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Thinktank Airport Acceleration & Urban Disguise 6

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I've been checking in my UW rig for years now, and it's always made me nervous that I could lose the opportunity to shoot on a trip if my baggage were delayed.

 

I think I've figured out how to make it work with a Seacam rig! The setup below is for a trip I'm taking tomorrow to Hawaii to shoot waves with Norb Wu. I'll also get on a boat for snorkeling with Frank Baensch.

 

If I were traveling with strobes, I would replace the big lenses in the Urban Disguise bag with strobes, arms/clamps, and chargers.

 

Special thanks to Larry Chan, who let me take a close look at his Thinktank bag last week while we were in Mexico...

 

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Thinktank Airport Acceleration with Seacam housing, Seacam handles,

Superdome, P30 extension, extra battery for 1Ds3, 2 x external hard disks,

1ds3 charger, 1D3 camera body, 1Ds3 camera body (in housing), filters,

assorted accessories.

 

30 pounds loaded as you see it, plus 5.5 lbs for Macbook Pro

 

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Thinktank Airport Acceleration bag with additional accessories on top of Superdome

 

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Thinktank Acceleration bag, with notebook sleeve on top

 

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Thinktank Urban Disguise 60 bag with 400/5.6L, 70-200/2.8L IS, 15mm fisheye,

1.4x teleconverter, 2x teleconverter, 24-105/4L, Sigma 20/1.8, and accessories.

 

2 big lens slots could be replaced with 2 strobes. 3rd slot could be replaced with arms + clamps.

Could stuff strobe chargers in front pockets.

 

I put chargers and cables in the back slot (which could also hold a computer).

 

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Thinktank Urban Disguise 60 bag front pockets, each of which can hold a pro camera body

 

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Thinktank Airport Acceleration bag and Urban Disguise 60 bag

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I recently switched from my lowepro computrekker plus to thinktank airport international plus urben disguise 60. Advantage is rollers on the international.

the security roller model was the same size as my old lowe pro, net large airplane domestic but did not meet international carry-on regs.

With the 2 bag system I have lots more room, the urban disguise slips over the handle of the international. I will take some shots loaded and post later.

loaded in the international: Aquatica housing, D200, 105VR, macro port plus extension, 8"dome, handles, UL8"arms with 4gen foam, cables. no room for the strobes dual inon z240 in the international or focus light. they and the rest of the lenses plus laptop go into the urban disguise,

All of the necessary stuff goes on with me, if you feel lucky, you could try a single bag approach with the security, it all fits.

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Sadly airlines are getting tough in my part of the world - single piece of carry on max 10kg (22lbs) and they are now out and about enforcing it.

 

Add that to allowing only a single check in bag of 20Kg (50Lbs) it is all making dive trips a nightmare.

 

Sure you can have 'excess' checked in baggage, £6 per Kg ( $6 per pound ).

 

Paul C

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Eric, nice packing job! Where can I purchase these bags? I too have been a nervous wreak about checking the peligan case and am interested in options. Thanks!

Mark

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Wild, Eric! I was just posting about that bag in another 'what to pack' thread. Didn't know if it was worth almost $300...did you find it cheaper anywhere?

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Great stuff Eric! I got a Thinktank Airport Acceleration before my safari and I love it. I have thought about trying to pack my housing in there but now this will really get me moving. Having a good elite status will probably help to get the carry-ons on-board. :-)

 

Thearmadillo: you can get the Thinktank stuff at Houston Camera Exchange. I got two of their bags there (from Mike Wheeler) for about the same price as B&H believe it or not.

 

Cheers

James

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eric, that looks great!

quick question: is the 1ds3 seacam housing the same dimension as the 1d/1ds mkii housing?

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I have been using the Airport Security roll bag and the Airport Chick-In for several years now, before they came out with the Airport International and Urban Disguise bags. Each of mine are a bit larger and I have not be ask about the bag size during any of my travels. The Airport Security is almost always over weight but I have not been busted on weight yet.

