dSLR gear and Airport Security?

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dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:48 am

Looking at air travel over the second weekend in July. I would like to take at least part of my dSLR gear and naturally wouldn't trust it to baggage handling, so carry-on it is. I can imagine a bag full of lenses looking somewhat like a bag full of pipebombs on an x-ray scanner, and am wondering if I might have to make an angst-ridden decision over which two favorites I couldn't afford to be without, in order to speed up the screening process.

Who has done this before in a North American airport and how much trouble was it?
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Re: dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:09 am

Gone through with a dSLR and two lenses before as carry on... had no trouble at all in multiple airports on an international flight. I would think the more gear you got, the more you would like an avid photographer so they would be less likely to check. Or maybe they can just tell the difference between a pipebomb and a lens.
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Re: dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:14 am

I've traveled internationally with my camera gear numerous times. If I'm taking all my stuff, I put stuff it all in my camera bag and take it as carry-on. In it I carry 3 lenses with metal bodies and a flash unit. I've never had anything out of the ordinary happen. I think the DSLR equipment is common enough that it's nothing out of the ordinary for airport screeners.
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Re: dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:43 am

I've flown numerous times around the country (mainly to/from Hawaii) and internationally (Japan, Canada, and Mexico just in the last 3 years) and I've flown with signficant amount of camera gear (1 body, 5 lenses, flash, filters, batteries, chargers, netbook, etc). For the most part once you send your stuff through the x-ray, they'll pull you and your bag to the side so they can visually check it and wipe it down a few times with some little circular white paper which they put into a machine. I asked once what they were checking for and the TSA agent told me the machine was looking for traces of explosives. The whole process is pretty fast (a couple of mins). It used to take longer when I used to shoot with film because they would check every film canister (at my request because I didn't want to send film through the xray even if they say it's safe for film ISO 800 and under).

So really, I wouldn't worry about leaving gear behind just to speed up the screening process. It's painless.
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Re: dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:15 am

SnowboardingTobi wrote:For the most part once you send your stuff through the x-ray, they'll pull you and your bag to the side so they can visually check it and wipe it down a few times with some little circular white paper which they put into a machine.
Even that (which has only happened to me once when I had an extra rats nest of cabling in my camera bag) is relatively painless and only takes a few minutes.

Whether you're carying a body and a couple of lenses or a carry-on packed to the gills with photo equipment, it's normally not an issue.
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Re: dSLR gear and Airport Security?

Postposted on Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:56 am

FWIW, I'm in Spokane, Washington this weekend, and my LowePro Fastpack 350 and complete DSLR collection (except the Speedlite, which I didn't plan to use went right through the X-ray scanner at Denver without even a pause. Be interested to see what happens coming back out of Spokane this Sunday PM, though, as the small airports seem to be a lot more careful about odd-looking things in bags.
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