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Thread started 07 Apr 2016 (Thursday) 16:09
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Taking cameras and equipment on a flight?

 
PMGphotog
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Apr 07, 2016 16:09 |  #1

Apols if this is the wrong part of the forum, if so can a mod move it to the correct place?

I've never had to take my limited gear on an airplane before. At the end of this month though I'm travelling from the UK to Italy for a few days to do some work with some bands.

I have a large no brand camera bag which I can store 3 bodies and 6 lenses in, along with a 3 flash units and other bits and bobs. Not sure of the total weight but It will probably travel as luggage. It's decently padded for day to day use. Should I pad it out more with spare t shirts/jeans etc or try to pick up a Pelican type travel case? I'll be taking 3 DSLRs and 6 smallish lenses ( max is my 55-200mm which is really small ). Maybe throw in my 35mm film camera with it's 50mm lens a and a few rolls of film.

Not taking a tripod for filming as there will be options when I get there. Should I pack my monopod anyway just in case? More to the point, will it look like a weapon or something dodgy if my luggage gets scanned?

Anything else I should consider apart from the usual. I have lots of SD cards, spare batts, lens cloths etc. I hope to use a Nikon D50 with it's kit 18-55mm on the flight for stills ( if that is allowed ) and use my camera phone to make short vids on the flight also ( It's me, a manager and 2 bands flying out together ). Do I need to ask beforehand or just say to the flight assistans/stewardesses before lift off?

I await the wisdom of your good selves :)


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Archibald
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Apr 07, 2016 16:41 |  #2

PMGphotog wrote in post #17963939 (external link)
Apols if this is the wrong part of the forum, if so can a mod move it to the correct place?

I've never had to take my limited gear on an airplane before. At the end of this month though I'm travelling from the UK to Italy for a few days to do some work with some bands.

I have a large no brand camera bag which I can store 3 bodies and 6 lenses in, along with a 3 flash units and other bits and bobs. Not sure of the total weight but It will probably travel as luggage. It's decently padded for day to day use. Should I pad it out more with spare t shirts/jeans etc or try to pick up a Pelican type travel case? I'll be taking 3 DSLRs and 6 smallish lenses ( max is my 55-200mm which is really small ). Maybe throw in my 35mm film camera with it's 50mm lens a and a few rolls of film.

Not taking a tripod for filming as there will be options when I get there. Should I pack my monopod anyway just in case? More to the point, will it look like a weapon or something dodgy if my luggage gets scanned?

Anything else I should consider apart from the usual. I have lots of SD cards, spare batts, lens cloths etc. I hope to use a Nikon D50 with it's kit 18-55mm on the flight for stills ( if that is allowed ) and use my camera phone to make short vids on the flight also ( It's me, a manager and 2 bands flying out together ). Do I need to ask beforehand or just say to the flight assistans/stewardesses before lift off?

I await the wisdom of your good selves :)

I suggest you take any valuable and fragile gear on board as carry-on luggage. Check the rules for all airlines you will be using for their carry-on policies. Carry-on rules are sometimes not enforced, but sometimes they are, and if they are and you are over-size or over-weight, consider the consequences.

Carry-on gear is under your own care and therefore need not be padded to protect it from brutal handling.

Security screeners have seen it all and you are not likely to have problems with mis-identification of items. They might ask to examine some items. If the items violate the rules, they will be confiscated or barred.

Photography is sometimes not allowed in airports and maybe on planes. If done discretely there will probably be no problem. Any heavy items will need to be stowed during takeoff and landing.

If you are going to Italy, better have all your stuff insured!


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 07, 2016 17:07 |  #3

Pack your camera bag (empty), and any support, tripod monopod in your checked bag. No problem being scanned in checked bag.

Pack all your actual camera stuff, lenses in your carry on wrapped in your soft clothing. Never let it leave your side.

Reunite equipment with camera bag when you arrive.


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FarmerTed1971
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Apr 07, 2016 17:38 |  #4

Just my opinion but you should try 1 body and three lenses.


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don1163
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Apr 07, 2016 17:57 |  #5

Don't check your gear in as luggage you probably won't see it again...Take it on the plane as hand luggage and if you have to, cut down on the amount of gear you take in order to keep it with you..
Pelican cases attract attention and the baggage handlers know what they contain....not a good move to use them.


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Apr 08, 2016 04:48 |  #6

+1 to all the above. Cameras and lenses should go in your carry on. If you absolutely must check them then a Pelican case and sufficient insurance to pay for both buying replacement kit when you get home and also renting the kit you need while on your trip. Airlines will not cover the cost of lost kit.


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delta0014
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Apr 08, 2016 05:12 |  #7

Would definitely check with your airline as some won't even accept it as checked baggage and most won't cover it if it's broke or lost.

If you do check it, pack it so you'd be comfortable throwing it down a flight of stairs.


