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-   -   Taking XL2 on a flight, best thing to do? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/home-away-home/64789-taking-xl2-flight-best-thing-do.html)

Joseph Andolina April 10th, 2006 06:55 PM

Taking XL2 on a flight, best thing to do?
I'm about to fly out to shoot a project and was wondering the best way to transport the XL2 & 20X lense as a carry-on. I keep the camera stored in my Ace Kaces III (which is supposed to be Airline compliant), with the lens always attached. Only time I take the lens off is to generally change to another lens. I remember sometime back a thread about the best way to fly with the camera, but can;t remember the answers clearly. I seem to remember one recomendation of detaching the lens from the camera, that it was better to do that because of cabin pressure changes, etc.

Any suggestions? I want to make sure I'm obviously taking precautions with my baby :)


Boyd Ostroff April 10th, 2006 07:09 PM

Go to your airline's website and look at the size requirements for carry on baggage. Don't assume that a manufacturer's claims of compliance are really true. Most airlines allow one carry-on bag and one "personal item." The carry-on bag must fit in the overhead compartment and the personal item must fit under the seat in front of you.

Just got back from the "Texas Shootout" carrying my Z1. One of the flights was completely full and the last group of people who boarded didn't have any space available in the overhead compartments. Have seen this happen a number of times. You could be stuck in a bad situation this way since they will tell you to check your carry-on unless it can fit under a seat. One trick I've learned.... choose a seat towards the back of the plane. That makes it more likely that you'll board in one of the first groups while there's still room in the overhead racks.

Also, you will have to remove the camera from the case and put in a plastic tray for security screening. Be sure to pack it such that it can be easily put in and out of the case unless you want to have a bunch of annoyed people in line behind you ;-)

Also, be aware that the smaller "regional jets" which are becoming popular have really tiny overhead racks which probably won't hold a big camera bag. They will require you to gate check all carry-ons. Personally, because of all these things, I decided I wasn't happy with a completely soft case for my Z1. I got a Tamrac case which looks like a soft bag but really has a rigid internal plastic shell....

Boyd Ostroff April 10th, 2006 07:21 PM

One other thought.... now would be a good time to get some insurance on your gear if you don't already have it. Talk to your agent, but you will probably find your homeowner's policy doesn't cover equipment used for a business. Do a search for insurance in the "taking care of business" forum for lots of discussion.

Joseph Andolina April 10th, 2006 07:30 PM

thankyou for that great reaponse. Got me thinking. I will definetly check with the airline on requirememnts. And your tip on trying to get a seat toward the back of the plane makes sense. I guess another alternative would be is to detach the lens from the xl2 body and keep the body and lens safe under the seat in front of me maybe if i'm forced to check the carying case?

Charles Penn April 10th, 2006 08:55 PM

Did not note an answer to whether to carry the camera with the lens attached. I anticipate having to do some air travel and it frightens me to think about my equipment being damaged, particularly my XL2! Do you think my Porta Brace CTC3 will stand up to being stuffed into the overhead compartment?

Boyd Ostroff April 10th, 2006 09:12 PM

I'm sure somebody else will chime in on this with their own experiences. But on crowded flights I see people pull stuff out of the overhead compartments and rearrange to fit their own stuff in there. And if it doesn't fit, then they just push harder! That was another reason I was nervous about any sort of soft case. But I'm probably just paranoid...

Greg Boston April 10th, 2006 09:15 PM


Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I'm sure somebody else will chime in on this with their own experiences. But on crowded flights I see people pull stuff out of the overhead compartments and rearrange to fit their own stuff in there. And if it doesn't fit, then they just push harder! That was another reason I was nervous about any sort of soft case. But I'm probably just paranoid...

Heck Boyd, I've seen the FA's do that maneuver as well. Glad you got home safe. Will miss you at NAB!


Joseph Andolina April 10th, 2006 11:45 PM

anybody got an answer about whether to keep lense attached or not?

Tony Davies-Patrick April 11th, 2006 02:57 AM

The advantage of the XL series of camcorders is that they can be broken down into smaller parts (hopefully not by baggage stewards!). For most shoots when I'm driving, I use large and long bags like my Kata XL bag and keep a lens and radio mic etc, attached so that I can just grab a complete camera and start shooting immediately if needed.

If I am flying, then I remove the lens and viewfinder and fit everything inside a padded LowePro Nature Trekking camera bag. Fully loaded, this can easily fit beneath a seat or in the overhead compartment. I sometimes take a big Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 or 600mm lens with me, and if I do, then the 16X or 20X lens fits nicely in a Lowepro lens pocket clamped on the main LowerPro bag.

I always keep an eye on the compartment prior to take off to make sure that nobody tries to squeeze their bag too tight to mine; and always shut the overhead compartment door yourself if possible to avoid someone slamming it down or crushing something on top of your bag.

