X-ray Specs or: A lucky break for Ilford Delta 3200 film

Returning to film is more than just picking up a film camera. There is also the choice of film. Another blog (Cooking Film) encouraged me to try Ilford Delta 3200. I read widely about the dangers posed by X-ray machines and the need to hand carry the film. With a trip to Liberia coming up, I decided to take a couple of rolls of Ilford Delta 3200 and an Olympus Mju.

My journey took me through both JFK airport in New York and Charles De Gaulle in Paris. I packed my unexposed film into a ziploc bag and arrived at JFK. I asked for a hand check of the film—no problem. In Charles De Gaulle, I asked for a hand check—again, no problem. I arrived in Liberia, shot most of one roll and left the film in the camera.

Too late, as I watched my bag disappear through the airport X-ray machine in Monrovia on my way home, I remembered the film. On the way back, it was X-rayed twice more and I was convinced that all the images would be destroyed. But, no the images survived. Given the experiences of others, I was lucky my film did not fog. For me, Ilford Delta 3200 is reserved for photography within walking or driving distance of home.