 

I love this combo and can carry two Olympus DSLR housings and cameras, 220 mm dome port, macro port, three extension ports, two Inon Z-240 strobes, Athena ring flash, five or six lenses, assorted cables, fisheye focusing light, portable hard drive, dive computer and other accessories. In the Airport Check-in I have my lap-top, land strobe, batteries, chargers, assorted firewire readers, CF card, cleaning equipment, passport and other small items.

 

Trays and strobe arms go to checked luggage along with the dive gear.

 

The small bag slides over the handle on the roll bag so it can all be moved with one hand. The roll bag also has a security wire which allows the bag or both bag to be locked to a bench or other solid object in the airport or other locations to provide extra security.

 

These bags are very well built and well worth the cost if you do lots of travel.

 

For info check- http://thinktankphoto.com/ttp_products.html

 

Phil Rudin

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Edited by tropical1

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Looks great, Eric! Is there a reason you guys chose the Airport Acceleration instead of the Airport Addicted ( http://www.thinktankphoto.com/ttp_product_ArprtAddctd.php )? It is still apparently carry-on legal, but is slightly larger...

 

Besides, doesn't "Addicted" better describe most of our relationships with the gear we pack in these bags? :D

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I would have chosen either the security or the addicted, but both thinktank customer service and my local camer store recommended the smaller bags for international travel. the security or the addicted are legal for domestic US flights but a bit too large for international. the international roller bag coupled with the urban disguise 60 or acceleration will carry all and more than is needed.

the security or addicted would be a tight fit for all the gear. they also make an ultralight backpack.

great stuff but pricey

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I'm not Eric however I got the acceleration for my safari BECAUSE it is small. I needed it to fit in light planes like a twin otter or cessna caravan. I also got an antidote because it's one of the only good bags that will fit in an embraer RJ.

 

You guys think you have it bad for weight restrictions - on safari, the total weight limit for 10 days traveling was 33 lbs!

 

Cheers

James

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You guys think you have it bad for weight restrictions - on safari, the total weight limit for 10 days traveling was 33 lbs!

 

Cheers

James

 

Geez, how many pairs of underwear does one have to trade in for a telephoto lens? Guess "commando" and safari were made for each other!

 

I have an "Addicted" and love it dearly but I await with dread the day when it is a bit too big for whatever flight I'm on . . .

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Very nice, I am a luggage junkie.

 

Question for Eric and others - two things I am always concerned about is salt residue near electronics and whether transporting the camera in the housing is safe.

 

As to the first one, I pack anything that was non-salt water exposed in one backpack (bodies, leneses, batteries etc.) except for one video port which gets wrapped in plastic, and bodies and the rest go in another piece of luggage. I rinse everything, but can not shake the feeling that even a little bit of exposure to salt or a drop of water hanging somewhere that I missed will cause issues. From what I see though it seems it is probably being a bit too concerned(?)

 

The second is that every housing manufacturer says do not place the camera in the housing for transpost, though I have done that from time to time when the piece of luggage is carry on and I do not think it will get too jostled. And for an older rig I actually checked the body in the housing. (This was a beater rig.) Never ran into issues, but no longer do that with any of my newer things. Again, am I being over cautious?

 

Just curious how this has all worked out for others.

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One thing I can't really tell from the website is whether Thinktank bags have any hard sides to resist crushing if/when they end up being stacked atop each other.

