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Old December 11th, 2003, 06:56 PM   #16
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Well, as for the original question, I have used the Porta Brace CTC designed for the XL1 for a couple of years now, and it fits in the overhead bin of all the 737, A300 etc. types of airliners. Unfortunately, with the Embraers, Dash 7s, RJ45s and the like, you have to put it under the seat, then there's no room for your feet...the only saving grace is that these aircraft are usually just a short ride anyway, that's what they are made for. Cincinnati to Louisville, or Palm Springs to Phoenix, etc.

One thing that has happened, as Bob pointed out, I have forgotten to turn my VF forward and got a crack in it (which I have repaired and now is stronger than ever, maybe that's a subject for a new thread)

The bag usually goes out with the camera on an MA100 and a Bogen tripod plate, Frezzi on top, Sennheiser Evo 100 receiver and bodypack transmitter/lavalier, Sony MDR7506 headphones, Bescor 3.6 AH battery in fabric case for the Frezzi (the TSA love to scrutinize that), the camera's handheld remote, several Sharpies and a little paperwork, and sometimes a roll of gaffer's. The outside pouches hold the AC adapter/charger, DC coupler, 2 batteries, 5 tapes, a Mini Maglite, a handheld mic with the Sennheiser plug-on transmitter and a windcreen and mic flag, the white card and a mini-clapper slate, and a Frezzi soft box. The outside window holds my business cards, and strapped to the exterior is a 25' XLR mic cable in case the wireless system goes kaput. Sometimes I smuggle a little bottle of booze in the bag, although one time I had to give it up to the TSA (after taking a healthy swig of course) because (they said) it was not full and sealed!

The bag never gets further from me than the overhead bin from the time I arrive at the airport till I reach my destination.

Dean, I am puzzled that someone would actually put an Ibook in checked luggage. I'd be more afraid that the baggage smashers would turn it into rubble. I keep my Powerbook in my briefcase (obviously removing it to a tub to go through Xray), and if any TSA checker wants to spend any time messing with it, they do so under my watchful stare.

After all the running around, the bag still looks like new, and I wish Porta Brace would branch out into making (just a few) bags for still cameras.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 08:30 PM   #17
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Ryan:
For a somewhat less expensive solution, I use the Domke
Outpack. It is soft and easily fits in the overhead. In it I am able to put the XL1-s, viewfinder and mike, the 16x lens, EF adapter, a 75-300 zoom, a 1000mm mirror lens, two tele extenders, two lens shields, a rifle sight, tapes, batteries, headphones, various small tools and cleaning accessories, a beanbag and a foam pad to sit in the mud. There would be room for a can of dry air if I wanted to risk taking that as a carry-on.
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Old December 12th, 2003, 06:17 PM   #18
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Simple reply! Do NOT put it in a carrying bag. This is how I take my XL1 (with Anton Bauer battery system, Ultralight2 with Softbox and Sennheisser wireless mike receiver on the side) and it's accesories with me:

- simply carry the camera, shooting-ready, no add-ons removed, as hand luggage. in the plane, place it on the ground, between your legs. Place your legs as such during landing and take-off, that the camera can't move.
- a backpack with extra batteries, wireless mike and other tools, plus some basic clothes (fresh underwear, tootbrush, ... in case your checked-in luggage gets lost) also as handlugage
- tripod, as hand-lugage (a Miller 3 stage DS20 alu tripod)
- clothes, Leatherman, screwdrivers, duster, ... as luggage, to be checked in, in a very colourfull bag or case, so you see it well at the lugage pickup belt

When I'm away for a short trip, I even put the backpack in the bigger bag with my clothes, and take the whole lot as hand luggage: camera, tripod and bag (with backpack in it).

Not a single airline complained or refused this! I took 18 different flights this year with all types of planes (big intercontinental Airbusses and Boeings to small dual prop business jets), allways with my luggage organised like that. Works like a charm, no taking apart of your gear, you're always ready. When you have your luggage and bakpack in one bag, you don't even have to pick up any luggage. Simply leave the plane, go through customs and take a cab!
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Old December 13th, 2003, 04:55 PM   #19
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OK Jan, that sounds like a working plan...but I wouldn't try it here in the USA.

Reason being: the tripod and backpack add up to two carry-ons--plus the camera as one personal item.

Here, we are allowed one carry-on and one "personal item" (they are talking about things like a purse, briefcase, etc.) or two carry-ons, which for me the carry-on is the XL1 (in Porta Brace, with accessories) and the personal item is my softsided leather briefcase (could be a backpack) with my laptop and other usual personal junk.

Plus I suspect the airline would have an issue with the length of the tripod if I were to try bringing it as a carry-on. (most airlines in the USA have a maximum length limitation of 22 to 24 inches for carry-on) So, my tripod goes in the checked luggage with the Leatherman, clothes and all.
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Old December 13th, 2003, 05:18 PM   #20
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Really? That strict? Trick is ... most of the times, we travel in a group: press-trips, you know :-) One person checks us all in, and I stay a bit out of sight with all my stuff. So the check-in person doesn't see it all. At the boarding desk, they beleive it all passed the check-in, so they don't object. And the cabin crew doesn't mind either, they even help me store it all!

One more trick ... check your tickets or reservations beforehand. The type of plane should be mentioned there. Whenever it's a smaller plane (like Embraer, Fokker, ...) you have to walk up to the plane on the tarmac. In Europe anyways, you can give some luggage you carry with you to the luggage handlers at the plane, right before going up the stairs into the plane. Excellent to have your tripod in the cargo, not in the cabin. They put it on top of everything so it doesn't get damaged. On arrival, you take it with you just after leaving the plane, on the tarmac. ideal!

