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Thread: How Tough are Cameras?

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    How Tough are Cameras?

    Hello all. I am quite new to photography and have recently purchased a D7000 and a couple of lenses, a 17-55mm and 105mm macro, both Nikkors. Hopefully soon I can get a few shots uploaded here! Great info in this forum. My question is, how tough are cameras and lenses with regards constant travel? With my job I do around 80000km/year, and would like to take my camera with me most of the time, however I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not. Our roads arent fantatstic, and about 40% of my driving is done on gravel and dirt, with potholes and general vibration. Will they handle this ok in a good camera bag, or is it not such a good idea? How well do they handle heat in a car? - usually fairly hot summers in western Qld.
    Also, in the bag and backpack I have, the camera sits lens pointing down. Is this the best way for the camera to travel, or would it be better sitting right way up (backpack sitting Flat) ?

    Thanks


    John

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    They are pretty tough I think, tough enough to handle non impact or drop handling most of the time.

    Id get a foam hard case in those conditions I think, and also pack seperately the lens and the camera as there is less chance of camera/lens mount flex if not attached

    Yewah, the heat could be an issue but Ive not seen any reports of any damage caused by heat but Im sure there's a maximum temperature for all electronics.
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    Thanks for the replies.
    Kiwi - may have to look into the foam hardcase - are they the silver ones about the same size and shape as the old hard school ports?

    Keefy - thanks for the link. They seem to be able to take a bit of a hammering. I wouldnt be doing that to mine I hope!! - I am fairly careful with my gear. I am more worried I guess about the fairly constant vibration particularly when on gravel.

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    My cameras and lenses travel with me all the time and a lot of my travelling is done on dusty corrugated desert tracks in my older Nissan Patrol Ute and you can't get much rougher than that. Most of my gear resides in a computreker back pack on the passenger seat or in the old fridge in the back if I have a passenger, the camera/lenses I am using sit in a box between the seats cushioned with towels etc. The summer temps here get up into the 50's and drop to around zero in the mornings and I have never had any problems.
    Keith.
    Last edited by Speedway; 26-09-2011 at 7:20pm.

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    don, you can get them as tool cases from bunnings, cut foam to suit or go the full weather proof pelicans

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    Thanks kiwi - I'll have a look next time I get to the city.

    Keith - thanks for that info. That seems close to what I would be experiencing, especially once the roads deteriorate a bit during the summer (all graded up at present which is nice for a change!).

    John

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I used to work as a courier, and did approximately 80K klms per year myself(so in this respect we're very similar) 80% of my driving was done around the outer suburbs of Melbourne .. basically dirving as courier generally do .. and the other 20% was on country roads generally gravel(I used to try find all the backroads, and rarely ever backtracked).
    Camera gear basically came everywhere after I realised way back(in '06) that it's better off with me than not, so after close to 5 years of travelling with me just about everywhere, the kit slowly and steadily increased over time too. went from two or three lenses and a body to about 9 lenses, two bodies and more than enough accessories to put out just about anyone's back(including mine!)

    Went from a smallish backpack, to a largish back pack and though about an even larger backpack.. but I had to constrain it to what I currently have.
    My packpack is (and has been for about 4 years now) a Vanguard Kenline 58 which fits just about as much as I dare to stress my back and dodgy knee. All things work as they did back then, never had any issues with either of my two camera bodies(wish I could say the same for the physique tho! ) and the entire backpack weighs in at about 15-20kgs .. maybe more(never really tried to weight it).

    A well padded backpack is all you need, good dividers are essential, from what I've seen most well known padded backpacks have enough padding to protect your gear whilst on the 'back seat'.
    Back seat is a generic term, and I only use it because that's where the backpack lived for these past 5 or so years. It was the most convenient location for quick access, and sometimes when I was out and about on a country drive, I would keep the back unzipped, but the camera simply sat on the passengers front seat secured between map books or lunch or whatever .. to stop it sliding about.

    Not all roads were 4WD type bumpy goat tracks, but some were, mostly rough more so than anything else, but bumpy enough to cause even a hard head like me to slow down to a dreadful boring crawl. Window mounted GPS's and other items gave up the hold way before I slowed down, and on the odd occasion I even had myself banging my head up against the roof of the car having lost sight of the track conditions or trying to get through mud or something silly like that.
    Camera in backpack, on the back seat always remained calm, collected and in working order.. and I just knew it was having the same rough ride I was having!

    trick is to maintain a snug fit. That is, if the backpack is large and you have limited gear, you're better off filling it with stuffing.. foam, paper, or whatever simply to maintain a solid structure between each of the compartments, rather than have a heavy item in one compartment and nothing in the one next to it. If you have vacant compartments next to one with a heavy item in it, there is a possibility that the item may breach the compartment wall and then it lolls about loosely in the bag. The soft walls won't damage the heavy item, but things like lenses really don't like being banged about too much.
    The small high frequency vibes the lens undergoes whilst snug within a compartment won't do much damage to it. But a heavy-ish lens rolling about loosely in a large compartment will have momentum, and this momentum and the shock it gets as it's banged about in a loose bag may ultimately cause problems.

