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Geek Tip: Your Camera Safety At Airport Security

Before I owned a digital camera I would take my 35mm film camera everywhere I went. One concern I always had was whether or not my film would be ruined going through airport security checkpoints. With traditional film cameras, there's a higher risk that film will be damaged by the X-Ray machines during security screening, even though this hasn't happened to me. Just to be on the safe side, have your camera checked separately by hand or ask the security staff if the X-Ray machines are safe for film - usually the posters in the area will indicate whether or not you need to remove film. As for digital cameras, your pictures should be completely safe.

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c0rkie c0rkie 10 years
thank you!
woodycakes woodycakes 10 years
thanks for this. really helpful.
krhone krhone 10 years
I shoot 16mm cinema film. I just call Kodak before I take a trip and get "DO NOT X-RAY" stickers and that usually helps out too!
pwirth pwirth 10 years
The damage to your film from aiport scanners is largely dependent on its speed (for instance, Low speed film has an ASA of less than 100, whereas High (or Fast) Speed Film has an ASA of 200 to 800). High speed film is much more at risk. 100-200 speed film is much less at risk than 800 speed film. As I recall, professional film can also be more affected than consumer grade film. Photography stores sell special bags you can put your film in when travelling through aiports. This doesn't mean the airport security will not still want to inspect your film. When I was carrying on a camera and film regularly through aiports, I would take out the camera and the bad of film, and hand it to the inspectors. Even if they insisted that the machines would not hurt film, I would tell them it was professional high speed film, and ask for them to inspect it by hand. One time they performed an explosives test on my film (it came up clean ;-) But normally, it wasn't much of a problem. However, I was transporting film cameras in airports much more BEFORE 911. Mostly carry a digital now. Hope this is helpful.
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