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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 28 Oct 2015 (Wednesday) 10:51
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Damage to lenses from Peli case vibrations

 
Plumtreelad
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Oct 28, 2015 10:51 |  #1

I have just bought a Peli 1510 and now heard that there is some suggestion that the bags cause vibrations that damage lenses. Something to do with pulling the wheeled case across paths and roads etc. Some suggest replacing the wheels with rubber ones to soften the journey and hence prevent damage.

Anyone had any experience of lens damage due to vibration? :cry:


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Oct 28, 2015 11:12 |  #2

That is noted in the first review at http://www.amazon.com …roduct-reviews/B0014D2WE4 (external link) where the person speaks of the wheel wells. I would take note of what he says about the foam in general.




  
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Oct 28, 2015 11:32 |  #3

I have the padded divider set. Works perfectly. Would never buy the foam insert because I change my kit for different jobs. My Peli case came with the padded dividers already installed but that's years ago now. Calumet was where it came from - a store no longer in Nottingham,UK.


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Plumtreelad
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Oct 28, 2015 11:44 |  #4

LincsRP wrote in post #17763269 (external link)
I have the padded divider set. Works perfectly. Would never buy the foam insert because I change my kit for different jobs. My Peli case came with the padded dividers already installed but that's years ago now. Calumet was where it came from - a store no longer in Nottingham,UK.

Yes, I have just bought mine with padded dividers via Amazon. My worry is the vibration. Not sure that padded dividers, or foam for that matter, can entirely prevent vibration and hence my concern about potential damage to the lenses.
Shame Calumet left Nottingham. Have lost a good company!


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Oct 28, 2015 12:21 as a reply to  @ Plumtreelad's post |  #5

David - I have a Think Tank rolling case that I've used for about 9 years now, the Airport Security. It has the padded dividers. Anytime I pack or repack gear depending upon the job, I always make sure that it is immovably snug in its individual compartment.

I've never had any lens/body damage so I'm not quite sure where your concern is. If you pack it tight, nothing should happen, short of some sort of massive and/or intrusive impact.


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Plumtreelad
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Oct 28, 2015 12:33 |  #6

sapearl wrote in post #17763328 (external link)
David - I have a Think Tank rolling case that I've used for about 9 years now, the Airport Security. It has the padded dividers. Anytime I pack or repack gear depending upon the job, I always make sure that it is immovably snug in its individual compartment.

I've never had any lens/body damage so I'm not quite sure where your concern is. If you pack it tight, nothing should happen, short of some sort of massive and/or intrusive impact.

Stuart, that is very reassuring.

However, I fear that I might have been lax historically when putting lenses into a "normal" suitcase and then using the wheels. May have to have them checked out as I do have some reservations about the images I am producing at the moment - soft images that do not appear to have any element of the image that is sharp. This is despite shutter speeds of 1/1000 and AI Servo for moving subjects.


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Oct 28, 2015 12:34 |  #7

sapearl wrote in post #17763328 (external link)
David - I have a Think Tank rolling case that I've used for about 9 years now, the Airport Security. It has the padded dividers. Anytime I pack or repack gear depending upon the job, I always make sure that it is immovably snug in its individual compartment.

I've never had any lens/body damage so I'm not quite sure where your concern is. If you pack it tight, nothing should happen, short of some sort of massive and/or intrusive impact.

My experience also.. Love Think Tank.
I have Pelli cases but I don't travel with them as they are too bulky.


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Oct 28, 2015 13:01 |  #8

Plumtreelad wrote in post #17763353 (external link)
Stuart, that is very reassuring.

However, I fear that I might have been lax historically when putting lenses into a "normal" suitcase and then using the wheels. May have to have them checked out as I do have some reservations about the images I am producing at the moment - soft images that do not appear to have any element of the image that is sharp. This is despite shutter speeds of 1/1000 and AI Servo for moving subjects.

