Is there any gotcha with regards to carrying one's uw photo gear in a carry on? I suppose this is what most people do, but I'm wondering if there are painful lessons I should know beforehand. In particular, have you had any issue traveling with so many rechargeable batteries? How about the strobe arms?
UW photo gear in carry on - any no-no?
Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:07 PM
The biggest problem I have had trouble with and been lucky too at the same time is having to gate check your bag because there wasn't room or my bag was too big. Some of those smaller connecting flights don't have as big of over heads as the big planes do.
I have been lucky in this regard, no damage as of yet.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:13 PM
I was once challenged over the battery pack on an old Ikelite 225 but considering the battery was a collection of little cylinders wired together with a flashing light and wrapped in plastic, I'm not surprised!
I tend to check non-fragile items like strobe arms so no issues there. I think the worst that could happen with batteries is you might need to carry them separated from the strobe itself.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:01 PM
Expect a hand-check of a carried-on photo bag, whether its underwater or just a full photo gearbag in general. Never had an issue with strobe arms specifically, myself, and mine are the bulky 'floatation' type. They're pretty clearly hollow by weight and sound when handled, which helps.
I've even had a couple small hand-built circuits (LED trigger for hotshoe mount) that were fine as long as I could short across them and flash the LEDs with a coin to show what they did.
The one caution I have regards tools - they can get kind of snippety about screwdrivers and even tiny allen wrenches, so might want to move those to your dive bag. A typical rubber-strap-wrench (for dome to port extension threads) typically goes uncommented though.
Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.
Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99,
Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...
Posted 16 January 2014 - 01:25 PM
I have a small SLR lowerpro (not that small but small for SLR)
Inside housing, wet lenses, video lights and strobe and laptop, the hardware and batteries I check-in as it is heavy and not fragile
The only issue I have experienced is when my wrench was confiscated in Manado not to be seen again despite being labelled, even at heatrow they let me go with it
Posted 16 January 2014 - 04:26 PM
I traveled on Cathay Pacific over the holidays and discovered they were very particular about lithium ion batteries. There are limits to how many you can carry, depending on the size. These are stated clearly on their web site, and maybe other airlines are doing this now too, so it would pay to check with the airline directly.
Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:40 PM
BahamasAir can be Naziesque when dealing with carry-on weights.
Posted 17 January 2014 - 01:33 AM
The only think I would say is remove the O-Ring from anything that you shut tight you take on the plane.
I've had the glass dome pop out of the housing on a Zen port, as I forgot to take out the o-ring in the housing.
Posted 17 January 2014 - 02:37 AM
Posted 17 January 2014 - 12:52 PM
I'm going to buy a "travel vest" or a photo vest, and put some of the heavy stuff (rechargeable batteries in particular) in my pockets. That should help lower the weight of my pack. Of course I'll look like a dork.
Posted 17 January 2014 - 07:38 PM
Canon 7D, Nauticam NA-7D, 2x Inon z240, Tokina 10-17, Canon 60mm + 100mm, SMC
Posted 18 January 2014 - 02:11 AM
Similar to others, I was stopped for trying to carry on my wrench/spanner and Allen wrenches in Tel Aviv. Fortunately, I had enough time to go back out and check them in as luggage. I was rather annoyed though when they provided metal cutlery for the dinner service on the flight. I have to think the knife I was given was far more deadly than my Allen wrenches.
Funny!! They are pretty inconsistent with their rules. I sell steel wire rope and travelled with a sample of 6mm wire rope which went right through however they confiscated by box tape!
Posted 18 January 2014 - 04:55 AM
The inconsistency is so frustrating. I always print the dangerous goods regulations for the airline and take them with me, as the various staff through the airport can have very different ideas. Some airlines say one lithium battery in the device and one spare in carry-on. Others give specific sizes above which you have to declare them, but smaller ones are fine and you can do whatever. Others say some batteries must be checked and others must be carry-on. It's always good to be able to demonstrate usage to security on the way to the gate, so I try to keep enough bits with me to make the strobes work, for example.
For batteries I tape the terminals, and before putting a housing or strobes through X-ray I tell the security people what's in there. Easier than putting them on high alert then trying to calm everyone down while you fish a giant piece of metal out of the bag for closer inspection. Especially when you're travelling through airports that don't see too many scuba divers.
Beyond that...cross your fingers they don't try and weigh the bag, and look non-threatening. Good luck!
Posted 18 February 2014 - 07:36 PM
I've had issues traveling with the camera body in the housing. A couple of times they have made me take it apart. Other issues, as many noted, are tool kits (a 2" mini-screwdriver is a problem, really???). I travle with quite a few strobes, and they really don't like those. Make sure they will fire. Waiting for the issues with Li-ion batteries to come up.
As mentioned, above, be sure to tape all ends of loose batteries for dive lights (better yet, buy a rechargeable light). Loose batteries can come into contact with metal and short out.
But I carry all of my high $ gear on with me, keeping within the "volume" measurements. Nothing worse than getting to a city, to go on a live-aboard, and find your gear is missing.
My family won't even go through security with me anymore, as my carry on is myriad of lenses, wires, strobes, regs, etc., all tightly packed. The biggest nightmare is when they want to "delayer it", and start pulling stuff out of my carefully packed bag. And it's a real pain if you're traveling through an airport that sees few divers. I'd freak, too, if I was running the scanner, if I say my own stuff and didn't know what it was!!!!