flying with rb67

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nwilkins

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hello everyone,

have many people here flown much with an RB67? My concern is the film and x-raying of said film. Have you been able to convince security to manually check loaded film backs? or do you unload the film backs before you go to the airport? seems like it could be a big waste of film if travelling with 2-3 backs. I guess I could let the ISO 100 stuff just go through the machine, and just worry about the 400?
 

TheFlyingCamera

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First, do a search on the forum about travel with film; this subject has been beaten to death a hundred times over. The short answer is any film rated at 800 or slower can go through the carry-on xray machines more than once with no harm. What's the threshold for harm accruing? Not sure, but it is more than 6, from my experience, as on my trip to Cambodia I had film go through the carry-on scanner in Amsterdam, Singapore, Cambodia (x2), Singapore, Amsterdam, and New York with no harm, even to the Kodak HIE Infrared film I was shooting. Checked luggage is a different story altogether - first off, you should never check your camera gear unless you have insurance and are not depending on it for your livelihood or enjoyment at your destination (valuable stuff goes missing from checked bags all the time). Second, the scanners they use to examine checked bags are much more powerful and WILL damage film regardless of speed. While it is possible your checked bag will not be selected for scanning, it's not a gamble you should take.
 
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nwilkins

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thanks yeah I already know all of that and have travelled with 35mm film lots of times - as I understand it 800 film will get damaged so 400 speed will be damaged if it gets xrayed twice, 100 speed will be damaged if it goes through 8 times etc.

All I really want to know is about the RB67 and whether anyone has managed to get the film backs manually checked. Unlike a 35mm camera you can't just rewind the film back into the canister (leaving the leader out) and then re load it later.
 

wy2l

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I've flown with a (Pentax 67+two lenses) + (Nikon FM3A+two lenses) + film + tripod. All this, and more, fit into a camera bag that fit into the overhead storage of the airplane.

For slow film, ASA 100 or so, multiple trips through the X ray machine have been no problem.

Last time I asked for a hand check - several years ago - TSA just insisted on the X-Ray machine. And I do mean they insisted.
 

BrianShaw

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I stopped worrying about xray scan of cameras and film years ago. Never had a problem before and neverhad a problem since. But I never shoot fast film so...

Interestingly, once I put my Hassy kit through the machine at a smaller airport and two TSA guys hunkered over their display whispering to each other, then asked me if I'd mind if they hand inspected the camera. I said OK and they very quickly admited that they were really more curious about what camera system it was. One TSA guy thought it was a Mamiya 645 but the other thought it was a Hassy.
 

David Brown

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thanks yeah I already know all of that and have travelled with 35mm film lots of times - as I understand it 800 film will get damaged so 400 speed will be damaged if it gets xrayed twice, 100 speed will be damaged if it goes through 8 times etc.

You have been misinformed. See earlier posts, et al.

All I really want to know is about the RB67 and whether anyone has managed to get the film backs manually checked. Unlike a 35mm camera you can't just rewind the film back into the canister (leaving the leader out) and then re load it later.

It doesn't matter about the camera. Why would it matter whether it was 35mm film in the cassette, or 120 film in a metal film back? If you are still truly concerned, just leave the backs unloaded. Film is not that expensive.
 

TareqPhoto

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Strange, i can only worry about film but i did carry film with me when i went back home from my vacation in NYC [Bought loads of film from NYC], and i tested some of them without issues except the first ever film i use which i cooked it due to heat in the car, i left the film in the car during the summer without storing it in the fridge after it was exposed, but later then i didn't have any issue yet.

About gear, i don't know why i should worry about x-ray on my gear? If you expose my gear to very strong sun then why it will be any hard with that checking machines then? Anyway, maybe there is a limit where i should also worry exposing my gear to those checking machine, if you know the reasons please tell me.
 
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nwilkins

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It doesn't matter about the camera. Why would it matter whether it was 35mm film in the cassette, or 120 film in a metal film back? If you are still truly concerned, just leave the backs unloaded. Film is not that expensive.

because the 35mm film in the cassette is out of the camera and being hand checked.
 
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nwilkins

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You have been misinformed. See earlier posts, et al.

according to Kodak the effects of X-rays on their films are cumulative. So although there is no guarantee that they'll be ruined after a specified number of checks, I'd rather play it safe than base my opinions on anecdotal evidence from earlier threads. If you do have evidence that this is no longer the case though I would be very interested to hear about it - it would make travelling a lot more worry free. I am often on trips that require more than one flight (and hence more than once x-raying) per day. So we are talking about lots and lots of scans. Also as a result it is not a great option to just shoot one or two frames per roll and then unload it.
 

BrianShaw

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I think what David Brown is really intending you to know is that the maximum exposure times that you stated are extremely conservative... more conservative than any of the research data ever measured.

For 800 color neg the banding (visual effect of xray on film) wasn't evident until 10 to 25 passes through a carryon baggage scanner, with no significant effects below 10 passes. 400 color neg was about 25 to 50 passes, with no significant effects below 25. All of this is on the average, of course, but vastly different from what you were told. Maybe you were thinking of 3200 speed, whcih was affected with 1 to 5 passes.
 
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mesantacruz

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Try to shoot all the film before going to the airport, and put the film in a different bag/ or pouch. I recommend three big ziploc bags, one for exposed, the other for unexposed in the third. when you get to the machine, take both bags out and ask them to check it manually. IF, they insist on the x-ray machine (they shouldn't), just insist otherwise. They are understanding (most of the time), and as long as your nice you shouldn't have any trouble.

