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Thread: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

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    Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    As my new kit will be arriving shortly, I am wondering how you guys transport your Cambo/Alpa/Arca tech cams from job to job. I have been warned to be fairly precious with the 32mm HR due to the size and weight of the elements, so I figure the same rule should apply during transport.

    I have been looking (maybe not diligently enough) for a pre-cut hard case, but so far have not been successful. I was starting to consider a pluck & pull Pelican case, but my experience with those is that they can get messy after a while. I was looking at maybe the Pelican cases with the dividers also, and I don't think that is a bad solution for the XF and those lenses, but I am thinking that a little more padding may be useful for the tech stuff.

    Thanks for any and all opinions and ideas on this.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Hiking around---I use an fstop gear backpack with two small ICUs. This works really well.

    In the civilian world, a Pelican case with rollers works great. I simply use dividers. For more custom protection, see, Camera Case Foam Design

    ken

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    I use a Pelican pluck and pull with my kit which includes the 32mm Rodenstork, 60mm Schneider, 90mm Rodenstork, 120mm Schneider, 240mm Schneider..... works well for me including the back extenders and the rm3di.
    Stanley

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by dnercesian View Post
    As my new kit will be arriving shortly, I am wondering how you guys transport your Cambo/Alpa/Arca tech cams from job to job. I have been warned to be fairly precious with the 32mm HR due to the size and weight of the elements, so I figure the same rule should apply during transport.

    I have been looking (maybe not diligently enough) for a pre-cut hard case, but so far have not been successful. I was starting to consider a pluck & pull Pelican case, but my experience with those is that they can get messy after a while. I was looking at maybe the Pelican cases with the dividers also, and I don't think that is a bad solution for the XF and those lenses, but I am thinking that a little more padding may be useful for the tech stuff.

    Thanks for any and all opinions and ideas on this.
    Do not know what exactly you are buying, but do keep in mind that each XF +100 comes with an f-stop backpack insert which is in a Pelican case made for PO. I just put the f-stop ICU into my backpack and carry LOTS of gear in it. When heading to a studio, then the ICU in the Pelican also works great where gear does not have to be moved. The ICU is probably the XL Pro model, but not sure.

    I also have Pelican cases with the moveable inserts which work great for any gear instead of other methods that have less flexibility once you have plucked it.

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    I really feel that you can get too cumbersome with what are reasonably small systems. I use an Ortlieb Soft Shot with my Alpa for a simple carry around kit - a camera, back, lens or two and some accessories.

    For a longer more equipped trip I use an Ortlieb Day Shot.

    Both are totally waterproof - throw them in the river waterproof - and well padded and robust. Their one drawback is that they are not as easy to access as, say a Billingham 355, but then again the Billinghams aren't, despite claims, terribly waterproof.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Thanks guys, and sorry, I should have been more specific as to what I will be carrying (although I think you guys pretty much nailed it).

    Case 1: I don't have a huge kit at the time, but want to leave it expandable for the future.

    What I have
    Cambo WRS 5000
    Rodenstock 32mm
    I will probably also keep cables and various accessories in this case.

    What I will add
    Most likely one or two longer lenses once I do some research to figure out which ones I want. I believe I will go for a 90mm and then something in between, but I do not have experience with the 50, 55, 60, or 70mm lenses to make that decision yet. But either way, I don't think I will ultimately carry more than 3 lenses here.

    Additional Case/s:
    I will be running 2 digital backs, an XF, a DF+, and 35mm, 55mm, and 80mm lenses. Although I am not sure if I will keep these all in the same case or split them up into two.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Do not know what exactly you are buying, but do keep in mind that each XF +100 comes with an f-stop backpack insert which is in a Pelican case made for PO. I just put the f-stop ICU into my backpack and carry LOTS of gear in it. When heading to a studio, then the ICU in the Pelican also works great where gear does not have to be moved. The ICU is probably the XL Pro model, but not sure.