Regarding having to take my camera out of a bag and place it on a tray - I've never had to do this in thousands of flights worldwide, even during 9/11. If the XL2 is in parts inside your camera bag, then you shouldn't be asked to place all the bits on a tray, just place the whole camera bag on the tray or X-ray conveyor belt.

Boyd Ostroff April 11th, 2006 07:41 AM


Originally Posted by Tony Davies-Patrick
Regarding having to take my camera out of a bag and place it on a tray - I've never had to do this in thousands of flights worldwide

Well all I can say is that you must not be flying in the US. I've travelled pretty much during the past year and EVERY airport in the states requires this now. In fact, they are constantly making blanket announcements to everyone standing in line that all laptop computers and video cameras must be removed from their cases and placed in a separate plastic tray.



Take your laptop and video cameras with cassettes OUT of their cases and place them in a bin provided at the checkpoint.

Bill Zens April 11th, 2006 07:59 AM

Nowadays, they will make you take the Camera out of the case for security, and Joseph, that is certainly true of SeaTac airport.

I have flown with my XL 2 several times, and have had no problems with the lens attached. I don't believe the change in cabin pressure is sigificant enough to affect the lens. The reason for detaching the lens is that you can then get the camera to fit in a more compact case...

Joseph, if you are flying Alaska Air, nowadays they do the preferred travellers first, then cattle call EVERYONE to just grab their seats. They no longer go from back to front. If you're one of those flights, you've gotta hover near the front of the ticket check area, just around the time they are beginning to board first class. It's like survival of the fittest up there, but well worth it considering the alternative. (I am currently in Boston on a trip, and for the first time in a couple years I boarded late, and they took my carry on and checked it thru...)

Travelling with your camera is really not that much of a problem, just remember to get to the boarding area at lest 45 minutes before departure, and board as early as you can.

Tony Davies-Patrick April 11th, 2006 08:19 AM

Boyd, I fly all over the world, and make regular international flights across the Atlantic to USA & Canada, as well as internal flights, sometimes many times within several months.

If you read my post, you will see that I mentioned removing the various parts. I have never once, in any airport across North America, needed to remove my camcorder or still photography gear from the camera bags at X-ray check-in. I'm hardly likely to chuck all the parts to roll about in a plastic bin on the moving belt, am I?

I just simply carry the LowePro bag over my shoulder until I reach the security at the X-Ray check. The complete bag is then placed on the belt, or inside one of the largest plastic bins. Very occasionally the security staff may want to open the bag after it has gone through the actual X-Ray machine, and if they do, they just ask me to unzip the flap so that they can peak inside. All camcoder parts remain inside the bag.

A word of warning about leaving the lens attched during flight transit - I would advise against it and remove the lens until you reach your destination.

Mark Bournes April 11th, 2006 08:24 AM

I travel all the time, and yes I recommend you take the camera on the plane with you. If you have a kata or portabrace bag your camera will be fine in the overhead. I have logged ten's of thousands of miles over the last 7 years and have never had a problem. I do however recommend that you get a seat near the back of the plane. You usually board sooner and there is plenty of overhead space available. Plus if you're in the back the compartments fill up 1st and are less likely to be "rearranged" by late passengers. As far as detaching your lens goes that's totally your call. I've done both and it never makes a difference. If you want to play it safe then take the lens off for traveling. Just bring it on the plane with you. As anyone here who travels can attest to your checked cases may or may not arrive with you. My last trip my pelican case with my tripod, wireless, and other gear didn't make it, they had to deliver it to my hotel. I had to leave for a shoot at 7am and the case didn't arrive until 6am. Needless to say I didn't sleep much that night. So my advice is to bring what you can on the plane with you, camera, a mic, tapes. The basics, just in case you have some same day shooting.

Good luck,


Greg Boston April 11th, 2006 08:37 AM

Just a side note here. Boyd is shooting with the Sony Z1u and doesn't have the ability to remove the lens. It's possible that Tony's method works because the camera is large and so is the case. The security agents are looking for bags that hold smaller camcorders. I just recently took my elderly parents to DFW for a flight. I assisted in getting them through security. The lady asked me if one of the bags was a camcorder. It was in fact my mom's cosmetic bag and when I told her that she just said, "Ok, thanks." But as I looked at the bag, I too thought it could hold a handycam style camera.


Tony Davies-Patrick April 11th, 2006 09:06 AM

Yes, Greg, that was what I was trying to explain, and Joseph was actually asking about his XL2 & 20X lens.

A lot of security staff don't know that it is a camcorder in my bag. I often pack a Nikon F5 body and lenses in the same bag as my Xl1s or Xl2 parts, so they may think it is part of my still camera equipment. An XL1s or XL2 body (minus lens & viewfinder) lying on its own inside the bag beside other equipment doesn't even look much like a normal camcorder to most people checking the bag.

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