film lead bag or not

Old Jan 23rd 2003, 8:17 am
  #1  
Sherry Hall
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Posts: n/a
Default film lead bag or not

Understanding that a lot of you are photographers, can you put into
lay-man's terms how to carry my unused film and used film safely thru
the check points at airports?
I have a Cannon sure shot Z115 zoom lens 38-115 1:3.6-8.5 (what ever
that means). I still have not read all the instructions to my camera of
3 years. I just play around with the lens and if it looks good I click
the camera. The film is still packaged, I have not opened it. I felt
this might be good thru the check points at the airport for inspection,
or hopefully not being inspected thru the x-ray machine.

Should I purchase a lead bag for my unused film?
Should I develop my film in Nairobi before coming back to the states?
What about developing the film into CD's instead of pictures that I can
have printed onto larger size prints off a computer?

The other camera I will be using for it's panoramic abilities is a Kodak
advantix, how do I protect it? Has anyone ever used this type of
disposable camera?
 
Old Jan 23rd 2003, 1:12 pm
  #2  
Scott Elliot
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

Keep your film in your carry on hand bagage. The x-ray machines as security
are not powerful enough to do any damage unless you are using infra red or
film faster then ISO 800.

If you put your film in your checked bagage it could be subject to x-rays
powerful enough to damage it. If you put it in a lead bag they will either
turn up the power enough to see through the bag or want to hand inspect it.

I use digital now, but when I used film I always like to have few (or all)
rolls developed while in the country if I could find a reasonable looking
lab. That way you will know if you are having any trouble with your camera
before you get home an it is too late to do anything about it.

Scott Elliot
http://www3.telus.net/selliot/

"Sherry Hall" wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Understanding that a lot of you are photographers, can you put into
    > lay-man's terms how to carry my unused film and used film safely thru
    > the check points at airports?
    > I have a Cannon sure shot Z115 zoom lens 38-115 1:3.6-8.5 (what ever
    > that means). I still have not read all the instructions to my camera of
    > 3 years. I just play around with the lens and if it looks good I click
    > the camera. The film is still packaged, I have not opened it. I felt
    > this might be good thru the check points at the airport for inspection,
    > or hopefully not being inspected thru the x-ray machine.
    > Should I purchase a lead bag for my unused film?
    > Should I develop my film in Nairobi before coming back to the states?
    > What about developing the film into CD's instead of pictures that I can
    > have printed onto larger size prints off a computer?
    > The other camera I will be using for it's panoramic abilities is a Kodak
    > advantix, how do I protect it? Has anyone ever used this type of
    > disposable camera?
 
Old Jan 25th 2003, 1:46 am
  #3  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

[email protected] (Sherry Hall) wrote:

    >Understanding that a lot of you are photographers, can you put into
    >lay-man's terms how to carry my unused film and used film safely thru
    >the check points at airports?
    >I have a Cannon sure shot Z115 zoom lens 38-115 1:3.6-8.5 (what ever
    >that means). I still have not read all the instructions to my camera of
    >3 years. I just play around with the lens and if it looks good I click
    >the camera. The film is still packaged, I have not opened it. I felt
    >this might be good thru the check points at the airport for inspection,
    >or hopefully not being inspected thru the x-ray machine.

Sherry,

no problem here. They always insist that you run the film though
the x-ray machine, and they will then not open the film
packages.

I put them in a lead bag and put that in my photo box, and oddly
I've never been asked to take them out. Perhaps I was lucky, but
you could try that too. Most people agree though that the damage
from the x-ray machines, though always there, is usually
unnoticeable on anything but highly sensitive film (800 ASA or
more).

    >Should I purchase a lead bag for my unused film?

Thus, it can't hurt to get one, but you'll probably be fine
without one.

    >Should I develop my film in Nairobi before coming back to the states?

I wouldn't do that. It's difficult, you'd have to go to town
twice, quality may be low, and the risk is certainly high that
something goes wrong.

    >What about developing the film into CD's instead of pictures that I can
    >have printed onto larger size prints off a computer?

Can't hurt, and you can have it both ways as well. There is the
expensive high-quality Kodak Photo CD and there may be lower
quality scans available that are much cheaper. Those can be used
to put your photos on the web if you want to do that.