    I also have Pelican cases with the moveable inserts which work great for any gear instead of other methods that have less flexibility once you have plucked it.
    Just FYI but the Phase One Pelicon insert is different to the XL Pro. It is a shallower ICU and actually taller than the XL Pro and so will fill a Tilopa or Satori EXP bag to the top. The XL Pro is a little shorter but deeper.

    Personally I use an F-Stop Tilopa or Satori with the ICU, until recently mostly the Large or XL Pro ICU but I have a couple of the dedicated Phase One / Pelican ICUs too. Any of these will work fine with the Cambo WRS and lenses. In fact you'll be 'over bagged/inserted' with just the Cambo and a couple of lenses. I always remove the 32HR from the camera and wrap it in a lens wrap and keep it wedged into a partition in the ICU with no opportunity to rattle around when wrapped in the lens wrap. The camera body is basically flat and can be laid flat in the ICU. I would remove the back and use a large Hood Hat cover over it with the plate on the front obviously. I leave it connected to the Cambo plate and use their plastic cover on it. Again, this'll fit nicely into a partition in the ICU so that it doesn't rattle around.

    With my current gear I have one ICU with my Phase XF outfit (Pelican Insert ICU) and an XL Pro with Cambo Actus DB+, 32HR, 70HR, 135 Apo-Digitar, IQ back, cable pouch and battery pouch and I still have room to spare in the ICU.

    If you do a search here you'll find a couple of threads covering bags for technical cameras and they include pictures.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 31st July 2016 at 18:35.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Just FYI but the Phase One Pelicon insert is different to the XL Pro. It is a slimmer ICU and actually taller than the XL Pro and so will fill a Tilopa or Satori EXP bag to the top. The XL Pro is a little shorter but taller.
    LOL, after foolishly following (dis)information from multiple threads on some forum(s), I learned the hard way that an XL Pro will NOT in fact fit into a Pelican 1510 Storm case. My folly aside, the f-stop ICU's are a great modular solution for organizing, storing and moving gear between back packs and hard cases.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    That's true regarding these inserts. I picked up a couple of the ones to fit the Pelican/Storm case and noticed the difference in the dimensions vs the other 'standard' ICUs. I didn't expect the Pelican insert version from Phase One to be so tall. When it is inside a bag vs case, the top section of the insert is a little tricky to get to from the rear access pane on the bag. The XL Pro also extends beyond the zipper panel but only by an inch or so.
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    FYI, the Phase "ICU" insert is not for the Pelican 1510 (close but not quite) and I do believe it is really the sister case from Storm. I think Steve Hendrix from CI can confirm. I have both cases and I know they are slightly different.

    ken

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Ken, the Phase One ICU fits perfectly in the Pelican 1510. Well, at least it does in mine and I have, erm, many . I have the Storm case too although it's never really ever been used (I've never used it and just kept it in the box that the gear arrived in).
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 31st July 2016 at 21:10.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    The Phase case and ICU I have is pretty fancy-schmancy. The case has a pretty nifty lid insert with collapsible wings that open up to shield your laptop from glare. It's definitely close in size to the Pelican 1510, but slight differences with the Storm.

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by dnercesian View Post
    As my new kit will be arriving shortly, I am wondering how you guys transport your Cambo/Alpa/Arca tech cams from job to job. I have been warned to be fairly precious with the 32mm HR due to the size and weight of the elements, so I figure the same rule should apply during transport.

    I have been looking (maybe not diligently enough) for a pre-cut hard case, but so far have not been successful. I was starting to consider a pluck & pull Pelican case, but my experience with those is that they can get messy after a while. I was looking at maybe the Pelican cases with the dividers also, and I don't think that is a bad solution for the XF and those lenses, but I am thinking that a little more padding may be useful for the tech stuff.

    Thanks for any and all opinions and ideas on this.
    If you like pelican's have you considered this?

