Hard case and travel suggestions please

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by sothoth, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    I've never had nice enough camera equipment that I was too worried about traveling with before, but now that I've invested in a dSLR and a few reasonably expensive lenses, I'd like to take travel considerations more seriously.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on buying a hard case? Or is this just a "get what your stuff fits in" question? There are pretty expensive aluminum body cases and plastic ones. Plastic seems OK to me.]

    Also, when any of you take flights with your camera equipment, do you take them on the plane with you as a carry-on or do you check it? I'm paranoid about checking it, but then again I can see a TSA agent poking through my stuff at the security checkpoint and getting crud on my sensor, my lenses, or worse...
     
  2. TomHuck-wa

    TomHuck-wa TPF Noob!

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    I made my own gear case from an old samsonite suitcase and a foam mattress cover, inletted the foam with a hotwire in a soldering gun. I have room for two cameras and 4 lenses, along with filters, spare battery, flash attachment, and extra cards, etc. Mark or paint the case clearly, but dont label it as photo gear. I had it taken from the airport luggage rack by a young kid, it looked like his suitcase, he was in a hurry. I got all my gear back the next day,but nearly had a coronary till it was returned.
     
  3. shoedumas

    shoedumas Truly Canadian Eh?

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    I strongly recommend Pelican cases, because they are very durable, and they guarantee what you put in them. You can check them out at www.pelican.com, and I even found a good one for a DSLR that you might want. http://pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1200 Try some of those out for starters.
    -Drew
     
  4. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    I know for a fact that the pelican cases are tough as hell and worth the money.We use them at the Fire Dept for drug boxes and even we cant tear them up or break the contents.Little thin glass vials of meds getting beat to hell and they make it out ok,so I cant seem to think that they are perfect for cameras(thats were they got there start anyway).

    For cheap you can go down to Lowes,Home depot,Mabye wal-mart and look in the tool box section and you should find a nice alluminum case that will work nicely.It comes with a ton of foam you can cut and make a custom fit for your gear.I got one for my paintball gear for 20 bux.
     
  5. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, I have the same problem as you more or less. I also started a thread on this not too long ago ;)

    I came to the comclusion that you need a hard case once your gear does not go throough as hand luggage anymore. Here in Europe, handluggage is very restricted in size and weight, in particular on shorter intra-European flights. I am quite at the limit at the moment, only my tripod and a charger go into the checked in luggage, the camera plus 4 lenses (including a 300mm), lots of filters and a small laptop go into the cabin luggage (in a bagpack) ... that leave no space for any other handluggage though.

    My idea is , to avoid checking in any pieces of lugggage which contain glass, like filters, lenses, or sensors, like camera bodies, or harddrives.
     
  6. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    I agree - if it doesn't all fit go with the hard case. I would think you would need a whole lot of gear to need a hard case though. I use a Tamrac expedition backpack to carry just about all of my photo gear which goes into the overhead bin. (It's tight on the CRJ's). I have my laptop and power supplies in a laptop bag under my seat. This kills my two carry ons so I must check my clothes, but who really needs extra clothes anyway? :lol:

    So other than the few times a year they do "misplace" my luggage this has worked well.
     
  7. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    i dont think they would be stupid enough to do that....they have X-ray machine.....they only thing that they would do is ask you to take your equpiment out of the bag for scanning.....they wont tear them apart into pieces......and i would keep all my camaera equpiment with me at all time if i can carry it with me....unless you have a case full of equpiment for business purposes....then of course you have no choice but to check it in as a luggage with a case

    i'm not sure how many cameras and lense you are carrying with you when you travell...but it takes a lot to fill a camera backpack
     
  8. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input. A backpack is a great option in almost every respect except I'm not sure if they provide much protection. I'm assuming stuff gets bumped and smashed on planes if you bring it on the plane as a carryon.

    Also, when I traveled with my film SLR, I had a 50mm lens on the body, a 24mm in the bag, and a 75-300 in the bag. They asked me to remove the lens from the body, but they also took the caps off the zoom and looked down the barrel. I guess they know you could store explosives in it or something, if you were very clever. That was pre-9/11, so I'm guessing they're even more invasive now, but maybe that's not the case. If they'd allow me to disassemble anything I don't have much to worry about.
     
  9. sothoth

    sothoth TPF Noob!

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    I took a look at their web site and I think that's the way to go, those things look bullet proof. I'll also look at a tamrac backpack for hiking with gear, so thanks as well to shingfan for that suggestion.
     
  10. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    well, as carron you have almost full control, since YOU carry it yourself. Just keep your eyes on the overhead bin you stuffed your things in so no idiot drops it from above there ... but in principle things are way safer as a carry on luggage than checked in ... if you ever saw how they handle checked in luggage ... even if the word fragile is printed in red bold letters on it ... you would never ever check anything in :p

    Well, I never had to remove any lens from my camera ... and I do fly alot. Once however I had to get to a special inspection since the girl at Charles de Gaulle Airport security did not know what a 300 mm tele lens is ... she wanted me to put the batteries in and switch the "device" (the lens) on .. whcih of course was not possible ;)
     
  11. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    The advantage of a carry is on you get to protect the bag, and they do have some padding for the equipment. You never have to leave the bag. I am very vocal when somebody starts trying to shove their oversized bag in the compartment with my bag.

    I fly almost every other week and I've never had an issue with my carry on, except for the occasional new security screener... but as soon as I let them know it's fragile glass they take it easy.

    If you get a pelican case and you check it, you have no control over it. It might be protected from explosions and floods but it isn't protected from the baggage handlers and the pawn shop. Nobody puts dirty laundry in a Pelican case so it sticks out as something expensive no matter what.

    If you get a pelican case get a cheap suitcase to put it in! :thumbup:
     
  12. dewey

    dewey TPF Noob!

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    LOL - You're lucky to have made it out alive. :lol:
     

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