 

A couple of comments that may be pertinent. First, I'm inclined (like Mike O.) to go with the Addicted because I find that on little foreign domestic planes (e.g., Merpati), probably no camera case is going to fit in the overhead, and my long legs don't let anything go under the seat. :D So whatever bags I carry on are likely to spend those flights stacked at the back of the plane. In cases where they require gate-checking things, I always carry a little fist-sized nylon bag that opens up into a shoulder bag, and I empty the most valuable stuff (laptop, etc.) into that to carry on and gate-check a nearly empty bag. B)

 

The one place I can think of where the smaller Acceleration bag might make the difference is Qantas, which seems to have a corporate obsession with restricting carry-on size...at least from Cairns to PNG. :glare:

 

As for Drew's question about traveling with cameras inside housings, I always do so if it is in my carry-on, but with the proviso that the camera body (sans lens) is firmly screwed into its housing mount (i.e., can't move around at ALL inside the housing) and that the housing is NEVER air-tight (doesn't have a port on it). In fact, like most of you, I try to make sure that nothing with o-rings (strobes, flashlights, etc.) is sealed airtight for air transport. Frankly, I can't see how a camera could be MORE secure in a carry-on bag than being firmly installed inside its housing inside a well-padded outer case - it provides a hard shell all the way around the camera body, and is one less thing to bang into anything else!

 

As for packing parts that have been exposed to water in with things that haven't, I think that depends in part on how sure you are that they are totally dry, and in part on whether your camera body and/or lens is one that is known to be better moisture-sealed or not. I don't worry much about a drop of water getting on my 1D series bodies, but I'm considerably more paranoid about cheaper bodies that aren't known to be as weather-sealed, since I know that a drop of salt water in the wrong place can fry them... :excl:

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Bruce the single screw which fastens the camera down can snap. I had one snap in a video housing which I had as carry on. It's a very rare thing, but it does happen.

I use a similar bag as a smaller 2nd bag. The Crumpler Brazillion is about the same size as the ThinkTank Urban Disguise but a lot more 'urban' in look and design (read: cooler looking :D) It can be converted to a backpack as well.

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The "Addicted" looked a bit too large for small planes. Like James, I chose the Airport Accel because will fit in small plane bins with the laptop case removed. I wanted one on my back because I frequently am hauling two rolling bags as it is. A third would would be disastrous. Plus, I might as well use this back while it is still working well. :D

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I've just been using an Think Tank Airport Ultralight which can take a Seacam 1DS housing plus ports/lenses, etc - way more weight than at least one airline staff member was prepared to allow recently (she watched me repack much into my jacket and waistcoat - how dumb is that?). I'd suggest these are worth a look too and whilst light they do offer fair protection.

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How about this one?

 

I used to have a Lowepro Rolling Computrekker, which fitted my D100 setup entirely (ports, strobes, lenses, etc). Unfortunately my new Subal 1Ds II housing has a non-removable GS180 viewfinder, which sticks out 10 cm :D

 

The Lowepro Commercial AW DV should not be that much of a problem for carry-on. Anyone using it?

 

Gr.

 

Vincent

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My primary carry-on is a Sears suitcase. It's 45 linear inches. It has no bulky space consuming dividers. The individual items that need protecting are inside bubble wrap envelopes. The stuff that doesn't need protecting are in plastic bags and get shoved in (e.g. arms, handles and cords). This maximizes the cubic space available inside. My complete rig, sans lenses, can fit in it.

 

My computer bag is a Computrekker. So far, so good. I keep waiting for the challenge. "Sir, you can't put your laptop in steamer trunk and call it your laptop bag."

 

We also use a Think Tank, but while it protects the contents better, it cannot hold nearly as much as the Sears suitcase. It's getting a bit worn out now. I could probably get a replacement at Target, but Sears has a better selection, so I pay extra for the more upscale store. :D

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My primary carry-on is a Sears suitcase. It's 45 linear inches. It has no bulky space consuming dividers. The individual items that need protecting are inside bubble wrap envelopes.

 

Mine's from Costco :D

 

Same idea, though. I lined the case with large bubble wrap. All items are wrapped in small bubble wrap. I agree that the padded dividers or foam takes up a lot of room. The case easily fits my:

  • Subal C20 housing with large viewfinder
  • Subal 8" dome port
  • Subal macro port
  • two Inon Z220 strobes
  • one Inon Z240 strobe
  • two Canon 20D bodies
  • Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens
  • Canon 60 mm macro lens
  • Sigma 18-200 OS lens (for topside use)
  • dive computer
  • Fisheye Fix Light HG20DX
  • o-rings
  • sync cord

I think this puts me at about 26 lbs. There is still some room left in the case. I put soft foam on top of everything to take up the remaining space and prevent things from shifting around. I could fit strobe arms, but don't want to push my luck on the weight. I am still counting on my luggage to make it. But, at least I have all the expensive and fragile items in my carry-on.

