View Full Version : Add on to the "Ideas on 45 cameras for traveling" thread...

4-Sep-2007, 20:31

As an add-on to the "Ideas on 45 cameras for traveling" thread... when travelling, do you drag your tripod along with you?

If so, do you check it in as luggage?

[I'm sure most airlines won't allow you to carry a tripod on-board the craft itself?]

What about the head on the pod? Do you remove it?

Or, do you look for places to rent a tripod upon arrival at your destination?

The conveyance of a tripod is the main reason I'm reticent to travel with large format equipment... especially when flying on a commercial airline. :(


David A. Goldfarb
4-Sep-2007, 20:35
Tripod goes in checked baggage usually with head attached, handles loose or removed, all in a Tenba TTP34 case. I've flown with this case many times, and I've seen it go flying off a baggage truck, and it's always protected the contents.

David Karp
4-Sep-2007, 20:58
I keep my tripod in my big Kirkland rolling suitcase. The head comes off and also sits in the suitcase. Never had any problem.

Ole Tjugen
5-Sep-2007, 02:29
I bought myself a new tripod this year for exactly that reason. None of my great big wooden tripods would fit in my suitcase, so I bought a Manfrotto 055CF.

Peter Lewin
5-Sep-2007, 06:30
Just flew to and from Europe, Gitzo 2530 with Markins B-20 attached, in the checked duffel. The Gitzo comes with a nylon (looks like cordura) "sleeve" which is pretty loose, so I wrapped the tripod in underwear, then placed it inside the sleeve, which gave it a lot of padding which couldn't move, then stuck the whole thing in the middle of the duffel so that the other clothing gave even more padding. As for the ballhead, I just positioned the mounting plate parallel to the legs in the "right-angle slot" which both shortened the setup slightly, and I believe added a little protection by not having the mounting-plate portion of the ballhead sticking out.

5-Sep-2007, 06:41
I am a bit wary of sending the tripod in my luggage. If traveling in the US and shipping film and other items, I will ship one of my Gitzo tripods in a Coleman cooler which I use for shipping for pick-up at my destination. The Markins Head of Heads (M20 or Q3 Emille) I carry on board along with the rest of my camera gear in a Think Tank Airport Acceleration Backpack. This backpack is designed for fitting international flights and does not look like a photo backpack.

It is easier to get (rent or purchase) a tripod than a tripod head if the tripod is lost or does not arrive than the tripod head with the Arca Type QR.


Brian Ellis
5-Sep-2007, 06:54
I usually drag two tripods along just to be safe. One I put in a hard-shell suitcase with the head removed and everything wrapped in clothing, the other I check in a Gitzo tripod carrying bag with the three handles on the head removed and everything surrounded by more clothing (the Gitzo bag is a heavy, well-padded bag). I carry two just to be safe, I don't want a lengthy photography trip ruined if something goes wrong with one tripod.

David A. Goldfarb
5-Sep-2007, 07:12
Oy. I think that if I had a tripod fail on a trip, I'd just figure out how buy another one. I've worn out a couple of tripods, fortunately close to home, so I could buy a new one easily.

Once I was left for a day or two on Maui with camera carried on and tripod left with the rest of the luggage at some airport en route. Fortunately it was my Tech V, and I had one cammed lens with me, so I could shoot handheld until the tripod arrived.

Frank Petronio
5-Sep-2007, 07:20
I've never had any trouble with tripods more than any other item, but I do use a case that is long enough to accomodate the tripod and I have a lot of other stuff around it to protect it and also sort of disguise it. The Linhof head I use is very simple and robust so I don't see a need to baby it, but when I had an Arca ballhead I would wrap it in a padded case and make sure to wrap soft stuff around it.

Aender Brepsom
5-Sep-2007, 07:26
My Gitzo 1348 carbon fibre tripod always goes in the suitcase, wrapped in clothing or sometimes in a padded tripod bag. The Arca Monoball comes off and is protected in a padded pouch. Never had any problems this way.

Ernest Purdum
5-Sep-2007, 08:24
I once cut down a surplus sonobuoy case into the perfect container for a particularly bulky tripod. You guessed it - the only item I've ever had stolen during shipment. (Not counting several items disappearing from the mail.)

Dealing with the airline's insurer was a truly disgusting experience.

Scott Davis
5-Sep-2007, 10:41
I put my tripod, head separated, in my suitcase. I'll also pack empty film holders in the suitcase as well.

QT Luong
5-Sep-2007, 12:45
In general I just wrap the tripod in clothing or a sleeping mat and put it in a duffel bag. I carry on the head. If the tripod was damaged (something that never happened in dozens of flights) I would be surprised if I couldn't find at the destination something that would do the job temporarily. On occasion I have also carried-on the tripod.

OT: in one recent flight, my luggage was late by a couple of days, however I was shooting only digital on that trip, so I was able to get by despite shooting at night http://www.terragalleria.com/asia/india/mumbai/mumbai.5.html
or in a cave
thanks to the phenomenal IS/1600 ASA combination with exposures in the 1/4s-1/15s range.

5-Sep-2007, 12:47
I always put my Bogen carbon fiber tripod in my checked bag. I take the head off and put it on top because the TSA always checks it.

J V McLure
5-Sep-2007, 15:04
Last week I flew from Dallas to Las Vegas and then back to Dallas on American Airlines. I had my carbon tripod in it's bag with ball head in place. No problem with TSA or airlines at either boarding location.

Ted Harris
5-Sep-2007, 15:53
I usually pack my Feisol 3441 tripod in my rollaboard bag with the head stashed separately. Sometimes I whil attach it to the top of my gear bag. Never any TSA problems.

vann webb
5-Sep-2007, 16:05
Tripod goes in the suitcase, head removed, all knobs loosened. Head goes in padded case. Tripod gets loosely wrapped in clothing. All glass and cameras go in Lowepro phototrekker which never leaves my sight. My tripod is replaceable. My cameras, not so much.

5-Sep-2007, 16:10
I put my tripod, head separated, in my suitcase. I'll also pack empty film holders in the suitcase as well.


5-Sep-2007, 16:13
OT: in one recent flight, my luggage was late by a couple of days, however I was shooting only digital on that trip, so I was able to get by despite shooting at night

Since I don't shoot digital for anything serious, not having my tripod would be a major setback. The new Provia 400X is so good, I've started carrying a few rolls just for twilight/night shooting.

Gordon Moat
5-Sep-2007, 16:38
Agree on Provia 400X for night shooting. Already pushed some to use at ISO 3200, at it worked great, though probably will add 1/3 stop more exposure next time I do that.

One thing I was not so thrilled about was daytime portraits in the shade with 400X. I happened to have Kodak E200 along at the same shoot, and those shots turned out warmer overall and much more natural. The Fuji 400X seems a little to sickly on the skin tones.


Gordon Moat
A G Studio (http://www.allgstudio.com)

C. D. Keth
11-Sep-2007, 18:23
I don't think traveling with 45 cameras is a good idea at all. Where would you put them all? ;)

11-Sep-2007, 18:28

You could try a compact Al Qaeda suitcase:


Kirk Gittings
11-Sep-2007, 18:46
I carry on my camera etc. in a Lowepro rolling case (it doesn't look like a camera bag) and put my tripod in my check in luggage, head off, using my clothes as cushioning.