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View Full Version : Shipping a Folmer & Schwing 12X20 - Advice?



vssoutlet
17-Oct-2015, 14:59
Hi folks!

I need a ship a 12X20 F&S banquet camera Fedex from the east to west coast. Naturally I need to ensure that it gets there in one piece. Any packing tips you can share?

Thanks!

John

Mossypress
17-Oct-2015, 15:24
I have never shipped, but have hauled one to Europe and back twice as baggage. I made it like a cardboard suitcase with the handle sticking out.

Folded up, the camera is pretty solid, but the main risk is shattering the glass screen. Bubble wrap both sides of the glass and put bubble wrap on the bellows exposed in front. A cardboard box, packing it with padding of some kind (foam or bubble) should do. If you are really worried, you could make a wooden box, but likely not necessary. I assume that lenses or any shutters would be packed separate, as they are more vulnerable.

One idea - look for a video screen box of a smaller sized screen tossed out from a video store and adapt the foam packing.

Fred L
17-Oct-2015, 15:56
If you'll be meeting it not the other side and you're not shipping it to a new owner, I'd look at a Pelican or Nanuk hard case. If it's going to a new home, I'd take a look at the feasibility of using we'll padded luggage. Lots of bubble and peanuts etc.. Would probably use low tack painters tape across the entire gg to keep it intact if things go south.

Randy Moe
17-Oct-2015, 17:09
I roll a LF camera inside many layer wraps of the large bubble wrap, then box that and then put that box inside of another box tightly packed with 4" of peanuts on all sides, mark it fragile, insure it and pray as anything can be destroyed in shipping.

Do not use Styrofoam as it's too hard and transmits impact which will break contents, and the box still looks fine,

BIG box, lots and lots of bubble wrap. B&H does a real good job of packing and uses really strong bubble wrap worth saving, but you will still need softer cushioning for these delicate big cameras.

Some ship the GG and entire back in a separate box, but then you can lose 1/2 a camera...

cdholden
17-Oct-2015, 21:04
If you'll be meeting it not the other side and you're not shipping it to a new owner, I'd look at a Pelican or Nanuk hard case. If it's going to a new home, I'd take a look at the feasibility of using we'll padded luggage. Lots of bubble and peanuts etc.. Would probably use low tack painters tape across the entire gg to keep it intact if things go south.

Lightware had one too. If you search my posts, you should find the one included when I sold mine.
Chris

Will Whitaker
17-Oct-2015, 21:29
Polyethylene foam is the open-cell foam that 'pool noodles' are made from. It's also found frequently as the packing material inside cartons containing computer equipment. It can be purchased from online purveyors in sheets of various thickness, then cut and glued together to create your own custom cocoon for packing. Another item I find indispensable for use in packing is 'stretch film', which is sort of like "Saran" wrap on a stick. It sticks to itself, but not to the item being wrapped. It's great for securing bubble wrap around an item without having to deal with sticky residue from packing tape. That said, I do use clear packing tape on the smooth side of the ground glass, usually in a star pattern. It gives the glass a little more strength and in the worst case keeps the shards from spreading throughout the package. Double-box, if possible. But that's a big camera... I know from experience!

In any case, do not scrimp on insurance nor on the speed of service. I have a theory that for shipping things that are fragile and/or of high value, that the most expedited service you can afford will be the best simply because the item is in transit for a shorter period of time, is handled less and thus has a statistically better chance of surviving.

Tracy Storer
18-Oct-2015, 09:39
Not a bad idea to cut a piece of cardboard the size of a film holder, put it in the camera so if the GG does break the shards will not enter the bellows.

Jim Noel
18-Oct-2015, 10:08
I roll a LF camera inside many layer wraps of the large bubble wrap, then box that and then put that box inside of another box tightly packed with 4" of peanuts on all sides, mark it fragile, insure it and pray as anything can be destroyed in shipping.

Do not use Styrofoam as it's too hard and transmits impact which will break contents, and the box still looks fine,

BIG box, lots and lots of bubble wrap. B&H does a real good job of packing and uses really strong bubble wrap worth saving, but you will still need softer cushioning for these delicate big cameras.

Some ship the GG and entire back in a separate box, but then you can lose 1/2 a camera...

This is the method I used to ship a 7x17 from San Diego to Randy in Chicago. The resulting box was huge, but it did the job.

Randy Moe
18-Oct-2015, 10:38
This is the method I used to ship a 7x17 from San Diego to Randy in Chicago. The resulting box was huge, but it did the job.

It was packed very nicely and arrived in perfect condition. :)

I have shipped 8x10's as far as Korea with this method.

Old-N-Feeble
18-Oct-2015, 11:07
I agree with Randy... that's precisely how I would ship it. However, I'll add that you must push down on all the peanuts and add more until you can't add more then make sure there are absolutely no voids without peanuts... not even a tiny bit. This will keep all the peanuts in place which will also keep the inner box centered inside the outer box. Then pray the outer box isn't compromised so the peanuts fall out. Tracy has a good idea regarding the GG.

Corran
18-Oct-2015, 11:33
Does it have to be FedEx? I give it a 50/50 shot of getting destroyed by FedEx. They are a terrible shipping company IMO.

If you take it to a UPS store they will pack it themselves and insure it, which may cost a little more, but it is 100% covered for sure - they can't come back and say you didn't pack it properly if it gets broken, since they did it.

