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Road Gear

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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  • #2275
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I’m traveling later in the Spring to visit my folks and do a tour of the mountains and small towns where I was kid. I would like to take along my film cameras and gear to shoot in both digital and film, but it occurred to me that flying would require xrays and all the groping and prodding of TSA in my gear. Based on my experience with the mouth breathers forming our first line of defense from terror in the skies, the lead pouch for film would have me naked, spread eagle in the back room while some hairy knuckled nimrod deftly probed my nether regions. (And I’m sorry, no one wants a stranger do that…you want that done lovingly, or least by a professional in an alley of the West Village). In these days of film death anyone still traveling with film and how are our 4th Grade Drop Out friends at the airport dealing with this archaic medium at the security check point? Should I just mail the film back and forth and skip the airport or just say screw it and take the train?

    ETA: Should anyone reading this actually BE a TSA agent, I’m not talking about you, but that guy you work with, you know, the one that really gets on your nerves. That guy. 🙂

    #39055
    ravnostic
    Participant

    I’ve only had two camera-plane experiences since the TSA. One was a trip to New York, and I asked that the camera be inspected manually (I let the lenses go through the x-ray.) I brought the manual and had the page marked where it specifically said to have the camera inspected manually at the airport. They were not happy, they said it would take a while, but having the advantage of arriving plenty early and sitting down to open a book to read while I wait convinced them I had all day, so they took care of me promptly as they realized my feathers weren’t going to get ruffled.

    The other time I tenderly, lovingly packed my gear in my luggage, then sufficiently padded around it with every article of clothing I had available (which is no guarantee it wouldn’t get x-rayed, but I was in a hurry that time.)

    I’ve no experience with film. But given the smallest USPS box is $4.95 for 2-3 day delivery, I’d just mail it if it were me in your shoes.

    #39056
    caradoc
    Participant

    Should anyone reading this actually BE a TSA agent, I’m not talking about you, but that guy you work with, you know, the one that really gets on your nerves. That guy. 🙂

    One knuckle-dragging blue-shirted Zeppelin actually uncapped all of my lenses and poked grubby fingers at the element surfaces.

    It took him a few minutes to realize that he needed to grip the OTHER ring to unscrew a circular polarizer.

    If you’re employed by the TSA, one or more of the following conditions apply:

    1) You’re stupid enough to believe that you’re doing something useful.
    2) You enjoy viewing and/or touching other people’s bits.
    3) You’re a thug who is “paying everyone back” for not allowing you to be a hall monitor in grade school.
    4) You’re unqualified for any other line of “work.”

    Seriously – if you’re a TSA employee, find another line of work that doesn’t have so much in common with being a guard at Treblinka or Dachau, “just following orders.” If that’s not possible, please at least TRY to remain focused on “safety and security,” and ignore the doobie you might find in someone’s pocket. And for Pete’s sake, stop groping the nine-year-olds.

    #39057
    sleeping
    Participant

    Film should go in your carry on, not checked luggage. The x-rays they use for checked luggage are much more powerful and will likely affect film (and if they see a lead pouch, they crank up the power until they can see what’s inside).

    The x-rays for carry on luggage are supposedly safe for any film < ISO1600, and I haven't seen any problems with stuff I've taken through. But they were willing to hand inspect it when I ihad some 1600 speed film with me (I took all the film out of the canisters and put it in a ziplock). I'd be inclined to try to mail it if I knew I was going to be going through the x-rays a whole bunch of times, though,

    #39058
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Back in the day when film was…well, all you had…I could simply hand over my bag with the film or let the screener know I had an film pouch and have it hand checked. Then I took my long break from photography and the world changed. I’m incline to mail the film since I know for a fact I will not be able to purchase 120 film in Etowah Tennessee and would be shocked if I could find black and white in any format.

    On a related note, suggestions for archiving digital work on the road? I don’t have a lappy but I will have access to a computer. I am pondering picking up a cheap external hard drive and loading it with the Canon EOS software to use for quick develop and storage. I’m so used to being no more than a day or two away from home I’ve never thought about archiving while traveling and leaving on the CF cards just ain’t gonna cut it.

    #39059
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    One knuckle-dragging blue-shirted Zeppelin actually uncapped all of my lenses and poked grubby fingers at the element surfaces.

    It took him a few minutes to realize that he needed to grip the OTHER ring to unscrew a circular polarizer.

    If you’re employed by the TSA, one or more of the following conditions apply:

    1) You’re stupid enough to believe that you’re doing something useful.
    2) You enjoy viewing and/or touching other people’s bits.
    3) You’re a thug who is “paying everyone back” for not allowing you to be a hall monitor in grade school.
    4) You’re unqualified for any other line of “work.”

    Seriously – if you’re a TSA employee, find another line of work that doesn’t have so much in common with being a guard at Treblinka or Dachau, “just following orders.” If that’s not possible, please at least TRY to remain focused on “safety and security,” and ignore the doobie you might find in someone’s pocket. And for Pete’s sake, stop groping the nine-year-olds.

