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Air travel with film in IXMOO cassettes
Old 01-29-2017   #1
dufffader
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Air travel with film in IXMOO cassettes

I'm off for a week to Lisbon and Paris for business. Took the opportunity to bring along an M2 with 35mm Summilux but I've only got my Tri-X loaded in 4 IXMOO cassettes and not a plastic KALT cassettes that i have as well. With the security at airports the way it is, I wanted to document how the logistics went.

Well this morning I went through ICN incheon airport hand luggage x-ray and it did have to go through the X-ray a second time as the security folks did see something strange (Fuji plastic film box with 4 opaque cylinders). The camera and lens did show up as it looks next to the film. Second pass was ok, I guess they were comfortable enough the IXMOOs were not that suspicious the second time around.

So I'll still have LHR, LIS and CDG to go. Hope it was not a stupid idea nOT to transfer the film over to something plastic!
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Old 01-29-2017   #2
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In the states it is fairly standard practice for them to hand-scan film that is not loaded into a camera upon request. Do they do this in Europe as well? They will wipe a little cotton pad all over the containers and canisters and then run the cotton pad through some sort of chemical analyzer to make sure that it is safe. Handing over a large zip-lock bag over full of film has always worked well for me - that is until the one time I saw an agent wiping the cotton swab on the inside of my now-opened (in daylight) box of 4x5 film!
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Old 01-30-2017   #3
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Going through LHR was a breeze. No rescan and the IXMOO doesn't look suspicious. Then again T2 was very slow moving when I was there.

Hi Helvetica, yeah most airports will do hand inspection when you ask for it but I've given up on that. I used to do it but when you have a case with many rolls of film, it takes longer than just scanning it in the machine, and who knows if the younger generations who have never seen film would be curious about hand rolled film in brass canisters. I've not seen any impact on the photo I can tell with my naked eye nor scanner after development so I just go the most convenient way.
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Old 01-30-2017   #4
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This is most interesting as I've always been afraid to travel with IXMOO's and therefore never tried. I might give this a shot next week.

Thanks for the encouraging post!
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Old 01-31-2017   #5
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Very interesting thread. I have a question, what are the benefits of IXMOOs over regular plastic cassettes? Are they just more secure?

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2017   #6
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I've been on a trip thru china, HK and taiwan. My films got scanned many many times (ISO800 & 1600 C41 and pushed Neopan400 inclueded). I had no artifacts on them - nowadays the radiation is very very low.

I have no experience with IXMOOs tho. I have plenty but I never travelled on a plane with them (coincidence). I guess on the scanner they look just like other films anyway.
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Old 01-31-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceistheplace View Post
Very interesting thread. I have a question, what are the benefits of IXMOOs over regular plastic cassettes? Are they just more secure?

Thanks!
If you do it right they don't scratch ever. The closing mechanism is quite solid too, they don't open accidentally either (well I have one or two candidates that are worn out so I'm more carefully with them or just don't use them)
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Old 01-31-2017   #8
David Hughes
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Hi,

One answer is to carry the cassettes empty and the film in a couple of black plastic bags and then load when you get there. Provided you don't have to explain it all, including the daylight loading bag, all should go well...

Regards, David

PS I've never quite worked my way through the theory that explosives etc must go in metal containers. A plastic box would work as well, surely?
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Old 02-04-2017   #9
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Just to update - I am at Tokyo international and IXMOO's were perfectly fine. So happy I can now fly without needing to change what canisters I load.
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Old 02-04-2017   #10
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Passed through LIS and CDG on the way back without any issues. So after going through 4 airports, the only 'hiccup' I had was in Incheon where the bag had to go in twice for them to be sure. But never once was I required to open it up for hand inspection. I can't tell that it is because of the IXMOOs. I know I've been asked to open up a roll of fountain pens (those 14k gold nibs may look like a scalpel).

Just in case I have to confirm it is indeed film inside the canister, I've packed 2 extra rolls than I need so I could sacrifice them if needed.

David: yup, that's one option if I'm going on a long trip. I've kept a few empty 100ft film cans just for this. However I have a nightmare of being asked to open the can too! However I suspect a metal cylinder that looks like a cookie can is probably looking innocent through an x-ray machine.
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Old 02-04-2017   #11
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I've got a few of those plastic reusable canisters for cameras that don't take IXMOOs and I have a feeling that it is not built to last. Several tens of rolls is probably fine. I suspect that the felt where the film emerges from the canister will be the first to go (worn out) while the plastic screw thread may also be worn out keeping it from being light tight after several years.

IXMOOs are much more secure and built to last. I don't remember when they were introduced, must have been the 50s, so it is older than most of us. That's one big reason for me.
The other one is that the IXMOO "door" opens up fully when you lock the bottom plate, so there's no felt scratching the film when it is being advanced frame by frame and when rewinded.

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Originally Posted by spaceistheplace View Post
Very interesting thread. I have a question, what are the benefits of IXMOOs over regular plastic cassettes? Are they just more secure?

Thanks!
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Old 06-30-2018   #12
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In a related fashion to the topic:

Going through LHR this week, my bag drew the attention of the x-ray operator.
Soon there were three people peering over the image.

I was taken aside and questioned if I had any ammunition or had been using firearms while in the USA.

After much searching , swabs and more scans, suspicions focused in on my 0-series replica.
Only once I rewound the film, opened the camera and showed them the brass take up spool were they happy it was not a shell casing !
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Old 06-30-2018   #13
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Does the x-ray radiation from an airport machine used for carry-on luggage actually penetrate a metal 35mm cassette or is the image formed only of the cassette silhouette?
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Old 06-30-2018   #14
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I have since traveled with IXMOO’s only, never once took ordinary film with me.
About 50 flights into this now and not a single problem on my end.

Was worried in some airports they might crank up the machine to see through the metal shell but I never had any issue that might look like X-ray fogging so I guess it’s pretty safe.

The story above from Heathrow never happened to me thankfully.

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Old 06-30-2018   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
Does the x-ray radiation from an airport machine used for carry-on luggage actually penetrate a metal 35mm cassette or is the image formed only of the cassette silhouette?
The screen I saw showed the steel film cassettes as light grey i.e. quite transparent.
The brass take up spool was much darker and clearly visible through the shadow of aluminum camera body.

That suggests for film, brass cassettes would be better than steel or aluminum ... the gauge would be too large to confuse with ammunition ?
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Old 07-01-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybeard View Post
Does the x-ray radiation from an airport machine used for carry-on luggage actually penetrate a metal 35mm cassette or is the image formed only of the cassette silhouette?
Absolutely, you can see all the way through, and see the outlines of x-ray dense objects on the far side.

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Originally Posted by FrozenInTime View Post
That suggests for film, brass cassettes would be better than steel or aluminum ... the gauge would be too large to confuse with ammunition ?
Most of the x-ray operators aren't very familiar with ammunition, they are trained to find specific densities and shapes. Metal cylinders are high on the list, particularly if there is no immediately apparent reason for them to be there. With so few people travelling with film, they don't see it very often. Brass=more x-ray dense and would raise a greater concern.

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