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Thread: Tripod & Carry-On

  1. #1

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    Tripod & Carry-On

    Will be visiting Austin TX around Christmas to spend 4 days with my daughter. While taking either my digital, Leica RF, or Rolleiflex is the easiest and most sensible option, my real love is my Canham 4x5, so what would be most fun would be the 4x5 plus my iPhone. For visits this short I have always flown with a carry-on bag and a small backpack. I can strip the 4x5 necessities down from my full Backpacker rig to fit a smaller bag, except for my Gitzo CF tripod, which won't fit inside either piece of luggage. I could make a rigid case for the tripod and check it, but that is getting expensive and increases the "hassle factor." Has anyone travelled with a tripod and carry-on only? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    Early this year I saw a photographer with a medium sized carry on tripod. He had it in a soft case slung over his shoulder. I saw the Manfrotto label, asked him "Tripod?", and he nodded yes. You should check with your airline on their policies.

    8 years ago I checked my heavy Gitzo 320 Studex in a Calumet soft case. I wrapped it with duct tape to bind the cloth case and made it easier to handle. It arrived in baggage just fine. Unfortunately the duct tape sticky glue remains all over the soft case.

    I don't know if Austin has any places that would rent one?

  3. #3

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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    TSA regulations ban carrying on any club like objects. That not only includes baseball bats but also things like mono pods and tripods. You best check with your airline. And if your departure airport TSA allow it Austin could disallow it. Why not avoid problems and just ship it to your destination and back. Then you avoid any possible last minute surprises.

  4. #4
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    Definitely check with the airline about bring a tripod on board.
    I've used a number of travel-friendly FLM tripods, all 4-section, for LF work; the last one was a CP26-S4S, or CP-Compact.
    The soon-to-be-released CP-Travel is even more compact, you can fit 3-4 of them in a carry-on, and more importantly, the CP-Travel passed my own tests with a Toyo monorail.
    Just a suggestion.

  5. #5

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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    I just went to a large format workshop. Had my camera bag, computer bag, and tripod in its carry case with me on the plane. Nobody said a word from security to steward(ess).

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    So Bob, why do people routinely carry on their golf club bags? Yeah, they leave them in the front of the plane and not overhead. But they're even termed "clubs".
    I've seen huge tripods and lightstands similarly taken aboard, collapsed. I've never faced the alleged dilemma myself, because my CF Gitzo neatly collapses into my regulation carry-on. Never an eyebrow raised from TSA. The only time I flew with a big wooden tripod, I did check it in at baggage. The only time I've ever
    flown in and out of Texas, at Dallas, the airport security was so lax and inattentive that I was more afraid of getting on an unsafe flight.

  7. #7

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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    So Bob, why do people routinely carry on their golf club bags? Yeah, they leave them in the front of the plane and not overhead. But they're even termed "clubs".
    I've seen huge tripods and lightstands similarly taken aboard, collapsed. I've never faced the alleged dilemma myself, because my CF Gitzo neatly collapses into my regulation carry-on. Never an eyebrow raised from TSA. The only time I flew with a big wooden tripod, I did check it in at baggage. The only time I've ever
    flown in and out of Texas, at Dallas, the airport security was so lax and inattentive that I was more afraid of getting on an unsafe flight.
    Depends completely on the TSA agent that you get. But having been the distributor of Giottos, Linhof and Berlebach tripods I have had more then one tripod confiscated.

  8. #8

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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    FWIW, I'd suggest getting another tripod solely for the purpose of travel. Personally I have three tripods, one general purpose tripod (Manfrotto 3021) for my 35mm, digital and MF gear, a larger one (Benro) for the LF gear and telephoto lenses, and a hiking/travel one for packing in the luggage (Manfrotto 3001). The smaller tripod does well with the smaller and medium formats.

    R/
    Dave

  9. #9
    bill
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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    I have carried my tripod on every flight I've ever taken and never been questioned about it. I don't have it in a bag and its not a small tripod. I've flown a lot in the states but also went to Japan, France and Italy in the last 2 years. I also carry my 4x5 and a backpack of film on the same flights.

  10. #10
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Tripod & Carry-On

    I'd suggest shipping it ahead (with film) rather than fly with it. if you have connecting flights, it's quite possible checked baggage won't make the connections exactly like you.

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