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Paul O
3-Jun-2007, 05:27
Apologies for the length of this post but I need to run another idea passed you all if I may! I'm living in the UK and have booked a (solo) photo trip to Iceland in a few weeks time. I've previously asked advice re:shipping film ahead of me etc and got the (VERY) useful advice to hand carry it! This is the situation I know find myself in ... here in the UK we have fairly draconian luggage policies now firmly in place - each passenger is allowed one piece of checked luggage (max 32kg) and only one piece of hand luggage (max size 56x45x25 cms - but no weight limit only that you have to be able to lift it yourself into the overhead locker so I've been working out at the gym!). I plan on transporting CF tripod in checked luggage and quickload film holders, 6x12 RFB, meter,filters, etc etc in a small Peli case also in checked luggage. I am camping so remainder of my (checked) holdall is tent and camping gear. I want to take an Ebony plus 6 lenses and had planned on packing it in a Peli-type case that is smaller than the hand luggage max size. I then needed to get around the problem of where to pack my Quickload film. This is the idea that I have had and would be very grateful on your thoughts/opinions - I appreciate that policies are slightly different in the US but still value any ideas! OKAY - I have calculated and had a dry run on the following idea - if I remove the foam padding from the Peli-type lid I can pack six packets of Quickload film (minus their boxes but still sealed in foil wrappers) into the lid space so that the film "replaces" the foam - hope I'm making sense so far? I then found that if I "attach" six boxes of Quickload to the outside of the case with thin webbing straps the total "size" of the case plus film boxes is still (just) within the max size allowed. I then cover the whole ensemble with a thin green lowepro rucksack cover to disguise the "attachment" and voila ... I have managed to solve my problem!!! Or have I?? Any advice on whether the Gatwick Gestapo will intervene? I didn't plan on insisting on hand searching film just simply get my "case" through security as smoothly as possible! Yes it weighs a ton but I will continue "working out" and practising a non-descript facial expression which conceal the fact that my arm is about to disconnect from my shoulder!
My reason for the plastic case is that I have a detachable backpack harness that I will pack in checked holdall and this will be my main method of transporting gear around Iceland. TRipod will be carried by hand and ancillary film, meter, etc will go in a Lowepro Trekker Day Pack. Phew! Any thoughts ... or am I nuts too?

Paul O
3-Jun-2007, 05:37
Damn and blast, knew there was more info to give you guys!
1. Shipping film ahead to Iceland and return to UK is 180 GBP with FEDEX.:(
2. I would prefer to keep (exposed) film with me too :rolleyes:
3. I could decant some lenses into another PELI case, so making more room to carry Quickloads "legitimately" and place lenses and other camping gear in another (checked)holdall - cost for this additional luggage, return to UK is 86 GBP :mad:
4. Forget Iceland or any foreign travel with my LF gear :eek:

Walter Calahan
3-Jun-2007, 05:59
You should base your decision on "no regrets".

My opinion, and other's here, should not be the determining factor.

With LF and travel, the only thought I'd share is the 'KISS' approach.

Scott Davis
3-Jun-2007, 06:08
Trim your lens kit down from six to three or four. I dragged a Canham 5x7 to Argentina with me, and came back with some terrific images. Made it worth the hassle. My only regret with taking the kit was at the time I didn't have a standard 300mm, only a 300 tele, so I got vignetting in the corners when I applied movements (not a problem with 4x5).

davidb
3-Jun-2007, 06:26
I was in Iceland about a month ago. I loved it. There were two British characters on the trip with me. I will PM you their addresses.

davidb
3-Jun-2007, 06:36
Let me add a few other thoughts.

First, while I was there it was wet and windy. Sure we had some really amazing days but we still had a few damp days. Can/will you use this set-up if it's raining and windy?

Second, you might be able to buy the film in Reykjavik. There are a couple decent shops there. I did not visit them but found them online.

Third, I would cut the kit down to the bare minimum. Save yourself the hassle and the weight.

It's a lovely place. The Ring Road is amazing. Have fun.

John Kasaian
3-Jun-2007, 08:04
I'd cut the lens kit down to two and get a "photographer's vest"---stick all the little stuff (meter, loupe, filters, cables, notebook & cleaning kit) in the pockets and wear it on board(sure, you'll have to empty the pockets out for inspection but these vests are certainly worthwhile) If you have enough lead time, why pay extra for overnight shipping of your film? I'm not sure what the post 9-11 policy is but outfits like American Express offices would act as post offices so you could mail it to yourself "in care of." That might be an avenue worth exploring.
Sounds like a fun trip!

