Flying with Film: Results from 3x TSA X-Ray

Traveling with film can be stressful for photographers, as airport X-ray machines can damage or ruin the film. The X-ray machines emit radiation that can fog or distort the images on the film, especially if the film is exposed multiple times.

Photographers concerned about their film can request a hand inspection at the airport to avoid possible damage. This involves presenting the film to a TSA agent for manual review rather than sending it through the X-ray machine.

However, some airports may not allow hand inspection due to security concerns, and photographers may be forced to send their film through the X-ray machine. While it’s unlikely the standard X-Ray will affect the film, the film can be stored in a lead-lined bag to reduce the risk of damage.

Film with an ISO of 800 or higher is more sensitive to X-ray radiation and may be more prone to damage. In these cases, photographers should request hand inspection or pack the film in a lead-lined bag.

We conducted a test at the airport by scanning a roll of Portra 400 three times through a traditional X-ray (not the CT scanner). The results were surprising, with minimal visible damage to the film.

Overall, while traveling with film can be nerve-wracking, there are steps photographers can take to protect their precious rolls. Photographers can ensure their images are safe from X-ray damage by requesting hand inspection or packing the film in a protective case. However, it is reassuring that some film stocks may be more resilient to X-ray radiation than previously thought.

9 replies on “Flying with Film: Results from 3x TSA X-Ray”

Okay, I was wondering about this. Doing a roadtrip with my brother later this year. Driving up to Wisconsin from Texas, but I’ll be flying back, and it’s a good excuse to bring a camera. Hopefully MSP is good about hand inspecting film.

The X-ray power level used on passengers & carry on is much lower than the machines used for scanning checked baggage. 800 and lower will be ok in carry on. That said… I brought 8 rolls to Haneda May 19 and returned to Atlanta June 4. (160/400/800 Portra and TMax 400). Carried on, ( not hand inspected). B4,I left for the airport I used G-translate to write “please hand check, camera film” in hiragana on a piece of paper. Handed film/note on ziplock to security. Hand checked. Picked up scans and film yesterday. Looks good.

That isn’t true for every airport. If they have the CT xray, it’s just as bad as the checked bag machine. To be on the safe side, I’d have mine hand checked.

HDO Box is an application that offers the opportunity to stream an extensive collection of movies and TV shows without any associated costs. With the shutdown of Filelinked, all previously operational Applinked Download have ceased to function automatically.

The encouraging test results from scanning Portra 400 three times through a conventional X-ray machine make this camera worthwhile for photographers who want to save their priceless rolls from any fnf harm, even though traveling with film can be unpleasant.

I feel strongly about it and love finding out more about it. If you could, as you learn more, would you mind adding more information to your blog quordle

Leave a Reply

Note: We don’t monitor the comments very often, so please contact us directly if you have questions.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *