PDA

View Full Version : Hard cases: Storm Case / Zarges / Rimowa



David Carson
8-Oct-2007, 16:01
I'm looking for a hard case for my car so my gear doesn't get crushed or spilled on by my family. I also want to work out of it on location. have a slew of canvas Domkes that are great to work out of, but aren't "fuggitaboutit" in the car. Anyone with a family knows how crushed and abused stuff can get on a family "vacation" (think xmas with all the presents stuffed in a too small car, packing while raining or snowing, or in North Dakota, raining while snowing). I also would like to stand on it on occasion.

I read a great post here: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=16226&highlight=stormcase

I'm considering a Storm Case im2500 (watertight, built-in trolley, ~$150 with dividers at http://www.midwestcasecompany.com/acatalog/storm_case.html), a Zarges 470 series 40564 (splashproof, ata cert., ~$258 $46 trolley $76 dividers = $380 at http://www.apgcases.com/zargesstore/40564a.jpg, all cases here: http://www.apgcases.com/zarges.htm), or a Rimowa Tropicana ($big bucks...$800? Watertight, built-in trolley, http://www.rimowa.de).

I had an opportunity to compare a similar size Pelican to the Storm Case, and it's not even close. The 2500 has waaay easier to use latches, and a much less wobbly trolley handle.

I am also not considering the waterproof Zarges 475 series, as the lids don't have hinges, but rather come off completely. I value convinence over absolute weather protection, as I'm not shipping my stuff, but rather want to use the case to work out of on location. If it can withstand rain, that's all I need.

The others listed in the above LF link didn't appeal to me either because they're either not hard-sided (Lightware, Tenba), seem not as good as similarly priced competitors (Zero Halliburton) or just seem not worth hunting down compared to the ones I'm considering (A&J, Amabilia, Anvil).

I guess I'm really leaning towards the Zarges 40564 or the Storm Case. The upright nature of that particular Zarges model means I wouldn't have to lay the case down to open it.

Anyone have opinions or better yet, use any of these?

Robert Fisher
8-Oct-2007, 18:08
David, I have had two yellow Storm 2500's for at least five years. They have encountered every situation without a whimper - plus I use them as carry on's. I have stacked huge loads on both and the wheels and trolley handles perform flawlessly. If someone stole mine tomorrow, I would buy two new ones without hesitation.

Frank Petronio
8-Oct-2007, 19:27
Just a plug for Lightwares, they may be soft but they are sturdy and good protection.

ericantonio
8-Oct-2007, 19:58
The Pelicans and the Storms look almost alike. What are the things that make either one better than the other?

gari beet
9-Oct-2007, 02:01
When I worked as a river guide I used Pelicases in various sizes for camera and video gear in the rafts and/or Kayaks, very waterproof and rigid. The porters were not in the least bit gentle with 'em, just throwing them around without any adverse outcomes.
I liked the fact that you could lock the Peli cases using a standard padlock. Not sure if the Storms can be locked, never used them though they look much the same as the Peli's.
Though the cost was initially a shock I would say that it was worth every Penny/dollar.

Gari

David Carson
9-Oct-2007, 08:26
Eric, the differences between Storms and Pelicans is listed here: http://stormcase.com/FeaturesComparison.htm

For me, it was the Storm's better latches (not loud and painful on the fingers) and the stronger/stiffer trolley handle.

And yeah, you can use normal padlocks on the Storms.

I know Ellis Vener has a Zarges 475...Ellis, ever touched a 470?

