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Photographer
Sendu
Posts: 3,501
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom


Does anyone here transport their strobes (monoblocs in my case, but whatever lighting equipment you have) and stands? On public transport even? And without an assistant?! How do you do it?

Did your strobe company sell you a custom case? Did you find a general case that had good padding and worked? Do you wrap your electronics in a towel and stuff them in a suitcase? How did you solve having to carry stands (long, thin, awkward) and electronics (smaller, delicate), not to mention your camera bag and laptop, all at the same time?

Details please smile
Jan 15 13 05:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kaouthia
Posts: 3,152
Lancaster, England, United Kingdom


I've got the Bowens 200/200 kit, and it comes in a bag that everything fits into nicely.  2 stands, 2 strobes, 2 reflectors, 2 brollies, 2 power cables.  Bit heavy, but not impossible to lug around on a train, and it fits in the overhead shelf.

http://www.lux-studios.co.uk/StudioLightingHire_files/642_Bowens_Gemini_Lighting_Hire.jpg

Usually though, I'd rather just pack half a dozen speedlights into the rucksack, along with Manfrotto Nano stands, and three 24" softboxes (all fits into one 65L Rucksack, along with radio triggers, spare batteries, gels, snoots, grids, etc).
Jan 15 13 05:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Creative Concept Studio
Posts: 2,561
Fort Worth, Texas, US


I use the Photogenic PL03CS Wheeled Soft Case:
http://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/706871.jpg
From Website:
Soft, wheeled case with Velcro liner and dividers for up to 10 compartments. Top has two internal pockets and one full-width external pocket. Holds TAHS13 stands, lights, umbrellas and accessories. With internal and external locking straps, and a carrying handle at one end and the top.

Internal dimensions are 42" x 18" x 9 deep. Two long internal dividers create three long compartments, which can be subdivided into smaller compartments either 7.5" or 4.5" wide. All dividers have 10 or more Velcro points for a firm grip within the case. Overall dimensions: 19" x 44" x 13".



Easily fits into the trunk or backseat of the car.

Ray
Jan 15 13 05:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Pixyst
Posts: 350
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I travel with one studio strobe. Previously, I exclusively used speedlights for on-location lighting. Since I went with Paul C Buff's Einstein units, I have started taking one on location with me (in addition to the speedlights). So I found a small (12in x 9in x 9in) Calvin Klein bag which takes one Einstein with the styrofoam padding it came with, a vagabond mini power pack, power cable, a reflector and trigger in the inner pocket. So in a quite small bag, I have one fully functional studio strobe. My stands came in ballistic nylon carry cases that have just enough space left over to pack in a 64" PLM. Now when I use this on location, I weight in down with my (quite heavy) Think Tank airport international which holds my bodies, lenses, speedlights and other accessories.
Jan 15 13 05:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
jamesRwatson
Posts: 53
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Tenba has pretty much anything you could want at whatever size you want. They are very well made and have traveled the globe with me without fail. The zippers, wheels, supports and fabric are all very good quality and have lasted many years of abuse. They are worth their weight in gold (in terms of professional use/abuse).

These are their "Air" cases.
http://www.tenba.com/Categories/Air-Cases.aspx

I use the Large Lighting Case with Wheels (LLCw) for my Profoto 2 light kit
http://www.tenba.com/Products/Transport … heels.aspx

For my stands I use their 48" rolling case (formerly called the Rodie line)
http://www.tenba.com/Products/Transport … se-48.aspx

And yes, I have managed to negotiate both the LLCw and 48" roadie (plus backpack) by myself on public transit. It's not fun, but it is possible.
Jan 15 13 05:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris David Photography
Posts: 475
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


All my studio strobes came in a large rolling case. One case is 100cm long and the other 120cm each fits the stands/2-3 strobes/modifiers and plenty of room for more. With a little careful packing you should be able to fit your laptop, camera and a number of lens.
Should not have too much problem rolling one around and taking it through buses/trains.
Another method if your traveling to places where a rolling case won't work then can use a large rucksak. Just pack as light as you can as your going carry all that weight on your back rather then rolling it.
Jan 15 13 06:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gabby57
Posts: 418
Coppell, Texas, US


