For film photographers in Spain...

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by mooseontheloose, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I had a terrible experience this morning at the Madrid Puerto Atocha station. They had big ugly xray machines to scan luggage, but I didn't notice any signs saying they were film safe. When I showed one of the attendants my film he motioned for me to give it to him. He got frustrated when I handed him about 5 packages (small ziplock bags). Fortunately, that was the film that I had already shot. Unfortunately, when I tried to tell him I had film in my other bag, all he heard was "camera", tore the bag off my shoulder and threw it under the xray machine before I had time to react. Needless to say, I was very angry and upset afterwards, not only for the film (possibly lost) but also his extremely rude attitude (I was trying to be nice).

    So my question is, is my film (150 euros worth) ruined by that machine, or are those xray machines at the station film safe? Like I said, I didn't notice any signs, and the fact that the guy was so willing to inspect my film made me think it was not. But maybe he was being nice, and the machines are okay? Either way, I need to know if I need to go source new film, or if I'll be alright.
     
  2. Martin Rickards

    Martin Rickards Member

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    If it's normal film with an ISO rating of 400 or less, your'e probably OK. However the effect can be cumulative so separate your film on any subsequent journeys by train or air.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Process one of those films and you get more wisdom than from our assumptions.

    (There are film labs in Barcelona. You may drop a film there, travel on and have them mail you whether it was harmed or not.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  4. OP
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    mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    I’m not worried about X-ray machines in general, my film usually goes through multiple machines (at least ten passes) on any given trip. I’m just worried about these machines in particular, which is why I’m asking Spain-based photographers who have direct experience with the one I’m talking about.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To my understanding you are in a hurry and unless someone chimes in who knows that very machine (you already got a reply from a Spain-based member) you better process one film tomorrow to feel at ease with your further travel photography.
     
  6. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it. My 800ISO film went through a ginormous Soviet era scanner in Uzbekistan and survived. Just enjoy your trip and don't sweat the small stuff.

    Regards, Art
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I had my ISO 400 film scanned many times in Spain and never had a problem. Go see Gaudi's Sagrada Família in Barcelona, drink some sangria , and relax. Enjoy your trip.
     
  8. lantau

    lantau Subscriber

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    I'll be going to Usbekistan in a few weeks time. Anything else to know, when carrying film? I'll be flying into Tashkent (through Sheremetyevo) and flying out from Samarkand into St. Petersburg for a few days, before returning home.. Are there any other x-ray checks like this one in Madrid?

    I'm not normally worried about modern x-ray scanners for hand luggage. But maybe they are using higher dosed ones in other places, like train stations?
     
  9. OP
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    mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    That's what I'm asking. I was in Russia a couple years ago and had my film scanned in similar situations (in and out of train stations) but the film turned out fine. I'm sure it's the same here but I would just like some confirmation of it before I shoot the film that went through that scanner. If it hadn't been for the actions of the attendant (insisting I get a hand inspection) + the lack of signage, I probably wouldn't worry about it so much.

    Have a nice trip in Uzbekistan! I've been teaching about the 'Stans to my students in one of my classes and it's definitely an area I would like to travel to in the near future.
     
  10. Raphael

    Raphael Subscriber

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    Hi Rachelle,

    To me, theses scanners in train stations are films-safe, as all over in Europe for hand luggage in airports.

    I haven't recent travel experiences to Spain to tell you, but a few months ago, I went in London with Eurostar train ( through the Channel tunnel), and I had also to put all my luggage in a big ugly x-scan machine (twice). I bring a lot of films with me, in 120 and 35mm , exposed and not. All came out fine ! And there is no "film safe" signage either. Sign of time, these are more and more scarce, in Europe airports, at last. The last I saw was in a US Airport attending a domestic flight :smile:

    Enjoy you trip to Barcelona !
    Best regards,

    Raphael
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  11. OP
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    mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Thanks Raphael. I’ve decided to just not shoot the x-rayed film until I get back to Japan and can test it myself. It’s probably fine but I would hate to lose any images in the event that it’s not. After all, I have no idea when I’ll ever come back to Spain - it’s been 11 years since the last time I was here, it might be 11 more before I come back.
     
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