    Custom Foam Pelican Cases

    They will customize the foam insert for you and the cost is quite reasonable. You just show them how you want your gear arranged.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Hmm, maybe there are differences with the very latest case then. I have the black storm case that came with my IQ160 which has the interior top lid although I don't think that it has the laptop shade. See, you obviously get nicer bits when you buy an IQ3 100!! I may have to go see what that top part unfolds into - mine looks like a laptop sleeve.

    With my Phase One case the inner ICU seems to fit identically to my Pelican 1510's. Ironically I just picked up another ICU tonight (the one CI sells on the web site) and tried it in both the Pelican and Phase One case. Identical fit and the ICU has all of the cut outs for the wheels and slight indent at the top too. As mentioned, I don't use the Phase One branded case - they seem to sell for stupid money btw vs a Pelican 1510! I also like the fact that my Pelican cases are white, tan, and black which helps remember what's in each box.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Graham,

    Can you post the URL for the Custom ICU listed on the Capture Integration site? I just looked and for the life of me can't find it (although I did see the P1 case listed - zoiks!). Thanks!

    John

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found it hidden under "body accessories."

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by jng View Post

    EDIT: Nevermind, I found it hidden under "body accessories."
    Yes you have to come at the F-stop gear obliquely on CI's site. The f-stop link is like f-stop inventory ... Empty. Go via the phase one body accessories and you'll even be able to buy a branded Phase One F-stop bag. That said, I may have got the last one as they had to give me a Satori exp vs Tilopa as they only had Satori's left.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Graham, Ken,

    Thanks for the info! Just to be 100% clear (because frankly I screwed up before): the Phase One-branded ICU will fit in both the Pelican 1510 and Storm 2500 cases, correct? The photo of the Phase One case looks like the Storm case with a (very expensive) Phase One sticker affixed.

    John
    Last edited by jng; 1st August 2016 at 07:54.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    John, I would check with Steve or Dave at CI. I think it is a matter of making sure that if you are ordering separate "ICUs" that it is the correct size and fits your case. I bought my "Phase branded" case separate from my purchase of the IQ3 100 (upgrades don't get no stinkin' cases) from someone who didn't want/need the new case. Awesome price and I couldn't say no. I think the "Phase ICU" I have will fit both, but seems slightly more snug in the old Pelican 1510 I have. The "Phase" storm case is really nice and that insert with built-in laptop shade---nicely designed albeit never used by me.

    Or you could just borrow a case from Graham. I haven't quite gotten to the point of color-coordinated Pelicans! Btw, the Phase-branded Storm case has the Phase logo nicely printed on the side. No cheap stickers here. It's worth every cent of that premium price.

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Thanks, Ken! The ink they use to print the logo must be made from unobtanium!

    Seriously, though... I sourced a P1 ICU from my local, trusted dealer (Bear Images), who told me that the P1 case is equivalent to the Storm 2500.

    Thanks again to you and Graham for sharing your knowledge on this and other matters.

    John
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    I went to the Pelican web site to check the interior dimensions of the Storm i2500 and the Pelican 1510 hard cases. They are indeed slightly different according to the specs, the pictures match what I have and I can assure you that the Phase One ICU sold at CI's site fits both.

    Any difference in fit is minimal actually and Ken is likely correct that the ICU is a very slightly tighter fit in the Pelican vs the Storm but it seems to be taken up just by slight compression of the foam of the ICU.

    Storm Case:
    • INTERIOR (L X W X D)
      20.50" x 11.50" x 7.20" (52.1 x 29.2 x 18.3 cm)


    For the Pelican 1510:

    • INTERIOR (L X W X D)
      19.75" x 11.00" x 7.60" (50.2 x 27.9 x 19.3 cm)
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Thanks, Graham. I should be receiving both the ICU and Storm case by the end of the week and don't anticipate any problems with fit, assuming of course I can fit all my gear in the case!