Not a pro, but I use heavy duty, stackable tool boxes and a folding dolly.  Once emptied I've used the tool boxes to stand on, or have thrown cloth onto to convert into seats or foot stools, or both.  Wish I'd bought more back in the day because the designs are always changing and I can't find more that stack with mine.
Jan 15 13 07:08 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J M
Posts: 372
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


One of the photographers I assist uses something like this, http://www.amazon.com/Bowens-BW1069B-Un … =pd_ybh_22 I'm not sure if that's the exact one, his may have been the 3 light kit.
It's a joy to use and fits stands, lights, cords and a big brolly.
I was recently looking too as I have to sometimes catch trains with gear and the bag my elinchroms came with is horribly designed I also saw this http://www.amazon.com/Interfit-INT435-L … =pd_ybh_17
I can't vouch for it, and I can't purchase it the shipping on these bags is horrendous to australia if they even do ship.

I might get bowens large case for about $300, but if anyone has any better options for Aus I'd be happy to hear.
Jan 15 13 07:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sekkides
Posts: 70
London, England, United Kingdom


Calumet do a rolling semi-soft case for about £100.. it's not too bad.. their stuff has increased in quality recently.

It will fit 2 or 3 monoblocs depending on size, plus stands (regular height not studio stands) and softboxes (small-medium wafers, not medium Chimera unfort)

But I use the car whenever I can.. taking strobes on public transport.. never done it.. wouldn't want to do it! But at a stretch.. rolling case plus camera in a rucksack could work maybe?
Jan 15 13 07:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sendu
Posts: 3,501
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom


Jesse Mullins wrote:
One of the photographers I assist uses something like this, http://www.amazon.com/Bowens-BW1069B-Un … =pd_ybh_22 I'm not sure if that's the exact one, his may have been the 3 light kit.

It seems like the BW1025 is the updated and improved version of the BW1069. It's a bit shorter, but has a hard case. You may have better luck finding the BW1025 in stock in your country.

I actually have a ski bag that is too long: it fits any stand, but due to being soft it bends past the end of the tallest stand and makes it a real pain to drag around.

The BW1025 is too small for my large heavy duty stands, but I just purchased it anyway along with some smaller stands.

Jan 15 13 07:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DennisRoliffPhotography
Posts: 1,928
Akron, Ohio, US


Jan 15 13 07:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


check with PELICAN ...
hard cases w/ rollers and pull out grab handles ...
1650 series is pretty darn big ...
1510 series is great for the speedlight shooter ...
Jan 15 13 08:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Aaron Lewis Photography
Posts: 5,083
Catskill, New York, US


Right now I cart my strobes, reflectors and cords around in the PCB Pink semi-hard case. It's a decent case but not for industrial use. I hand carry my stands and umbrellas. When I used larger light stands I had a 56" bag but it's just too damn big

I really want one of these.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 … _Case.html

I can fit 4 AB's umbrellas, stands and reflectors and it's got wheels good for airports smile

A second option, depending on the gear and configuration you want is this guy
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/7 … _Foam.html
Jan 15 13 08:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
J M
Posts: 372
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Sendu wrote:
It seems like the BW1025 is the updated and improved version of the BW1069. It's a bit shorter, but has a hard case. You may have better luck finding the BW1025 in stock in your country.

I actually have a ski bag that is too long: it fits any stand, but due to being soft it bends past the end of the tallest stand and makes it a real pain to drag around.

The BW1025 is too small for my large heavy duty stands, but I just purchased it anyway along with some smaller stands.

