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02-26-2017, 04:57 PM   #1
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Pelican or similar hard case for person with severe LBA

I read the camera case sticky but not finding what I need.

I bought an Aktiv Pak backpack and until recently it was awesome for holding all my lenses, accessories and my K-r. However, my recent LBA binge has left me with more lenses than divider slots.

OK, so I know I don't always have to have EVERY lens with me on short (local) photo excursions but for a long road trip, I want them all so I don't regret it later. I do have two OpTech lens bags (8" and 11") but I am leaning more toward a hard case solutions such as the Pelican 15xx series with the Trek Pak adjustable (and changeable) dividers.

Now with all the money I spent with LBA, I might want to save a bit on the case, and I could see trying to make a homegrown version by getting the TrekPak kit and foam and putting all that in a regular suitcase (I don't need the waterproofing of the Pelican), or I can go even cheaper by getting those soda can foam thingies but only for lenses that are no bigger than a can of Coke.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

02-26-2017, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #2
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My advice is don't bring too many lenses on a roadtrip. You won't use them all, and then there's the risk of theft while the car is unattended. Yes, you can figure out ways to lock and attach the pelican case to your car frame, but is that worth the effort for lenses you probably won't use on a trip?

When I'm doing a road trip, my most important lens decision is my largest lens, the Sigma 50-500. I pack it only if I expect to see a lot of wildlife. If not, I take the much smaller 55-300 in case of an unexpected telephoto opportunity, and even leave that one at home if it's an urban rather than wilderness road trip.
02-26-2017, 05:26 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I can't imagine carrying two dozen or so lenses with me - I usually make do with two bodies and four lenses across the pair, unless there's something specific I'm off to shoot...
02-26-2017, 05:39 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Where I used to work we used Pelican cases with foam. Replacing the foam with dividers allowed us to reduce the number of cases from three to two (large cases at that). Just as an indication of the amount of space the foam takes up. We carried maybe 75 thousand dollars of Nikon lenses or maybe even twice that value but then each of our high speed cameras cost that much and we sometimes used 6 of them.

I could only see taking that many lenses if you selected certain ones each morning and used only those that day.

02-26-2017, 05:46 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
Where I used to work we used Pelican cases with foam. Replacing the foam with dividers allowed us to reduce the number of cases from three to two (large cases at that). Just as an indication of the amount of space the foam takes up.
Agree 100%. I never liked the foam and always use the dividers inserts.
02-26-2017, 06:08 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I'd also advise against taking that many lenses, I'm sure you plan your trips, also plan what you will need for it. You may miss something, but with careful planning those misses will be limited. I've more often dragged around lenses that never get used than the other way. Plus anytime you take equipment on the road there is more risk involved, especially when you aren't with it.

That said the pelican case should be pretty protective, and the inserts good, I would possibly use individual lens bags instead.
02-26-2017, 06:09 PM   #7
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OK, let's stipulate that it is a bad idea to carry all my lenses with me and that none of you would do it. Is a Pelican case with the TrekPak the way you WOULD do it if you were forced to? Thanks!

02-26-2017, 06:46 PM - 1 Like   #8
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The Pelican system you linked looks excellent. I have a very large one for my archery gear and it's bomb-proof. To store my camera gear, I have a Think Tank Airport Accelerator back pack, which holds just about everything, but I have never actually travelled with it. Although it is carry-on size, when fully loaded it is way too heavy.

The biggest bag I have ever taken away is my Lowe Pro Nova 4 AW, which recently carried my K-1, DA10-17, DFA15-30, FA31, DA*55, DFA100WR and HD55-300, a flash, a compact tripod, charger and a couple of filters - all under the 7kg carry-on limit.
02-26-2017, 07:55 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
OK, let's stipulate that it is a bad idea to carry all my lenses with me and that none of you would do it. Is a Pelican case with the TrekPak the way you WOULD do it if you were forced to? Thanks!
If it's what you want to do it's not a bad idea, I think the Pelican case with the TrekPak is an awesome piece of gear and I'm envious already.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
The Pelican system you linked looks excellent. I have a very large one for my archery gear and it's bomb-proof. To store my camera gear, I have a Think Tank Airport Accelerator back pack, which holds just about everything, but I have never actually travelled with it. Although it is carry-on size, when fully loaded it is way too heavy.

The biggest bag I have ever taken away is my Lowe Pro Nova 4 AW, which recently carried my K-1, DA10-17, DFA15-30, FA31, DA*55, DFA100WR and HD55-300, a flash, a compact tripod, charger and a couple of filters - all under the 7kg carry-on limit.
As always, Sandy make an excellent point, what will the case weigh with the gear packed away in it weigh? Because even with wheels you sometimes have to carry it. Maybe two smaller cases would be better, I doubt that, but just look at all of the options before springing for a case.

If you do go the Pelican/TrekPak route I would love to see photos of it with the gear once you have it set up.
02-26-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
As always, Sandy make an excellent point, what will the case weigh with the gear packed away in it weigh?
Yeah, I worried about that once I started thinking about this. I probably should have remembered that I was very weighed down with the 11" OpTech on a recent vacation and that had only half of my lenses, and my camera was in my normal backpack. I think maybe now I'm more interested in this as a home storage solution. The Activ Pak is full, I have my camera hanging on a hook on the door, and 1 more (or 2...) lenses are on the way.

Of course, as a home solution, I could go completely in a different direction and use the TrekPak inside some sort of Rubbermaid...

However, for travel, I do like the idea of a nice hard case that can be locked to the car in some way (cable lock through handle, cabled to underside of seat or something). I know, locks only keep honest people or lazy thieves away.
02-26-2017, 10:50 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by madison_wi_gal Quote
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
+1 on Sandy's advice. I have something like 8 or 9 (lost track and count) of various size bags, Pelican hard case, back packs rolling and other types, a few over the shoulder bags. At the end, I ended up storing all my lenses and bodies on the shelves of a metal cabinet. I take out what I need and stick it in the smallest bag possible. However, I only bring what I will need in a particular situation.

My advice, do not waste money on more bags. Dedicate a drawer or two in any cabinet for your gear. Line up the bottom with some soft material and store the gear in the drawer or shelves of a cabinet. And as I mentioned earlier, bring the minimum when traveling. Hope this helps.
02-26-2017, 11:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
My advice, do not waste money on more bags ...Hope this helps.
It does, I get into moods where I want to have more organization but in the end I wind up with more organizers than uses. I think the dedicated drawer is a good idea (and I can pack what I *hope* I need in one of the OpTechs).

Thanks all for the support!
02-27-2017, 02:04 AM - 1 Like   #13
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+1 on the Pelican solution, I use multiple 1510 cases as they are the theoretical largest walk on airline compatible bags.

Keeps my kit safe from water, dust and rough boys and has wheels on to aid the old Kerrowdown in moving them about.
02-27-2017, 12:49 PM - 1 Like   #14
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Well, here is an inexpensive solution to my "home storage" issue:
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02-28-2017, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Cardboard can lead to lens fungus in humid climates; it depends on your weather and how much you run air conditioning. For home storage, I use a large plastic box with gasketed lid, and keep a rechargeable desiccant pack inside to control moisture.

Lenses that get frequent usage stay inside my camera bag.
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