My problem with buying overseas is knowing what you are getting. When we buy
a batch of film locally, we have a blank roll processed. This tells us that
this batch (or at least the test roll) had limited exposure to x-ray. Then
we do a test roll before we shoot brides or occasions that can't be repeated
(like a trip to europe). How do you know that when you buy film overseas?
There are only certain types of film I want to use. Will I be able to find
them overseas? I'd probably take my chances with carry-on x-ray before I'd
chance film from an unknown source.
If I did buy film overseas, I think I'd want it processed there. This scares
me too. I work to develop special relationships with processors. I don't
trust my film to just anyone. So you could consider a two pronged approach.
Take film with you. TRY to get it hand inspected. Bring it back to your
trusted processor. Also, buy film there. Have it processed locally. Belts
and suspenders, but you increase the probability of bringing home some good
One of my friends has some business cards he had printed. Something to the
effect that he is a special emissary to some low level government official
(a friend of his in Louisiana who would back up his story if need be). He
has used these to bluff his way past x-ray machines in Ireland, a tough
place for security. Of course this was pre 9-11. You might try something
From: Herb Bauer [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 3:37 PM
Subject: filmscanners: RE: film scanners: X-ray scanners/etc
Judging from your comments, the warnings Kodak and Fuji have on their
websites and Jack Phipps' nightmare with taking film on board, I believe I
will buy and process film in Europe because I'm there long enough.
On a tangent, here's some info from Kodak's web site about mailing film
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/aboutKodak/sanitize.shtml which appears to
be safe. Interestingly Fuji states that mailing film via the USPS may be
worse than x-ray scanning film at the airport.
Thank you for the tips everyone.
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Hersch Nitikman
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: filmscanners: X-ray scanners/etc
No, the lead lined bags are not good enough any longer for checked luggage.
Many airports (and they won't say which) are now equipped with much more
powerful X-Rays than they used to use. They WILL damage film, especially
high speed film.
Original Message -----
From: "Jack Phipps" <JPhipps@asf.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: filmscanners: X-ray scanners/etc
| I just got back from NYC in early November. They would not let me have my
film hand inspected. I begged, pleaded and threatened. The only time I could
get it hand inspected was at La Guardia. I had about 15 rolls out of boxes
in a zip lock. The took each canister out and swabbed it, about 1-2 minutes
for each. Thirty minutes later, I left with my film. My film went through
three different x-ray machines. When I changed planes in Kansas City, I had
to go through security again.