That's the one he uses actually!
Of course you can't fit C stands in there or the big ones, but it makes a nice kit if you don't need them. Thanks for the link I'm gonna check it out

$275, tempting

That Pelican case above I can get for cheaper though, I just don't know if it would stock as much

Jan 15 13 08:05 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
P O T T S
Posts: 5,367
Lake City, Florida, US


Hero Foto wrote:
check with PELICAN ...
hard cases w/ rollers and pull out grab handles ...
1650 series is pretty darn big ...
1510 series is great for the speedlight shooter ...

I have a 1650, and its like a cave. Can swallow everything except stands. 4 ab's, 2 bodies, several lenses with room to spare. I want to find a hard box that will hold stands, background stands and modifiers.

Jan 15 13 08:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Loki Studio
Posts: 2,999
Royal Oak, Michigan, US


I bought a Photoflex Transpac for city use and it provide good protection, mobility, and lighter weight.:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 … _Case.html

I also did buy 2 lighter 8' travel stands that a half the weight of my usual 10' stands.  I would never try to carry C stands.

For ultra light gigs, I have a Photoflex bag that fits 2 strobes and stands:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1 … d_Bag.html

For gigs where my big rolling Lowepro 300 camera case is too much, I use a Lowepro Fastpac 350 for laptop + 2 cameras:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 … Black.html
Jan 15 13 08:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phase Shift Photography
Posts: 86
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Gabby57 wrote:
... I use heavy duty, stackable tool boxes and a folding dolly.  Once emptied I've used the tool boxes to stand on, or have thrown cloth onto to convert into seats or foot stools, or both.

I use two large toolboxes. One toolbox can fit two strobes. Works very well and it's cheap. I also use it to stand on sometimes. Just add some foam padding on the inside bottom of the toolbox.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KN … hs_product

Jan 15 13 08:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bay Photo
Posts: 734
Brooklyn, New York, US


this is the case i use and also what a lot of photo rental houses use.


http://www.tamrac.com/welcome.htm  it wont let me link the item, but it is the light speed 3 and light speed 4

i think tamrac and tenba make the best cases for strobes


they are not chap, but spending a few hundred to protect thousands is worth it for me.  i have flown all over with my hensels and profotos in these and never have damage....unless i pack them too tight and then i have gotten some bent reflectors
Jan 15 13 09:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Malloch Caldwell
Posts: 2,563
Hastings, England, United Kingdom


I bought 2 Pelican cases in 1995 and travel extensively. They are one of the best buys I have ever made.
Jan 15 13 09:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
o k u t a k e
Posts: 4,660
New York, New York, US


I have a Lowepro Vortex Backpack that I can fit one ProFoto D1 along with 2 bodies and a few lenses in. A second bag I use to carry the stand, softbox, umbrella and battery pack.
Jan 15 13 09:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Feliciano
Posts: 505
New York, New York, US


I started with a fabric Pelican case, it was licensed, not made by them. It sucked.
I then went to a Photoflex: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 … _Case.html
That worked okay, the fit and finish could have been a little better, but it served it's purpose well. I still use it on occasion.
But after it get backed into by a NYC cab, I went with a big Pelican case.
Jan 15 13 11:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AVD AlphaDuctions
Posts: 10,541
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada


as all the responses have indicated, there are plenty of viable alternatives to custom cases.  I use the bag from one kit with newer throwaway strobes from another kit. the stands all fit in the bags so thats not a problem. I used to use standard rolling luggage with a layer of foam but I found that to be too conspicuous and a theft target. People love to steal luggage for some reason.   So i went to the bags I already had.  with no names or logos on them they could be someone's gym bag so much less of a theft target.  if I was paranoid I would put a smelly t-shirt on top of the gear but I'm not. YMMV
Jan 15 13 01:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Hero Foto
Posts: 878
Phoenix, Arizona, US


P O T T S wrote:
I have a 1650, and its like a cave. Can swallow everything except stands. 4 ab's, 2 bodies, several lenses with room to spare. I want to find a hard box that will hold stands, background stands and modifiers.

a buddy uses a wheeled golf club hard case, you know the airport travel type ...

