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ckhorne

Complete setup in ThinkTank roller bag

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Well, I'm stuck on land for the next 6 weeks with my shiny new Aquatica housing setup, so I thought I might as well figure out how I can best travel with it. I have Pelican 1514 with padding dividers that worked well for my previous housing, but my new setup seems to just be a little bit bigger, and adding an 8" dome port made the pelican almost worthless. After reading several threads about the dangers of pelican cases (being stolen or a target for theft if checked), I decided to check out ThinkTank's rolling bags. If I must check it, at least it won't look like a Pelican.

 

The Airport International v2.0 fits in all international overhead compartments, the same as the Pelican. But it's much better made and has more room in the interior (and double the price tag). The ThinkTank is also 6lbs lighter (empty) than the pelican - not insignificant when you're trying to stay under 40lbs!

 

As for the Think Tank bag itself- I can't speak highly enough about it - it's top notch quality. It looks smaller than the pelican, unless you place them side-by-side. It has three different TSA-compatible locks built into it (including one for the main zipper).

 

I know everything mostly fit if I just threw it in there and hoped for the best. But the OCD in me always wins out, and I prefer to compartmentalize everything. So... I spent about two hours playing with velcro adapters. Here's what I was able to fit inside:

 

  • Aquatica 5D2 housing
  • 8" dome port + shade
  • Flat port
  • Port extension
  • Two Inon strobes
  • Fisheye FIX focus light + charger
  • Two Arms + clamps
  • Other accessories

 

This covers my complete setup, from macro to wide angle, and everything except actual camera body and lenses. A couple of pictures (click for larger):

 

4562137282_2f119b06e6.jpg

 

4562137132_488edca5c4.jpg

 

(My other Inon strobe + arms hasn't arrive yet, so isn't in these pictures- it will sit on top of the existing Inon in the pictures). All equipment is snug, but in no danger of being crushed or broken. The dome port is in place with the protective shade, placed upside down, so that the shade rests on the bottom of the case. Port extension is attached and under the flat port.

 

I decided to try fitting my camera gear in as well, and was astonished to get in the following as well:

 

  • Canon 5D MkII body
  • 15mm Sigma Fisheye
  • Canon 17-40mm
  • Canon 100mm L macro

 

This takes a bit of work, and means that a couple non-critical items needs to be moved into check-in luggage (mainly, the second set of arms). The camera goes inside the housing for travel; not ideal (don't want the buttons pressing into the camera!), but I can't see where the camera would be damaged. I also had to wrap up a lens in a small towel and put it inside the flat port.

 

4562137452_c92f87b8c9.jpg

 

I doubt I'll actually travel with the camera gear stuffed inside, but at least it's an option (particularly if I'm only allowed one carry on).

 

I'll take some more pictures and do a final weighing (last I weighed it, it was 32 lbs) when I get all my new gear in.

 

Hope this can help someone...

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Great job! I was able to do pretty much the same with my Nauticam 7D with dual Inon Z240's, 8.5" dome, macro port, etc., etc. It is very snug but works for sure. I have a kata backpack that fits my laptop and camera/lenses/extras.

 

In the end I returned the ThinkTank and ended up with a Pelican 1564. Its a great case and so far I have had great success with international travel, and it doubles as a nice, safe storage solution when all the gear is sitting at home (which is unfortunately way too much!). This all of course assuming your comfortable checking your gear in - camera and lenses still go on the plane with me.

 

The ThinkTank is however, an amazing case. Super well made, and while expensive, I think its worth it.

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I'm with you partner. The Think Tank International is an outstanding bag. Like you I've been playing with velcro to try and come up with the best way to get my Nauticam to Bali. I'm limited to 22lbs carry on and an additional 9 lbs for the laptop bag. Here is my setup with The Nauticam 7D housing, dual YS-250's, the zen 100mm dome w/ extension, my new 100mm macro port and one set of arms, clamps and synch cord and a small box with minimum tool set and spare o-rings. The bodies and lenses go in the Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 that Eric turned us on to with the laptop.

 

post-4526-1272599158.jpg

 

The plan was to get everything needed for a wide angle and a macro setup with me on the plane. I'm over the weight limit in the carry on so if they hassle me the strobes go in the Scottevest and I'm OK.

 

 

Cheers,

Steve

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I'm limited to 22lbs carry on and an additional 9 lbs for the laptop bag

 

Ouch - I didn't plan for weight requirements that low... Is that from the local carrier to Bali or the international airlines?

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Way to go Chris!

 

I ran into the weight restriction on my way to Bali at the AA counter in Chicago. I ended up taking out the housing and dome and carrying it as my "personal item" Well at least as far as around the corner from the checkout counter, then it went back in my bag.

 

Cheers

James

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i like the Thinktank products - they are obviously designed by photographers

 

however for my UW gear i just use a "international size" rollaboard with a custom-made pad for the housing and the dome with cover in a cut-down tupperware bucket - all padded with a bit of clothing

 

i only carry one flash and minimal arms for it and check everything that isn't absolutely essential for weight reasons - even then my carryons are seriously overweight, the secret is to not have them look too bulky and be light enough that you can act like they only weigh half as much as they do. mostly get away with it

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You guys don't know how lucky you are - on the flights from Oz to Bali you are allowed only 10kg (22lb) total carryon including laptop etc and they weigh everybody's carryon.

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Is that from the local carrier to Bali or the international airlines?

 

That's the Cathy Pacific stated limits for international flights; cabin luggage

 

Business Class 10kg (22lbs) plus you get 9lbs for a briefcase or purse

Economy Class 7kg (15lbs)

 

Every airline is a little different. Good idea to check the website.

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I'm with you partner. The Think Tank International is an outstanding bag. Like you I've been playing with velcro to try and come up with the best way to get my Nauticam to Bali. I'm limited to 22lbs carry on and an additional 9 lbs for the laptop bag. Here is my setup with The Nauticam 7D housing, dual YS-250's, the zen 100mm dome w/ extension, my new 100mm macro port and one set of arms, clamps and synch cord and a small box with minimum tool set and spare o-rings. The bodies and lenses go in the Think Tank Urban Disguise 60 that Eric turned us on to with the laptop.

 

post-4526-1272599158.jpg

 

The plan was to get everything needed for a wide angle and a macro setup with me on the plane. I'm over the weight limit in the carry on so if they hassle me the strobes go in the Scottevest and I'm OK.

 

 

Cheers,

Steve

Depends on which airline you are flying but on our recent Indonesia trip, no one looked at our carry-ons let alone weighed them. We went LA-HK-Singapore-Bali on Cathay in business. If you are going through Brisbane then you will be in trouble but in all our trips to Indo no backpack was weighed even on small planes from Manado to Sorong.

 

Bill

Edited by bvanant

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