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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old July 29th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #1
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Transport XL2 with attached lens..?

I just got a Pelican 1620 case for my XL2. Before I cut the foam, I'd like to hear some opinions whether I should transport/ship the camera with the 20x lens attached, or cut out a separate pocket in the foam for the lens so it will always stay detached during transport.

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Old July 29th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #2
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I would keep the lense attached to the XL2.

In my opinion the less you remove the lense better it is. Why risking to introduce dust, particules... when not needed.

I do own a pelican case and I've cutted the foam to fit the camera and the lense together.

I keep the lense 99% of the case attached to the camera. I want to minimise at maximum the risk to introduce something that I would only see in post production. It would then be too late.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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I typically transport my XL2 with the lens attached. I carry it in a toolbox with a custom-cut padded interior that supports both the body and lens evenly. It's nice to roll up on a scene and pull the camera fully-configured from the case and start shooting.

The toolbox doesn't scream "expensive camera: do not steal," either, so I feel a little more comfortable leaving it locked in the back of the truck, covered by a ratty moving pad. The tripod's a little harder to hide,


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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #4
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My personal preference is to separate the camera and lens and cap both with the supplied caps before transporting.

I had a CP16R camera and lens separate on a Pacific flight and the end result was not a good look as the rear of lens and front of camera clashed after separating.

I know the Canon has a button latch for the mount and separation is unlikely, however even when well packed in foam, there is going to be repetitive flexing movements on that mount especially in the rearmost cargo holds of large aircraft or during road transport.

And when the baggage handler goes "HUPP" and airmails the case from his hands a metre or so to thud down onto the conveyer and then tumble off onto the ground ----- ?? The foam will stop it from getting scratched.

I understand your preference to avoid dust getting in and in the real world, even when shipped assembled, there is more likely to be damage while being carried by the operator during use than when well packed in transport.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 29th, 2008 at 11:30 PM. Reason: error
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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I have two XL2s and use a 1620 case for each; I used to keep the lens and camera attached, till I heard of two separate incidents where during shipping the lenses were snapped from the camera body.

Now I have them separated.
Your call as to which will be best for you.

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Old July 30th, 2008, 04:00 PM   #6
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I'm in the 'keep them separate' school of thought on this one. I have the Pelican case with the padded dividers and such. I keep a ton of gear in there, along with the body and two lenses. I keep the lenses in their pouches, and the pouches in their separate divider compartment.

Too many chances for shock and abrupt temperature changes in flying for my taste. Too much strain on the lens/body connection.

That's my approach. YMMV
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Old July 30th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #7
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Hi Peer,

I keep my XL2 in a Pelican 1650 with the lens attached. Its seen lots of road mileage
across the midwest without a problem.

Terry
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Old August 8th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #8
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Think of it this way. Twenty seconds to take off the lens and put on caps, two weeks and lots of missed shots to have it sent in and fixed if broken. Do the math
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Old August 8th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #9
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We can do the math!

What about you take the lens off and on. You shoot and unfortunately there is something that went between the lens and the body. You do not notice it until you start post editing.

Now you've lost you filming, you may (if possible) have to redo the shots. You have an unhappy customer because now you will be late in delivering.

This is just another type of math.

At the end there is price to pay and you go with the one you are the most comfortable with.

I always kept the lens and the body together. Now that I am aware other people had the rear of lens and front of camera clashed after separate. I will be way more carefull when travelling with the camera and the lens attached.
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Old August 8th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #10
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I have three lenses. I change them often on a shoot. Just got back from a shoot a few minutes ago, had to change out the 16xmanual and the 3x several times as I went from room to room shooting interviews.

It's part of what I do. Change lenses, check the elments, check the ccd block, lock the lens, check the image on the monitor - good to go.

So I prefer to keep the gear in their bags. But I use the 'divider' pelican 1620. Each lens and the body has a seperate padded divider, there are padded dividers for batts, chargers, two viewfinders, shotgun, etc. It all gets broken down, and packed into its spaces. Its NOT an OPEN THE BOX and shoot situation.

Its definitely a personal choice for your own comfort zone.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hamell View Post
I have two XL2s and use a 1620 case for each; I used to keep the lens and camera attached, till I heard of two separate incidents where during shipping the lenses were snapped from the camera body. Now I have them separated.

Okay Bill, that's it -- I'm now definitely gonna go with separation.

And somewhat related to this; I wonder how to cut the foam so it follows the camera contour and round-out holes for the lenses -- is there like a heat-knife/cutter or something that I could use..?

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Old August 17th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #12
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Peer,
The pick-n-pluck foam comes out in little pre-cut squares, so its a rough approximation on rounded curves and corners. Like I said, I use the padded dividers and tray seperators, so I'm not dealing with foam. When I buy uncut foam for other equipment boxes/packing I use an electric carving knife to cut it. Works great.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #13
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Go to the fishing section at Wal-Mart, and buy an electric filleting knife. Or, if you've already got one, use an electric carving knife. In case you've never seen one up close, the blade is made from two leaves of steel that slide against each other, back and forth, in opposite directions. It literally walks through foam with gentle pressure -- no sawing, hacking, or distortion. All you have to do is steer.

Lay the item you want to fit the foam to on the surface of the foam, draw around it with a felt-tip pen, then cut out the opening with the electric knife.

I used to do custom foam-insulated sound rooms about fifteen years ago, rooms that were so acoustically "dead" you could hear the blood flow in your ears. I used a regular kitchen electric carving knife to fit the sections and corners. Unfortunately, it wasn't designed for such frequent use, and the plastic gears wore out. When I made a case for my CF lights recently, I went looking for another electric kitchen carving knife, but they seem to have gone out of style. However, I wandered through the fishing tackle section and found much the same item, only marketed to fishermen. Price for a "good" one (i.e. not the cheapest flimsy plastic model) was $29.00, plus the filleting knives have a smaller handle that is easier to grip and steer than the old carving knives. Plus they seem to be built for heavier use than the old knives.

Martin
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