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Tarnash

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A hard case question
« on: September 27, 2015, 04:47:34 pm »

A question.  I'm sure it's been covered before but....  I'm going to be spending some time on a relatively small boat this Southern summer.  I want a hard case (or cases) that will protect my gear from the marine environment and the potential rigours of a rough passage.  There are many on the market and, with wide ranging specs, it makes for a bewildering choice.  Ideally I'd like to be able to use the case as a carry-on bag for air travel too, so weight and size are factors.  Any experience/recommendations much appreciated. 
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Larry Heath

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2015, 07:59:28 pm »

Pelican 1510 carry on. Damn near indestructible, waterproof and fairly light with wheels and extendable handle to drag it around. About $170 for the case, and between about $40 to $75 for padding/dividers or pickable foam. I’ve got two or three that are decades old and still going strong. As far as I am concerned this is the ultimate traveling safety deposit box for camera gear. 

Then while not so indestructible and water resistant as the pelican, Think Tank has a line of carry on back packs that are super. Price range $150 to $300 or so, you can get up to a 600mm f4 lens in one of the high end bags if you are so equipped, and still carry on approved. These guys have a heck of line of camera gear.

Later Larry
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Ellis Vener

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2015, 11:29:42 pm »

I've seen Pelican cases destroyed. If you want real protection, look at the options from Zarges: https://www.zargescases.com

Specifically: this Zarges line: https://www.zargescases.com/products/shipping-storage/shipping-storage-standard-cases/k470/
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 11:37:07 pm by Ellis Vener »
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razrblck

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 02:22:35 am »

http://www.explorercases.com is another good alternative, prices are similar to Pelican cases and there's a vast array of sizes and accessories for each.
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Ken Bennett

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 06:43:59 am »

I think the Pelican cases are the best choice overall for the combination of water resistance, usability, and cost. The Pelican 1514 is US$180 at B&H Photo, and comes with a Velcro divider set (avoid the "pick and pluck" foam. Ugh.)

This case is, in theory, carry-on size, though it's right at the limit for full size planes in the USA. That said, you can put a good padlock on it and gate check it when needed, which is (again, in theory) safer than checking it through. I have no experience flying with this overseas. It may end up being too large to carry on many smaller planes.

The Think Tank Airport Security roller is also the max USA carry on size, and actually holds more (I have and use both), but it's not water resistant at all. I would not take it on a small boat to protect gear.
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Pelorus

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 03:34:37 pm »

Look at the Ortlieb line of camera bags. Waterproof, light and tough.


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Tarnash

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2015, 05:19:32 pm »

Thanks for the comments & suggestions.  I was hoping to narrow the choice but perhaps that was optimistic  ;).  I find decisions on gear I can't see or handle difficult and getting to a camera store that's worthy of the name involves a flight or two days driving.  Still, living in the boondocks has it's compensations :)
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Ellis Vener

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2015, 06:32:54 pm »

 I was told about the Zarges cases from two sources, one was a client who specialized in outfitting world travelers and the other was a photographer who regularly shot in Africa, on West Texas ranches, and on ranches in the the Australian Outback.  Both companies liked them because they were waterproof and well sealed against dust and offered the best protection for sensitive gear. I ended up buying two of them 25 years ago and still use them when I have to fly my gear on commercial lights.

You don't see Zarges very much in the USA because they seem to lack a decent distribution network, but they were designed to meet  NATO's standards for protecting  military and medical equipment.   Here's a link to a UK dealer: http://www.protective-cases.co.uk/product/zarges-k-470-universal-container-40566/
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jreederphoto

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Re: A hard case question
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2015, 09:33:11 pm »

I've got quite a few pelican 1600 cases and a couple 1500's. They do the job. I definitely prefer the padded divider option FWIW.

The only obvious downside is the weight factor. Carrying a fully loaded 1600 pelican by hand for any distance other than loading in and out of a vehicle is pretty rough. Getting the roller version sounds good but ads bulk and a ton of weight. 1500 case is a little more manageable.

Jordan
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