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03-20-2018, 03:25 AM   #1
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Right kind of travel tripod and camera bag for 645Z

Hello friends,

I am planning to visit Europe over a few weeks in coming July.

Can someone please recommend a right kind of tripod for 645Z? I shall be mostly using these lenses - 35mm, 28-45mm, 55mm and 90mm Macro. I have a 400mm lens too, but I might not carry it if carrying that lens means that I need a bigger tripod than what I would like to carry or what can fit in my luggage. I will be photographing a lot (including in the night at times) and hence need a sturdy yet lightweight tripod which will fit in my check-in luggage comfortably and will not get spoilt during transit.

Also, can someone please recommend the camera bag to hold this kit? If weight restrictions on cabin luggage do not allow me to take the complete camera kit with me, how do I save the camera and lenses from damage/ theft in the check-in luggage?

Hoping to hear from you soon,

Regards,
Leonine

03-20-2018, 05:00 AM   #2
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Pelican style cases are the most common answer to shipping gear if you can't bring it as carry on.

I'm afraid I don't have more to contribute.
03-20-2018, 04:04 PM   #3
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Right kind of travel tripod and camera bag for 645Z

This ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro (closely enough) meets United’s “personal item” size requirements, and will hold a 645z, 3 lenses (plus a long lens—400 in this pic—on the camera), and a flash:



(An NII is posing as not-yet-arrived 645z.)

The other lenses will be wrapped in clothes and put in my rolling bag along with essentials. Remaining clothes and tripod will go in a checked bag.

The tripod is a Gitzo Mountaineer 3532, which packs compactly in a checked bag. The Arca Monoball is heavy but stable and compact. I remove the head and pack it separately, if necessary. You can also use it as a gimbal head.





It’s expensive, but has the highest stability/weight ratio I’ve ever experienced. I replaced the feet with those that have spikes exposed by screwing in the rubber feet.

For long lenses, stick with a high shutter speed and adjust ISO as needed. That’s one of the great advantages of the 645z.

This is all part of a kit I will take to Alaska this year.

For traveling with a 6x7, I use a Lowepro Photo Trekker classic as my main carry-on, plus a briefcase (no briefcase going to Alaska). Again, the tripod goes in a checked bag.

Rick “who seems to have a different bag for every travel situation” Denney
03-20-2018, 06:35 PM   #4
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Rick's carry-on case and tripod are almost identical to mine. They would make an excellent combination for the gear in question.

I also have a Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which perfectly accommodates my 645Z with 35, 55, 75, 120 and 150 primes.

Even without the tripod, the kit weighs much more than most airlines' 7kg carry-on limit though....

03-20-2018, 07:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Rick's carry-on case and tripod are almost identical to mine. They would make an excellent combination for the gear in question.

I also have a Peak Design Everyday Backpack, which perfectly accommodates my 645Z with 35, 55, 75, 120 and 150 primes.

Even without the tripod, the kit weighs much more than most airlines' 7kg carry-on limit though....
That is an international weight limit that never in my experience has been checked My briefcase weighs every bit of 25 pounds (13Kg) and I've flown over a million miles, domestic and international, while carrying it as my personal item. My carry-on suitcase is a rolling bag identical to the aluminum-framed bags used by many pilots, and it weighs 15 pounds empty. I've carried three reams of paper in various notebooks in that, plus clothes and essentials. No problem with it in London, Geneva, Dubai, Sao Paolo, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Auckland, Cairns, Toronto, Montreal, and every major US city plus a good many minor ones.

But I try hard to avoid making it look heavy when I handle it.

Rick "whose luggage provides a fairly frequent upper-body workout" Denney
03-20-2018, 07:37 PM   #6
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Obviously I have been way too law-abiding
03-21-2018, 04:48 AM   #7
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My backpack was over 40lbs on one trip. I'd forgotten there was a limit and I wasn't even asked about it anywhere. 4 flights... Lucky!
03-21-2018, 11:39 AM   #8
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Played the Rick Denney "has a case for every situation" game the best with various Pelican cases WITHOUT foam or dividers to increase available inches (OK, I leave the thin bottom foam and thick lid foam in place). Standard Pentax lens and flash wraps/bags packed together with no spare space allows for overpacking to stop movement or shifting. If by chance your carry-on Pelican is "forced" into gateside baggage check, it's robust enough to do so with a smile on your face. No big deal.

Been doing this for 30 years and dozens of free frequent flyer tickets from accumulated mileage. Probably not Rick Denney miles but significant distance in places like Northwest Territories and Alaska. Once had a front filter cracked in a checked case due to insecurely packing an 80-200 in open space beside a much bigger lens, but otherwise no issues whatsoever. That filter crack was in a "fake" Pelican case with less wall thickness too. Thus ending my experimentation with various lighter duty hard cases.

Pelican makes several sizes that fit the carry-on standards and that will hold your kit. But like Rick says, don't let it look heavy because you're kit will be overweight for sure!

