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Thread: Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

  1. #1

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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    I'm pinning (pining?) for the days when I could carry the (older, larger) Lightware case and a Domke bag as airline carry-ons. I could travel with a complete 3-lens large, medium, and 35mm format set, plus film, and even a change of underwear and a good book. Of course my cell phone was almost as large as my 4x5...

    When I look at the latest carry on regulations, and compare to the bag manufacturers, if I go by absolutes, the largest backpack I can use is a Lowe-Pro Mini-Trekker. Now, I know a lot of you are going to chime in a say "Last week I got my Super-Trekker on with no problems..." but I don't want to base my plans on the mercy of their subjective decision, especially 5 minutes from take-off.

    I've tried everyway I can - stripping the camera down to parts, etc. - to get a 4x5 Arca, a couple of lenses and Gnass film holder pack (the bare minium) into a Mini-Trekker and it just ain't going to happen. I have a large Lightware trunk that gets checked for real jobs, but for casual travel (i.e. with my spouse) I sure would like to go lighter. And even for jobs, I never liked the idea of the trunk case getting pandered by the TSA.

    Is it Toho time? Or should I just get a beater Crown Graphic, with a Ektar, and throw it into the checked bags, as it is the proverbal cockroach of cameras?

    Finally, I've always check my tripods since 9-11. Anybody ever get a tripod in as carry-on?

  2. #2
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    I always seem to get my Crumpler Fux Deluxe (about 18"x13"x12") on the plane with Tech V, 5 or 6 lenses, usual odds and ends, a laptop, film in the top usually in a lead bag, empty Grafmatics in checked luggage, tripod checked in a Tenba TTP case. At the destination, the laptop comes out (it's not for photography) and the filmholders go in.

    I can also carry on my Gowland 8x10" PocketView with 5 lenses or so and all the usuals, laptop, film in boxes, with empty filmholders and tripod in checked luggage as above. All in an ordinary knapsack made for laptop computers, just like lots of other people are carrying on the plane.

  3. #3
    Doug Dolde
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    Dana Designs makes a carry on size backpack called the Hiatus. 1800 cu in.

  4. #4
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    I use a Lightware insert from their MF 1217 case that goes directly into a Rimowa regular roller case for carry on (the MF 1217 on its own works too, of course, but does not roll, and in my experience a regular carry-on rollercase prompts less questions at the check-in counter about carry-on weight than a backpack). It holds a Technikardan 4x5 + bag bellows, Pentax digital Spotmeter, 7 lenses from 55-450mm on Technika boards, lightweight homemade dark cloth, 6 filters (67mm), Lee Kompendium with several step-up rings, Readyload holder, glasses, cable releases. Film or extra holders have to go into the checked luggage, as well as the tripod.

  5. #5
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    Of course the film does NOT go into the checked luggage! Sorry about the misstatement.

  6. #6
    Scott Rosenberg's Avatar
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    frank... i've traveled all over europe, the us, and canada and never once had to check my dana designs new world backpack. it's about 2,800 cu in with plenty of room for my entire tech IV kit: camera, 4 lenses, quickload holder, 545i holder, loupe, meter, one box of type 54, filter wallet, cleaning tools, and bellows lens shade. the tripod always got checked. 4-6 boxes of packet film are carried seperately for hand check at the security gate.

    good luck,
    scott

  7. #7
    Scott Rosenberg's Avatar
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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    forgot to mention, i'm switching over to an eclipse osprey 42+5 or switch 42+5 pack, as they are panel loaders. the lowepro omni line of cases will slide into the pack and protect everything nicely.

    scott

  8. #8

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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    Gitzo 1228. Fits easily in carry on, remove head. Too many leg sections though but nothing is perfect.

  9. #9

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    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    I travel twice a month on business and almost never check bags. I use a carry-on wheely bag that's about 23 x 14 x 10 that goes in the overhead and a computer/brief-case bag that usually goes under the seat. I've never had a problem except when I've run very late and all of the overhead were full, or where I'm on a small commuter plane. In those cases, the airline will 'gate check' the bag and return it to me at the gate when leaving the plane. I'm sure I could get the vital 8x10 gear in this bag, and check the less valuable and fragile gear. Traveling today is more of a chore, but it's still doable. Don't give up!

  10. #10

    Carry-On Worst Case Scenarios

    Frank:

    I the US, things have actually improved somewhat since 9/11. Before that, some of the carry-on Xray machines had plexiglass templates through which your baggage had to slide. The opening was the official 9"x14". Those have been removed since everything has to get put in bins these days.

    Depending on how paranoid one is, the size is restricted to 9"x14"x22" or about 45" total L+W+H. The old Saunders Outpack was exactly this size, and I was able to pack an Arca-Swiss 4x5 Field wrapped in a dark cloth in the large compartment, a 3 lens Gnass case in the middle compartment, and a couple of boxed of QL in the top compartment with the QL holder in a Gnass case. All of the pockets had to be empty. The latest versions of this bag actually had a decent suspension system.

    I also had a Photo-Trekker that would just clear these dimensions with empty pockets, but I suspect all of the LowePro packs have grown... won't a Nature-Trekker fit?

    If you don't like the separate external compartments (and the Outpack elicited either love or hate) you can find other dedicated photo carry-ons. Here is the newest Caddy/Bimmer/MB of these:


    http://thinktankphoto.com/ttp_products.html#arpt_adct


    Too rich for my blood!

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