    It was actually you talking about the TSA in the Winter thread that made me think of this and worry about how I was going to transport my gear. I’ll be damned if some goon is going to be taking apart my gear in the airport.

    #39060
    CauseISaidSo
    Participant

    There’s a sign at the security checkpoint that says the x-ray machines as safe for ISO 800 or less, but either way you can ask for a manual check of film.

    I’ve always just sent my camera bag through x-ray (no film) and have never had any problems with it. They’ve never even opened it for a closer look.

    #39061
    caradoc
    Participant

    It was actually you talking about the TSA in the Winter thread that made me think of this and worry about how I was going to transport my gear. I’ll be damned if some goon is going to be taking apart my gear in the airport.

    If for some reason I was forced by circumstances to fly somewhere or take a train somewhere or otherwise deal with the TSA in any fashion, I would most likely insure my gear and ship it FedEx or UPS to my destination.

    Especially after the news from Savannah, GA and the recent gropings of passengers getting off of the train.

    (The TSA blog post has a few lies in it, too – Blogdad Bob says nobody getting off the train had to go into the station. People who were there report being told to go into the station to get their luggage – which was left outside, unsecured – and groped before being allowed to get their stuff.)

    I’ll reiterate – anyone currently working for the TSA cannot be trusted. Period.

    #39062
    Curious
    Participant

    On a related note, suggestions for archiving digital work on the road? I don’t have a lappy but I will have access to a computer. I am pondering picking up a cheap external hard drive and loading it with the Canon EOS software to use for quick develop and storage. I’m so used to being no more than a day or two away from home I’ve never thought about archiving while traveling and leaving on the CF cards just ain’t gonna cut it.

    an external should be fine but i’m wondering why you want to post process while on vacation. if you go that way you might be best served with one that is USB powered.

    re the CF cards, are they just going to run out of room?

    you might also want to see if there is a DVD burner available where you are going. preferably a dual layer one. when my sister visits she goes home with a CD/DVD of all i shot while she was here.

    #39063
    caradoc
    Participant

    On a related note, suggestions for archiving digital work on the road? I don’t have a lappy but I will have access to a computer. I am pondering picking up a cheap external hard drive and loading it with the Canon EOS software to use for quick develop and storage.

    You might look into one of the many devices on the market that have card slots and a hard drive. They simply copy the card onto the hard drive.

    I would not then format the cards, though – I usually have somewhere between 32 and 98GB of SD cards with me when I’m traveling. This may be more than you have.

    Having enough extra memory cards of whatever format you use to maintain the card as a primary and the backup device as a secondary would be a good plan.

    Here are some of the devices I’m talking about:

    http://www.adorama.com/ICDFP320.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

    http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&sku=B31B192002

    …et cetera. Places like Frys Electronics, Adorama, B&H Photo, and others will have reasonably wide selections of reasonably priced hardware to look at.

    #39064
    orionid
    Participant

    I have a tsa vs film story when I get back to a real computer. This trip, I went all digital for simplicity sake.

    #39065
    Curious
    Participant

    Here are some of the devices I’m talking about:

    http://www.adorama.com/ICDFP320.html?utm_term=Other&utm_medium=Shopping%20Site&utm_campaign=Other&utm_source=gbase

    that looks like a winner. decent price and ease of use. the reviewer who complained about FAT32 … well i’ll be nice an just say he/she is mistaken.

    #39066
    LeicaLens
    Participant

    Reading through this thread, I noticed that different airports seem to have different powered x-rays. I travelled last summer back to Europe with film, and I the scanners I saw said they were okay with film up to 3200. However, I took all my film out and handed it over to the security checkers. It usually raised a few quizzical eyebrows, but that’s all; no hassles. Once, I forgot to remove the film, but it did not appear to be affected by the x-ray (and I had a roll of 3200 in the bag at the time).

    The oddest travelling-with-camera experience I had was at the local airport near my hometown. It was a couple of years after the September 11 attacks. The security guy took the camera and all my lenses out of the bag, and swabbed them to check for explosive residue. He said it might prove I had been photographing around arms dumps or something.

    #39067
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I’ve three 4GB CF cards, though I am buying a new 8 or 16 before I travel. Since I bought the 50D these cards are not big enough for a heavy street shoot, so I turn down the RAW file size for event work.

    You’re right Curious I’m not going to Post Process on the road, I just want to dump the cards for that day and Lightroom them when I get home.

    The DVD idea is the cheapest solution and most easily implementable. I’ve seen the portable HD’s with the card readers, I like those but the money I spent on that could better be spent on other things.

    Curious wins for the DVD solution, you may pick up your prize at any of our convenient prize centers located in the Australian Outback, the Canadian Tundra and local Blockbusters.

    #39068
    caradoc
    Participant

    The security guy took the camera and all my lenses out of the bag, and swabbed them to check for explosive residue. He said it might prove I had been photographing around arms dumps or something.

    At ATL I saw a photographer being hassled for “residue” when he had been shooting a fireworks display the night before. This was when they were still using the “puffer” machines that have since been mothballed and warehoused because they weren’t making Chertoff any money.

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