The Perfect Sunrise

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Will my vintage photoelectric lightmeters (the ones using photocells, no batteries) be affected or permanently damaged by x-ray scanners at the airport?

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2 Answers

Photoelectric light meters typically use selenium for light measurement and this has also been used in cameras, including some rather expensive ones, over the years. I supposed if you were to let it sit in the scanner for some crazy length of time, you'd risk it, but for the short period of exposure there would be no risk. Bear in mind that selenium cells have been used in a lot of devices, not just light meters and cameras.

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The x-rays used in airports are not strong enough to do much damage. Even most film is usually not affected much. High speed film can be fogged from multiple passes, so a remedy has been created: an x-ray impermeable pouch in which the film is placed. The baggage handling personnel will see a blank spot where the envelope is, perhaps a lead-lined container. If they are concerned, they will perform a manual inspection of the contents.

Such a device should protect your light meter should you be concerned.

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