Old-N-Feeble
18-Oct-2015, 12:06
That won't cost a little more... it'll cost a LOT more. ;)

diversey
18-Oct-2015, 12:11
Double boxes are essential for precious gears.

Corran
18-Oct-2015, 12:14
That won't cost a little more... it'll cost a LOT more. ;)

Well, it might be worth it, considering the camera. I've done it once before when I was shipping a Nikon LS-8000 that was sold for almost $2k, and the "extra" service fee was only $20-30 IIRC.

Old-N-Feeble
18-Oct-2015, 12:21
You might be right, Corran. However, the couple of times I asked the UPS Store to pack very large items for me the shipping fee went from $50 to $150 or more. You can buy an awful lot of third-party insurance for $150-200.

Corran
18-Oct-2015, 12:26
Very true that the large size may be the deciding factor. I do also know from experience that shipping companies are quick to blame poor packing by the customer as a way to get out of an insurance claim*. I don't know anything about 3rd-party insurance though.

*I dealt with FedEx for months to get a $1,000 claim on a package they destroyed that had a custom camera in it, that was ruined. Not fun.

David Lobato
18-Oct-2015, 12:53
I bought an 11x14 camera that was shipped to me. It was packed quite well with very generous amounts of bubble wrap. The ground glass was protected with layers of foam and taped securely. Be sure camera parts are taped, cushioned, padded so they can't move or slip relative to each other. The box was very large compared to the 11x14 camera dimensions, and did its job well.

Fred L
18-Oct-2015, 13:25
fwiw, when I got my Korona 7x17, it was shipped in the hard case for the camera with no outside cardboard box. looked like a smaller steamer trunk basically. had slots for lenses and holders and the seller taped down all the latches and that was it. camera arrived safe and sound and it was a beast of a package which may have helped in that it was too heavy to toss around lol

Old-N-Feeble
18-Oct-2015, 13:56
That's true... but I have a new one for you. I bought two 4x5 monorail cameras from one seller... maybe twelve years ago. He shipped them in one large package but very well packed. I filed a damage claim due to damage to both cameras. I took the entire package with contents to the local UPS depot where the manager promptly told me, "That damage can't have been caused during transport be cause the items were too well packed". And this is with two giant holes all the way through the boxes (outer and inner boxes) that could only have been made by a fork lift stabbing all the way through. So yes... UPS insurance can be completely worthless.


Very true that the large size may be the deciding factor. I do also know from experience that shipping companies are quick to blame poor packing by the customer as a way to get out of an insurance claim*. I don't know anything about 3rd-party insurance though.

*I dealt with FedEx for months to get a $1,000 claim on a package they destroyed that had a custom camera in it, that was ruined. Not fun.

Michael Jones
18-Oct-2015, 19:56
I have used the method Randy outlined for years with no problems. Do put cardboard to protect the ground glass and I strongly suggest purchasing insurance. I have never had a problem collecting (no more that your usual auto claim...) when I needed it (twice in twenty years). Frankly, if you pack properly it will arrive in one piece; you are buying insurance for when they lose the package or misdeliver it.

Mike

Alan Gales
19-Oct-2015, 13:44
To add to Randy and Old n Feeble's wise advice, make sure the cardboard box is rated for the weight of the camera. You can buy a proper box from your local UPS store. Also when you are done wrapping the camera in bubble wrap make sure you tape all the seams so no water can get in.

I shipped a medium format camera to Texas once. The Buyer had no front porch and a torrential rain came down on the box all day long. He said the Priority mail USPS box actually fell apart but his camera was dry as a bone.

Old-N-Feeble
19-Oct-2015, 17:49
USPS carriers are not supposed to leave packages out when there is a chance of inclement weather. That happened to me once but I didn't say anything because I caught it before the rain soaked all the way through. If it happens again I'll politely ask her not to do that.

Greg
21-Oct-2015, 16:03
Just a side note: In the past 2 years have bought 2 view cameras from Chamonix in China. Largest one was an 11x14. The outsides of both shipping boxes were a bit beat up, but the cameras arrived 100% intact. From my experiences, they are real experts at packing shipments... might be worth it to contact them. Their largest view camera is a 20x24 and I would have no qualms at all about having one shipped from them in China to here in Connecticut.

Greg

Shailendra
21-Oct-2015, 19:46
Just a side note: In the past 2 years have bought 2 view cameras from Chamonix in China. Largest one was an 11x14. The outsides of both shipping boxes were a bit beat up, but the cameras arrived 100% intact. From my experiences, they are real experts at packing shipments... might be worth it to contact them. Their largest view camera is a 20x24 and I would have no qualms at all about having one shipped from them in China to here in Connecticut.

Greg

Greg, I bought a Chamonix 14x17 earlier this year and completely concur with your experience, although the outside of my shipping box was completely satisfactory.

Nicolasllasera
21-Oct-2015, 21:34
When I bought my Chamonix 11x14 from Mark Woods I bought a Pelican case that could hold the camera, the film holders and a lens. Sent it to him and he very nicely packed it all inside. Then shipped it to Miami and from there it flew with a friend on a airplane (air berlin) all the way to Bilbao, Spain. Camera, lens, holders and ground glass made it fine over here. I understand it might be a little expensive but it worked amazingly well. Good luck with the shipping.