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I'm using a Lowepro Computrekker Plus for the following gear:

 

- UK-Germany Housing for Canon 20D

- UK-Germany Domeport + Extensions for Canon 10-22mm and Tokina Fisheye

- UK-Germany Macroport + Extensions for Sigma Macros 50/2,8 & 150/2,8 + Tamron Macro 90/2,8

- 2x Inon Z-220 with cables

- Fix Light

- divecomputer

- Tokina fisheye

- Canon 70-200/2,8 for topside

- teleconverter + close up lense

- strobe arms and clamps for 1 strobe only (you never know :D ), the other one in the diving bag

- small tool set

- all O-rings

- filters

- accus for camera & strobes

- chargers for accus (camera and strobe)

- an old Dell notebook (much too heavy :excl: )

 

The whole thing weights about 17 kg ;) .

 

I have an additional Lowepro camera hip bag for my 20D + mounted 10-22mm, the Sigma 50/2,8 Macro and the Tamron 90/2,8 Macro.

The Sigma Macro 150/2,8 has an extra lensbag for itself which is carried by my dive buddy as well as my Hartenberger Maxi Compact. :)

 

This is my 'worst situation baggage configuration', means when I go on a liveaboard which leaves right after arriving I have at least a setup with one strobe + arm.

For non safari trips I put the port extensions and strobe arms into my diving bag

 

Attached you'll find some 'not up-to-date' pictures that I've already posted in a German UW-Forum (sorry for the German explanations :D ).

The Sea&Sea strobe is already replaced with two Inons, the lenses are in the hip bag and I use different strobe arms now but at least it gives you an impression of the Computrekker which fits the int. standard handluggage size.

 

Cheers

 

Wahrmut

 

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Edited by waso

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What is wrong with checking housing and strobes in the hold baggage?

 

They are designed to withstand pressure and so reasonably tough. Mine have been checked in soft bags numerous times on long haul flights over the past 3 years without problems so far.

 

With computer, camera, flash and lenses etc in my carry on, I never have room for the housing or strobes.

 

Does anyone have any nightmare experiences to share, except lost baggage that might make me change my mind?

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They're designed to withstand positive pressure differentials from the outside (relative vacuum inside). Not the opposite*. The holds aren't always pressurized up to sea level or equal pressure with where you left from.

 

As long as the housing and strobe battery compartments are left loose, so they can at least equalize (can't do much for the strobe electronics compartment), I'd think you'd be okay. Then it's just the issue of possibly having your checked bag lost or stolen from.

 

I think I'll try and get as much as I can carried, but leave things like arms and handles in the checked. At the least I could shoot sans strobes if my luggage was delayed...

 

 

*I say that, but then thinking about it, although a relative internal vacuum is the expected 'working' environment Ike et al have to know scuba divers fly to their destinations. So on second thought I'm not convinced they wouldn't have been designed to also withstand around a 10-15 psi negative pressure differential as well.

Edited by rtrski

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What is wrong with checking housing and strobes in the hold baggage?

 

They are designed to withstand pressure and so reasonably tough. Mine have been checked in soft bags numerous times on long haul flights over the past 3 years without problems so far.

 

With computer, camera, flash and lenses etc in my carry on, I never have room for the housing or strobes.

 

Does anyone have any nightmare experiences to share, except lost baggage that might make me change my mind?

 

 

The main reason is the bag not arriving on time and you not being able to shoot for an entire trip. That would suck if it was the one trip a year kind of thing. Especially some of the expensive remote ones.

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