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View Full Version : Traveling with Video Housing Question - HELP!



freediver
10-25-2007, 11:19 PM
Since I'm heading off to Orlando for DEMA next week, I have the opportunity to get some shooting time while diving with the Manatee's the friday of DEMA.

This will be the first time I'm having to look at how to travel by air with my L&M Bluefin housing.

I'm perplexed to say the least as to the best method of getting there with my housing & cameras. :confused:

I have a full sized Tenba P265 Photo Backpack that holds my two TRV950's plus all my accessories and laptop. I had thought about trying to carry the housing in that since I was able to remove the handles with the spanner wrench, but it's an awful tight fit and I also need to take my long blades with me in my freedive bag as a second carry on since they don't fit into a standard size dive bag or suitcase.

The only option I have come up with so far is to use my roller scuba dive bag as my suitcase and place the L&M custom Pelican case inside that with a small change of clothes, but I'm concerned about whether some baggage handler would decide they wanted to walk away with my housing.

I need some advice as the how to travel with my housing.

TIA,

The Publisher
10-25-2007, 11:53 PM
Cliff,

For my monster HD video rig, I have a large Pelican style plastic hard case on luggage style rollers.

It is a checked bag. With lights, it is just under the 70lb max checked baggage restriction for scuba equipment. make sure you tell them it is scuba equipment.

I don't know about domestic, but for International, all airlines we've used so far allow 70lbs per each of the two checked bags if scuba gear, and they never have drawn a distinction between underwater video gear or scuba gear, nor do they check.

I do know they make backpacks for photogs, and I use a non photog backpack for my REALLY heavy smaller stuff in case I need to take things out, but I use the blue backpack shown in this thread (http://www.scubamagazine.net/showthread.php?t=885) and employ strategies of that post.

freediver
10-26-2007, 12:03 AM
Do you lock the pelican case or do you leave it unlocked for inspection?

Maybe I'm being a little paranoid, but this was an expensive piece of equipment to purchase and I would hate to see it go missing.

I usually carry all my video gear and laptop in the backpack and all my freedive gear in its bag (which will fit in overhead btw) so the only real issue is getting the housing there safely and in one piece.

What do you think about putting it in my roller scuba bag along with a smaller duffel bag with my clothing in that? The case fits perfectly inside of the roller bag and I can squeeze clothing in the various pockets as needed.

lottie
10-26-2007, 01:09 AM
after a recent experience with losing my luggage (no expensive dive gear - unless you count a new wetsuit), it might be an idea to write your name and address and telephone number on a piece of paper to put in your case with the camera equipment.

Oh and make a note of what the case looks like, or try and make it unique in some way so that you recognize it and worse case scenario you do lose it (fingers crossed you won't)

HTH

acelockco
10-26-2007, 03:21 AM
Or you can get ready for a LOOOOOOONG drive to Florida.


No seriously though, have you thought about sending it down there. You can Fed-Ex it to someone you know down there, and you can insure it as well, so you don't have to worry about someone stealing or breaking it. I bet for a pretty reasonable rate you can send yourself a box with scuba goodies to Florida. And as an added bonus, you get to open a package.....you know everyone loves to open a package.

The Publisher
10-26-2007, 03:54 AM
I use those TSA approved locks, one at each corner, the same locks where all the airport personnel thieves have copies of.

Check your homeowners insurance policy, as well as your credit card lost/stolen luggage policy in the event that you paid for your ticket with a credit card.

freediver
10-26-2007, 04:28 PM
Right now, I'm leaning towards putting the Pelican case inside my scuba roller bag along with the duffel bag with the manual inside - and possibly putting a Light & Motion Sticker or dive sticker on the outside of the case.

I'm thinking that since the housing being empty is virtually useless to anyone unless they have a TRV950, that this may be my best shot. I don't know anyone to whom I could ship it to in Orlando so that isn't an option.

I'm thinking of leaving my lights behind since the conditions for the Manatee trip next Friday sounds as though they won't be needed - Dave, what are your thoughts on this? I have a pair of L&M best HID lights but those combined with the battery pods do add a fair amount of additional weight - but I don't want to miss them if they should be needed Are you bringing your lights?

The Publisher
10-26-2007, 05:13 PM
I'm not bringing my lights either, and I would guess it would be prohibited anyway-might scare the manatees.

I personally travel with my videocam in the housing. I don't know about putting any label on the outside of the box. You might as well write: Expensive Camera Gear Inside! Or "Please Rip me Off" ;)

freediver
10-26-2007, 05:18 PM
I'm not bringing my lights either, and I would guess it would be prohibited anyway-might scare the manatees.

I personally travel with my videocam in the housing. I don't know about putting any label on the outside of the box. You might as well write: Expensive Camera Gear Inside! Or "Please Rip me Off" ;)

Good point

freediver
10-27-2007, 12:09 AM
Gotta love freedive gear. :D

Since all my other video & portable editing gear fits in my backpack, the only issue was the housing - well, my freedive bag was the answer. I have an old Tamrac padded camera bag that fits my housing perfectly with the handles detached. The dimensions allow it to fit inside my second carry on bag - which happens to be my freedive bag. Good thing I don't need my lights this trip, although I think I could have found a creative way to put them inside my backpack.

I don't know how you bubble blowers do it. :confused:

Looks like I'm going to be replacing my current pair of TRV950's and L&M Bluefin housing for a couple of SONY HC7's and Bluefin housing soon, since this setup is smaller than the setup I have now.

