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I was going to ask about this, too. I'm thinking of buying some shortends but don't know yet if it's feasible. I can get it processed at Neglab, so that's no problem.

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The effects of x-rays on film are cumulative. One or two trips through the machine are unlikely to do much damage, but if it's going to be scanned multiple times you might have an issue, particularly with recans or shortends which may have travelled many times before.

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I wouldn't say its a huge risk.. as Stuart says its a cumulative thing.. I carted film stock all over the world as an assistant going through up to 8 machines on a shoot.. never a problem.. but we used to worry about the ancient machines at Moscow airport !..

 

Personally I would not write Do not Xray..especially in this day and age.. if you do.. there is the almost certainty they just open up the cans and expose everything.. and I would avoid lead lined bags.. better they see what it is one pass.. low dosage ..

 

I mean there is always some risk shipping .. but its not rushes so I wouldn't sweat it..

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Also of note; the chances of damage increase not only with the number of times X Rayed but also with the film speed. e.g. a 500ASA stock will be much more likely to eventually show some build up of the base fog layer -v- a 50ASA stock.

That said, in all my years carrying film (even 1600ISO stills film) I've never had an issue with it being x-rayed.

Hell technically the higher up you are in elevation the more gamma rays you're exposing it too as well and technically that too could build up base fog-- but in reality, the effects are so minuscule its really a non-issue in all but the most extreme situations.

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x-rays used in shipping or checked baggage can be much higher dosage than the hand luggage/carry on x-rays. I've seen severe damage on film that has been x-ray'ed just once in shipping.

 

If you're buying film from overseas, than the only reasonable thing to do is cut off a slice of each roll and process it to check for damage before committing it to a project.

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I've shipped film all over North America, both in purchasing and sending for processing. FedEx is the only shipper that appears to respect the "Do Not Xray" notification when possible (not guaranteed) and I've never had a problem yet, so I continue to use the Kodak provided stickers but I won't insist on them not X-Raying.

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x-rays used in shipping or checked baggage can be much higher dosage than the hand luggage/carry on x-rays. I've seen severe damage on film that has been x-ray'ed just once in shipping.

 

If you're buying film from overseas, than the only reasonable thing to do is cut off a slice of each roll and process it to check for damage before committing it to a project.

 

Must have been more than X-ray no..? shipped hundreds of thousands of feet as an assistant .. from all points around the globe .. as did/do the manufacturers presumably ..never once any problems.. and often through multiple machines/ countries .. the only problems we ever had was asking people with guns not to X-ray our film.. :)

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This is encouraging for buying cheaper shortends. If I can get hold of a 2 perf camera and affordable zoom lens, now just need to confirm if can I get the film scanned in Australia. Looking good so far for a 35mm short film. Just have to make a final decision to stay with S16 or get into 2 perf. I know which one I want to shoot with.

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Must have been more than X-ray no..? shipped hundreds of thousands of feet as an assistant .. from all points around the globe .. as did/do the manufacturers presumably ..never once any problems.. and often through multiple machines/ countries .. the only problems we ever had was asking people with guns not to X-ray our film.. :)

I didn't say it happened often :) But, I do remember one expensive film where all the 2nd unit footage from location all had to be re-shot due to x-ray damage. It's possible they put the film in checked bags or shipped it by airline freight. I will also note, that on another project, all the processed camera originals were shipped back to LA for negative cutting and printing. The producer found an "economical" shipper. And of the 300,000 feet of negative, only 3 400' rolls went missing. The reshoot cost $5 million... True story.

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I didn't say it happened often :) But, I do remember one expensive film where all the 2nd unit footage from location all had to be re-shot due to x-ray damage. It's possible they put the film in checked bags or shipped it by airline freight. I will also note, that on another project, all the processed camera originals were shipped back to LA for negative cutting and printing. The producer found an "economical" shipper. And of the 300,000 feet of negative, only 3 400' rolls went missing. The reshoot cost $5 million... True story.

 

 

oh dear .. economical shipping .. !.. picking up pennies and dropping pounds.. still sometimes see the same mentality .. on a much smaller scale .. intern or ADs who have no experience downloading footage.. drag and dropping the clip only files or worse.. on fairly decent budget productions .. its like buying a plane.. hiring an expensive pilot.. and then jumping out with the cheapest second hand parachute you could buy.. ..

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