Altogether I would guess that you'd be better off without having
them all scanned the first time, unless you already have plans
for the scanned pictures.

Alternatively you can just have them printed normally and then
select the very best ones for enlargement or scanning. You can
then also scan the larger prints in high quality yourself or ask
a friend to do that. Even small prints can be scanned with a
decent resolution.

    >The other camera I will be using for it's panoramic abilities is a Kodak
    >advantix, how do I protect it? Has anyone ever used this type of
    >disposable camera?

No idea about that one, but I guess it won't need any special
protection.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 25th 2003, 5:34 am
  #4  
Liz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

In message
[email protected] (Sherry Hall) wrote:

    > Understanding that a lot of you are photographers, can you put into
    > lay-man's terms how to carry my unused film and used film safely thru
    > the check points at airports?
    > I have a Cannon sure shot Z115 zoom lens 38-115 1:3.6-8.5 (what ever
    > that means).
It (in simplest terms) means that your camera lens lets in less light the
more you zoom out your lens. This won't make a difference if there's a lot
of light going around, but on cloudy/hazy days you'd be best to use a faster
film, like 400ASA (speed)

    > I still have not read all the instructions to my camera of
    > 3 years. I just play around with the lens and if it looks good I click
    > the camera. The film is still packaged, I have not opened it. I felt
    > this might be good thru the check points at the airport for inspection,
    > or hopefully not being inspected thru the x-ray machine.
I never ask for a hand search. I can't get them at Glasgow anyway, and it's
extremely unlikely to get them at London. I've had up to 10 scans a trip,
film up to 1600 and never had any problem.

*Hand luggage only* is the general advice, hold luggage is randomly scanned
with more powerful xrays, though 16 rolls I accidentally left in my hold
case coming back from Kenya last time were OK - I assume this was sheer luck
that I wasn't picked to be scanned. I would never deliberately risk it.


    > Should I purchase a lead bag for my unused film?
Jury is out.
Some people say this will just make them crank up the dosage, others swear by them.
I don't use them; others do.
Your money, your choice, I think.

    > Should I develop my film in Nairobi before coming back to the states?
Probably not.
You won't know the lab, and it's likely to be a bit like a minilab at home,
I'd think. Carry your exposed film home in your hand baggage and have it
developed at a good lab you know and trust. There is apparently a good lab
in central Nairobi, but I've never used it and can't remember what it's
called. Someone else may be able to help.

    > What about developing the film into CD's instead of pictures that I can
    > have printed onto larger size prints off a computer?
Your call.
    >
    > The other camera I will be using for it's panoramic abilities is a Kodak
    > advantix, how do I protect it? Has anyone ever used this type of
    > disposable camera?
Advantix?
I thought that was an APS camera?
Anyway, what you should know about panoramic (not counting the large/medium
format pro panoramic cameras of course) is that they just cut down the area
of the negative which is used for the final print. So you can do the same
with a regular sized negative: just get an enlarged print and crop out the
features you don't want. Having said that, I do often use the panoramic
feature on my SLR, just 'because it's there', but I still have to mask down
the slides later, as the 'blanked out' areas on the slide (top and bottom)
are not totally opaque.

Given that your maximum zoom is 115 on the Sureshot, you'll probably be
enlarging and cropping anyway. I carry a compact on my belt at all times I'm
not carrying an SLR - 'just in case' I miss something. I get these developed
at 9" x 6" and crop them down if necessary.

Liz

--
Virtual Liz at http://www.v-liz.co.uk
Safaris (Kenya and Tanzania); India; Seychelles; image-manipulation
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 12:36 am
  #5  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

Liz wrote:

    >> Should I purchase a lead bag for my unused film?

    >Jury is out.
    >Some people say this will just make them crank up the dosage, others swear by them.
    >I don't use them; others do.
    >Your money, your choice, I think.

Liz,

it's a bit difficult to find out how much lead you'd have to use
to fend off most of the x-rays. I was told once that the thin
lead bags you can buy in the photo shop aren't much use.