Donald Qualls
3-Jun-2007, 11:50
Other than the film (and you won't have 8x10 film in there anyway), there's no real reason to empty the pockets of a photographer's vest at the metal detector; just take it off, fold it carefully, put it in a basket, and let it go through the X-ray. X-ray won't hurt lenses, cable releases, light meters, etc.

If you can fit your film and the camera itself in a carry-on (the film will be fine with one or two trips through the carry-on X-ray), you could look at renting a tripod in Reykjavik for the time you'll be there. Tempting to suggest buying clothes on arrival, and putting the camera in the check bag, but unless check bag handling in UK and Iceland is a lot different from that in the USA, that's a good way to wind up with no camera to use when you get there. :( Not a bad idea to have a changing bag in the carry-on, also, so you can (if needed) show a security worker, by feel, that there is in fact film inside the box (one of your hands, one of theirs in the sleeves of the bag -- it's tricky, but possible); shouldn't be necessary if you let the film go through the X-ray, but you never do know (and you'll want/need a changing bag during the trip anyway).

Ben R
3-Jun-2007, 12:25
With a decent coat you should be able to fit 4 boxes in the pockets. Put the coat on for going through controls, take it off straight afterwards.

I did a week trip in Iceland in 2005 sleeping in the car and shooting some 20 hours of the day. My advice is research locations thoroughly and if you are renting a car under no circumstances take anything other than a 4X4, 2/3 of the driving I did (2000km) was off paved roads. Watch out for the sheep, they delight in stepping out into the road infront of you.

r.e.
3-Jun-2007, 12:40
I'd buy film in Iceland, assuming that it is not prohibitively expensive. Hard to imagine that prices could be worse than the UK. The Reykjavik Museum of Photography should be able to give you current information on suppliers: http://www.ljosmyndasafnreykjavikur.is/english/index.htm Judging from their web site, the museum sounds, in any event, to be an interesting place to check out. On the return flight, you could put the negatives in checked baggage. There's also a pretty good chance that you will find that both checked and cabin baggage restrictions on the return flight are not as stringent as on the outgoing flight, the UK now having what appear to be the most rigorous rules on the planet.

The site has a number of links, inluding two to professional photographers in Iceland who, given some of their subject matter, may use large format themselves. There is also a link to a third Icelandic photographer who, while not making his living from photography, has exhibited at the museum. These people would presumably know the local photo scene. The link for Inger Boasson is wrong, but you can get the correct link from a google search.

Eric James
3-Jun-2007, 13:40
I like the idea of carrying the film in a coat. Strapping foil containers to a Pelican-like case filled with curious objects, including electronics, may result in trouble.

Could you make a box with a handle that meets maximum carry-on specs, and then put everything in the box? You could have your cases handle protrude through the box.

I've discovered a handy lightweight way to deal with wind in the field. I carry one of these (cheap and light) blue utility tarps with me. The first thing I do when I arrive at location it to empty my pack on the tarp (not necessary with your Lowepro approach). If it's windy enough to compromise my exposures I use the tarp as a wind block: I position myself up wind, stand on one end of the tarp, hold the other end high with one hand, and trip the shutter with the other.

Anyway - have a great trip!

Donald Qualls
3-Jun-2007, 13:47
On the return flight, you could put the negatives in checked baggage.

Best to clarify, this is only correct for processed negatives; if you're bringing the exposed film home for processing, it needs the same protection as unexposed (i.e. don't put it in checked bags, which can receive high-dose X-ray inspection).

r.e.
3-Jun-2007, 13:58
Best to clarify...

Quite right. My comment assumed processing.

Diane Maher
3-Jun-2007, 19:32
With a decent coat you should be able to fit 4 boxes in the pockets. Put the coat on for going through controls, take it off straight afterwards.

I did a week trip in Iceland in 2005 sleeping in the car and shooting some 20 hours of the day. My advice is research locations thoroughly and if you are renting a car under no circumstances take anything other than a 4X4, 2/3 of the driving I did (2000km) was off paved roads. Watch out for the sheep, they delight in stepping out into the road infront of you.

The original poster is taking Quickload film which is in foil packets and has a metal edge which holds the envelope together, so putting film in his pockets isn't going to help.