3 AB blocks, stands, plm modifiers plus his ext. cords all in the case ... the first time I spotted it thought GENIUS ... he loves it ...

Jan 15 13 02:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
You Can Call Me Pierre
Posts: 759
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Tom Bihn Aeronaut as carry-on for my travels to the US carrying a lightstand, B800, vagabond mini and a speedlight.
Jan 15 13 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AG_Boston
Posts: 346
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I use a Calumet long wheeled case for three Genesis 200s, three tripods, three umbrellas and power cables. Also, I have a Pelican for my camera and lenses. In the near future, I plan on getting rid of the Calumet case, and going with a larger Pelican. My Calumet case wheels started failing the first month I had the case.

Pelican cases are awesome!
Jan 15 13 09:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sand Angel Photography
Posts: 569
Phoenix, Arizona, US


I can fit two AB800 lights into a toolbox with power cords and a few other items.

I can put a few light stands and umbrellas into a cheap golf bag. Although the wheeled golf bag idea sounds much nicer.

Then the camera stuff, lenses, and speed lights all go into a backpack.

That's pretty much pushing my limits although I won't be hiking with all that.
Jan 15 13 09:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,904
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Lastolite Hilite plus floor - in it's own bag
Camera gear including backup - bagged up and in Rucsack
Lighting stand and low level stand - strapped on / packed inside rucsack
Westcott 7' brolly -in the Hilite bag
Lighting gear 1 set from:
Lencarta Safari - pack with 2 heads either in their own case or in a 90 litre rucsack
Couple of Hensel monoblocs ( heavy ) - in the Lencarta case
Couple of Lupo HMI heads

I get some strange looks and have to ensure that I'm travelling off-peak. It is not my norm, just a compact event or theatre cast photo session setup. As age is creeping up on me I have to start to realise that the days of my being able to yomp for many miles at a time are at an end !
Jan 16 13 12:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Al Lock Photography
Posts: 16,071
Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand


Rolling case with wheels... I've used Tenba aircases and Lightware in the past. Currently using Tamrac Rolling Studio but have been looking at ThinkTank's Logistics Manager.

Camera gear and computer go in a separate bag (ThinkTank Streetwalker Harddrive).
Jan 17 13 01:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
RKD Photographic
Posts: 3,265
Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


I use Bowens as well: the 500-series also come in a roller-case, though admittedly it's a faff carrying/dragging that and the bag containing the stands/formers and the  camera bags AND all my other luggage...

I find a 'car' quite useful under those conditions...

Public transport? - Not even if you paid me...
Jan 17 13 01:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photography by Riddell
Posts: 649
Hemel Hempstead, England, United Kingdom


Mine go in a couple of Billingham bags, and the stands and softboxes fit into a manfrotto bag.

And like other posters I wouldn't dream of taking it all on public transport. It would be near on impossible. I'd need two assitants to help me carry it all, along with my photographic equipment.

If the job is in a location that for some reason I cannot drive to, then I have to book a taxi and bill the client.

Paul.
www.photographybyriddell.co.uk
Jan 17 13 02:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rogerio Luz
Posts: 1
FALLS VILLAGE, Connecticut, US


Pelican is the best, i bring my stuff to Brazil all the time with no problem.
Jan 17 13 05:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
907Benjamin
Posts: 1,712
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, US


DennisRoliffPhotography wrote:
Pelican

i don't know the numbers off hand, but this is what i use, small one for the camera, and a larger one for three lights (all ab's, ring light and two other 800's). an old sea bag for stands and brella's.

Jan 17 13 06:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KA Style
Posts: 1,583
Syracuse, New York, US


I actually use a scrap booking case with wheels(its pretty heavy duty)and my stands go in a stand bag. Ive trucked them all over NYC, NNJ, & Boston. lol Ha sso many pockets I pack my makeup/hair kit in there too. Along with emergency stuff like safety pins and the like.