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
9-Oct-2007, 08:50
Unlike the plastic cases the Rimowa Tropicana case is made from marine plywood, covered with an aluminum magnesium alloy and then has insulating foam applied to all six sides. The foam is placed between the marine plywood and the "Tub" that actually holds the contents. The "Tub" is lined with heavy duty plush Velcro on the sides and the bottom is covered with a layer of urethane foam - as is the bottom of the lid of the case. Special partitions are cut to size with the included knife. The partitions are made of a synthetic material and covered with plush heavy duty Velcro. To attach the partitions you cut the partition to size, position it where you want it with the included metal guide. Cut a piece of the included heavy duty Velcro hook material to size. Fold it in half lengthwise and apply it to the divider and the case. Do this on each side of the cut divider. Uncut dividers exactly fill the width of the case. Dividers are cut to size to sub-divide endlessly. Because of the construction of the divider material the dividers are very thin. So much more equipment will fit in to a Rimowa case then similarly sized foam filled cases. For foam to work properly 1 inch of material must be between any equipment and the sides of the case and there must be at least 1 inch of foam between each item in the case to prevent damage from items hitting each other through compression of the foam. Rimowa's inserts can not compress.

Additionally, thanks to Rimowa's unique design each case is waterproof to 67 feet yet the case does not have an "0" ring that needs to be maintained or which can lose its sealing effectivness due to extreme heat or cold. All Tropicana cases are fully insulated against heat and cold in addition the Tropicana cases will float - even when loaded with over 60 Lbs of equipment.

David Carson
9-Oct-2007, 12:53
Bob, how exactly does the tropicana seal? Do you know where to buy them? HP Marketing used to carry them, but doesn't anymore, right? And how much do they cost? I have tried to find them online but have failed so far.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
9-Oct-2007, 13:11
Bob, how exactly does the tropicana seal? Do you know where to buy them? HP Marketing used to carry them, but doesn't anymore, right? And how much do they cost? I have tried to find them online but have failed so far.

David,

First of all HP Marketing does carry Rimowa. Both Tropicana equipment cases and Rimowa luggage are current products and are in stock.

The Tropicana cases seal against water, dust, humidity, etc by a raised ridge that is the top edge of the "tub" pressing against the special urethane foam that the inside of the top is lined with. Once the top is closed and latched (with the two exterior case locks) the contents are immune to damage from water, dust, etc to 67'.

David Carson
10-Oct-2007, 08:36
The Tropicana cases seal against water, dust, humidity, etc by a raised ridge that is the top edge of the "tub" pressing against the special urethane foam that the inside of the top is lined with.

Doesn't the urethane foam wear out, just as an o-ring would?

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
10-Oct-2007, 08:41
Doesn't the urethane foam wear out, just as an o-ring would?

Not to date and we first started selling them in 1985

Lee Hamiel
10-Oct-2007, 11:37
I have two Rimowa cases & my sons each have one as well - great cases & very well built.

One of my cases must be about 20 years old & it's still in great shape along with the foam.

Nice thing is you just open & close them with latches w/out any valves, etc. .

Due to the sealing nature it's important to always have dessicant inside regardless of Rimowa or other sealing cases.

Cases_HPRC
17-Oct-2007, 07:54
Also give HPRC cases a look. They are new to the US from Italy. The 2550W model is the wheeled carry-on case equivalent size to the Storm iM 2500 that was discussed above.

Here's the site... www.hprc-usa.com

And here's the case... http://hprc-usa.com/2550w.htm

Scroll to the bottom to see all the photos.

Jim Rhoades
18-Oct-2007, 07:31
I own Pelican, Halliburton and Rimowa cases. They are all fine but if you need a extreme duty case to protect your equipment from a monkey with a gun, the Rimowa Tropicana is what you want. Mines around twenty years old and the foam is fine.

Pete Roody
18-Oct-2007, 08:02
Bob,

Where would one find information on sizes available, prices, etc. for the Tropicana Cases?

Pete


David,

First of all HP Marketing does carry Rimowa. Both Tropicana equipment cases and Rimowa luggage are current products and are in stock.

The Tropicana cases seal against water, dust, humidity, etc by a raised ridge that is the top edge of the "tub" pressing against the special urethane foam that the inside of the top is lined with. Once the top is closed and latched (with the two exterior case locks) the contents are immune to damage from water, dust, etc to 67'.

David Carson
18-Oct-2007, 16:11
Thanks for all the great replies! This, as always, is a nice community to be in.

I'm favoring a Storm Case for value on the $, but on the advice of Mr. Petronio and Mr. Vener, I am considering a lightware 2012 as well. Can't stand on it, but I checked on out at the local pro shop and I see why people like them.

