Infrared Film and X-ray Machines : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Film & Processing : One Thread

Hi I want to take some Infrared film abroad from UK via Eurostar. Can i take it through X-ray machines or should i request a hand search? Any advice, as ever, greatfully received. Many Thanks Andrew

-- Andrew Buckley (, December 21, 2000


It depends, Ilford SFX 200 could be okay but i wouldn't try Kodak HIE. if you want to get technical, Check the technical data for the film, it will give the sensitivity of the film in nanometers, then check the range of the x-ray. I would just ask for a hand search or carry them in your pocket and put them in the basket when you walk through. Happy shooting.


-- Karl (, January 09, 2001.

Can anyone explain Eurostar's inspection policy? Last summer I traveled on it (departing from Waterloo), saw the x-ray machines, but was not asked to put any of my belongings - - large luggage which would have been checked on an airplane as well as smaller "carry on" pieces - - through. There was no hand inspection either. Other passengers were having their items x-rayed. Also, can one successfully request hand inspection of film? UK and French airports always refuse such requests, in my experience.

-- Sal Santamaura (, January 09, 2001.


That makes no sense, film is sensitive to visible and near visible light (UV and Xray). Xray is WAY past that.

ALL film is sensitive the xrays. It is just whether there are enough xrays to be problem.

Actually IR film should be LESS sensitive to xrays, since xrays are below UV in wavelength.

-- Terry Carraway (, January 10, 2001.

With regard to Eurostar inspection policy, it remains a mystery to me also. The first time i used the service i requested a hand search, and was told that the machine would not damage any film passing through it with an ISO rating of upto 3200. This appears to be correct-and now i wonder if T-max 3200 (TMZ) can be put through without damage as this film has a nominal rating of 1000 ISO. Anyway, i digress. On further occasions, both at Waterloo/Paris Nord and Brussels Midi/Zuid i have passed through without any baggage inspection at all. As far as i can see at Brussels, you are escorted through the X-ray machines if you are at check-in within the first half-hour of the gates opening. After that the x-ray machines appear not to be manned. As ever YMMV, of course.

Say hello if you're going through Paris to the passport controller who asks you questions about why you differ to your passport photo, its nice to see that some have a sense of humour.

-- Andrew Buckley (, January 10, 2001.

three possible scares: #1 they refuse the hand search and pass through xrays until satisfied (they increase the power slightly till happy) #2 they do a hand inspection and open EVERY roll "just to make sure" #3 risk it and put the rolls in your suitcase (not camera bag or film bag) with your clothes and hope to the good lord that they don't care about what your clothing looks like... best bet: have it shipped to a destination (you CAN get the "sensitive to xray" stickers) or buy it when you get there (very hard and pricey)

personally number 3 sounds like the best bet since HIE shouldn't be much more sensitive to xrays than any other film you take, but $10 a roll can make you crazy...

-- Jason Tuck (, March 24, 2001.

DO NOT EVER PUT FILM IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. Many airports are using CTX 5xxx series xray machines for checked baggage. These machines DO increase power until they can ID everything in the bag. Since they run totally unattended, they use MUCH higher xray levels than any carry on scanner. They can fog slow film in a single pass through the machine.

The scanners used for carry on baggage are fairly low power and do not offer increasing the power until they see what is in there. If they can't see it with xray, they look in your bag with their eyes. Also since people work close to the units, with the open ends, there is a limit to the xray levels that can be used. They CAN stop the item in the xray field to take more time to look at something, but this is still not damaging to film.

I have not heard of anyone having film fogged by even multiple passes through a carry on baggage scanner except one case in a third world country.

-- Terry Carraway (, March 24, 2001.

I just completed a trans-Pacific trip that included an enroute stop going both ways and ran HIE (unexposed going one way and exposed the other way through Seoul/Incheon, Seattle, and San Francisco) through the carry-on X-ray; Upon returning I processed the film and had no problem whatsoever with fogging or negative quality in general.

I've also done it before on domestic trips (US) also with no problems... based on my experience so far, CARRY-ON X-rays should be OK. I also agree with the statement that infrared (as with all films) should NOT go through checked baggage X-ray machines.

-- Allan Cobb (, July 10, 2001.

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