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protective case for my setup

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Hi all,I am new to underwater slr photography. I have bought a 5d seacam housing, 2 x nikonos strobes, one macro port and a super dome. I want one box for all to transport it around and one for the dive boat. Can anyone recommend a hard protective case that will fit it all in? And can anyone recommend a boat container that I can stow it in whilst on board. Thank you!!

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Hi Matt


There are reams and reams of posts about what bag/box/cooler to use for moving gear around. It could almost be the subject of a PhD study. Much depends on how much gear you have, how much more you will buy (and, of yes, you will buy more), how you travel (air/road/sea etc), how much baggage allowance is permitted, how good you are a blagging your cabin baggage allowance from the usual 7-ish kgs to the usual filled camera box of around 15kgs...


Quite popular are Pelican cases: seriously robust, dust and water proof, built to protect against nuclear war, zombies and hell-freezing over. Expensive, heavy, configurable - and will last at least one Earth life time. Have a look at the Pelican 1510: a wheely case which can be filled with either foam (which you cut to suit) or a liner which has moveable dividers and can be constantly reconfigured (and provides endless hours of fun). The good thing about the 1510 is that it meets airline cabin baggage limits. You can get a fair bit of stuff in it (housing, strobes, maybe a domeport, flat port, usual bits n'bobs); and you can haul your treasured possession into the plane cabin with you. And I find it good on dive boats: it provides secure storage.


The only drawback of the Pelican cases is their weight. They are heavy and really eat into a baggage allowance. I think the 1510 is about 4kgs. If you check out Pelican online you will find all the details. They are a US company but have a subsidiary near Glossop called Peli.


There are other similar cases made by Storm (who I think are now owned by Pelican) and one or two others around. They are all a bit same, same.


After that, if you really want something on a boat/RIB to protect your gear and serve as a DIY rinse tank (always useful), many use a large cooler bag. Works a charm. But another thing to lug with you.


Hope this helps......

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My pleasure. I think the Pelican cases are great and can heartily recommend them. They'd be even better if they weighed a bits less, but I guess you can't have everything!


Good luck with it, Matt. If it helps, the quest for the perfect travel case is a bit like the holy grail. You can get close but never get to find it.....

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I have a Pelicase for my Rebreather, but i used it before for my Ikelite D90 rig.
As already mentioned,
- Pelicase are very sturdy but very heavy
- Seahorse cases are similar to Pelicase but less expensive
- I use a hard cooler to bring my rig on the boat, the camera is wrapped in a thick, fluffy towel, hard coolers can be filled with water

If i fly somewhere, i buy the cheapest one and before i fly home i gift it to a fellow photographer or the boat crew


During my frequent travels i pack my gear as follows:


one 50 lbs XL Delsey trolley case containing:
- 1 small 1400 Pelicase containing: 1 Hugyfot D800 housing filled with spare parts and tools, tray, arms, floats, macro port
- my dive gear (fins, regulator, travel bcd, mask)


one 50 lbs normal size hard trolley case containing:
clothing, wet suit, spare parts, gifts


one 35 lbs Lowepro Vertex 300 AW backpack (carry-on)

- 1 D800 body, 15mm FE, 28-70mm, 105mm, 70-200mm, 1 SB800 strobe
- 2 Inon Z-240 strobes
- 1 Hugyfot glass minidome
- 1 Nauticam LX-100 housing

- 2 1 GB external hard disks, chargers for phones, batteries, video light, more spare parts

- 1 HP ZBook 17'' + charger


One 20 lbs reporter/fishing vest

- LX-100 camera, wallet, documents, tickets, glasses

- Samsung Tab 10.1


If i travel in Europe with carry on weight limit (20-30 lbs) is wear cargo pocket pants
- i carry the heavy prime Lenses in the pants and in the vest (at least until i am inside the plane...)

I am aware that i look like a suicide bomber with all this gear on my body, but ....


If you would like to avoid to travel like me, get a big roller Peli/seahorse case and ship your expensive gear inside.

Weight everything before you buy the case so that pelicase+Rig wll not exceed the 50lbs rule, otherwise you need to pay "expensive" overweight fees



Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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Chris' post reminds me of one thing: on my last few trips I've bought a cheap laundry basket, the rectangular type about 12" deep, from a hardware store and used that to carry my system around the boat or to dive sites (very good on Bonaire).


At the end of the trip I gift it to the dive centre. They usually cost about $5-$6 and are a great way of moving gear and carrying in a car to/from the dive site.

Edited by TimG

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