I hope they sustained no damage David. Was it your thought that the lenses were actually bouncing around inside the standard suitcase? If they were packed with clothing as padding there should not be an issue.

Are your images soft using EVERY lens or just with a few? AI Servo is pretty good but it is not necessarily foolproof under all circumstances. What happens if you take a simple shot of a tree on a calm day or a brick wall - same fuzziness?


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Oct 28, 2015 13:22 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #9

Stuart,

thanks for the continued interest. They were not packed with clothes and could have moved about a bit.

I will do as you suggest tomorrow and report back!

Thanks


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Oct 28, 2015 13:41 |  #10

Plumtreelad wrote in post #17763408 (external link)
Stuart,

thanks for the continued interest. They were not packed with clothes and could have moved about a bit.

I will do as you suggest tomorrow and report back!

Thanks

Sounds like a plan ;-)a. IMO lenses are not fragile gossamer objects unless you try to play basketball on concrete with them. Save literally bouncing around back and forth in an empty suitcase for an extended period I would look to other possibilities for soft images. Let us know.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Oct 29, 2015 06:06 |  #11

John from PA wrote in post #17763242 (external link)
That is noted in the first review at http://www.amazon.com …roduct-reviews/B0014D2WE4 (external link) where the person speaks of the wheel wells. I would take note of what he says about the foam in general.

This is the review I was referring to. Although much of the content is pertinent, I've changed the content referring to the wheel problem to BOLD. Also, take note of the last paragraph where the reviewer says throw the foam away and get the divider.

I purchased this case with foam to protect Nikon equipment used for wedding, location portraiture and sports photography. The Pelican cases are outstanding and are as good as equipment cases get. The waterproof neoprene O-ring gasket, pressure equalization valve and latch design set Pelican cases apart. The 1510's max-allowable carry-on size is a huge selling point if you have even a 1% chance of travel with expensive equipment - you want to keep it in your immediate proximity, not in some disgruntled and underpaid baggage handler's tender care. It's a bit on the heavy side if you're used to a soft-sided camera bag, but you would expect that from such a durable case.

The down side of this purchase for me was the "pluckable" foam (which you should cut and never pluck). The foam is a great concept and gives better protection (if cut with thick foam sections between items) than the alternative 1515 Padded Divider set Pelican sells. However, it's VERY unforgiving - once cut it's cut. (Tips on cutting foam are below). I recommend you SERIOUSLY consider purchase of an empty 1510 case (no foam) and additionally purchasing the 1515 Padded Divider set instead of the 1510 with pluckable block foam. This will give you much more flexibility and simplicity (unless you never plan on adding new equipment) while still protecting your equipment. For this reason I will eventually (probably very soon) trash the very expensive foam and will buy the 1515 divider set.

If you decide to stick with the foam, hey, it's your money, but here are some tips which will make you less dangerously postal after realizing your mistake:

0) The case comes with 4 foam layers, two thin ones for bottom and the lid, and two thicker ones with the grid of semi-pre-cut pluckable foam. I will be referring to "marking the foam" below. This is done in the thick layers with toothpicks. Gently work a toothpick in to the corner of where the little 1/2 inch foam blocks come together. I'll use the term "hole" for the space you cut out for your equipment. Notice I said cut not pluck. Use a serrated steak knife to gently saw through the semi-pre-cut pluckable blocks for the neatest appearance. Let's make this look professional, OK?

1) Take all the foam out and look at the bottom of the case. See those intruding wheel wells and the intruding handle well? (Pelican had to intrude those into the case's interior to make it fit the airline's luggage size requirements). You don't want your $2000 camera setting on that wheel well as it vibrates while rolling over asphalt or grouted tile. Use the thin bottom foam pad to mark these areas off on the thick pad and only put in shallow holes (no cutting into the bottom thick foam layer) for items such as a flash or 50mm lens in these areas. You don't want tall items like a camera body here! I cut out areas so the bottom layer of foam sits better on the wheel wells - optional, but now the top layer of foam doesn't ride up on these corners.

