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Old June 29th, 2004, 07:08 PM   #1
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Tripod thru Airport...

Hi....

Soon, I'll be getting a new set of tripod replacing my Libec TH-650. I am leaning toward Bogen/monforto 501 head. Have not decide on the leg yet, though, the new Bogon/monforto 755B leg look interesting. Have not heard much review about it yet.

Anyway... the thing is about going thru airport. Is there any security issue with tripod being hand carry to airplane?

Does the length (leg closed) matters?.. of course it does, but probably what's the maximum length?

How about durability of the tripod?.. any good tripod that durable enough to take some hard knocks?

Or is it safe for me to check-in the tripod as cargo? what's the possiblity of it getting damage? I don't think of getting a hard case for the tripod.

Usually I have a technical company to provide me tripod, sound and light for a certain event. I just hand carry my camera, no worries. But not on this project, sigh...

Just that for most of my coming projects I be going alone and would like to have my gear as light weight as possible. I have gone for the first trip with my Libec, check it in as luggage..and check out as cripple. Maybe it's just one of those unlucky few but I would like to hear from others... Btw, my trips is around Thailand various airport if that does matter...
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Old June 29th, 2004, 09:57 PM   #2
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This is a good question that I have personal experience on... at least in the USA. VERY few pods will fit inside a carry-on and even with a compact model you may need to remove the head from the legs. I went with a set of compact Gitzo legs that collapse to 23" long and I still needed to remove the head and put the legs diagonally in my carry-on... next to the head. Then I'd carry my camera bag seperately... but that only works when you have a travelling companion that realizes the importance of keeping the gear WITH you... You see, you only get ONE carry-on bag per person... at least in the USA.

Most luggage manufacturers have a carry-on model that's guaranteed to fit... Those are generally 22" x 14" x 8" (or ABOUT that... the L + W + D must equal 45" or LESS)...

So in the likely event that you'll be travelling ALONE I'd recommend you get a Samsonite HARDSIDE bag... In the USA we have Costco who sells 'em for $99. These MUST be checked of course... but I found out the hard way that when you pack your tripod in the middle of your clothes and think it's all protected... the security check-points will unpack your bag and just put it back together any old way. When I arrived in FL I found my soft-sided bag with one of the "wings" of the Gitzo legs worn through the side. So I got a Samsonite HARD (ABS) bag... no more worries.

I'd also suggest you put your tripod inside one of the cheap Bogen soft, padded tripod bags if you can find one that just fits... and then put THAT inside the hard bag! On a recent trip my gear took a MAJOR beating...

Even if you make some good cash you can lose part of it back to early wear and tear on your gear!

As far as pods that will get small enough to get into a 22" bag? There are FEW... Gitzo makes a couple that go down to 24" and then must be packed at an angle with the head removed...
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Old June 29th, 2004, 10:21 PM   #3
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The Samsonite will last quite a while when you put a max and hard load in it. But the baggage handlers finally punched the feet into the body. But that was when 70 Lbs. was the max weight. At 50, it should last forever.

I suppose you 'could' completely disassemble the tripod and carry it as a bag of tubes.

I find that the multi-stage legged Gitzo with a normal video head is the best bet. That plus a set of dolly wheels and I can run a camera around an event all day with no problems (PD-150).
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Old July 1st, 2004, 06:31 AM   #4
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I probably will look for a luggage bag big enough for the pod. I have yet to decide which pod to get... will go shopping this weekend... thanks...
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Old July 1st, 2004, 06:49 AM   #5
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I just want to throw in my 1.5 cents worth... I have the 501 head, and really wish I had ponied up the extra cash for the 503.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 10:06 AM   #6
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Why is that so?.. it be interesting to hear ur opinion.. too 'fragile'?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 10:19 AM   #7
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While others have had no problems with the 501, I have found it to be less than fluid. In order to get a smooth pan I have to loosen it all the way. At which point, it tends to jiggle. I also have the 3001 legs, and the whole thing tends to twist at times. I end up grabbing it firmly with one hand while panning.