Mine is thin, and I have yet to find out whether I'm only
carrying it for the placebo effect.

Anybody around who has some information on x-ray penetrating
lead?

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 2:37 am
  #6  
Liz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

In message
Hans-Georg Michna wrote:


    > it's a bit difficult to find out how much lead you'd have to use
    > to fend off most of the x-rays. I was told once that the thin
    > lead bags you can buy in the photo shop aren't much use.

I've read on the photo groups that if they can't see into the bag, they can,
and do, just ask for the film to be taken out and put through the machine
separately. Given that the carry-on scanners in most countries, including
Kenya and Tz, from my own experience, are film-safe, this doesn't seem
unreasonable to me. Rather that than someone carrying something potentially
fatal in the lead bags. In fact, I'm surprised they allow them at all,
especially now.

Liz

--
Virtual Liz at http://www.v-liz.co.uk
Safaris (Kenya and Tanzania); India; Seychelles; image-manipulation
"I speak of Africa and golden joys"
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 11:30 am
  #7  
Scott Elliot
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

"Liz" wrote in message
news:[email protected]...

    > I've read on the photo groups that if they can't see into the bag, they
can,
    > and do, just ask for the film to be taken out and put through the machine
    > separately. Given that the carry-on scanners in most countries, including
    > Kenya and Tz, from my own experience, are film-safe, this doesn't seem
    > unreasonable to me. Rather that than someone carrying something
potentially
    > fatal in the lead bags. In fact, I'm surprised they allow them at all,
    > especially now.

I hope that if the x-rays can't see through the lead bags they would make
you unpack and show the contents. I would hate to think anyone could sneak
a handgun onto a plane simply by putting it in a lead film bag.

I also have never had any film damaged by the equipment used for inspecting
carry-on bags. I have been advised not to put film in checked bags so I
don't know how likely damage is.

Scott
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 6:14 pm
  #8  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

Liz wrote:

    >In message
    > Hans-Georg Michna wrote:

    >> it's a bit difficult to find out how much lead you'd have to use
    >> to fend off most of the x-rays. I was told once that the thin
    >> lead bags you can buy in the photo shop aren't much use.

    >I've read on the photo groups that if they can't see into the bag, they can,
    >and do, just ask for the film to be taken out and put through the machine
    >separately. Given that the carry-on scanners in most countries, including
    >Kenya and Tz, from my own experience, are film-safe, this doesn't seem
    >unreasonable to me. Rather that than someone carrying something potentially
    >fatal in the lead bags. In fact, I'm surprised they allow them at all,
    >especially now.

Liz,

either my lead bag is totally ineffective or they just never
bothered. I always put it on top of my camera in the camera box
and never did anybody ask me to open it.

I don't have much trust in these checks, as far as detecting
weapons and other dangerous stuff is concerned. I wish they were
more effective.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 10:18 pm
  #9  
Al Robinson
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

I have often wondered about that, too, so the last time through an Xray
check in Montreal, I asked the operator why he didn't ask me to open my
back-pack. He took me behind the counter, and showed me the scan of my
hand-luggage. Sure enough, you could see every roll of film in my lead bag
quite clearly!

So, I have decided that it there is no point in bothering with the special
bags, and now just leave the film in a plastic bag, and take my chances,
hand-checking wherever possible, and otherwise "grinning and bearing it".
To my knowledge, I have never had any problem with fogged film.

Ciao,
Al


"Hans-Georg Michna" wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
    > Liz wrote:
    > >In message
    > > Hans-Georg Michna wrote:
    > >> it's a bit difficult to find out how much lead you'd have to use
    > >> to fend off most of the x-rays. I was told once that the thin
    > >> lead bags you can buy in the photo shop aren't much use.
    > >I've read on the photo groups that if they can't see into the bag, they
can,
    > >and do, just ask for the film to be taken out and put through the machine
    > >separately. Given that the carry-on scanners in most countries, including
    > >Kenya and Tz, from my own experience, are film-safe, this doesn't seem
    > >unreasonable to me. Rather that than someone carrying something
potentially
    > >fatal in the lead bags. In fact, I'm surprised they allow them at all,
    > >especially now.
    > Liz,
    > either my lead bag is totally ineffective or they just never
    > bothered. I always put it on top of my camera in the camera box
    > and never did anybody ask me to open it.
    > I don't have much trust in these checks, as far as detecting
    > weapons and other dangerous stuff is concerned. I wish they were
    > more effective.
    > Hans-Georg
    > --
    > No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 10:48 pm
  #10  
Hans-Georg Michna
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