2) Plan on leaving at least 2 to 3 foam blocks (1" to 1.5") of space between all your equipment. Thin foam will be VERY flimsy and will tear when your equipment is being inserted into the holes.

3) Make sure you clearly mark both thick layers with toothpicks, masking tape or something similar so you always know which side is the top. This is way more important than it sounds.

4) Get all your equipment out and arrange it on one of the thick layers, and start marking the foam while arranging your equipment. Remember you may be buying more equipment, so keep your holes grouped fairly close and leave unused space as contiguous as possible. For this step you're looking at everything from above and thinking in 2 dimensions - width and depth. Just marking, no sawing yet...

5) Now for the 3rd dimension of height - measure to see if the equipment is taller than a single layer of thick foam. These holes will have to be extended through both layers.

6) OK, it's time to get your steak knife and get ready to start sawing. Try to saw out the holes in complete blocks and set them aside to store them. This will greatly aid in fixing problems later on. Tell little Johnny to get away from them - give him some bubble-wrap instead. Don't drink alcohol until you're finished. You'll probably need some when you are finished though - I suggest The Glenlevit & water on the rocks, but without the water...

7) Think you're done? Wrong. Now work your equipment all the way into the holes and get the cut-out blocks you set aside earlier. Put the cut-outs on top of the equipment so they are level and mark how deep they go down into the hole with a toothpick. Measure from the bottom to the toothpick with a ruler to determine how deep it inserted into the equipment-filled hole. Now transfer that measurement to the TOP of the block instead of the bottom. For instance, if the bottom of the block inserts .75" into the hole, mark off .75" from the TOP of the block. Now saw through that plane with your serrated knife, perpendicular to the semi-pre-cut cuts. Try to be as neat and even as possible. Still looks bad when you're done, right? Since you follow directions well and measured this from the top and not the bottom, the ugly side will not be visible when impressionable clients look into our custom camera case when the equipment is removed. Remove the equipment from the hole, take the top piece you cut with the ugly side down and insert it into the bottom of the hole, then reinsert the equipment, and - Hey Look! - It's flush with the top!

8) How many mistakes did you make? OK, now move all your equipment a safe distance away, like the next room. Go get some Elmer's glue and put tiny super-thin lines of glue on your mistake blocks, glue them back in very carefully inserting them from the bottom so we don't get any glue on the outside visible parts of the foam. Set the two patched thick foam layers on their tops so the glue you still managed to smear on the bottom doesn't stick to anything (a wet washcloth will help with cleaning up excess glue). Now wait until tomorrow for it to dry so you can go back to step 4. It is now safe to grace a few ice cubes with the gentle caress of some Glenlevit while you wait for tomorrow's adventure in foam cutting.

FINIS) Well, painful though it was, I promise it was less painful than if you would have wouldn't have followed my awesome instructions. Now that it's a couple of hours (or days) later and you're nerves are completely frazzled and that bottle of The Glenlevit is a number of inches lower than before you started, don't you wish you would have listened to my advice about purchasing an empty 1510 and the 1515 Padded Dividers?




  
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Oct 29, 2015 06:26 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #12

David, just had a thought about your "softer" images - are you using auto focus or manual?


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Oct 29, 2015 08:58 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #13

auto focus. Not able to use manual in quick moving sports action


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Oct 29, 2015 09:50 |  #14

Plumtreelad wrote in post #17764326 (external link)
auto focus. Not able to use manual in quick moving sports action

OK - I thought perhaps you were manually focusing and maybe your diopter adjustment got bumped out of calibration by accident.


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Oct 29, 2015 11:04 as a reply to  @ sapearl's post |  #15

No such luck! Have just been outside to do some images but it is raining and very dark so decided to wait for better conditions. Will have another attempt tomorrow. :-x


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Damage to lenses from Peli case vibrations
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