    In the meantime, the essential components of my MF kit (4 lenses, two bodies, MFDB plus odds and ends) fit nicely in the large pro ICU, which I think will slide nicely into my Tilopa pack with some room left over for other stuff on top.

    John

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Currently working on a custom foam for my HPRC 2550W hard case. This will hold 5 Alpa Lens, a MAX Body, a PhaseONE back plus cables.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So far, some minor modification to the position and the orientation of the MAX, moving up the 180 slot to allow for additional slots for batteries and enlarging the accessory/cable holder

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Wow, this has been great thread with a lot of great information. I really want to thank everyone who has chimed in. I made a few designs on the case builder site and I really think that what they are doing is not only awesome, but also very reasonably priced.

    However, at the moment, I am looking into hard cases with ICUs as the configurability and re-configurability could be very beneficial. I do not see myself going through a lot of kit at this point in my career and I pretty much know what I will use at a shoot, not to mention that I will research and demo things prior to buying them at the price point we are in. Still though, some flexibility would be nice for now, and it seems the ICUs become very practical in that respect.

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    This week I received the Phase One/f-stop ICU and Pelican Storm im2500 case. As anticipated, it's a perfect fit. I also picked up the handy lid organizer; the lid closes fine as well with the foam insert. A photo documenting this particular manifestation of GAS is pasted in below (my wife started to ask me what was up with all the camera cases but thought better of it and stopped ).

    BTW, there's some chatter on Lula that f-stop is on shaky ground: Drama at F-Stop Gear. I don't think all sides of the story have been heard from, but for those of you contemplating f-stop gear you may want to move on this while you still can by purchasing from a trusted dealer's inventory.

    John

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    All I know is that I ordered 2x XL Pro ICU last week and they were delivered this week. Their website still says 4-6 weeks. I ordered two more just in case.

    Btw, the same fit in my Pelican 1510 albeit I know from the dimensions that it's a bit tighter in the Pelican vs Storm.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Graham
    Your organizer looks very different from the one my Pelican Phase came with just a few months ago. Any P/N on the one you received?

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Graham
    Your organizer looks very different from the one my Pelican Phase came with just a few months ago. Any P/N on the one you received?
    Are you referring to the lid organizer shown in my last post? I purchased it separately from B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search...op+Nav-Search=, manufacturer # IM2500-UTILITYORG.

    John
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    The Phase One insert in the original storm case is different. Mine looks like a big laptop sleeve with some pockets on the outside. Ken has the fancy studio in a box liner that I believe comes with the IQ3 100 outfit. I quite fancy getting one of those lid organizers with the laptop shade but doubtless Phase One are very proud of them (aka $$$$) and I haven't seen them listed separately.

    For a regular Pelican 1510 there is also a lid organizer that you screw onto the posts on the inside of the lid. I've had one for years and the mesh pockets are great for carrying all the spares etc. I have one for my Nikon outfit and they hold things like lens caps, eyepiece spares etc etc.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...geID/accessory
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Yes, it would appear that Phase One is including some nice custom inserts for their Storm cases. Otherwise there appears to be more variety in off-the-shelf lid organizers for the Pelican 1510 than for the Storm im2500.

    I may pick up yet another case/ICU to catch the overflow that doesn't fit into my existing two cases. It will nice to have all the gear organized but I'm not sure this explanation will fly with the wife...

    John

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Graham-I have the insert that comes with the IQ3-100. In the field, it seems a small HDMI screen would work easier for me than totting around my laptop, etc. and the Storm case.

    I looked on the f-stop site today and no XL ICU's are available saying it will be 4-6 weeks before they are available. I have a friend in St Louis, but he does not know f-stops exact address even though he has purchased multiple backpacks from them and multiple ICU's. Based on the Lula article I am reticent to give them CC infor on an order and then have them go belly-up. I have found no "dealers" who handle f-stop products. Anyone know of any?

