Checking Camera Equipment : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm about to head out to England and Ireland for a couple of weeks and am worried that my TK45s and lenses won't make it past a security checkpoint in the backpack I use. Has anyone had problems with checking gear in a pelican case or other such hard-sided cases. Not worried about damage, more about the pelican case shouting "Camera Equipment--Steal Me!" Any information on checking gear would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Randy Redford

-- Randy Redford (, December 09, 2001


Put the Pelican inside a normal looking suitcase.

Try this; put your camera and lenses & film inside the backpack you want to use and make a dry run to the airport to make sure it fits the carry on size guidelines. Your film probably will get x-rayed (at least in England). you might also try callingthe airline you are goingto fly with and ask for their carry on size guidelines.

Have you considered federal Expressing your equipment to your destination.

On an international flight checking your film would be a major mistake.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, December 09, 2001.

Randy, after Sept.11 I have flown several times , one of which with a Wista 45 metal in a Nature trekker backpack to the U.S. as hand baggage.No problems whatsoever. The only thing to look at is that the backpack must fit in the famous template which allows normal trollers to be carried on (can't remember the measurements, the Nature trekker fits with about an inch of clearance in all directions) . I have just returned (yesterday) from a business trip in the US , I noticed folks with oversized hand baggage not being rejected. I find the custom checks are weaker now than after 11 Sept. If I were you I would try the hand baggage route as long the bakpack profile fits the template. Personally I would never put any camera in any checked bag. The shocks that a checked baggage receives are tremendous and even if a pelican case is able to absorbe them, I just mentally refuse the idea! Of course this is me, there's theoretically nothing wrong with the Pelican solution. Happy shooting

-- Roberto Manderioli (, December 09, 2001.

If you check your equipment, be sure it is insured. I've never had anything stolen from the luggage conveyor, but I have had my bags pilfered by airport employees at LaGuardia airport, who I suspect x-rayed the bag, found something worth stealing, cut the locks and took it. Needless to say, I now avoid checking anything that might attract thieves (I do check my tripod, but that doesn't seem attractive enough to steal).

-- David Goldfarb (, December 09, 2001.

My equipment is insured but I still try to carry it on whenever possible. I have a series of 'bullet proof' halliburton and Porter cases that are setup for particular kits., the largest, the Porter holds my 8x10 Phillips Compact II, three lenses, light meter, dark cloth, loupe and a few other small goodies. Is an acceptable carryon size. OTOH I have checked, at one time or another, all of my gear and hve never suffered any damage.

-- Ted Harris (, December 09, 2001.

Beware of carry on weight restrictions. Especailly if flying British Airways. At one point their restriction was 9#!!

-- Neal Shields (, December 09, 2001.

This reminds me of a time I was at the airport about to check baggage, and ahead of me were two vultures - each carrying 2 dead racoons. "I am sorry," said the clerk, "each passenger is allowed only one carrion."

Sorry.....couldn't help it.

-- Matt O. (, December 09, 2001.

Going to England and Ireland, bring an umbrella for the very occaisional drizzle.

-- Andre Noble (, December 09, 2001.

I flew from Houston to Mexico and put all of my camera equipmet, TK45, Gandolfi 8x10 and hassy w-3 lenses in two pelican cases with two locks ( and I mean real locks, not those little things they sell for luggage) and my equipment arrived prefectly, if I can get it ok in Mexico city, I am sure yours will be fine going to England. Good luck and have fun.

-- Jorge Gasteazoro (, December 09, 2001.

Having carefully selected the Tenba backpack that was just within the size restrictions I flew Heathrow-Amman on September 12th to find that NO hand baggage was being allowed on board - so reluctantly I checked everything in (including a large and uninsured Wista outfit). I arrived in Jordan at 03:30 next morning to discover that my bags hadn't. Thank you Lufthansa! They eventually turned up three days later, by which time my blood pressure was just a tad elevated and I was getting sick of washing the same pair of socks every night. Thankfully everything was safe and sound. Flying back from Beirut a month later, the whole lot (including 350 sheets of exposed Provia) had to go through twice the usual number of X-Ray machines because of the heightened security and again I wasn't allowed to carry on the bag - this time because it was well over the weight limit. Because both bags were being checked, I also had to pay a hefty excess on the checked-baggage weight limit. Thankfully everything survived unscathed and there was no trace of fogging.

Next time I'll carefully redistribute the film holders etc before heading to the airport just to make sure the main pack is just within the carry-on weight limits. And next time I won't be flying with Lufthansa!

-- Stuart Whatling (, December 10, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