"Al Robinson" wrote:

    >I have often wondered about that, too, so the last time through an Xray
    >check in Montreal, I asked the operator why he didn't ask me to open my
    >back-pack. He took me behind the counter, and showed me the scan of my
    >hand-luggage. Sure enough, you could see every roll of film in my lead bag
    >quite clearly!
    >So, I have decided that it there is no point in bothering with the special
    >bags, and now just leave the film in a plastic bag, and take my chances,
    >hand-checking wherever possible, and otherwise "grinning and bearing it".
    >To my knowledge, I have never had any problem with fogged film.

Al,

thanks, interesting. This proves that at least some of the
radiation gets through the lead bag. But the success of the
machine may be due to its sensitivity, some of the radiation may
still get caught in the lead, and the lead bag may yet help a
little bit. I'd like to know how much lead you need to halve the
radiation.

X-ray checking with film-proof machines should never fog the
film, of course. On the other hand, any amount of x-ray
radiation will darken the film (or lighten in the case of
slides) a little bit. This is certainly bearable for the normal
tourist, but whether it is bearable for the ambitious
photographer is not so easy to decide as long as we don't know
the exact extent of the damage. I don't even know whether to
expect uniform darkening or darkened spots. I suspect the
latter.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 26th 2003, 11:02 pm
  #11  
Sadie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: film lead bag or not

Up to 2 years ago they always made me take out my lead bag from my hand luggage
and open it at every airport including Montreal and overseas. They have never
done this on recent trips anywhere, so must now have XRays at check points that
can detect what is in lead bags.. However, in last year they have made me open
my cameras when I didn't have batteries in them, insert batteries to show them
that camera worked. Not sure the reason.
I was always told that check in XRays were safe for unprotected film up to
800 speed in developed countries, but not necessarily in some remote areas.
Never use higher than 400 speed so will probably not bother with XRay bags
anymore.

Al Robinson wrote:

    > I have often wondered about that, too, so the last time through an Xray
    > check in Montreal, I asked the operator why he didn't ask me to open my
    > back-pack. He took me behind the counter, and showed me the scan of my
    > hand-luggage. Sure enough, you could see every roll of film in my lead bag
    > quite clearly!
    > So, I have decided that it there is no point in bothering with the special
    > bags, and now just leave the film in a plastic bag, and take my chances,
    > hand-checking wherever possible, and otherwise "grinning and bearing it".
    > To my knowledge, I have never had any problem with fogged film.
    > Ciao,
    > Al
    > "Hans-Georg Michna" wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Liz wrote:
    > >
    > > >In message
    > > > Hans-Georg Michna wrote:
    > >
    > > >> it's a bit difficult to find out how much lead you'd have to use
    > > >> to fend off most of the x-rays. I was told once that the thin
    > > >> lead bags you can buy in the photo shop aren't much use.
    > >
    > > >I've read on the photo groups that if they can't see into the bag, they
    > can,
    > > >and do, just ask for the film to be taken out and put through the machine
    > > >separately. Given that the carry-on scanners in most countries, including
    > > >Kenya and Tz, from my own experience, are film-safe, this doesn't seem
    > > >unreasonable to me. Rather that than someone carrying something
    > potentially
    > > >fatal in the lead bags. In fact, I'm surprised they allow them at all,
    > > >especially now.
    > >
    > > Liz,
    > >
    > > either my lead bag is totally ineffective or they just never
    > > bothered. I always put it on top of my camera in the camera box
    > > and never did anybody ask me to open it.
    > >
    > > I don't have much trust in these checks, as far as detecting
    > > weapons and other dangerous stuff is concerned. I wish they were
    > > more effective.
    > >
    > > Hans-Georg
    > >
    > > --
    > > No mail, please.
 

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