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    I have no commercial relationship with F-Stop but all I can say is that I ordered 2x XL Pro ICU on July 31st and they shipped out yesterday. I ordered two more yesterday just to have some spare inventory (love their gear and I can always use ICUs for my 4 F-Stop bags).

    I can't vouch for their owner or their recent business activity but their gear is superb. I'd get it while you can.

    The whole near field gear tracking Kickstarter never appealed to me, although I did look at it at the time. Seems like that's the financial beef people have although the article alludes to a very dubious owner. That said, they have ALWAYS delivered goods to me, albeit once they'd received stock.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Maybe Fstop gear thinks you're a commercial retail client and fills your orders immediately...

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Fstop gear drama---it is what it is. It's the idea behind using "ICU's" that works well---and there will be alternatives.

    ken

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Alas Ken, even as a serial F-Stop bag offender, my general experience with them has also been one of order and wait. On a couple of orders back in 2011 or 2012 it was wait, wait, wait ... (those pesky rare rain covers seemed to have been prepared by damsels in far off Neverland).
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    The laptop fold out tent that is in the P1 Pelican IM2500 supplied case which was what I got is pretty nice. Problem is that the laptop tent takes up so much space that a macbook pro doesn't fit in the case with the XF and the 90 degree prism mounted. Anyone else noticed this?

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Did not even try, but I will now. I bet one has to either remove the PVF from the XF or lay it if mounted on the XF on its side.

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Right. My only real criticism of the P1 ICU is that it's a bit too shallow to take a camera body w/prism attached or a large-ish lens standing upright (or a DSLR with battery grip attached). The XL Pro ICU is deeper but I learned by trial and error (emphasis on the error part) that it won't fit into the Pelican 1510/Storm 2500. My workaround was to get the larger Storm 2620 case that doesn't give quite the same snug fit but works out fine with an inch or so of foam on the bottom of the case. And the extra space around the sides lets me overstuff the ICU with a few big lenses.

    Anyway, I just ordered another P1 ICU, just to future-proof my storage options. GAS, indeed...

    John
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    The P1 inserts are definitely on the shallow side that's for sure. It seems a bit unnecessary and if they abandoned the lid organizer as you could probably add an inch in depth without it.
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Ordered an XL ICU and it came in like one week. Glad I listened to you guys. Now on to what case will this thing fit into if wanted for my XF+100 kit. To remove the P1 top insert requires pulling it off due to the very sticky tape used. Just might get the 2620 jng ended up with, but will it be within airline carry on limits like the Storm and 1510 seem to be..

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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Ordered an XL ICU and it came in like one week. Glad I listened to you guys. Now on to what case will this thing fit into if wanted for my XF+100 kit. To remove the P1 top insert requires pulling it off due to the very sticky tape used. Just might get the 2620 jng ended up with, but will it be within airline carry on limits like the Storm and 1510 seem to be..
    Don't bother tearing out your existing lid insert (although the standard Storm case insert use Velco strips). The Storm 2500 lid still won't close well over the XL ICU because of the latter's height, which interferes with the lid closing (I tried).

    The 2620 is beyond US airline carry on size limits. Even if you manage to sneak it on board, at roughly 11.75" deep (thick) and being totally rigid, it's probably too deep to fit into the overhead bins except perhaps on planes with oversized bins, like on the 777.

    John

    EDIT: P.S. f-stop used to sell a hard bottom/soft top rolling case called "Literoom Roller" into which one could stick the XL Pro ICU. It doesn't provide the same protection as the hard Pelican case but does provide a solution for wheeling the stuff around. You might contact the company or surf around the web to see if you can find one, either sitting as unsold inventory or used.
    Last edited by jng; 17th August 2016 at 22:27.
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  40. #40
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    f-stop used to sell a hard bottom/soft top rolling case called "Literoom Roller" into which one could stick the XL Pro ICU. It doesn't provide the same protection as the hard Pelican case but does provide a solution for wheeling the stuff around. You might contact the company or surf around the web to see if you can find one, either sitting as unsold inventory or used.
    The f-stop literoom didn't seem to sell well so there may be some around in dealer inventory. I've found it a very good option. It is just outside most airline carry-on dimensions and I haven't chanced it. I certainly wouldn't consign it to the hold. I tend to hand carry the Pro XL ICU and check the bag (Satori) in a duffel. So far without any problem/challenge at check-in.

