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Thread: Traveling USA. soon check in gear or not

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    Member Chloe and Aspen's Avatar
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    Traveling USA. soon check in gear or not

    Going back to Alaska, question is do I check my 600mm lens in its case to the cargo hold or take it onboard in camera bag as carry on. Anybody had experience suggestions welcome

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Depends on how much you've got. I tend to take all gear on board as cabin luggage, but it all fits into one camera bag.
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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    The only photography gear I put in my check in luggage when traveling OS is an old monopod..
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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I'd be hesitant to put any camera body or lens in check in luggage - don't think any of it is handled gently. I've only had cabin luggage weighed once while travelling and yes it was over but just took the body plus the heaviest lens out of the bag and over my shoulder, bag was now under required weight and all good. Makes no sense to me as the exact same weight was going on board.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    600mm f/4 is a bit large and heavy to take as carry on luggage I guess.

    If your bag fits it OK and you could take it as carry on, that would be the better option, as this lens would be one of the more costly to replace/fix if something were to go wrong.
    If that means packing some of the other cheaper lenses inside checked suitcases, to compensate in some way .. you'd be better off.

    Are you going to Alaska to live, or for travel?
    Do you need to take the 600mm?
    If travel, could you rent it over there instead ... etc, etc.

    The opening post isn't informative enough to allow others to offer appropriate suggestions.
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    Antipod
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    If you really need it, carry-on. Never, ever, check in anything really valuable as cargo. If it is too heavy, ask the flight-attendants to stow it when boarding and make sure you get it back in your hands on the tarmac.

    Anything suspicious in checked luggage will trigger TSA agents to open the luggage and from that point on your luggage might be unlocked - even when using TSA-locks. Most airlines are liable up to $4400 (US$, that is) per passenger, but you'll have a very hard time to actually get reimbursed the full amount. When you buy extra insurance, they won't accept values > $5000. Also, most airlines state they cannot be held liable for items lost or damaged "that may result from a security search conducted by any local, state, or federal agency".
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    Lightbender Grant S's Avatar
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERmgA2Zw4y8

    Never, ever put anything valuable or damageable in your checked luggage. It's not always going to get treated as badly as this, but you can't know who's having a bad day in the chain. Aside from poor handling practises, theft is still a major issue with around 2 million bags, lost stolen or badly damaged each year in the US alone.
    Last edited by Grant S; 23-12-2014 at 8:50am.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    You could be wrong there, Grant. It may WELL be handled just like this, if the number of video clips attest to anything!!!

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    Lightbender Grant S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    You could be wrong there, Grant. It may WELL be handled just like this, if the number of video clips attest to anything!!!
    Chances are they will be handled like that or worse, but I like to think the best of people

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    Carry on for sure. Nothing costly or fragile should go in checked if you value it.

    Assuming its something like a 600 F4L IS then it will account for your entire carry on weight.

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    Lightbender Grant S's Avatar
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    All that said, you could spend around $500 on a road case for the lens which as long as it's lockable, should reduce the likelihood of damage and theft. You're still taking a chance on it though.

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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    The real question is can you do without it when you arrive? If the answer is no then you need to put it in your carry on.

    I travel a lot and never put anything in my check in I cannot replace once I am at my point of destination. Baggage does go missing. I was once traveling to the US via Heathrow and my luggage turned up six weeks later despite both my wife checking in luggage at the same time.

    I would think your holiday would be spoiled if your 600mm turned up four weeks after you returned home. The more flight changes you experience, the more chances you and your luggage will part company. It is a fact of life.
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    Antipod
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant S View Post
    All that said, you could spend around $500 on a road case for the lens which as long as it's lockable, should reduce the likelihood of damage and theft. You're still taking a chance on it though.
    That's just a $500 extra value for the thief...

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    An extra point of note for domestic travel in the US - many flights have cabin baggage VERY FULL. There have been some instances where I had to put baggage in checked AFTER I got the the flight because there was no overhead space left. This is due to the cheap seats on some flights don't include checked baggage but have unreasonably large allowances for carry on (just imagine everyone seems to bring 2 roll along bags as carry on!).

    I agree with others - carry on would be preferred to look after the gear unless you have a suitable checked luggage bag for the 600mm lens.

    Given the great service I got with lenses in the states, I would recommend the rental option - if you haven't experienced the US service, you will be pleasantly surprised (most times).

    Oh, and I am happy to volunteer to look after the lens until you get back

    Mark
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    Thank you to all who offered advice on the travel question Will check with Photo guide re how close we will get to the Bears and may not need the 600mm if not it will be in camera bag on my back thanks again...

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    Just a thought" can't you take on more carry on if you PAY a little extra?" Maybe check with the airlines you are travelling on. What do pro TOGS do? cheers Brian
    Cheers Brian. Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    I was told by Qantas that you can pay for extra carry on luggage and that the price is much less than what you would pay at the airport. Maybe other carriers do the same - worth checking it out. I would never put any of my gear in the hold for lots of reasons. On our last trip to South Africa, my husband put my heaviest lens in his carry on bag until we were through security and I then transferred it into my carry on bag which was my roll along camera bag.

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    Antipod
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    Quote Originally Posted by bricat View Post
    Just a thought" can't you take on more carry on if you PAY a little extra?"
    Carry-On weight restrictions are not in place because overweight luggage would be more expensive, but for safety reasons. The overhead bins are designed to fit luggage up to certain size and weight, overloading them is not a good idea - I have seen what damage a "carry-on trolley" may do to a grown-up when falling down from a bin, let alone what would happen if it fell down on an infant or child.

    Further more, bringing large packs as carry-on luggage is anti-social. The overhead bins provide limited storage as it is, if someone brings large packs there is no room to store the luggage from other passengers.
    Last edited by jev; 06-01-2015 at 8:31pm.

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    New Member Dion's Avatar
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    I would never check a 600mm lens unless it was a pelican case, locked and insured to the hilt.

    When I don't want to lug my Canon 600mm F4 I take my 400 5.6 and 1.4x TC (EF Extender III). Results are quite good from that combo - AF of course is centre point only on bodies that can AF at F8. But it's an option if you really need the reach.
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