Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

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Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby che84 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:29 am

Hi there!

This question might seem a bit old school, but has anyone any experience with lugging 35mm film rolls on overland tours (in Africa). How did you keep them dry and safe from anything that could damage the quality. Also, what is the situation at Heathrow and/or Nairobi concerning separate manual checks of film rolls at the security check? Is the staff happy to do this favour to you or do they make you put them through the X-Ray?

Hoping for answers in a very digitalized world... :D

Che
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby onyx007 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:08 pm

Hi, I'm travelling since 2003 with a digital camera. Because I can do now much more photos than I would do with a analog camera.

But to your questions. I think you shouln't have any problems with the X-Ray and the 35mm-rolls. I travelled in my "pre-digital"-time at least twice overseas and I can't remember to put my camera or the film rolls trough a special treatment. And if a harddrive of a computer or a memorychip of a digital camera has no problems with the X-Ray then 35mm film shouldn't have as well.

To keep your rolls dry, I would say keep them in the little plastic boxes if they deliver it still like this and to add on put them in an airtight plastic bag (like the one you use to put in your fridge for keeping vegtables fresh)
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby che84 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:26 pm

Hi,

and thanks for the answer!
Because I've a couple of times had all my vacation films destroyed by these machines I prefer not to put them through them. Especially not in the bags that are checked, because of the stronger rays they are subjected to. I even read that the TV-series Lost had almost a whole episode destroyed by the machines at the airport...
But the plastic bags seem to be a good trick, since a leadbag seems to be impossible to find.

Che
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby TravelFun » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:11 pm

I travelled with film during my recent trip to Greece and have just got them back from development...7 out of 11 reels were successfully developed, 2 were vaguely saved and 2 were blank! I was informed this was due to exposure to heat and that too excessive heat which could happen whilst the film is the camera. Mind you, it was constantly +30C and reached +40C on many days too which I don't think helped.

In previous times, I've never had a problem with film cameras but then I don't remember travelling for 2 weeks in crazy heat all the time :P
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby Zuleika » Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:49 pm

It depends on the quality of the film I seem to remember. Some is more sensitive than others. Keep it in your hand luggage and I think you can request a manual search of it at the scanner. Worth a try anyway.
One chap on my last safari kept all his films in the plastic cannisters but had 2 or 3 clean Pringles cartons that he put them all in - seemed ideal.

Failing that get them developed as you go. This might be a good idea in any case. Friends of mine had their daypack stolen on the last leg of their Africa trip and lost around 30 odd reels of film - their whole trip! Then you can split the negatives from the prints and also get a backup CD.

And lastly - think about going digital!!! Film is soooo last century :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:11 pm

I can understand still being on film -- the picture quality is still better but digital is so much more convenient. I got a lot of pictures I think I would have missed if I was still "conserving" film or thinking about the cost of development. I took roughly 4000 pictures on the DKNV trip.

Having said that, hard drives and other mag media have nothing to do with film being vulnerable to X-rays. Hard drives are vulnerable to magnetic fields, not X-rays. Most ISO 100 and 200 film should have no problems with international X-ray machines but 800 and 1600 may experience fogging. I haven't traveled with film in over a decade -- I'd be pretty careful with X-rays in today's environment, especially with all the calls I heard for people holding up boarding in Johannesberg and Amsterdam ("we will pull your baggage in ten minutes").

I would keep my film in zippered plastic bags and where possible, load them in the cooler in the truck. You may want to even consider bringing along one of those "cool bag" lunch sacks to hold your film.
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby kerryisnotin » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:30 pm

When I used to use film, I always put my film in a lead bag made specially to protect it from x-rays at airports and put it in my carry on NOT my checked luggage. I works great. They do say that 100 or 200 should be ok, but that all depends on how many times you run it through the machine. I don't like taking chances especially with newer higher power scanners these days. I think they're only around $25 bucks the last time I bought one. Might be a little hard to find these days though.

However if it's 1600 or higher, even a bag may not be enough as the higher the ISO the more sensitive it is to the machines. I would have them hand checked which usually isn't a problem. Most of the time they will have machine that checks for chemical residue of explosives, etc to run it through or they'll just look at it and wave yo on. The only time I ever had a broblem was at th Aswan airport in Egypt and I had a roll in my camera and didn't want to run it through the machine and no one there spoke english. But that's a pretty small airport. Someone finally translated, that all the guy wanted me to do was step out side and take a picture to show him it was really a camera. How the clicking noise proved that, I'm not sure. :D
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby che84 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 3:25 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies and advice!

I'm definetily taking the plastic zip-bags with me, even if I have this paper bag lined with some kind of light and moisture repelling material. But I really can't take the risk of getting all the material destroyed by some random rainfall, can I? :D
My plan is to take 90 x 36 frame rolls with me and I think that'll be enough ( ca 3600 pics).
I think this will be an amazing trip!

Cheerio!

Che
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby che84 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:08 pm

Hi again!

Forgot to ask about the securiry checks at border crossings ( in Africa). I'm travelling through 7 countries, so does anyone know what the practise is at these points? Do they scan all your stuff there as well, and would my film rolls be a problem again?

grateful for any answers!

Che
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:30 am

Don't worry, there isn't any security check at the border crossings. There may be police checks along the road but they're looking for drugs or weapons and were doing visual inspections, not X-rays.
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby georginal » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:34 pm

Tupperware boxes with small black plastic bin liners- crazy eh!! Its a bit antiquated but it works for me!! It keeps everything dry batteries, matches, films, the lot.and its cheap too.
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Re: Travelling with a LOT of 35mm film rolls

Postby georginal » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:53 pm

oh and getting them developed before you go home isn't such a bad idea, backup CD or even some (maybe not all for 90 films)fully developed. I've not been there yet, but am going and Nairobi is a city after all, and should have facilities to do this.
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