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Apr 08, 2016 05:50 |  #8

delta0014 wrote in post #17964505 (external link)
...If you do check it, pack it so you'd be comfortable throwing it down a flight of stairs.

Actually I've seen my checked luggage do something like that...thanks to the TSA at LAX! (Apparently it was much easier to hurl my bag towards the luggage conveyer belt than to carry it there..)


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Grumps ­ Photo
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Apr 08, 2016 06:30 |  #9

1: Insure your equipment so you can replace it in the field if needed. Being able to replace it when you get home is pretty useless to your trip needs. As this is a business event, don't count on your home insurance to cover anything.
2: Cameras and lens in carry on. Tripod and accessories in checked luggage. if you hit a weight issue on one bag, just stuff a lens or camera in your coat pocket until you get on board. Note to go to the airline website for carry on details and adjust your packing accordingly.
3: Check with cabin crew about filming or shooting on board. Be prepared for restrictions.

My gear has traveled the world with me and I use the Manfroto rolling bag. I've only run into one incidence that I had to re-sort my gear and that was in Australia with a New Zealand Airlines clerk. I've paid bribes in a couple of poorer nations to have my gear weight ignored, never very much.

Take the time to study the stats in the foreign country to understand your risks. Some areas of Italy have high theft rates from tourists, plan accordingly. Trust no one not in your original group, even if you have hired local. Always assume you are a "mark" and a target. Sounds pretty bad, but I'd rather be somewhat apologetic than missing an important shoot running around looking for replacement gear.

Most of all, enjoy your experience! Traveling has been one of the highlights of my life. Take time to see your surroundings and learn from it.


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Apr 08, 2016 10:29 |  #10

Grumps Photo wrote in post #17964536 (external link)
1: Insure your equipment so you can replace it in the field if needed. Being able to replace it when you get home is pretty useless to your trip needs. As this is a business event, don't count on your home insurance to cover anything.

I would ask your insurance agent specifically if your policy would cover theft from checked baggage that shows no signs of forced entry. I believe many insurance companies would not cover this as it would fall under the "Mysterious Disappearance" clause. For example, the insurance offered through Photo.net for their members does not cover this type of loss but the insurance through NANPA.org does.


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PMGphotog
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Apr 08, 2016 15:30 |  #11

Thanks all. Think I might just take a smaller camera bag and cut it down to 2 DSLRs or even just one and a few lenses.

I'm not too worried about my stuff being stolen, we are meeting with the manager's friends who live over there and have local drivers and transport between gigs but I'll still make sure nothing is out of my sight during the trip.

Was planning on having 2 cams so I could set up one to video ( with the manager standing by it ) while I use the other for stills, but I might just mix it up a bit and only video a few songs from each band at each gig then shoot stills the rest of the time.

Some great suggestions in the replies so thanks again.


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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Apr 08, 2016 15:36 |  #12

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #17964016 (external link)
Just my opinion but you should try 1 body and three lenses.

this...i would definitely rather take 1 body and fewer lenses in a carry-on then check a bag filled with 3 bodies and 6 lenses...i'd maybe add another body in case you want a backup...but it shouldn't be hard to fit that into a carry-on


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Apr 08, 2016 16:20 |  #13

Always pack your cameras/lenses in something that can travel as carry-on baggage for you; only way it won't get lost or stolen. If you must, check clothing and other gear instead. I have traveled to Hawaii, London, Germany and Paris (from the US) using my F-Stop Tilopa for camera gear and clothes/entertainment packed in a smaller backpack and have been able to use that as my "carry on and one, smaller bag" with the Tilopa going overhead and smaller backpack stuffing under the seat.

I recently picked up a decent deal on a TSA-approved, carry-on sized Pelican that I will use for the camera gear in the future and put clothes/etc in the Tilopa to stuff under the seat in the future.


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NWPhil
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Apr 08, 2016 16:23 |  #14

batteries - in your carry-on, otherwise your luggage will be delayed, or/and they will be removed from your luggage.


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Grumps ­ Photo
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Apr 08, 2016 21:38 |  #15

From your work description, 2 cameras might be a necessity. And if you look at it, a second camera that uses the same batteries and charger really won't take up that much more space or weight.

A second camera would be a backup as well.

Dump the battery extender and take the second camera. Do you ever exceed one battery when you shoot? Is it hard to change if you must?

Your gear list is some pretty light weight stuff (measurement reference only, not quality;-)a), shouldn't be a problem to carry a second 60d or similar.

This is coming from a guy who travels 1DIII and 1DsIII as a pair with 24-70L, 16-35L, 70-300DO, 70-200 2.8L or 100-400 II. Plus flash and LED fill light, accessories. Last trip to Mexico added a T6i for video and a 100 macro. All in carry on. Tripods, reflectors, setup stuff all went into the checked suitcase along with the clothes. 3 bags in total when including my Nat Geo computer sling bag too (used to distribute weight if needed). 5 flights, 2 runs through customs and no questions asked.

Check the airline requirements and pack accordingly.


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