Travelling With Your Film Camera

Travelling With Your Film Camera

I've travelled through many airports with my film camera, and have learnt a thing or two over time. So learn from my mistakes and keep your film safe while travelling with these simple tricks


Hand baggage:

The number 1 rule of travelling is never, ever, check your film in! Film should always be kept in your hand baggage. Exposure from checked baggage scanners can have an extreme effect and fog film. This is due to the higher x-ray output used to inspect checked baggage. The put this to the test, and here are their results. 


CT scanners:

It's always been said that x-ray machines can damage your film. That is especially true nowadays with, modern x-ray machines. Many airports nowadays use CT scanners. CT scanners are a newer type of X-ray machine that produces three-dimensional images of the items being X-rayed. Kodak have come out and said that these scanners destroy film in a single pass. This is why its vital to ask for a hand-check


Hand check: 

Always ask for a hand check when passing through security. If you keep your film in a zip lock bag, the same as your toiletries, and ask someone at security they will happily do a hand check for you. Don't be nervous too, they get asked for one all the time so are happy to help.


Make sure you don't have film in your camera: 

I made this mistake last year heading on my summer holidays. I got my film hand checked, and airport security opened the back of my camera to check inside the camera for explosives, exposing the roll of film I had inside the camera. I was lucky that it was a new film and I only lost 1 or 2 photographs, but I definitely learnt my lesson. I would recommend winding up your film and if the roll is not yet complete, writing on the film canister how many exposures you have taken. 


Protective bags/ faraday cages:

As a last resort if you cant get a hand-check, lead lined case can protect your film. X ray machines cant see through the lead lining in these bags/cases meaning your film is protected. Normally if you put one of these through an x-ray machine, airport security will ask you whats in the bag and it will prompt a hand-check. I use a Hama film-safe x which can be picked up used on eBay.

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