Me too thought in the beginning 'they will never let me take all this stuff as carry-on', but in reality, even when they say 'strictly one piece of hand luggage', it goes along. A big smile, a nice word and showing you work for tv can help bend a lot of rules ... I take advantage of them all :-)
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Old December 13th, 2003, 07:05 PM   #21
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AHA! That's the trick--strength in numbers! :-)

I almost always travel alone on assignment. Which means, even if I could get away with it, I'd be stuck carrying one more item than I have hands. That plus the checked luggage when I get there.

Yes, they always indicate aircraft type on my tickets, so I know I'll be doing a little tarmac walking if it's an Embraer or such...all the more reason I don't want to be lugging a piece I am going to wind up ramp-checking anyway. But that's me. It's all good, almost always I am going to have a checked suitcase, so there's my tripod hauler.

Oh yes, and a little flirtation never hurts :-) Actually, sometimes they see the Porta Brace bag and ask if I'm a TV cameraman or such.

Cheers!
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Old December 26th, 2003, 12:57 PM   #22
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XL1 Carry Bag Options

I just purchased an XL-1S from B&H. I am researching the best bag for carrying the camera in the field (charger, several extra batteries, etc will NOT be carried; they will stay in the hotel room); I want a bag that is super protective and equally easy to carry around for HOURS, large enough to hold the XL-1 with the eyepiece installed - and that is all - not excessively large or heavy.

I am considering (so far): Lightware XL1, Kata CCC-1, and Porta Brace CTC-2. A Vidpro V-300 bag shipped with my XL-1. I plan to return it, fearing inadequate protection.

Lightware looks the smallest - which is good for my use. Kata is the most streamlined; not sure of quality build, but like the width that slims down to fit the camera contour. Finally, I see Porta Brace highly recommended. I would like to know inside and outside dimensions of the Porta Brace, and why pictures show the shoulder strap rings across the width not the length of the bag - and about 1/4 way to the end. Won't that make this an unbalanced bag to carry horizontally?

Your advice is sincerely appreciated. Cost be darned, I want the highest quality bag first and foremost - and one that I can live with slung on my shoulder... unless you'd recommend a back pack instead...
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Old December 26th, 2003, 09:34 PM   #23
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If cost be darned, get the Porta Brace, it will last a lifetime. As for unbalanced carry concerns, that is simply not the case. The shoulder strap actually attaches to diagonal corners, and mine has been hauled on my shoulder through countless airports successfully whilst I was also busy carrying other pieces of luggage. And the strap has a nice big soft suede-covered pad. Oh yes, and it will fit in the overhead compartment of airliners. You may not want to carry batteries, but I do and it handles them fine. You may instead choose to use the extra storage spaces for other accessories that need to be carried in the field as you go about your work.

I would definitely not recommend a regular backpack, especially with the VF installed. The Porta Brace has a special reinforced section to cradle the VF in position (although I would suggest turning the eyecup forward when carrying the camera in the bag, to prevent the VF receiving excessive bending pressure from the outside).

Porta Brace are very helpful if you phone them. Good luck and happy camera toting.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:22 AM   #24
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Porta Brace CTC-3 vs KATA CCC-10

Thank you for your insight, Mike. I've narrowed my choices to Porta Brace and KATA. KATA is the only case listed on Canon's site - which I find curious. I particularly like the narrow body of the KATA except for the area around the VF. It casts about the same ($24 less) than the Porta Brace.

The Porta Brace is obviously a "lifetime" piece - extremely well built. After reading your recommendations, I went back to the Porta Brace site. Porta Brace recommends the CTC-3, not the CTC-2, for the XL-1S with the MA100 or MA200 and color VF. The CTC-2 (suggested on B&H Web Site) is a little smaller, and looks like it would be too tight with the MA100.

I am glad you steered me to the Porta Brace. I really like what I see on their web site (now that I found the right model). A word of caution to anyone about to buy a Porta Brace: don't rely on the dealer's web page, or personal "guess" of the proper model #! I buy from B&H , but they do not list the CTC-3 as a good choice for the XL-1; I would have purchased a case too small.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 10:34 AM   #25
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Porta Brace CTC User Question

Porta Brace CTC Users: Which model do YOU recommend with the XL-1S with MA100 and color VF attached? The CTC-2 or (newer) CTC-3? Is the CTC-3 acceptable for Airline Carry-On? (It is 23" Long, 12"H x 9"W; 44" overall). Sorry to bother you with this question; I am trying to order it tomorrow.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:04 PM   #26
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The CTC-3 is the model you'll want, John.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:51 PM   #27
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Good. That is the model in stock at B&H. Any thoughts about airline carryon status of the CTC-3? (23"L)
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Old December 27th, 2003, 12:59 PM   #28
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I've never taken my CTC-3 on a plane but I would not be reluctant to do so. It's really not appreciably larger than my other two PB camera cases (CS-DV4 & CS-DV3) which I have taken as carry-ons. So I don't think you'll have trouble.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 04:59 PM   #29
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When it comes to choosing the size of any bag, I would buy the biggest one that will fit in an airplanes overhead compartment.
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Old December 27th, 2003, 08:06 PM   #30
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One more thing...

If the website doesn't give you enough information, Porta Brace are happy to talk to anyone (friendly Southern Vermonters that they are) about your specific needs.

802-442-8171

They have a lot of experience working with broadcast and industrial field production people, and are very familiar with the equipment and the special situations that come up.

PS, the CTC-2 fits with the MA100, don't know if it will fit the MA200.

Cheers
mike
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