I live in a area where I drive so I just transport what I need.
Jan 17 13 07:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shot By Adam
Posts: 5,865
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Hero Foto wrote:
check with PELICAN ...
hard cases w/ rollers and pull out grab handles ...
1650 series is pretty darn big ...
1510 series is great for the speedlight shooter ...

I use a Pelican 1730, which is a great case for lights. Comes with a nice padded interior and is very customizable. I put three of my Einsteins in there with ease plus have room for cables, modifiers, clamps, power strips, receivers/transmitters, and a bunch more gear as well. The only downside is that it's heavy so when I travel I have to always fly airlines that are more friendly to heavier bags but jeez is this case tough. I've had mine for about two years and I love it!

Jan 17 13 07:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Phantasmal Images
Posts: 611
Boston, Massachusetts, US


I use a Duratool case for my strobes. Not as tough as a pelican case, but still pretty good, and a lot cheaper.
http://www.amazon.com/Duratool-MJ-139-2 … s=duratool

For my camera and lenses though, I use pelican.
Jan 17 13 10:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rich Arnold Photography
Posts: 940
Los Angeles, California, US


Calumet two head roller bag. Fits two Einsteins, PW's, reflectors, grids etc. Good quality wheels and material. Very nice bag around town but not for airlines.

http://www.calumetphoto.com/eng/product … ase/rm2302
Jan 18 13 10:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Brady
Posts: 609
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Sendu wrote:
Does anyone here transport their strobes (monoblocs in my case, but whatever lighting equipment you have) and stands? On public transport even? And without an assistant?! How do you do it?

Did your strobe company sell you a custom case? Did you find a general case that had good padding and worked? Do you wrap your electronics in a towel and stuff them in a suitcase? How did you solve having to carry stands (long, thin, awkward) and electronics (smaller, delicate), not to mention your camera bag and laptop, all at the same time?

Details please smile

I use one of these for nearly all of my gear on a big shoot

http://www.proworld.com.au/Kata-Lw-99-P … nizer-Case

Fits my light stands, strobes, a heavy duty tripod and all my cables and grids.

http://www.proworld.com.au/images/product/large/KATA-ROLLING-ORGANIZER-99-2.jpg

I put my camera in another bag and carry the beauty dish by hand. The Kata is brilliant. Would be pretty large on a train, but it's do-able.

Jan 18 13 06:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TrianglePhoto
Posts: 580
Chicago, Illinois, US


My monoheads go into a generic padded hardcase I picked up a few years ago - have no idea about the brand.

The stands and umbrellas go in a pair of Mic Stand case:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/4 … d_Bag.html

Padded, but no internal dividers.
Jan 18 13 07:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Art of the nude
Posts: 11,889
Olivet, Michigan, US


Sendu wrote:
Does anyone here transport their strobes (monoblocs in my case, but whatever lighting equipment you have) and stands? On public transport even? And without an assistant?! How do you do it?

Did your strobe company sell you a custom case? Did you find a general case that had good padding and worked? Do you wrap your electronics in a towel and stuff them in a suitcase? How did you solve having to carry stands (long, thin, awkward) and electronics (smaller, delicate), not to mention your camera bag and laptop, all at the same time?

Details please smile

I put the lighting gear in a big suitcase, and put that in the back of my car.  The camera, and the on camera lights, and lenses and such go in the camera bag in the front.  I don't have an assistant.  Or a laptop.

Jan 18 13 07:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caveman Creations
Posts: 580
Fort Worth, Texas, US


Chunk one light in one saddlebag, chunk the other in the other side. Strap the light stands, and tripod on top of the saddlebags, and use a biker's "hairnet" to secure my camera bag to the back seat. All on a vintage Harley. If I'm real careful, I can fit a pop-out reflector either under the camera bag, or stuff it beside the lights. You can do a lot with just a little space! big_smile
Jan 18 13 09:20 pm  Link  Quote 
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