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scottyb

Carry-on for DSLR Housing

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After reading several horror stories about stolen camera gear, specifically in Puerto Rico, where I will be travelling through in December, I am reconsidering my packing arrangements. Although my stuff is insured, I couldn't stand the agony of arriving somewhere, only to discover I will not be shooting photos, at least with my own gear.

 

I have a Lowepro Roller 2, which I believe is their largest that is a legal carry-on. I have always packed the camera body, lenses, and strobes (because they fit) and a lot of miscellaneous items. The rest had to be checked and I have been using a Pelican 1610 for 4 years now. This is one of the very ones that has been the most susceptible. It will not all fit in a Lowepro like mine unless I leave out the dome port.

 

Has anybody found a carry-on sized case that will handle a DSLR housing, 8" dome port, macro port, extensions, arms, and connectors? Since my wife doesn't shoot and doesn't utilize her allotment of carr-on, we can make a 2nd photo case work. I am thinking that any critical components that I can't live without, need to be with me.

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I have used the following f.64 as a carryon with most of all the major airlines and some of the smaller like Taca, Air Nuigui, etc... with no problems to date. It will fit my housing, camera body, 2xlens, 8" Aquatica dome, 2xD2000W strobes, all associated chargers, memory cards, and I can squeeze in my laptop.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...egoryNavigation

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i packed 2 bodies, housing, dome and flat port, and 4 lenses into my lowepro photo trekker AWII and is easy for carry on.

 

However.... i had to put strobes connectore and arms in second bag

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I had an old photo trekker AW in the attic. It's probably a I, not a II. I am able to fit housing, dome, flat, gears, and a few misc. items. It is much more flexible than the roller 2.

 

No way for 2nd body but I think I can live with that. Thanks for jarring my memory. It goes back to my Nikonos days. I swore off anything not on wheels a few years back but circumstances dictate a little lugging now.

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I believe IATA agreed rules state that apart from one carry-on bag, econonomy class passengers can carry an umbrella and a camera.

So I carry one rucksack with my spare cameras and lenses, one flashgun and laptop, and I carry one housing (with camera and lens fitted) and 8 inch dome port separately in my hand.

 

It has passed scrutiny with endless officials including flights through the middle-east and the USA.

 

So, carry your housing in your hand and when questioned say, "It's a camera!" It works for me and I have been to the Maldives by two different routes, the Sudan, Florida via Houston, Peru via Bonaire, Fiji via USA, and Egypt so far this year. I won't bore you all the trips I have done this way in previous years!

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I always carry my camera in the housing complete with macro lens and port. I figure if I was ever challenged I can take it out and show that I can take photos with it. I can also fit 2 Inon Z220's with sync cord and arms. Everything needed to shoot macro with room enough to spare for the Sigma 15mm lens on my backup 300D.

 

I use a simple roller/backpack combo bought at a local sporting good store, REI, to avoid anything that may suggest expensive camera inside. I made my own padding by cutting up a dense foam backpacking ground mat bought at the same shop.

 

The bag fits within the specificied max dimensions of almost all airlines, but it's way over the 7 kilo limit most of them set. I carry the pack on my back and try to make it look weightless when I check in :lol: . So far, no one has ever weight it or asked to look inside.

 

The dome port goes in the checkin bag in it's original box and wrapping and clothes wrapped around that. I don't think anyones ever examined that either.

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...The bag fits within the specificied max dimensions of almost all airlines, but it's way over the 7 kilo limit most of them set. I carry the pack on my back and try to make it look weightless when I check in  :lol: . So far, no one has ever weight it or asked to look inside.

 

I have used this type of approach for many years both here in australia and in other parts of the world, but recently (say the last 6 months) here in australia anyway, I have had a few problems with the over 7 kg issue. Check-in staff have been scrutinising carry-on more and more, but they have been helpful too. I am finding they are happier to let through 2 lighter bags rather than one heavy one.

 

So just keep that in mind if you come down this way.

