traveling to Japan - do I need to think about xray in the airport

Discussion in 'Travel' started by sethmcallister, Jun 17, 2003.

  1. Hello, I am traveling in Japan from June 20-30 and I am not quite sure what to
    expect. Does anyone know if the airport in Okinawa or Osaka Japan will allow
    me to hand check film? I will have about 30 rolls. Thanks for any insight and
    advice. Seth
  2. Not sure about the airports you mention, but I've just returned from Japan and I had
    no problems getting my films handsearched (60 rolls of 120, 400ASA) in the airports I
    passed through (Narita, Haneda and Sapporo).
  3. You should have no problem. I never have.
  4. My experiences hand-checking film in Japan have been favorable. Most of the carry-on baggage scanners will not fog film under 800 ISO, and will have a placard (or sticker) on the machine indicating that it is safe for film. In any case, follow the standard advice of removing the film from the canister and placing it in a clear plastic bag (it's amzing how useful ziploc bags can be). If the screener sees that he or she will not have to spend an hour opening canister in order to verify the contents, they are usually very willing to accomodate your request.
  5. Don't stress over hand-carry x-ray machines. I have a Film X-ray FAQ on my website (excuse the shameless plug). The concern over hand carry x-ray machines is greatly exaggerated and overblown, and has taken on the life of an urban legend that has no basis in fact.
  6. FYI, I went to Japan last April, and pushed some Provia 400F to 3200 while I was there, and then totally forgot to get it hand checked on the way back, and the stuff was still underexposed.

    Lesson #1 - Don't worry about it.

    Lesson #2 - Shoot 400F @ 2500 with a 3 stop push.
  7. As for what to expect, you can expect your feet to swell during the flight, so don't wear tight shoes, or you won't be getting them back on without a good bit of pain. And don't eat the meat-cake.
  8. Mousy,

    What does hand-checking have to do with your improperly exposed pictures??
  9. Keith,

    I could be mistaken, but it seems like people that are afraid of their film getting zapped are afraid of fogging, or unwanted extra exposure, or colors getting knocked all out of whack. My point is that the carry on baggage X-rays that I unwittingly let my pushed to the moon film go through showed no signs of any of this, in spite of the fact that it was rated at 3200.

    As far as underexposure goes, I'm talking about a consistent thing, not my incompetency in metering, and fwiw, I actually had snip tests done anyway, since once I realized that those rolls had been subjected to the X-rays, I thought maybe they wouldn't need to be processed as 3200 speed film. Turns out that the snip tests told the lab to process at +3.3 to +3.5, so the X-rays didn't do any damage, and the fact that lesson #2 is to shoot 400F@2500 for +3 developing is just fyi, and should come as no surprise, really, since pushing anything that much usually causes a speed breakdown, and requires a little extra exposure.
  10. "My point is that the carry on baggage X-rays that I unwittingly let my pushed to the moon film go through showed no signs of any of this, in spite of the fact that it was rated at 3200"

    Your comments still make no sense to me. Your 400 speed film, regardless of whatever speed you shoot it at, is still 400 speed film. Shooting film at a different speed does not change its "rating". So, even though you shot the film at 3200, it's still 400 speed emulsion. The x-ray machine doesn't care what speed you shot the film at. Added to the fact that x-ray effects are cumulative, I'm not sure why the concern for 400 speed film.
  11. Keith,
    "Aaron - I'm assuming 400 speed film pushed to 1600 is not as affected to the same extent by xrays as 1600 speed film - I could very well be wrong"
    That's very likely what you are, I'm afraid. At least according to Kodak's paper on airport x-raying of film, wether you use a high speed film or a pushed low speed film doesn't matter much, there's risk of trouble. After all, T-MAX 3200 is really an 800 ASA film or something like that, which is good for pushing.
    Anyway, my version of common sense also says that it's your e.i. that's significant, not the ASA stated on the pack.
    -- Ivar Wind Skovgaard , June 03, 2003; 10:55 P.M. Eastern

    From this thread.
    Point being that a 400 speed film rated by you and your camera at 3200 is now a 3200 speed film, and will be developed as such, and any level of radiation, whether by visible light or by invisible X-rays, over and above the lower levels required by any 3200 speed film (of which there are basically none, as the fastest films have what is widely regarded as a nominal speed of no greater than 1000asa), will provide you with additional and unwanted exposure. A pushed 400asa film is more sensitive than a box rated 400asa film, and you are right about the emulsion already being a non-changable thing, but the sensitivity will be made up in the processing.
    My point is that I accidentally experimented with this, and the carry on baggage X-ray didn't put a dent in my 3200asa (formerly 400asa) film.
  12. Just to save you some trouble looking:
    Other factors can affect the severity of x-ray exposures on photographic films. Film that is—or will be—underexposed and film that you intend to push-process may be particularly vulnerable to x-ray exposure.
    Underexposure. X-ray fog occurs in the lower exposure range of the film. Film that is underexposed has more of the image recorded in this range. Therefore, the effects of x-ray exposure may further reduce the quality of underexposed images.
    Push Processing. Push processing involves overdevelopment of film to increase the effective speed and increase the density of underexposed images. Just as overdevelopment increases image density, it will also increase the density of any fog, including x-ray fog. Limiting x-ray exposure is increasingly important for film that may be subject to underexposure or push processing.

    This is from this PDF at the Kodak site. You're welcome.

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