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Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 11:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
Kurt_Gearheart
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I'm flying out to another city with:

D70 and 3 lenses, CF cards and spare batteries and battery charger
one AB1600, 20" beauty dish, 7" silver reflector
heavy duty light stand
assorted misc.

I've never dragged my gear onto a plane before.

In fact, I haven't had reason to fly at all since 9/11.

I as of now have no specialized camera gear bags or cases at all, and need to buy them very soon, like this week.

Could I get some suggestions as to how to get everything from point A to point B safely, economically, efficiently, follow all the airlines rules and regs, with as few pieces to lug (I'll have regular luggage too) as possible?

I'm looking at Lightware hardcases on Ebay (and an old beat-up Halliburton at the local camera store) for the camera and lenses, but really don't know about the Bee and lightstand and reflectors.

ARRRGGGHHH!!!

I know that many of you have done this for years - could you give a "Traveling with All One's Expensive Crap on Planes 101" for me and others?

I'll start shooting hours after I get off the plane - I cannot afford to have the critical stuff get lost, so I assume I'll take the camera/lenses at least as carry-on?

All help GREATLY appreciated here!
 
 
Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 12:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I carry my camera bag onto planes when I fly, it's no problem. I just have to remember to take the swiss army knife out before leaving home. Security has never given me any grief over the contents.

The Alien Bee would be easy enough to pack. It would fit in a regular carry-on bag, along with your other stuff.

The light stand and beauty dish are going to be your problem. The beauty dish might fit in a large suitcase, and you could probably pack clothes and stuff around it.

The light stand I'm not sure about. They might let you carry it on. I see people carrying guitars on all the time. If you were taking a bunch of stands and stuff I'd say to get one of the big hard cases for golf bags and pack them in that. Kind of a waste for one stand though. Can't help you much there. Any chance you could send some of it UPS to somebody so it would be waiting there for you?

That's all I got...

lb
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 12:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What about shipping some stuff ahead of time? Works great if you have someone to send it to [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 07:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you buy any bags, try to buy something that is on the one hand very sturdy and on the other hand does not look like a camera case (this applies to luggage and carry ons). You don't generally want to advertise expensive equimpment. I would carry the camera and lens on board, but you could probably safely send the rest with your luggage.
Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 08:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kurt

I have the Lightware briefcase-style semi-hard for my camera gear. Works great -- and fits nicely under the seat. For the lighting equipment -- that's another deal. You'll need to get a hard case and check that as luggage. No way you'll get a flash head through security -- not to mention a light stand.

See if you can get one of the locks with the key that allows TSA to open it with their "special" key. Cuts down on the casual lookers.

I also liked the suggestion that was made that you SHIP that hard case ahead of time. See if your client or hotel will recieve it for you. You'll still need to use a hard case with FedEx or UPS.

Bob
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-02-2005, 09:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't know where you are going but what about renting the lighting at your destination?
As far as your cameras and lenses go I really like my Lowepro Mini Trekker. I do a bunch of landscape stuff and the back pack works well for me. Last I knew it was the largest backpack that could be taken as a carry on.
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-03-2005, 02:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Kurt -
- I trek my gear around all the time - not nessassarily flying - jsut around - never know when theshotss going to be there - point being - two bags should do it
- one the carry on - which i would suggest a sling pack style - down here a good sling is S50.00 - the cool thing about a sling pack is the camera and lenses and (for me) an on camera flash and filters and Mono pod if i choose to is right with me - and the best thing is you wear it as a back pack - need the camera quick - 'sling it to the front - zippers right there on top stick you hand in pull out the camera take the shot! klick - klick - boom - pulizer prize!

