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lasbaegas

What type of luggage do you use for your camera/gear for overseas travel?

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Hello there!

My name is Mike and I have just purchased a Lumix GH5 with an underwater housing and some arms, lights and a tripod. I have little to no experience traveling with a camera other than a gopro, point and shoot or my smart phone, and was looking for some tips regarding the type of luggage wetpixel members use for transporting their camera gear across the ocean, and what additional items you pack (be it spare clamps, arms, batteries, etc)

Currently, I have 2 lenses, 2 ports, a wet lens, 2 lights, a camera body, camera housing, 3 tripod legs, a monitor and housing for the monitor. Would really appreciate your advice and possibly some pics for your luggage. I don't know if i'm ready to go all out and purchase a monstrous Pelican case just yet.

Thanks in advance

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hey!

 

I use a lowepro photo backpack as carry on myself, a size backpack that is allowed as carry on.

 

depending on my destination and the weight im allowed to take as carry on, it takes:

 

-housing

-camera

-lenses (3-4 max)

-strobe's.

 

As the weight you can transport is usually an issue, I use a sturdy (but lightweight) suitcase for the rest of my clothes etc. It also holds my strobe arms, retra snoot, cable's, ports. I usually wrap my (dome) port in several t-shirts. If weight of carry-on is a big issue, I add strobe's, without battery's to this suitcase as well, also wrapped in clothes. I make sure that these items cant bump into each other.

 

Diving gear is put in a sturdy but lightweight camel bag. Regulators wrapped inside diving suit.

 

Worked for me, its relatively lightweight and never had any issues with damage, although my suitcase looks like its been hit by a bus! :crazy:

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I've got something similar an EM-1 MkII setup. Here's how I pack mine into a think Tank streetwalker hard drive backpack:

IMG_2948.jpg

 

Bottom row Nauitcam housing and tray and spare batteries in plastic clip cases

middle row: macro port 2x INON Z-240, Zen dome 170mm type II

Top row Zen 100mm fisheye dome, Pany 8mm, Oly 60mm, Oly 12-40, Pany 7-14,

 

13" laptop in laptop compartment below. This backpack meets carry on requirements and will fit under the seat in front even on commuter jets.

 

Cables in pouches on lid of pack, Strobe arms, clamps, torches and tools are packed in with my dive gear or general luggage. I have a personal item as well usually a small bag which has some toiletries and a zipped pouch with o-rings, spares, o-ring grease, vacuum pumps etc.

 

The Think tank bag is bulletproof, really well built, much more sturdy than Lowepro packs I've had.

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Carry my housing/two strobes/laptop in a backpack and large dome, ca,era, lenses, view finder, small dome etc. in a lower pro bag with wheels which fits as cabin bag.

 

Diggy

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I have a F-stop Loka UL backpack, which I absolutely love. It's the maximum allowable carry-on size, but the best part is this... When I get to my destination, the entire padded tray with all my camera gear slips out, leaving me with an empty pack that I can use for day trips. Check it out here:
https://fstopgear.com/products/packs/loka-ul

 

Here's a photo of the tray, from back when I was using a GH2:

post-54428-0-94720400-1547719662_thumb.jpg

 

Unfortunately, the GH5 housing is a bit bigger than the GH2 and has built-in handles. I've also bought more lenses, so that all means I've had to change my setup a bit. Here's what I do now...

 

F-stop bag (carry-on luggage):

- Camera body and lenses

- Ports

- Strobes

- Arms

- Misc - cleaning stuff, batteries, etc

 

Soft padded cooler bag (my "small personal item"):

- Camera housing, wrapped in towel for extra padding

- Canister light and charger

- First stage regs

- A shitload of double-enders (amazing how heavy these are!)

 

23kg checked-in bag:

- All my other dive gear - backplate, wing, 2nd stage regs, wetsuit/drysuit, etc

- Clothing

 

That setup seems to work really well for me, and the padded cooler bag (see below) doubles as protection on boats, and even a wash tank if needed. Hope that helps. :-)

 

post-54428-0-99012800-1547720458_thumb.jpg

 

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I use an Evecase Extra Large DSLR backpack. I can fit my Nauticam NA-D7100 housing with camera in place, 2 Sea and Sea YSd2 strobes with strobe arms and clamps, extra batteries and chargers, zen miniport and tokina 10-17 and nikon 60mm and port. Also my sola night sea and focus light, viewfinder, dive computer and macbook. It does get to be quite heavy but thus far has never been weighted on international trip and it was only during a domestic that I had trouble fitting it into an overhead compartment.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Evecase-Camera-Daypack-Backpack-Accessories/dp/B00WQTLB0G

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@Mike: Have a look at this older thread, there are lots of ideas there of different solutions people have found. Start at page 8 and work back, as the earlier posts reference gear that isn't available any more.