Formerly traveled with big telephoto(s) and commonly paid overweight penalties. Lowest I've paid was $12 and most was $125. Haven't gone overweight in 10 years since getting out of my 67 system (insert sad face emoji here), but no big deal, pay to play and be on your way!

The Peli cases work great as field cases in Outer Nowhere, but may be a bit formal for European street shooting duty?

And no matter what kind of packing you do, have a blast!

03-26-2018, 11:32 AM   #9
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Dear friends,

Thanks indeed for the valuable suggestions.

I shall revert if I have any more queries

Last edited by leonine; 03-26-2018 at 10:57 PM.
03-26-2018, 10:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
This ThinkTank Streetwalker Pro (closely enough) meets United’s “personal item” size requirements, and will hold a 645z, 3 lenses (plus a long lens—400 in this pic—on the camera), and a flash:



(An NII is posing as not-yet-arrived 645z.)

The other lenses will be wrapped in clothes and put in my rolling bag along with essentials. Remaining clothes and tripod will go in a checked bag.

The tripod is a Gitzo Mountaineer 3532, which packs compactly in a checked bag. The Arca Monoball is heavy but stable and compact. I remove the head and pack it separately, if necessary. You can also use it as a gimbal head.





It’s expensive, but has the highest stability/weight ratio I’ve ever experienced. I replaced the feet with those that have spikes exposed by screwing in the rubber feet.


Hi,

The Gitzo & Arca Ball combination you have suggested is professional grade, but way beyond my range as of now. I want an inexpensive tripod and head combination which would support the Pentax 645Z with say the 28-45 zoom attached for long exposure night shots.

I would be thankful if someone could advise. Thank you.
03-27-2018, 05:06 AM   #11
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Budget?
03-27-2018, 10:06 AM   #12
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To be honest, you are presenting a difficult set of requirements, and when you throw a budget price in there, then you will leave some requirements unfulfilled.

For $100--150, you might find an old set of Manfrotto/Bogen legs like the 3050 with the three-way 3047 head, and that would be more than sturdy enough for long-exposure night shots. But it is heavy, too long when folded for most checked bags (though I've put one in a duffle bag), and a beast to carry. I have three of them for large-format cameras.

You might find preowned a similarly priced Manfrotto/Bogen 3221 with a head on it, and it will be small enough for your bag and not too heavy, but it will not hold your camera still for a time exposure unless you are very lucky.

The best hundred-dollar tripod will probably be something like a pre-owned Tiltall, if you can find one. They don't fold up that small, but they are reasonably light and reasonably stiff. That would be the minimum tripod for a time exposure with a 645 camera.

If you can spend more, a Manfrotto 055 is probably a reasonable compromise. I have an 055CXPro with carbon legs that is fine for general stuff but it is inadequate for my 67 by itself, and I usually damp it with my hand to weight it down, and avoid certain shutter speeds. Those tricks don't work with time exposures. The 645z is a bit lighter and certainly with better damping, but we look at the image enlarged 42 times on our screens, too. That tripod is about the same size folded as the Gitzo, but it isn't anywhere near as stiff, nor is as light. B&H sells it with a Manfrotto ball-head (with which I have no experience) for a little over $400.

I would find a local camera store that sells pre-owned stuff, or shop ebay. I paid about half price for those Gitzo legs, and about $200 for the Arca Monoball by purchasing them pre-owned.

I would also invest in a remote release.

Rick "Compact, light, stiff, cheap--pick any three" Denney
03-29-2018, 09:07 AM   #13
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I've had good luck with my MeFOTO RoadTrip A1350Q1R
Cheap ($150), Compact (4x4x15" in a case), light, reasonably stiff when weighted down.
It wouldn't hold your 645z with the 400mm but should work with the smaller lenses.
It takes Arca-Swiss plates, one leg detaches to form a monopod. Its height range is 17" to 61".
If you don't mind Orange and no monopod, the older model is available for $82:

Last edited by Cipher; 03-29-2018 at 06:16 PM. Reason: more info
03-30-2018, 12:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Budget?
My budget would be approx 400 USD.
03-30-2018, 02:58 PM   #15
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Look at the Tiltall carbon fiber tripod legs, which B&H sell for $289.

Tiltall Tripod TC-224 Carbon Fiber Tripod TC-224 B&H Photo Video

These are reasonably stiff and of decent quality. With a four-section leg, it should gold up pretty small, and it only weighs 2 pounds for the legs. You also unscrew one leg and use it as a monopod.

Then, choose any three-way pan-tilt head, which will be stiff per dollar than ball heads. Not as compact, but there are good choices well under $100. Don't get a cheap ball-head.

The ThinkTank bag I pictured was about $130 or something like that, but it's certainly not the least expensive alternative, nor is it the most.

Rick "don't extend the center column in use" Denney
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