    I use it for moving gear by car or if working in the city eg when shooting buildings.
    Miles Flint
    http://www.milesflint.com
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  41. #41
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Tried my first experiment with mycasebuilder. Turned out ok:



    Clockwise from top right:
    sk150
    90hrsw
    sk60xl w/step up rings below
    LCC card and magnifying glass
    Alpa STC w/17ts adapter and P1 back
    Two battery slots
    17mm adapter
    40hr
    Two batteries
    ND and Polarizer
    Old man glasses

    Fits pretty nice for a first try, although it is a bit harder to get the ICU in and out of my Loka. I just used the internal dimensions of the large ICU that are on-line. The depth at the bottom changes where the camera is so the back is supported at the bottom. You can kinda see it in the rendering:
    davechewphotography.com
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  42. #42
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    Dave,

    My gear is very similar to yours. Which ICU do you have there, and what foam did you obtain to fill it with?
    Thanks for your input.

    John

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Tried my first experiment with mycasebuilder. Turned out ok:



    Clockwise from top right:
    sk150
    90hrsw
    sk60xl w/step up rings below
    LCC card and magnifying glass
    Alpa STC w/17ts adapter and P1 back
    Two battery slots
    17mm adapter
    40hr
    Two batteries
    ND and Polarizer
    Old man glasses

    Fits pretty nice for a first try, although it is a bit harder to get the ICU in and out of my Loka. I just used the internal dimensions of the large ICU that are on-line. The depth at the bottom changes where the camera is so the back is supported at the bottom. You can kinda see it in the rendering:

  43. #43
    Senior Member dchew's Avatar
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    Re: Transporting Tech Cam/Lenses

    John,
    That is the Large ICU and the PE foam (the stiffer one). I have the Loka, which is the smaller pack. An XL extends up beyond the opening in the pack so I use the Large. However, this has caused me to think about an XL. There are a couple of things I don't like about the layout, mainly because there are thin places that deform a bit when it is in the pack.

    What I like:
    -It holds the camera and lenses more securely than fabric dividers.

    -Small things like batteries can be stored without the risk of flying around in there. Before I used a Think Tank 4-battery holder, but that takes up more space and is hard to access because of how I lay out everything using the fabric dividers.

    What I don't like:
    -It holds things very well, but I wonder if too well. As you can see the camera sticks up a bit; the wood grip is completely out of the foam. With the fabric dividers it would move around and deform the ICU when on my back. This one won't do that, so the camera really needs to be where it is because that lines up with the small of my back. If it was up higher near my shoulders that would be uncomfortable and might not be good for the camera either. Choosing the softer Ester foam might be the answer, but I'm not sure any of this is going to be a problem. Time will tell.

    -I should have made the battery holes deeper; they stick up too much. These were 2.25", should have been 2.5". I was worried about pulling them out with my fingers because I have no room for the optional finger access holes. But it is pretty easy to pull things out that are flush so I would have them just barely stick up above the surface.

    -As I mentioned above there are some things that are too close together. If I did it again I would get rid of the glasses holder and just put them in the top of the pack or keep them on me. I might consider getting an XL so I could spread things out just a little more. I wouldn't use the whole 18" of the XL, but could use about 16". That gets me 2" more to space things out.

    In general, if this was for a hard pelican / storm case I would love everything. The backpack is a bit more dynamic, so I don't know if it is really better than std fabric dividers. The camera/back sure is held in nice though. Again, time will tell.

    I might try an XL in the Ester foam. But this can get expensive fast...

    Dave

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