Hard case - i'd personally go with a semi hard - they make one that shaped in a triangular fashion about 48" long - holds heads - stands - unbrellas - and seperrate compartment for reflectors - and is padded with carring handles.

or a golf club traveler works too for hardware, stands etc. or they make one for ocean fishing gear or even rifles (that don't look like rifle cases) that are adjustable in length and plenty wide enough - for hard cases they are pretty cheap - all meant for travel and lock.

i also have the aluminuim cases for my gear as the other poster - they sit in the closet - and my sling packs stay with the stuff i use the most. For $29.00 i bought two square water proof ones with pockets and hard bottom!(when travelling ya never know when it's going to rain!) And that beats $450- 550 for a water proof backpack any day in my book! If you deside you want one in the future, let me know - send me the money and i pick one up for you and send it... or if you have an Outdoor World - you can find them there.

just some thoughts from the starving artist. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
 
 
Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-03-2005, 05:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
No way you'll get a flash head through security -- not to mention a light stand.
Bob

[/ QUOTE ]
Funny, they gave me a harder time with my backpack than my 2 AB heads. I carried them wrapped up in a roller carry-on. Didn't even look at them twice coming out of DC. But my backpack got the 3 times over treatment.
I carry my lightstands and tripod in a golfbag, along with softboxes, etc. My backpack for all the expensive gear, and a simple roller carry-on for the flash heads.
I did notice that the big pelican case with wheels can be found for around $250 with the foam.(eBay) It should be able to hold all the lighting stuff and then only a camera bag to worry about onboard. Plus a great seat while waiting in the check in line.

Chris
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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-03-2005, 09:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I recently flew with my D70, two lens, and laptop. Took a backpack w/ padding for laptop that met the dimensions for travel. I put the camera body in a small digital/video camera camera case (it was a tight fit... so measure before buying) and put the lens each in a padded CD case. Put in the laptop, the camera case and CD cases in the backpack. Added clothing for padding. Chips and other cables were added in compartments of the backpack and the camera case.

Going through security was painless. I only had to pull out the laptop.

Whatever you decide on using for travelling, be aware of the size of the planes that you will be using. If you are going between major cities and on a DC-80/7x7 you shouldn't have an issue with most normal size backpacks/carry-on and can keep it under the seat in front of you (unless you get a seat that doesn't have a seat in front of it... right behind first cleass). If you are flying into a smaller city/airport, most airlines are using smaller planes to get into these now, so you will need to check the storage dimensions on that plane. Many airports that used to take regular planes are now being serviced by these smaller regional planes. If your backpack/gear fit on the DC-80, it may not fit on one of these regional planes and they will have you check your baggage at the gate or door of the plane. Also the limit on regional planes is 1 carry-on and it is strictly enforced, where as on a DC-80 you can get away with two carry-ons (though some airlines are starting to limit carry-on to 1 item even on these).

Another point, whatever you checked in as luggage should be able to stand being crushed by at least 50 pounds which is the weight limit for checked luggage BEFORE one has to pay a fee for it being over this limit. So I would suggest using 100 pounds as your minimum crush factor.

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Re: Traveling with gear advice needed!
Old 02-04-2005, 03:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You have some good suggestions here. I would add that I ALWAYS carry-on the cameras, and in my case, a second smaller bag with film. As the Cozumel group can tell you, traveling with film is becoming a hassle, especially internationally. They will hand-check it for you, but the Mexicans insisted on actually opening each film canister, while the TSA was content with swabbing each one. In the old days they would just look at the canisters, which with Fuji are clear. If you're just using digital, you should be able to get all the camera gear in a carry-on camera bag. I have a Tamrac flat case with a great large pocket on one side in which I put travel papers and magazines, but you could also slip in a laptop. For your other stuff, you could check it, hopefully with that special TSA lock. You're more concerned with theft than anything else really. If you don't have a case for the AB & dish, you might be able to sandwich them in with your clothes in a regular large suitcase. Make sure the flashtube is secured and possibly padded within the head (some guys remove and wrap the flashtube and modeling light seperately). As for the stand, if that's all you have that goes like that, just wrap it in a Fedex triangular poster box and check that as well. I have several Sunbounces and a large Matthews reflector that compressed to a long narrow roll, and I use thick plastic cable ties to wrap them up as one piece (even though they're all in their own storage sleeves), and check it as baggage. Shipping ahead, and/or renting the lighting gear locally are excellent ideas that a lot of pros are doing now too. Insurance is something else we do too.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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