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packing and transporting my rig


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#1 buddy

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 12:47 AM

Knowing this topic has been discussed already I still want to show how I do with my rig since I got recently a storm roller bag, in which I store the housing (Subal for S2 pro), the Subal Dome port for the 12-24 lens, a Nikonos SB-105 Flash and a Sealux Flash housing for Nikon SB-80DX and some accessories. The storm case is supposed as a carry-on. All my camera gear goes into a small Tamrac photobag. The Tamrac photobag can be attached onto the handle of the storm rollerbag and is also for carry-on. The Subal port for the 70-180 microzoom goes in a small pellicase, which goes into my divebag (to be checked) together with the arms for the flashguns and the other dive gear.
I have not yet travelled like this but will go to the red sea soon. In earlier trips I used another big Tamrac photobag in which I stuffed everything into as carry-on, but with a heavy weigtht of around 30 kg I almost broke my shoulders! So this way with the wheels on I should be better of assuming that the airline does not require me to check it.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
BTW, I got so many useful and interesting hints from this forum that without it I would have been lost in setting up the gear. Thank you all!

Juerg

#2 whitey

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:00 AM

I'm not experienced with traveling with a housed SLR (yet), but like you I've been getting lots of hints from previous threads about travel setup.

My solution has been to purchase a Lowepro dryzone 200 for the camera gear (to keep the non-waterproof stuff dry) and a separate Lowepro Nature Trekker for housing/ports/strobe. This is more aimed at local travel rather than airline travel in my case. It seems like a good setup to me, but I haven't field tested it yet.

BTW, I've travelled extensively with the Nature Trekker in the past as carry-on, and although it's slightly too big for this purpose technically, I haven't been stopped from taking it onboard a plane yet.

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#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:10 AM

The problem is the rules vary so much between airlines. Nearly all the flights to the Red Sea from the UK are charter flights and these are very strict on luggage allowance. Hand luggage is limited to 5kg and this is strictly enforced.
I have been travelling for a number of years with my housings in the hold. So long as they are well protected in a rigid box, with a padded lining, I have never hgad a problem. Except of course last year when the UK baggage handlers forgot to load my camera case on the plane when going to Egypt. Quite a pain when you are joining a liveaboard!
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#4 buddy

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:33 AM

they were originally way too large in terms of file size (obviously there is a limitation on 75 kb for file attachment, which I just learned now by doing...

#5 buddy

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:35 AM

packe to go as carry-on (assuming they let me go like that, otherwise I would have to check the storm case also...

#6 whitey

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 01:43 AM

That looks like a lot of carry-on to me. Advantage of the nature trekker is I just carry it nochalantly over my shoulder, pretending that it doesn't weigh 15kg!

Nice rig, BTW.

Rob Whitehead

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#7 Jolly

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 02:19 AM

In general the IATA rules apply: maximum 55 x 40 x 20 cm.

But maximum weight is not prescribed by IATA so the airlines limit this by their own as Alex mentioned.
But if you enter a small and fully booked aircraft (canadair jet for example) to get to the hub where your long range flight departs, you might have to hand over your hand luggage to the loaders within the "delivered at aircraft procedure" for cargo compartment loading :?

My hint: Avoid charter, fly first class
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#8 tshepherd

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 06:41 AM

That does look like an awfully big case to carry on, especially on full, small planes. I've also found that soft bags attract less attention as carryons than do hard cases.

#9 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 06:58 AM

I highly doubt that you'll get that on the plane as a carry on. I've placed my Subal in a Lowepro Phototrekker AW pack with 2 strobes, Canon 10D, 15mm FE, 28-105 & 16-35L lens. The arms and clamps go in checked baggage. I also carried a laptop with me in a Case Logic neoprene case.

It's fairly routine to see gate agents stop people with roller bags for check in but don't stop those with soft bags.

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#10 Detonate

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 07:09 AM

That looks exactly like my carry on, except my soft bag is a padded back pack.

I don't expect having any problems carrying it on planes, but then again, the only place I really go is Cozumel.

#11 Marjo

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 07:36 AM

Hi Guys,

I am traveling to Dominica to dive there two weeks starting Saturday. Now it is just a 90 minutes hop on a small plane from St. Croix where I live. Being a cheapie girl (this personality trait often develops after after you own and maintain a sailboat on an island for a while)and practical I refuse to purchase an expensive storm case when there are far more creative and less expensive solutions at hand.

This is what I did to make a custom molded bumpproof casing for my houring and strobes and I am mighty proud of my creation:

I got a cheap plastic box from K mart (about $7)m "Homez" brand.

I got a few cans of "great stuff" triple expanding insulating foam from the hardware store and one big trashbag.

I squirted a bunch of "great stuff" into the bottom of the plastic case, covered it with cutout part of plastic bag and then pushed in my housing to mold the foam. Then I covered the housing with another piece of plastic, squited some ore to make a "top layer", covered that, pushed on my strobe and ports, covered with plastic and made a "top" layer of foam.

Now I have a fanstastic custom moded case for my gear with the additional benefit of look not screaming "expensive gear here - please steal".

Of course this coud also be done in a plastic suitcase rather than a kmart box for a more expensive solution.

If anyone decides to try this, be aware of this:

- Make a test mold in a cardboard box first so you get the idea of how the foam acts. YOu donot want it stuck to your gear while wet.

