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First time flying with camera gear, any tips or tricks?


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Hi All,

Next week I'll be embarking on my first dive trip that requires flying with my camera gear.  Are there any tips or tricks anyone has that may make my life easier at all?

It seems that getting as much as possible into carry on is the best bet. Making sure my housing isn't sealed is the second thing I've picked up. Any other tips people can suggest?

 

Thanks, Al

 

Edit: Sorry mods, I just realised I put this in the wrong travel forum

Edited by AlClarence
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The approach I've been using:

- Do your best to pack your main rig in a camera backpack. Carry-on bags might still get checked at the gate for busy flights (and subsequently lost in transit), but the your "personal item" will always stay with you. For me, that'll usually be a D850, housing, 45 degree viewfinder, 2 Ikelite DS232 strobes, 28-70mm lens, a WACP-C, and some arm clamps for wide-angle destinations, or a 105mm + port + Saga Trio diopter for macro destinations. I can't fit float arms in the bag, but it's enough to do close-focus stuff in a pinch, though I do need to disassemble the viewfinder and arm mounting balls from the housing for everything to fit. 

- For other lenses, ports, and other gear, try to pack them in a carry-on with configurable divider panels. I've found them to be enough that I don't need to bring bulky padded bags for my ports. I personally like the Tenba Air Case for this role because it's very sturdy, but not as heavy or as obvious of a target for theft as something like a Pelican case. 

- Some airlines like Philippine Airlines weigh your carry-on bags as well, which you should keep in mind if that'll be a concern. If you're forced to fly with one, you may want to consider wearing a photo vest that lets you carry some of your lenses and accessories on your person instead of in your carry-on, though you should be warned that it might not be the most comfortable in a cramped airplane seat. 

- You can save space by putting your camera body in your (unsealed) housing. I've heard some people expressing worries about potentially causing the camera tray to get misaligned from too much jostling - it's not something I've personally run into, but if you're worried, you could also pack a lot of accessories in there instead. 

- Avoid leaving a lens attached to your camera body if possible, as you risk damaging the connecting thread if your packing job exerts force on the wrong spot

 

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I can confirm everything @Kamaros mentioned above.

 

I would also recommend disassembling every arm and connector, for example, and not leaving them mounted in the bag.

Anything that doesn't fit into my camera backpack, such as spare parts or non-essential items, goes into a foam-padded softshell case inside my main luggage.

 

Another significant point for me is to keep a close eye (or better yet, both eyes) on your camera backpack when placing it in the plane's luggage compartment. During my last flight, another passenger took my bag and replaced it with her much larger carry-on bag. Consequently, she positioned my backpack in a way that it got squeezed every time the compartment was closed...

Edited by Apneagraph
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I've the same problem between 10 and 15 kg...  I had never problem... only one time on a low cost compagny (Scoot)  I had 14 kg ... I open the bag...  say it's a lot of money ... ...

 

 

.--> one second please the man asked the chief ... ok.... that's it.

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In my experience, I opted to purchase a backpack/photo trolley(RLX 450 AW), I observed that the backpack on the back is almost never weighed, it is more likely that at the check-in desk they ask to weigh the trolley.
I convert it to a backpack before presenting to the desk and after checking in and drop off luggage, I convert it to trolley.

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My photo rucksack was weighted already several times by different airlines. It was always o.k., but limit then was 12kg, now it is 7-8 kg with many airlines. I have now a big fishing vest for traveling - in case there are problems I can stuff items into it until the weight fits, after passing control I would put the items back (so far it was never necessary)...

 

Wolfgang

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9 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

My photo rucksack was weighted already several times by different airlines. It was always o.k., but limit then was 12kg, now it is 7-8 kg with many airlines. I have now a big fishing vest for traveling - in case there are problems I can stuff items into it until the weight fits, after passing control I would put the items back (so far it was never necessary)...

 

Wolfgang

Funny I make exactly the same... I've  0.9 KG of batterie (GoPro, R5, for 4 torche and for 2 retra with batterie extension ..)

 

One time for 6 or 8 years ago... we hada litle bit to much in a backpack  and some free weight in the second . At the check-in the person wanted that I move some part from one backpack to the other...  the difference was less than 1 KG really crassy ... it was with Etihad in Zürich/CH it was the first and the last time I flight with Etihad 

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Who are you flying with?, this can make a difference as to whether your carryon is weighed.  Jetstar for example will weigh carryons so they charge you to check an extra bag.  If you have a travelling companion temporarily off loading some gear to their carryon can be a strategy.

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Chris is right on the issue of which carrier you use.

 

Often using a low-cost airline is not, err, low cost. So many add-ons. We've had really good experiences with Air France, KLM and Emirates. Yeah, they cost more but when you start adding in the add-on charges that low-cost carriers raise, the different shrinks rapidly and allowances for baggage increase.

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