    I also have a Pelican case and used to use it early on when I only had a body and two lenses, but soon realise that this was overkill for my situation. If I was very limited for room and had to use the back of the ute(the tub) to store the camera .. then yeah! a hard case is the only way to travel. some prefer aluminium, others prefer the plastic pelican types(I prefer the harder pelican types over aluminium myself).
    But this is for extreme situation, and if you are out and about travelling the most important aspect of travelling with a camera is to be in a position where it's readily easily and quickly available.. not stored snugly and more efficiently in the back of a trailer! By the time you've got it out, the opportunity has probably been missed

    In effect a well made, and well known quantity of a backpack(or side bag) is probably one of the best options and it will be placed on a comfy well padded seat, or in some instances on the rear floor on another piece of soft material9such as foam padding, pillow, or cushion) from prying eyes and hot fingers.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I used to work as a courier, and did approximately 80K klms per year myself(so in this respect we're very similar) 80% of my driving was done around the outer suburbs of Melbourne .. basically dirving as courier generally do .. and the other 20% was on country roads generally gravel(I used to try find all the backroads, and rarely ever backtracked).
    Camera gear basically came everywhere after I realised way back(in '06) that it's better off with me than not, so after close to 5 years of travelling with me just about everywhere, the kit slowly and steadily increased over time too. went from two or three lenses and a body to about 9 lenses, two bodies and more than enough accessories to put out just about anyone's back(including mine!)

    Went from a smallish backpack, to a largish back pack and though about an even larger backpack.. but I had to constrain it to what I currently have.
    My packpack is (and has been for about 4 years now) a Vanguard Kenline 58 which fits just about as much as I dare to stress my back and dodgy knee. All things work as they did back then, never had any issues with either of my two camera bodies(wish I could say the same for the physique tho! ) and the entire backpack weighs in at about 15-20kgs .. maybe more(never really tried to weight it).

    A well padded backpack is all you need, good dividers are essential, from what I've seen most well known padded backpacks have enough padding to protect your gear whilst on the 'back seat'.
    Back seat is a generic term, and I only use it because that's where the backpack lived for these past 5 or so years. It was the most convenient location for quick access, and sometimes when I was out and about on a country drive, I would keep the back unzipped, but the camera simply sat on the passengers front seat secured between map books or lunch or whatever .. to stop it sliding about.

    Not all roads were 4WD type bumpy goat tracks, but some were, mostly rough more so than anything else, but bumpy enough to cause even a hard head like me to slow down to a dreadful boring crawl. Window mounted GPS's and other items gave up the hold way before I slowed down, and on the odd occasion I even had myself banging my head up against the roof of the car having lost sight of the track conditions or trying to get through mud or something silly like that.
    Camera in backpack, on the back seat always remained calm, collected and in working order.. and I just knew it was having the same rough ride I was having!

    trick is to maintain a snug fit. That is, if the backpack is large and you have limited gear, you're better off filling it with stuffing.. foam, paper, or whatever simply to maintain a solid structure between each of the compartments, rather than have a heavy item in one compartment and nothing in the one next to it. If you have vacant compartments next to one with a heavy item in it, there is a possibility that the item may breach the compartment wall and then it lolls about loosely in the bag. The soft walls won't damage the heavy item, but things like lenses really don't like being banged about too much.
    The small high frequency vibes the lens undergoes whilst snug within a compartment won't do much damage to it. But a heavy-ish lens rolling about loosely in a large compartment will have momentum, and this momentum and the shock it gets as it's banged about in a loose bag may ultimately cause problems.

    I also have a Pelican case and used to use it early on when I only had a body and two lenses, but soon realise that this was overkill for my situation. If I was very limited for room and had to use the back of the ute(the tub) to store the camera .. then yeah! a hard case is the only way to travel. some prefer aluminium, others prefer the plastic pelican types(I prefer the harder pelican types over aluminium myself).
    But this is for extreme situation, and if you are out and about travelling the most important aspect of travelling with a camera is to be in a position where it's readily easily and quickly available.. not stored snugly and more efficiently in the back of a trailer! By the time you've got it out, the opportunity has probably been missed

    In effect a well made, and well known quantity of a backpack(or side bag) is probably one of the best options and it will be placed on a comfy well padded seat, or in some instances on the rear floor on another piece of soft material9such as foam padding, pillow, or cushion) from prying eyes and hot fingers.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Arthurking - great info. I am feeling more confident carting the gear with me all the time. Like you say, the gear is better with you than not. I dont know how many times in the past I've thought 'I wish I had my camera' !!

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    I have a Lowepro Omni Trekker bag, which can be carried like briefcase, has an over the shoulder strap, or worn backpack style. It fits into a Pelican 1550 hard case, and also into the largest Kinchrome hard case (the one from Bunnings) however I am selling that case as they are not as deep as the Pelican case, plus the snaps are very stiff and if I am tired I need a screwdriver to open it. A man wouldn't have any trouble I don't think. This type of setup would be a good solution for you. There is also a smaller Lowepro bag that fits into a 1410 (I think) Pelican case.

    Pic of mine below loaded for my trip to NZ last year with Hasselblad H2 body, Phase One P20 digital back, light meter, flash unit, Cokin & Lee filters & holder etc, extra battery for Canon, Canon 16-35L & 24-105L, and HC 80 & 150 lenses, plus assorted timer release cords, cleaning stuff etc. I had a separate bag with battery chargrs etc & my laptop. And yes, I got it all through a s carry on by lugging it as though it wasn't heavy - not easy!

    omni trekker P1010277.jpg
    Odille

    “Can't keep my eyes from the circling sky”

    My Blog | Canon 1DsMkII | 60D | Tokina 20-35mm f/2.8 AF AT-X PRO | EF50mm f/1.8| Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM | Fujifilm X-T1 & X-M1 | Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XC 50-230mm F3.5-5.6 OIS | Fujinon XF 18-55mm F2.8-4R LM OIS | tripods, flashes, filters etc ||

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