 

darren

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I use a pelican 1510 carry-on that fits my Ikelite case, ds-50 strobe, 6" dome and one arm. The canon 20D and the other strobe are in my Lowenpro backpack. I have only been challenged at check-in once coming out of New Zealand on Air Tahiti Nui and just had to remove the strobe from the pelican (which immediately went back into the pelican when I walked away) otherwise it hasn't been a problem.

 

This is with a lot of the pick and pluck foam still in the case so if your willing to go with bubble wrap, (and your careful handling) there will still be plenty of room left over.

 

You might want to think about packing the case handles in your checked luggage as these are heavy, low tech and not as appealing to thieves.

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I have the Ikelite Pelican Case and its over the 45 linear inch limit. I have been challenged a few times but I over exaggerate the cost of its contents and I have been able to get by. I guess now with a 5D its no longer an exaggeration. Amazing how people lose their "authority" when you hold them responsible for its loss.

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For my carry-on bag, I use a soft-sided picnic/beer cooler bag made with “Cordurra†fabric (for strength). It’s sized to hold 48 tins of your “favourite†beverage. It’s very inexpensive and unobtrusive as photo equipment bags go.

 

This bag will hold my Aquatica D2X housing, two Sunstrobe 200s, camera body with compact lens, strobe arms, and sync cords all wrapped in bubble wrap. It could hold more, but I limit it this amount of equipment based on charter flight carry on weight restrictions. I could mount the camera in the housing, or hang it around my neck, and use the extra space for a dome/macro port if the need arises. Everything else (more inexpensive items) usually are packed into the check-in luggage. I also carry a small flimsy unpadded nylon bag to redistribute equipment in case a dispute arises with airline check-in staff – this has yet to happen.

 

The cooler bag was specifically bought for its’ size, and padding, and to meet the restrictions imposed on the travelling public. The bag also does double duty as a rinse tank back the hotel room, and usually accompanies me on the dive boat. The bag will dry out quickly during my no fly time for the trip home.

 

The bag has four generously padded carry straps, but lacks a shoulder strap. I will remedy this shortly.

 

While I have raised a few eyebrows while carrying this bag at the airport, I’m more likely to be checked for bringing too much alcohol on board, than anything else. :lol:

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Does anyone have a picture of their rig in a Photo Trekker? I'd like to see how it all fits together. Thanks.

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I'm leaving for Bali on Friday, and I'm packing my housing/ports in a Pelican 1550 as a carry-on. The case will hold enitre kit sans camera: Aquatica housing, macro port, dome port, two S&S YS90 strobes, zoon/focus gears, synch chords, handles, strobe arms, and a set of magic filters tucked behind the lid. The loaded case is heavy, but its close to carry on size. The camera and lenses all fit in the bottom half of a Lowepro Orion backpack that passes as a "personal item". So far no problems.

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Why pack a Pelican if you are using it as a carry on? All that extra weight of a rigid case is just a PITA. While I don't have a pic, I've been able to pack a Subal C10, 10D (in housing), 6" Dome (ULCS Arms in a ziploc bag inside port), Flat port (coiled up sync cords inside), 16-35L, 15mm FE, 28-105, 90 Macro and 2 YS120's into a Photo Trekker AW. A Laptop case with a flaptop and the ULCS arms completed the package.

 

Usually I put my housing, ports and strobes into a Pelican Case, into a cheap looking, beat up suitcase. Peli takes up half, then clothes, chargers take up the balance.

 

Then again, flying out of Vancouver, I don't deal with the TSA and it's cheaper for me to fly to the South Pacific than to the Carribean.

 

Stu

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Interesting and timely post. Now that I've recently purchased a full DSLR set, I'm trying to figure out how to pack them for a future idea. I like stu's idea above, but my concern is the regional airlines that I take (Cathay et al from HK) have started to crack down on the weight of carryon bags as well as being less lenient on excess checkin luggage. My setup is fairly compact as the S&S 350D housing is small, 2xInon's are tiny, small dome 350D and 2 small lenses... I'd love to get a massive backpack style lowepro trekker to put most of my uw gear in, but I'd fret that if the counterfolks deem it to heavy and force me to check it in... I guess some negotiation skills would help(pleading that its fragile/ expensive camera gear might work sometimes...). But it might be safer to get carryon size pelican or storm case to put the housing,dome, and strobes in.