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=5814

 

@Chris: You pic gave me a forehead slap. I've been leaving the camera in the housing, and placing it in cases like you would a DSLR, across a narrow end. But the EM-1 housing is too wide with the handles and I've bene griping about the extra disassembly that meant. It absolutely never occurred to me to put it across the wide end like you have done and use the DSLR compartment for a dome! I'll be trying your arrangement next. Thx!

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I only travel once a year for diving so didn't want to invest in specialized gear. If you search for topics I posted, you will see one where I ask how to convert an existing carry on to a camera bag. I'm part way through this process and plan to post my results next week.

 

In essence, here is what I did:

 

  • The base and top are pieces of the interlocking dense foam floor tile you see for kids use.
  • There are the two layers of traditional black foam I purchased at Canadian Tire here in Canada.
  • The two layers cover the housing (with mirrorless camera inside) and strobes. I only use the 14-42mm lense that came with the Olympus E-PM1.
  • In each layer of foam, I store my GoPro, dive computers and iPad. A separate project was to figure out how to back up my cards to my personal web site using my iPad. This eliminates the need to travel with my Macbook for backups.

Almost done. Not for everyone and it depends on what you need to travel with.

 

One point that has been discussed is always packing in case your carry on has to be checked.

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Appreciate all the replies. I guess I should mention that my goal is to be able to carry on internationally without any issue (barring a counter agent wanting to weigh the bag). Ideally, I would prefer to not have to disassemble the handles and tripod ball mount tray from the housing (without detaching any of the aforementioned components, the housing currently stands approximately 8" tall). I should add that my lights are fairly large (3" diameter x 9" length) and, like @psudonym, I am also using 2 float arms (70mm x 250mm), and will also be lugging around a 13" macbook pro, 1-2 portable hard drives, miscellaneous chargers and batteries, and an 8 outlet surge protected power strip.

 

I plan to check a single large dive bag that includes 2 pairs of fins, 2 wetsuit, a wing bcd, mask, snorkel, long boots, gloves, and my reg/octopus and dive computer, a couple pairs of swim trunks, rash guard, a hoodie sweater, and a few shirts and miscellaneous toiletries. The dive bag will likely weigh 23-25 kilos as is. I could wrap some of the less crucial camera components in my clothes.

 

Despite the fact that I would regularly slump forward while carrying by backpack because it was so heavy and overloaded, I've never been stopped at any of the 17 airports on my last trip to asia have my carry-on weighed. With that said, I like the Think Tank Video Transport 20 roller:

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/video-cases-video-transport-series/products/video-transport-20

Would I have trouble getting this onboard an international flight? Think Tank also makes a smaller Video Transport bag, but it lacks the depth that I prefer so I can keep the nauticam housing intact without removing the handles/tripod ball-mount tray.

Edited by lasbaegas

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LASBAEGAS, I can tell you that some destinations are only supported by smaller planes and that bag will not be carry on. I'm thinking about recent trips to the sister Cayman Islands; Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The former you can only get to on a Twin Otter. This a reason you need to ensure that you back assuming your carry on may get checked.

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I can fit all this (GH5, Nauticam Housing, Panasonic 14-42II in 35mm port, Nauticam WWL-1; Inon UCL-165 wet diopeter; 2x YS-D2 strobes, 2x Gates GT14 video lights, Weefine 3000LM ring light, 4x 8" ultralight arms, 2 5" wide floats, 1 nauticam 250mm carbon fiber float, 12 clamps, 6 jumbo STIX floats, fiber-optic cables and a nauticam pump):

 

post-42872-0-54019100-1547957546_thumb.jpeg

In a rolling carry-on sized bag:

 

 

post-42872-0-96525500-1547957726_thumb.jpeg

 

I do remove some of the ball mounts for transpiration to make stuffing everything in easier.