Still, I suppose it could be worse.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 12:17 PM   #8
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For what it's worth, I have Bogen/Manfrotto 3444D sticks which I routinely take on the plane with me. I've never had a problem, either domestically or internationally. Note, though, that if a tripod has spikes it will probably be stopped at security (mine just has rubber feet).
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Old July 1st, 2004, 12:56 PM   #9
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Point noted.. Spike... I would put that in consideration when buying a pod... It be great if I can disassemble them... thanks..

I just got an XL1s about 2 months ago... still learning about it and at the same trying to get into the market...

In these 2 months, my shopping list have just skyrocketed.. Had to go shopping for wireless mic, lapel, shotgun, beachtek... then the wide angle lens, still considering the 16x manual lens... currently a tripod and head... and moments ago got another job offer that require LIGHTS!!!.. duh, I'm broke like never before... I'm just a beginner but if anyone out there thinking of starting out... include all the accesorries you need in ur budget.. not just the $3500 camera..

Now where's the bookmark I add about Lighting 101...???
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Old August 26th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #10
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Tripod Carry-on

Was able to get my Miller Solo DV w/DS-10 head on as carry on, but forgot to take the wrench out of the sack that comes with the package. Understandably, they wouldn't let the wrench on... so I lost it. But, I was able to have the pod with me. However, they made it pretty clear that this was an exception because of the size.
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Old August 26th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #11
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FORE!!!!

An old golf bag with cover has worked fine for me. Just wrap your pod in a couple of large beach towels.

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Old July 18th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #12
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In the US these days, any problems with TSA in getting tripods through security as hand held baggage?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 05:14 AM   #13
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I agree with Keith's observations about the 501 head. Just got back from a trip to Argentina, and I had so much other stuff that I didn't want to bring my big Miller tripod so I opted for my Manfrotto 3221 with 501 head. I was using it with a Sony Z1, and it provided basic functionality. It is pretty well made and has all the right adjustments. But the motion is just not nearly as good as the more expensive heads. Shooting a few minutes of a performance reminded me very quickly why I had upgraded to the Miller 3 years ago. I think the 501 is a less than ideal choice for an XL2.

Getting back on topic, I agonized over some of the same luggage issues for my trip. I went to many dept stores, sport stores, home improvement stores, and never say any kind of hard or soft case that I liked for either my Manfrotto or Miller tripod. I looked at golf club bags but they were all much bigger than needed. I saw a nice fishing rod plastic tube, but it was too small in diameter. B&H sells some nice cases, but in the end I just didn't want to spend the money and it would have been one more thing to carry.

So I got one big monster suitcase - soft sided - and put the tripod in it along with all my clothes and other stuff. The Manfrotto 3221/501 fits in about 30" length and it has its own soft case. This suitcase weighed in at about 65 pounds but they didn't charge me anything extra; the ticket agent said there was no charge up to 70 lbs even though the American Airlines website said 50 lbs.

No problems whatsoever, but maybe I was just lucky. I went through 5 airports on the complete trip. On the way there the TSA did not even open the suitcase, but on the return they did which delayed its arrival and the airlines had to deliver it to my home the next morning. Actually, I doubt that it was the tripod which aroused their suspicion. It was probably all the cables, batteries, hard drives and other junk which could have looked like an explosive device.

Interesting to hear about tripods poking through soft luggage though. That never occured to me...
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Old July 18th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #14
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I have a set of Gitzo legs that can attach to the outside of my LowePro backpack. the backpack itself is sized to fit as carryon. Do you think I can carry it on with the Gitzo legs attached to the outside? Will that get through security ok?
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:01 PM   #15
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The only real answer to this will be on the airlines' website. For example, here are the rules for American Airlines carry-ons:

http://www.aa.com/content/travelInfo...horEvent=false

In practice they may be more lenient than this... I've seen people carry on some big things. But I've also seen the flight attendants tell them they will need to check oversize items. If you knowingly violate their guidelines then your should be prepared to check the item if needed....
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