 

Unless... do any of you just put your housing (no ports) in your SOFT dive bag (maybe wrapped safely with clothes)??? If I could do that, then I could maybe get everything else into my computertrekker (small one) + a midsize shoulder camera bag...

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My personal opinion is what happens when they decide to valet your bag at the gate? I choose the illegal size just in case, one quick lock up an its all relatively safe. No zippered areas or pouches. Being a legal carry on i.e. less than 45 linear inches doesn't keep them from valeting your case. One instance is late boarding and there is no space left in the overhead.

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well what do you know. Forgot about my pelican 1450 case that I use for my canister light. I found that by removing the foam, the 7" dome, compact macro port (for 60mm), and the two inon's will fit. Just need to either get the pelican dividers or make some myself. Then by taking the handles off the S&S 350D housing, it fits into my Lowepro computrekker AW (small one) with plenty of room for my 350D and 3 lenses. I've carried both bags together without any hassles. And worse comes to worse, I can check-in the pelican... Fortunately haven't heard any San Juan airport horror stories out here in Asia yet...

 

edit: oops, that's a computrekker not phototrekker...

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you have all that packaging for a simple nite light?

 

Dude, thats wacky.... perhaps i will hire you as my lighting guy for video...

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B) I use a standard airline approved minimum size roller bag so it doesn't even raise an inch of a red flag. Carefully packed, it holds my housing, a port, two strobes, camera, sync cords, aiming lights, rechargeable batteries, dive computer and some clothing to go in between. It's heavy though, about 45 lbs :lol: Just hope they don't weigh any of our valuable toys B) . That's always my fear is that they go gung ho on the carry-on limits as well. When airlines do that we are totally Fu*^*d.

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you have all that packaging for a simple nite light? 

 

Dude, thats wacky....  perhaps i will hire you as my lighting guy for video...

 

LOL... sad isn't it... can't believe someone convinced me to get a pelican just for a HID cannister...

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I've flown CX, JAL and PAL from YVR to Manila, usually CX through HKG, I've never been hassled with my backpack, I see them hassle the folks with roller bags but not back packs. I'd be waiting to board in HKG and they'll skim by me and concentrate on the rollers.

 

Just make like you're not about to collapse under the weight of your gear. :lol: I've been stopped once, on a return leg from Manila to HKG. I opened my pack, showed them the camera gear and they waved me through.

 

S.

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I've flown CX, JAL and PAL  from YVR to Manila, usually CX through HKG, I've never been hassled with my backpack, I see them hassle the folks with roller bags but not back packs.  I'd be waiting to board in HKG and they'll skim by me and concentrate on the rollers.

 

Just make like you're not about to collapse under the weight of your gear.  :lol:  I've been stopped once, on a return leg from Manila to HKG.  I opened my pack, showed them the camera gear and they waved me through.

 

S.

 

ah, but they're usually lenient to those transiting from long hauls. But I agree, roller bags definitely do get more scrutiny...

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I've flown a lot too, and I've never been hassled with my rolling carry-on. By the way, I use a regular Samsonite case, it doesn't make sense to me buying a Pelican as a carry-on since it is not going to be tossed around and it is heavier than the others.

 

Luiz

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I've been thinking about some roll-on bags that have additional padding and compartments for photo gear. Such as:

 

http://tenba.com/products/2000_01_1106.asp

 

http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Backpacks/...W_Patented.aspx

 

These seem like they would have sufficient room for housing, ports, strobes, arms, bodies and lenses. You can also wear the Lowepro like a backpack, which is nice. I'll probably have to take all of my gear to a photo store and try to jam it into a case to make a decision. "Sir, can I help you?"

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I told my wife that I was making some official looking placards that said:

 

CAUTION!! Sensitive Sewage Monitoring Equipment.

Open with care.

 

She nixed the idea for fear that the airlines wouldn't accept the bags :lol:

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