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I can fit all this...

 

...in a rolling carry-on sized bag

 

:o

 

OK, you win!

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I can fit all this (GH5, Nauticam Housing, Panasonic 14-42II in 35mm port, Nauticam WWL-1; Inon UCL-165 wet diopeter; 2x YS-D2 strobes, 2x Gates GT14 video lights, Weefine 3000LM ring light, 4x 8" ultralight arms, 2 5" wide floats, 1 nauticam 250mm carbon fiber float, 12 clamps, 6 jumbo STIX floats, fiber-optic cables and a nauticam pump):

 

attachicon.gifWechatIMG159.jpeg

In a rolling carry-on sized bag:

 

 

attachicon.gifWechatIMG170.jpeg

 

I do remove some of the ball mounts for transpiration to make stuffing everything in easier.

Wow. What does it weigh?

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Wow. What does it weigh?

 

18.5KG without any of the lithium batteries. Just had to check it in recently because I have another identical bag full of land camera gear I brought on the plane :)

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dreifish, i saw your rig in the video forum, that thing is an absolute beast.

I think i've narrowed down my choices. I guess my last question would be:

What is the dimensions of your carry-on that you've been able to get onto an international flight?

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Most of my experience is in Southeast Asia -- but for what it's worth, I've never had anyone measure the dimensions of the carry-on (assuming it's not obviously too large). Air Asia does weigh them though.

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dreifish, i saw your rig in the video forum, that thing is an absolute beast.

I think i've narrowed down my choices. I guess my last question would be:

What is the dimensions of your carry-on that you've been able to get onto an international flight?

 

The generally accepted maximum size for a carry-on is 9" x 14" x 22" ("coincidentally" the size of the Pelican 1510 roller box)

 

This can, of course, be different to what you can "get on" to an international flight. Much depends on the airline, the location and the mood of the check-in staff. I think we have probably all seen people in certain areas of the world carrying huge bags into the cabin - and no-one blinks an eye. Rule of thumb I'd suggest is that the neater and the lighter-looking the bag, the more you can get away with.....

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My experience is that if you are wheeling it, you are much more likely to get weighed...

 

There are a couple of reviews here:

 

http://wetpixel.com/articles/field-review-mindshift-gear-firstlight-40l

 

This is great for making 25+ kilos of camera and housing look like 5!

 

http://wetpixel.com/articles/field-review-cinebags-cb27-lens-smuggler

 

Adam

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Will that CineBags CB27 Lens Smuggler hold a Nikon D5-type camera upright? So not lying down.....

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Sorry, found my own answer: No.

 

Interior depth of the bag is 5" and the D5 is just over 6"......

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Hi Tim...It will take a D8XX series upright, but I would guess not those bodies that have larger battery compartments.

 

Adam

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Hi Tim...It will take a D8XX series upright, but I would guess not those bodies that have larger battery compartments.

 

Adam

 

Thanks Adam, yeah, I think you're right.

 

The case has a depth of 5" but the cameras with a larger battery compartment (like the D5) or an additional battery holder are over 6" tall. Lying them down probably takes up a bit too much space. Pity, it looks like a really neat bag.

 

I'll put my credit card away :crazy:

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I bought the CineBags CB27 Lens Smuggler before with the intention of using it as my personal item in addition to a 'standard' sized carry-on. I ended up returning it.

 

It's a very heavy bag even empty, and the amount of padding in it and the thickness of the internal dividers is overkill IMO. If you try to fill it up, it will look very bulky because of all the padding. Not to mention the weight when fully loaded with camera gear makes it very inconvenient to carry using the standard sling.

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I've got a couple of Cinebags, the GoPro bag and also their big rucksack, if I hadn't ordered them from overseas, I would have returned them.

- Their underwater stuff seems so much better quality, than their normal camera bits.

 

The padding and quality is awful against ThinkTankPhoto stuff.

 

My current arrangement is (for BA, United etc)
ThinkTank Security V2 Roller and a LowePro Hackback 22ltr for personal item

For smaller flights
DIY'd normal roller 22" using clothes as padding
Cooper 13" DSLR shoulder bag for personal item

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Thanks Richard and Andrei! Not only have you saved me some money, you have also saved me an(other) equipment row with my beloved.

 

Credit card firmly back in wallet.

 

:crazy:

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