- Do not squirt the foam inside of plastic bags. This was my original idea but it did not work.The foam will not cure and it will not expand enough unless it gets some air. It needs to be a bit open at the sides to work. Of course you can try covering the bottom of the box with plastic, just leave some ventilation room between sides and top.

#12 james

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 07:45 AM

Hi Buddy,

How do you like your Sealux flash housing?

PS, Marjo, that's a great idea!

Another good one I just saw was Norbert Wu's cooler idea. He even has a special u-bar mounted so that you can secure/lock the lid:

http://64.91.229.42/...king/index.html

Cheers
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#13 tshepherd

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 07:54 AM

Marjo,

That's a great idea, and probably more effective than using the pick and pluck foam that you get with a pelican case. I may have to try that out!
Tom

#14 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 08:06 AM

I bought a Lowepro Trekker Pro to carry all my gear in. The Trekker pro is the same as the Nature Trekker except that it has two detachable side pouches that I don't use. This way I can carry:

Ikelite Housing
flat port
D70 in housing (shouldn't do this but I treat it gingerly)
pair of DS125s with 2 manual controllers
60mm 12-24mm 18-70mm and 50mm lenses
SB800 speedlite
Canon Digital elf backup setup with housing and S&S lenses

The seperate backpack has my reg books and magazines and sometimes the arm if I'm paranoid about not getting my luggage.

It weighs a ton. I haven't been stopped yet and as a climber/backpacker I'm used to heavy loads.

If I were single I would get a Lowepro soft roller instead and carry the camera and lenses in a Micro Trekker AW that fits under the seat. I like having everything on my back though because I travel with my wife and two small children. So I need all the free arms I can get and rolling something extra or carrying two backpacks is not an option.

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#15 buddy

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Posted 09 July 2004 - 09:54 AM

very interesting and also some funny, especially the one with the cooler! But this one is certainly not for a carry-on. So far I have used the quite big Tamrac 614 for camera and housing and flash guns etc. and never had a problem as carry-on (1 trip to Maldives, 1 trip to Thailand/Burma and 1 to Egypt) besides the heavy weight of more than 20 kg I bet. Not that the airlines did not let me take it as carry on but my shoulders and neck were probably 3 days out of order...
On the other hand the Stormcase M2500 is the smallest roller bag with detachable handles and is supposed as carry-on with its exterior dimension of 55x36x22 cm (which goes almost in line with the IATA rules as Jolly mentioned 55x40x20 --> I hope they will not make any troubles for only 2 cm... and BTW $130 for it was not that expensive). So what should be the remaining concern is just the weight. Otherwise I just check it. The camera bag anyway will have to be carried through the gate by my wife (assuming and hoping she doesn't want to bring a bag with her in addition...! :D )

James, yes I like the Sealux housing for the SB80DX (which I also use much topside) except it is kind of heavy. That's why I use these yellow buoyancy to balance. :)

#16 Marjo

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 04:10 AM

Tshepherd: Funny you should write that, because the idea with the insulating foam came to me while I was in "foam hell" trying to pick and pluck... I was thinking, why the heck can't I just SQUIRT this stuff in... and then the next day a engineer cooworker of mine mentioned the "great stuff" brand...

Also, here's another $ saver: Closed cell foam is a bit expensive, at least here on the islands. K-mart sells flat floating "noodles" in the toy department. About 1/2 thick and 8 inches wide, 6 feet long, very easy to cut. Great for turning regular backpack into laptop/photogear bag or for other padding jobs.

#17 whitey

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 07:03 AM

I think you should post a photo of your creation.

It may be exactly what buddy needs (esp. the Kmart box version) as he can't have much money left over after buying that very slick Subal rig!

Rob Whitehead

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#18 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 10 July 2004 - 07:42 AM

I regularly swear at people with the amount of carry on shown in the posting above while on American Airlines flights... but you would not get the storm case on to the American Eagle puddle-jumpers I take when departing my home airport, and you'd probably have trouble on a regional jet.

The DryZone 200 that Rob mentions above does not fit the puddle-jumper overhead bins, I always valet-check it at the door. It (the DZ-200) is actually a bit thicker when fully loaded than the NatureTrekker line. It fits most overhead bins in larger jets in the US with no problem, but Rob, you're not going to get it into the cabin of a QANTAS international flight (I speak with bitter experience here, the people at LAX are brutal).

I was unable to get the DZ-200 to fit into the overhead bins on the TAME flight from Quito to the Galapagos, while another member of the group (hauling a Canon 500mm f4 :shock: ) was able to comfortably fit his NatureTrekker AW in the same overheads. The storm case you have up there would fit...

My housing(s) have never travelled in the cabin with me... and so far no major SNAFUS.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#19 markprior

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 01:41 AM

I recently travelled through Auckland International Airport and before reaching security all hand luggage was weighed. Any over 7kg was rejected. This was irrespective of airline.


My 12kg carry-on was lightened by placing heavy items into my coat and trousers.

My tip is to always travel in Combat trousers and a coat with generous pockets for this purpose. My combats can take a DS-125 in each lower leg pocket.

As soon as I had walked around the corner I put everything back in the bag. I have had similar problems at check-in in the UK where my carry-on has been weighed. No objection has ever been made to loading my pockets though !

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#20 martys

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Posted 11 July 2004 - 07:28 AM

Hey Marjo -

I'm looking at the Great Stuff web site and they have many different products. Which is the one you used? The Big Gap Filler is the one listed as "triple expanding", the others only say "minimal expanding".

thanks,
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