Can't figure out why they are quite so expensive, though.

Songyun
24-Oct-2007, 10:41
how is the divide set in the storm case? I had a divide set for pelican case, which I don't like. It is too soft. I need to fit a camera, a gnass lens bag, and a few film holders, a roll film back, a quickload holder, and a spotmeter in the case. I have called midwestcase company, they don't have displays, all storm cases are drop shipped from manufacture.

SAShruby
24-Oct-2007, 12:21
I purchased Pelican case a year ago. I store my core photo equipmnet. It's Watertight, crushproof, and dust proof. Very satisfied with it.

Pelican 1630 (http://pelican.ca/cases_detail.php?Case=1630)

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
24-Oct-2007, 12:22
Bob,

Where would one find information on sizes available, prices, etc. for the Tropicana Cases?

Pete

At camera stores. I can't tell you who may have listed them online. But dealers like Samy's do stock them.

David Carson
24-Oct-2007, 13:11
Ok, since my first post, I've been flip-flopping over hard-case vs semi-hard cases, etc. I think I've narrowed it down to the Think Tank Airport International or Security. They (I think) will be crush-resistant enough for my car, even though I can't stand on them. The Storm Cases, while really nice, actually are measured with a 2" lid added, which is taken up by foam, so they're not as deep as I though until one gets into a really heavy case.

The only question I need answered is about the comparative rigidity between the Think Tanks. Think Tank's staff said the Security is a bit less rigid. I've seen the International in person, and it's quite stiff...I like it. But I like the more accessible design of the Security.

I figured I'd try the mighty intertubes for more views. How would you compare the rigidity of the two? How 'less rigid" is the Security?

Songyun
24-Oct-2007, 13:40
I agree on David's comments about Storm/pelican case. I am looking for a case that is good for carry on, and it is as deep as tamrac 654. I like the tamrac 654, but it is too big for carry on, and not strong enough for checked baggage.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
24-Oct-2007, 14:04
David,

We, HP Marketing, do import the Tropicana cases with wheels. Due to the tremendous growth in the Rimowa suitcase business over the past few years the Tropicana cases had been discontinued as the factory simply did not have enough manufacturing capacity. With the expansion of the factory outside Prague for the polycarbonate Rimowa suitcases and added production capacity in Cologne for the aluminum cases the Tropicana cases are again available through any of our camera dealers and through many of our Rimowa luggage dealers in the USA.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
24-Oct-2007, 14:06
Bob,

Where would one find information on sizes available, prices, etc. for the Tropicana Cases?

Pete

Pete,

Retail selling prices would be available through dealers. Samy's, for one, stocks the cases.

Ted Harris
24-Oct-2007, 19:32
I'll vouch for the Rimowa cases. I have three of them and they have survived water and severe dust storms more than once. One of the went overboard out of a canoe once with no damage to anything inside. Additionally they are tank solid and the larger one is great to stand on.

Nate Battles
24-Oct-2007, 21:04
I have only used Pelican cases. They are awesome. Every photog I've worked for used them and I guy I knew used them when photographing funny cars. He literately threw them in the back of the trailer (although probably not a good idea) If you need to replace the bottom layer of foam, go to a fabric store and get it there, just try to find the high density foam-it's more spongy and shock resistant.

Songyun
24-Oct-2007, 21:37
I'll vouch for the Rimowa cases. I have three of them and they have survived water and severe dust storms more than once. One of the went overboard out of a canoe once with no damage to anything inside. Additionally they are tank solid and the larger one is great to stand on.
Ted, which model is for carry on?

Ted Harris
25-Oct-2007, 07:00
There are several models that are for carry on. You need to go to the HP Marketing website and look at the measurements. I can't comment on the current model since mine are all several years old (One is probably older than you :)).

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
25-Oct-2007, 13:45
Ted, which model is for carry on?

Currently only the smallest wheeled Tropicana case can be carried on. The non-wheeled versions are not sold in the USA.

