER of the above machines are from Smiths !!! So there are three brands, if not more, that do not bigger and not a small boxy outer shape.
 
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wiltw

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wiltw

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I do think they look different, sorry.

Frankly, based upon the appearance of the Analogic, that was my impression for a long time, too! But then I did more photo searching and discovered otherwise.
 

koraks

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Well, the examples you posted are quite clearly recognizable, that's what I meant. There were more doubtful examples discussed earlier on, a few months ago.
 
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