I know of someone who is using the HC7 for broadcast production and has stated that under the right conditions, he gets better results than with his Z1U/Bluefin setup, and he's shooting for Discovery and The Outdoor Channel.

lars2923
10-27-2007, 12:34 AM
I travel with about $6000 of HD video gear.
Here is what I do...
using a Pelican case, I secure both latches with the TSA locks
that if opened, show they have been opened by a color code.

Now of course not not prevent the theft or loss of any gear,
but it shows you that someone who has TSA capable keys had
opened the lock.

THe case I use is just small enough to carry on, but I've checked
it on and so far, crossing my fingers, have not had any problems.

Also, purchase insurance for your gear. a nominal price for the value
of the gear. The only proof I can see having is opening the case at
the airport for inspection and videoing or photographing it's contents.

Or better yet, you can get customs to provide you with a receipt before you check in.
This receipt is proof they have visually inspected the items.
It's an itemized list, along with value that you may use to prove to your
insurance company should the gear go missing. Make sure you plan for
enough time before your flight to get customers to inspect and provide
you with the receipt. It may take some time. They float around the airport
from one person to the next. So plan for at least an hour more towards
your departure time.

Another thought is to ship it down via someone like UPS, Fed-X, having a
signature of receipt at your destination. I've had friends do this with scuba
gear (I know, but they have too much money to spend anyway)..

I thinks that's it to my brain storming...

Hope some of this helps.



Good luck..

lars2923
10-27-2007, 12:37 AM
Cliff,

For my monster HD video rig, I have a large Pelican style plastic hard case on luggage style rollers.

It is a checked bag. With lights, it is just under the 70lb max checked baggage restriction for scuba equipment. make sure you tell them it is scuba equipment.

I don't know about domestic, but for International, all airlines we've used so far allow 70lbs per each of the two checked bags if scuba gear, and they never have drawn a distinction between underwater video gear or scuba gear, nor do they check.

I do know they make backpacks for photogs, and I use a non photog backpack for my REALLY heavy smaller stuff in case I need to take things out, but I use the blue backpack shown in this thread (http://www.scubamagazine.net/showthread.php?t=885) and employ strategies of that post.


I have always been limited to 50 lbs and charged for overweight. Is there a clause or exception for scuba. That scuba's limit is 70 lbs and not 50 lbs?

Which airline do you fly?

acelockco
10-27-2007, 03:42 PM
I don't know anyone to whom I could ship it to in Orlando so that isn't an option.



You don't need to, there are businesses that can accept the package and hold it for you. For example a company called "Mailboxes etc." could do that for you. I also think UPS will do that as well, you will have to go to the Orlando UPS place to pick up the package, but I do think they will hold it for you.

I know a few people that do this. My grandmother does it all of the time as she is an avid traveler. I also know a few cross-country hikers that send packages with food and supplies to different post offices near the trail. When they reach that location, the post office has the package in the back for them.

The Publisher
10-27-2007, 04:20 PM
So far every International carrier I've used has had the 70lb limit for scuba gear. Singapore Air, Philippines Air, Cathay Pacific, etc.

freediver
10-27-2007, 05:26 PM
With what Robin Berg told me about how he is using the HC7 in L&M's Bluefin HC7 housing for broadcast work he's shooting, I'm inclined to think that for the style of shooting I do, that this is the tool of choice for the Immersive Video Journalism I'm developing. Small & compact with image quality as good (as he stated) as his larger Z1U camera in it's Bluefin Housing.

I'm beginning to see that having something like this setup along with my freediving gear - traveling is going to be easier than I had thought.

Now where did I lay that extra $$$ to pick this outfit up??? ;)

David White
10-28-2007, 04:41 PM
Hello Cliff,

Now I know why I could not access the forums at UWDV.

Having travelled a bit with my Z1 and Phenom housing perhaps I can offer some packing suggestions. First, and perhaps most important, insure the hell out of your gear. That way you are covered for loss, theft, flooding, damage, whatever. Whenever possible I insist that customs check the case and mark that they have done so and then I lock it with a combination lock that they would have to cut off.

I use Amphibico's custom hard case for the Phenom and it has bold gold lettering announcing the contents of the case. I suppose flashing neon signs would be a little more noticeable but not much. The camera is always carried in my carry-on, never inside the housing. Ensure that you have removed the O-rings from the housing prior to checking it in as luggage. Otherwise the change in pressure may make opening the housing at your destination extremely difficult or, worse yet, pop the lens out.

Some airlines accept the equipment as scuba gear and do not charge as overweight. Others charge regardless. There does not even seem to be any consistency as to what the charges will be. I paid $250 extra to take my equipment to Indonesia, and $80 to bring it back. Go figure.

Purchasing one of the smaller HD cameras and subsequent smaller housing makes a lot of sense since then you could probably manage the whole kit as carry-on.

allisonfinch
12-29-2007, 05:50 AM
Most international flights use 70 lb limits. However, you often have to use domestic flights within those countries to make your final destination. Many domestic flights have a 50 lb limit. I have found that you can "negotiate" any overweight problems ($$) in many areas.

adalia
01-02-2008, 06:08 AM
Just wanted to introduce myself! My name is Adalia and I am so glad I finally joined this site! I have been reading posts here for a while and everyone seems like a real knowledgeable. Hoping to hear from yall soon!

adalia
01-02-2008, 06:13 AM
Welcome everyone! This is the most interesting and exciting forum for any topics especially when you want to get some information. Im proudly inviting you to join the discussion in this forum.
Welcome to the deserving site.

The Publisher
01-02-2008, 06:26 AM
Nice to have to Adalia!

acelockco
01-02-2008, 09:48 PM
Welcome everyone! This is the most interesting and exciting forum for any topics especially when you want to get some information. Im proudly inviting you to join the discussion in this forum.
Welcome to the deserving site.

What???

You lost me.