PBrooks
25-Oct-2007, 21:37
Hello Bob, I just checked online and searched Samy's website and it came up empty for Tropicana case.

Songyun
25-Oct-2007, 22:13
Tropicana will be a long shot for me.
For the interior, what is the best solution? I don't like foam. What kind of divide set is better?

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
26-Oct-2007, 04:53
Hello Bob, I just checked online and searched Samy's website and it came up empty for Tropicana case.

Samy's bought 99 Rimowa cases last month including the Tropicana cases. Not everything is on a web site. Just call them or send an email and ask.

David Carson
16-Dec-2007, 19:11
An update: I bought a Storm Case im2500. I chose it mainly because of price (~$150). It looks very tough. The think tank airport security would be nicer, and I'm sure the Rimowa would be spectacular. They're too expensive for me.

The lightware cases just didn't cut it for my needs. One interesting discovery: the two cases I was considering, the 2012 and 1420, are quite different weights. The 1420 was lighter. Lightware told me the is because they are made of different shell materials, but the rep couldn't tell me why.

Jeffrey Sipress
16-Dec-2007, 20:56
Interesting that there's been no mention here of Underwater Kinetics cases. Similar to Pellican. More variety. I happen to be selling one on the B/s forum here.

David Carson
25-Dec-2010, 17:26
Just a quick update, as I've gotten some email questions. I recently sold my Stormcase 2500, as a chemical smell of the padded insert (not the case) was bugging me. I thought it'd go away, but it didn't. Off-gassing? I don't know.

Wound up getting a lightware 2012. A little too big for me, but a solid case. Might get a 1217. A think tank roller would be nice and sturdy too. Merry Christmas!

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
26-Dec-2010, 02:19
Another quick update, on our Factory Store www.hpmarketingcorp.com we have Rimowa cases for sale and will have a special 30% off sale on them next week! That is 30% off the price on our Factory Store site.

ki6mf
26-Dec-2010, 06:04
Regardless of which manufacturer you pick in the USA the maximum external size allowed for US Airlines by the FAA is: Exterior Dimensions: 22"L x 13.81"W x 9"D (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm) larger than this and you are playing carry on roulette.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
26-Dec-2010, 08:35
Regardless of which manufacturer you pick in the USA the maximum external size allowed for US Airlines by the FAA is: Exterior Dimensions: 22"L x 13.81"W x 9"D (55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9 cm) larger than this and you are playing carry on roulette.

While there are printed maximum sizes for carry-on there are many exceptions also. Some airlines allow larger cases then others and some commuter airlines use planes whose overhead won't hold a briefcase. Check the carry-on sizes that your specific airline allows. It is listed in the baggage section on their web site. Don't be surprised.

tgtaylor
26-Dec-2010, 09:21
The Calumet cases are a real bargain. They are pretty much the same as the Pelican and probably made by the same manufacturer the difference being a slightly different exterior look (the Calumet being optimized for adding metal straps and permitting locks to be placed on the opening) and slightly larger internal dimension for the calumet so you can't exchange foams. Of course they are watertight, dust-proof, crush-proof... etc., and stack for traveling. In my opinion they would make an ideal storage case for airline travel.

I keep my LF and MF cameras in Hakuba and Toyo aluminum cases for traveling by auto. If you drop them in a lake they are going straight to the bottom adding water as they go but the neat thing that I like about the aluminum case is that the metal keeps the contents cool. I'm a ways away from my physics courses but I believe it has something to do with the electron distribution on the exterior surface of a metal. If I take the case from a cool interior and place it in the rear trunk and then drive in a warm climate, the camera and lens are still cool when I transfer them to the pack. Conversely, if the metal is hot it will tend to stay hot so don't put them in the sun.

Thomas

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
26-Dec-2010, 11:22
The Calumet cases are a real bargain. They are pretty much the same as the Pelican and probably made by the same manufacture Thomas

Calumet cases are not made by Pelican. The cases are Italian GT cases.
"GTLINE Italy (www.gtline.com) is the european leading company in the manufacturing of technical cases, manufacturing in Bologna, Italy, since 1970."