Paul O
4-Jun-2007, 11:11
Many thanks for the replies/advice/suggestions. I've had a rethink and I have decided to trim the equipment down and have now solved my "problem".:)

Eric James
4-Jun-2007, 13:25
The original poster is taking Quickload film which is in foil packets and has a metal edge which holds the envelope together, so putting film in his pockets isn't going to help.

I assumed that the jacket would be taken off at the security check and placed on the belt - just a sneaky way to carry an extra "bag".

eddie
7-Jun-2007, 23:50
the only thing i would ad is maybe change your airport departure city! europe is a pretty small place (i am in NY) maybe driving to an airport that has less asshole policies could give your everything you asked for? i only fly with non-western carriers simply because the western carriers are rude, obnoxious, ugly, charge fees for everything, have terrible people skills and policies etc etc etc. kepp us posted and happy shooting.

eddie

Ole Tjugen
8-Jun-2007, 01:20
Eddie, have you ever been outside NY?

Joanna Carter
8-Jun-2007, 03:15
On the return flight, you could put the negatives in checked baggage
Not a good idea. The X-rays used for checked luggage are well known for fogging film. Always take film as hand luggage. You are more than likely right that the restrictions coming back should not be anywhere near the paranoia that exists here.

Brian K
8-Jun-2007, 05:39
Paul what airline are you flying? Nearly all airlines I know allow one carry on AND one personal bag i.e a woman's purse or a laptop computer/briefcase. Also even if an airline has a one checked bag policy they usually allow more bags, you just have to pay for the extra baggage.

In any event if you are in a real crunch when it comes to what you can bring, I would consider not taking the very space using sheet film and as you already have a RFB just take 120 film and the RFB.

seawolf66
8-Jun-2007, 07:42
I know I will probably be shot at for these remarks: But here goes with regard to your statement below:

{Any advice on whether the Gatwick Gestapo will intervene]weather we llike it or not the world has changed some for the better some not for the better,but after that airplane went down over scotland. do you really believe that they are against us rather than being for us and making sure that everything going on planes is as it should Be:, I have not traveled Oversea's by plane only here in the USA
so my experience is limited to the Good Old USA: Yes its a great pain in the fantail to have to arrive at the airport earlier than one wish's too but heck, you what it gives you time to relaxe and wait for the flight and think about the next phase: of your trip::!

Paul O
8-Jun-2007, 09:02
Thanks for the advice. Maybe my comments about the "Gatwick Gestapo" were a little unfair? However, I have recently spoken with someone who was refused entry onto an aircraft here in the UK as his carry-on piece of hand luggage was 2cms too long! To me that's a little unfair? I agree that security is paramount but it seems unfair when the current regulations at ALL UK airports stipulate only ONE piece of hand luggage if on a flight departing from a UK airport ... but passengers travelling from OUTSIDE the UK and landing/transferring through a UK airport are allowed an additional laptop/briefcase-type bag too?? Anyway I've solved the problem now so I'm hoping for a hassle-free experience at the airport!

StuartR
15-Jun-2007, 10:24
Hi, I came to this thread late as I just joined here, but I have spent a good amount of time in Iceland in the past, so if you have any questions let me know. I also speak some Icelandic (just six weeks worth of classes), so I might be able to help interpret some basic websites if you need help. I will be there from July 1st to 16th if you are around...

In any case, I strongly recommend you purchase your film ahead of time. Film is outrageously expensive in Iceland. The first time I went there I forgot my film in the fridge in the rush to the airport, and I was forced to buy film there. At one point I paid 17 dollars for a 35mm roll of Velvia 100F. It was about 3 or 4 dollars at B&H. You might be able to find large format film at Beco, Ljosmyndavorur/fujifilm or Dikta, but the selection will probably be poor and the prices will be frightening. Do yourself a favor and ship it or bring it with you. You would probably pay less in shipping it in and out than you would in buying it there.

You might also be much better off paying the excess baggage fee for checked luggage and getting something like a Tenba air case to put your gear in. Doing that, you can carry the film with you in the hand luggage. I know it isn't fun to turn over your gear to a baggage handler, but the Tenba air cases are extremely well made and purpose built for being checked luggage. I have traveled to Japan and Iceland for multi-month trips several times checking a large amount of photo gear in those cases and I have never had anything broken or damaged. The gear is insured though, so if you haven't done that it is worth it for peace of mind alone.

In any case, if you have any questions about Iceland and what to expect, feel free to let me know.

Best of luck,

Stuart