$50 Film Mistake – airport X-ray scanners


Here’s a lesson learned that stems from inexperience and the lack of having a routine:

On my latest trip to Italy, I decided to take my Maxxum 5’s to take some pictures.  I had intended on getting hand inspection for the film every stop.  In Pittsburgh, no problem convincing them.  In Rome on the return trip, small problem, but I succeeded, eventually explaining to three separate officers that I had high speed film.  “Tre mille veloce“.  However, I forgot about the film until the bag went into the scanner at JFK on my return trip home.  The frustrating part is I had plenty of time.  I wasn’t in a hurry.  In fact, I was marveling at how inept people in the TSA Pre-Check lane were – this was supposed to be for more frequent travelers, right?

I’ll blame it on fatigue and the fact that as a frequent flier, film has not been part of my routine.  In JFK, not having to stand in line, unpack my bag, etc is a real blessing. Anyway, it was a $50 mistake.  Two rolls of Delta 3200 (one exposed), two rolls of CineStill 800, and a roll of Portra 800.  So, don’t expect many night shots in the coming weeks from Italy.  🙂

And Don’t believe that you can run 800 speed film through the airport scanners in your carry-on!  It won’t work!  Or at least Portra and CineStill 800 won’t….

I’m a little pissed at myself, but maybe it will save someone else the disappointment.  The good news is I still have another 11 rolls of color and B&W from the trip, including just about all the different stocks I wanted to try (well, except the Delta 3200 and Cinestill)!  Not sure how much I’ll have from Napoli or Genova or the World Cup final from the bar in Rome, because I think that was most of the 800 speed stuff…. 😦  But I should have plenty from Rome and Cinque Terre region to share.

Anyway, quick reminder:  don’t be a bonehead like me and run your 800 speed or higher film through the carry-on baggage scanner.  No matter what they say about how safe it is.


7 thoughts on “$50 Film Mistake – airport X-ray scanners

    1. True – One of those rolls was the World Cup final, from an Irish pub staffed by Aussie’s in Rome, Cheering for Germany. A little pissed at myself for that one….


      1. Hey, S*** happens. I mean instead of xray something else could happen too, I have loaded film incorrectly, camera malfunction, drunk friend opening my developing tank and many other mishap… Don’t beat yourself over it just learn from it I supposed!


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