Domke Film shield bags

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by simon_larbalestier, Dec 14, 2001.

  1. Does anyone know where i can find the Domke Film Shield Bags
    or any other type of xray film shield bag? what are peoples views on transporting large amounts of film when traveling by plane? I'm thinking here of visitng countries where certain types of film is hard to buy locally.
  2. My experience when carrying a lead bag is that they create more
    suspicion than they're worth (esp. nowadays), might as well ask for a
    hand check from the start ('cause that's what you'll get, at best).<p>
    How large is large amount? If less than a brick, here's my
    suggestion: <br> I'd remove all of my film from all of it's
    packaging (paper box, and plastic canister) and put it in a
    transparent plastic bag (e.g., a Ziplock). If you can get a hand
    check, it'll speed the process and show an attempt at co-operation on
    your part. If you can't get a hand check, it'll make no difference
    as all of the packaging is transparent to the X-rays anyway. If you
    want/need the plastic containers, carry them in a seperate bag and
    send them through the scanner.
  3. I carry all my film in a standard old ratty FilmShield bag, in my
    carryon luggage. When I get to an inspection checkpoint, I have
    the bag out and request a hand inspect. It is often not honored,
    particularly nowadays, so then the FilmShield bag goes through
    the xray machine by itself ... the operators are aware that it is
    film, etc.


    I've only seen one or two rolls of film with any evidence of xray
    damage and both of those were rolls that happened to still be in
    the camera when it went through an inspection machine. That's
    out of several hundred rolls of film and over 300,000 miles of air
    travel in the past 4 years.
  4. Simon, I do a combination of what Ron and Godfrey do; i.e. put film
    out of their packaging in a Zip-Lock bag which goes into the
    FilmShield bag. I travel a lot and have only occassionally had to
    show the contents. It seems to be a lot easier than fooling around
    with hand inspections of clear bags. It's been my experience that some
    countries ( Belgium, U.K. and Finland come to mind) won't hand
    inspect at all. Hope this helps
  5. Yeah, I wouldn't bother getting one. I've had a lead bag for a couple
    of years now and never use it. I always use the ziplock bag plan.
    Though it doesn't work much recently. Glad I'm 90% digital.
  6. Simon,


    As other folks have noted, I carry my film in a clear plastic bag.
    Checked luggage is subject to random X-Ray via a very high-powered
    device. In fact, while travelling to Chicago from Denver this past
    weekend, I was a "winner" in the random search lottery where one's
    luggage is subjected to potent X-Ray inspection, with the possibility
    of a discretionary hand inspection.


    At the queue for the X-Ray inspection, United Airlines had much
    signage visible warning passengers to remove film and cameras from
    checked baggage. The United agents were also telling each passenger
    to do the same.


    As far as hand inspection is concerned at the security checkpoints, I
    generally only request hand-inspection of film if it will be zapped
    more than two times since the effects of X-Ray exposure are
    cumulative. I have not had any fogging of 100 or 400 speed film.


    Finally, I make sure that there is no film in the camera in case the
    security agent wants to open the camera, which I had happen (only
    once) while travelling in Europe a few years ago.


  7. All my Fuji and Kodak film nowadays has translucent plastic
    cannisters, which I bind together in rows of 4 or 5 with clear
    packing tape, with the lids facing alternate directions so the
    cannisters fit together more closely. I then place them in a large
    clear ziplock bag and bind with rubber bands. That way they stay
    flat like a book instead of having a huge round bagful of film. The
    4 or 5-cannister "clips" are handy for pockets, too. I put all my
    film through carry-on X-rays, sometimes 4-5 times on one journey and
    maybe 4-5 times on a second journey if I've got film left over from
    the last one, and have never had anything fogged. I would not
    suggest removing the film from the cannisters, as grit can get into
    the felt lips and scratch the film.
  8. No one has mentioned it yet so...


    Never put film into your checked luggage. The newest X-ray
    machines for checked luggage use first a low power scan to
    check luggage. Anything suspicious, such as little nondescript
    metal cannisters, are subject to a high intensity blast that will
    toast ALL film. If you pack your film in a enough lead shield bags
    to block the high intensity scan then you will be pulled off the
    plane and asked to open your bags while a bunch of nervous
    security types with guns are standing a respectful distance back.
  9. Here in the states, major photo retailers like B&H & chain
    camera stores like Ritz Camera sell lead film bags--I'm sure the
    situation must be similar in the UK. As others have noted, do not
    put any undeveloped film in checked baggage, which can be
    zapped by high-power CAT-scan-type X-ray machines. For
    carry-on, I usually put all my film canisters (no boxes) in clear
    zip-loc freezer bags that then go into the lead bags. I find this
    approach to be better than constantly asking for hand
    inspections (which you are only really entitled to in the U.S., &
    even here, they often refuse out of ignorance, spite, etc.).
    Perhaps as a testament to the continuing incompetence of
    airport security, my lead bags have rarely caught the attention of
    the examiners even though anyone can clearly see over their
    shoulders as a big black square appears inside the outlines of
    my carry-on on their video screens (also, in my experience in the
    U.S., examiners do *not* have the capability of "turning up" the
    power on the X-ray machines to see through carry-on bags).
    Then again, if you're only shooting the lower speed films, e.g., 50
    to 400 ASA, you'll probably be OK @ most international airports.
  10. thanks for all the answers it makes interesting reading - the reason
    i asked is that i often travel with around 200 films of 120 and 35mm
    and such bulk is never handinspected despite asking! I've used large
    lead lined bags but they end up weighing than the camera gear. So far
    no fogging despite about 20 flights with all the film for my last
  11. There is recent discussion of airport scanners in another thread, and a web search
    found this page. (Sorry about bringing up an old discussion.)

    Looking at some data sheets, it seems that modern airport scanners run at 160kV or so,
    much higher than X-ray sources from some years ago. They also claim to be safe
    for up to ISO 1600, and five passes through the machine.

    The data sheet also says that it works through 35mm of steel, and I believe
    also through the thin lead in the usual bags.

    I actually had a Film-Shield bag in my carry-on last year. After seeing it, they
    removed the bag from the suitcase and ran it through the scanner alone.
    That is they didn't (need to) open the bag. It seems that they can see through it.

    Mostly I use the bags as it helps me keep track of where my film is, not because
    I believe it stops the X-rays.

    I believe what this means is that the machine has to be sensitive to fairly
    small absorption levels, and also larger ones. That is, a big dynamic range,
    or in film terms, not to blow out the highlights.

    I am interested in learning a little more about the X-ray spectrum used,
    and the effect on different materials that we might put around our film.
  12. Repeated exposure can do what one single pass will not.

    Effects on film from x-rays/cosmic radiation/whatever on a 2005 trip through multiple airports was the proximate cause of my finally going digital in 2005.
  13. Yes. The data sheet for one scanner I found says safe for ISO 1600 up to 5 times through.

    I believe that the data sheet for TMZ and Delta 3200 say no X-raying at all.
    Also for some instant films.

    TSA still claims only 800, but will hand inspect if asked.
  14. I'm intrigued. Was the film ok after development? I would have guessed that X-ray strong enough to get through the bag would ruin film.
  15. As I noted elsewhere, modern scanners guarantee safe to ISO 1600, yet
    see through 35mm of steel.

    Since it can go through that much, not so much is absorbed by the film.
    That means a very sensitive detector on the other side, though.

    Actual X-ray films have a layer that converts X-rays to visible light along with the light
    sensitive film. There also used to be Polaroid 4x5 film holders with the light conversion
    layer built-in, so used ordinary film.

    I believe it was safe, but I am not always so fast at using film.

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