If you must leave it in the film back, make it easy for them, such as handing it to them personally...

Think though, you DON'T want to be the guy handing ten things to TSA be inspected manually.

Another route is getting your carry-on checked manually. They'll swab every piece of equipment you're carrying and take 10-15 minutes making sure they don't find any sort of residue (drug/bomb).
Last year, i took my rb and tripod on carry-on, and they pulled me aside, i had no trouble and they did the steps above... TSA Guy asked why not put it in luggage in a pelican(which i do have), but i told him i didn't want to... I have no trouble carrying my crap on board (where i know it won't get damaged/lost, i'd rather lose my clothes), and if they want to check everything that's fine by me.
 

TheFlyingCamera

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As to 800 speed film, I took two pro-packs of 800 speed 120 with me to France and it went through the metal detector both going to and returning from France, as well as at the Louvre and at Versailles. No negative effects. And frankly, your film gets exposed to far more radiation at much higher intensity while in the plane than it does going through the xray machine at the airport.
If you are concerned about film being exposed because the security people might want to open the film back and inspect it, well, I've never had that happen although it is entirely possible. If you are concerned about it, then finish the roll before getting on the plane - it's only 10 shots to a roll with an RB/RZ anyway, so it's not like you have to waste 20+ frames to get to the end.
 

edcculus

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I'd venture to say a TSA agent won't even KNOW that the film back on a RB67 will even open at all. If youre worried, have them check the fully assembled camera. You don't HAVE to tell them its film do you? For all they know, it looks like a movie camera. Not saying you have to lie to TSA, just don't tell them that the film back opens up and they might want to open it to make sure you didn't plant a bomb in it. If youre that worried, just make sure not to travel with film loaded. Shouldn't be too hard since you only get 10 frames from a 120 roll anyways.
 

TomWB

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Leave the film backs unloaded as others have said, make it easier on everyone, including yourself. I've never been refused a hand inspection on my gallon zip loc bag of film. Bottom line is I don't want fellow passengers on my flight that TSA doesn't know what's inside that little metal box...either xray or removing the dark slide.
 

j-dogg

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I flew with a Mamiya 645 1000s in April and got a handcheck on my entire photographic outfit, I was able to get the important stuff in a hardcase that fit in an overhead and had everything handchecked. TSA did not make me open the back, I explained to them that it was loaded and if I open it the pack would be wasted, they were actually really cool about it and one of the TSA agents was intrigued that someone was still shooting film, MF at that.
 
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nwilkins

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okay thanks everyone. my numbers may be outdated. I remember some kodak literature and also TSA/FAA documents which recommended definitely no more than 5 times. In any event I may be in danger of 25 scans in a single trip. And if I am carrying Tri-X which I intend to push/rate at 1250 or 1600 then that definitely should be handchecked for safety.

In any event it seems my original question has been answered - looks unlikely I will get a handcheck of a loaded film back so I will just have to work around that.

Cheers for all the input.
 

cdavis32

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Be careful about letting loaded film backs go through the machine without a lead bag. It's the only time I've seen any effects of X-ray. I fly a lot and my standard is to ask for a hand inspection, even in foreign airports. Usually they will do it for you, and if not, I put it through in a big, heavy lead bag that they can never see through, so they have to do a hand inspection. The lead bag is important because it helps protect the film from radiation while in the air(if you're flying more than 20-25k).
 

mgb74

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Notwithstanding j-dogg's experience, I would not assume that you could have the camera hand inspected without opening the back. Think about it, you're handing a relatively large metal object to the TSA agent and essentially saying "don't look inside or xray, but trust me".

You might get away with it (as j-dogg did) as result of the inspector's knowledge of cameras (real or not). Or of their ignorance in thinking that operating the camera body says something about the contents of the back. But I wouldn't count on it.
 

BrianShaw

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okay thanks everyone. my numbers may be outdated. I remember some kodak literature and also TSA/FAA documents which recommended definitely no more than 5 times.

Actually, it could be that your memory is outdated. :laugh: I believe you are recalling Kodak TIB 5201 which gave those recommendations/cautions but was referring to checked baggage scanners.
 

ToddB

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I rolled with 400 ASA with my C220 a couple of year ago and had ran through several security check while going overseas. Got back and developed the film with no fogging or problems. You should be good.

ToddB
 
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nwilkins

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Actually, it could be that your memory is outdated. :laugh: I believe you are recalling Kodak TIB 5201 which gave those recommendations/cautions but was referring to checked baggage scanners.

no I found the quote here and it specifically refers to carry on baggage:

"If you're going to be traveling through multiple X-ray examinations (more than 5 times), request a hand search of your carry-on baggage. FAA regulations in the U.S. allow for a hand search of photographic film and equipment if requested. (See below for further FAA information.) However, non-US airports may not honor this request."
 

BrianShaw

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Ahhh... sorry. Kodak should have been more specific. They certainly are not referring to 100 asa film. That number is a very conservative number with anything except very high speed film. It is a huge safety factor... probably imposed by lawyers rather than anyone who understands film, xray, and the available data.
 
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nwilkins

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okay thanks Brian - do you know where I can find the test data online? I would be interested to have a better understanding of all this.
 
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nwilkins

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also if there is a given number of passes for 800 ISO film is it not fair to assume that 400 ISO would be in danger of being affected after twice this number? In other words the 400 would be half as sensitive so after twice as many scans it should show the same effects should it not? Or does film sensitivity to X-rays not have a direct relationship to film sensitivity to light?
 
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