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Old December 23rd, 2011, 08:49 AM   #16
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

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Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
I get my hard cases made locally, and the manufacturer once told me if my hard case fell and broke open, it's a good thing - because the force has been absorbed by the case and has not been transferred to the camera. If the case is super strong and does not break, the force has to be transferred somewhere, and it winds up being transferred to the camera.
I think it's more the case deforming than it breaking open. It takes a lot of force to break open a high quality case, although you occasionally see odd deformation in the skin and corner. The form inside should be thick enough and of high enough density to absorb the shock, so that the equipment is safely suspended inside, rather than falling out of the case onto the tarmac..
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 10:27 PM   #17
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

On the other hand...one of my friends who was a DP (with 40 years of experience and now retired) used to carry his professional video camera in a padded bag whenever he flew. To prove his point, he dropped his bag with camera and lens attached, to show me. And it wasn't even a branded bag.

I guess, once you own a lot of gear each individual item isn't that 'precious' any more. How does Peter Jackson carry his 48 Epics? In a sack?
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Old December 24th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #18
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

I guess he didn't check the camera into the hold, traditionally these cameras have been carried on as hand baggage. There are a number of soft, ready to shoot video bags, which would withstand a drop, but wouldn't so good at regularly having piles of heavy cases loaded on top and then being hit by them when coming down the carousel.

However, the damage that can be caused by torsional forces by a zoom lens mounted to, I assume, a 2/3" camera caused by deliberately dropping the camera (even inside a case) leaves me doubting his professionalism. Light cameras can withstand drops better than the heaver cameras, but cameras & lenses have been damaged while by being transported by airlines and freight companies when a zoom lens is fitted. Whenever possible it's good practise not to have the lens mounted.

There a number of case manufacturers who supply cases for the film & TV industry. Apart from the protecting the equipment another important aspect is having a logical layout in the cases, so that you can quickly find items and quickly spot a missing piece of kit.

Rental companies don't like losing kit, every bit is "precious" to them, if you lose something there's good chance you'll be billed. I suspect Peter Jackson uses the normal industry cases, because you can pile them above each other and safely stow them on the camera truck. 1st A.C.s are extremely demanding in how camera equipment is packed, plus they want to find pieces of kit quickly.
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Old December 24th, 2011, 10:56 PM   #19
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

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...leaves me doubting his professionalism.
Please don't! The guy's a legend. At age 65 he was still shooting for BBC in India.

By the way, the Peter Jackson question was a joke. Guess it didn't work?
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Old December 25th, 2011, 03:09 AM   #20
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

Regardless, it's not a good idea to drop larger cameras, there's a chance that the lens mount can be damaged with the force if the lens is fitted. Although, dropping any camera isn't the best idea.

LOL I've worked on a film where the camera assistants started removing the shelving in the camera truck to find a missing lens cap. They're deadly serious guys (in the unisex meaning of the term).

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; December 25th, 2011 at 04:08 AM.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #21
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

Here's the UK's Channel 5's Gadget Show testing flight cases, in a rather destructive fashion:

5FWD - Behind The Scenes: Transport Challenge Part 2 video from The Gadget Show

I can't find the test video itself, but best not put your plastic flight case behind an afterburner, other than that both cases held up.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #22
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

The OP's question concerned the orientation of carriage, i.e. which way up in the bag. Provided the bag has been designed properly, the camera should be fitted as per their instructions.
Protection of fragile goods in transit is a highly developed market that uses basic engineering principles to address a fundamental physical issue. The issue to address is the reduction of acceleration force the camera endures to below the maximum it is designed for.
For instance, When travelling, I sometimes take my 550D with a Tamron 18-270 PZD attached and carry it lens down in a Lowepro Nova case. If dropped vertically, the lens cap, approx 62mm dia. takes most of the combination's load. It's surface area is just over 3000sq mm. The rest of the load would be taken by the movable partitions that the front of the camera body rests on. If I were to reconfigure the bag so that the camera was mounted on its back, the load would be spread across an area over 10000sq mm, i.e over three time that of the lens cap.
A drop on the base of the bag would first, cause the decelerating camera to gradually compress the foam lining, until either the camera velocity matched the bag or for a more severe drop, until the foam was fully compressed, when there would be an abrupt deceleration resulting in a peak g level. If this happened, it would probably exceed the safe limit for the camera.
Now the problem for a lens up drop is that the much larger area would mean the foam would not compress much, i.e. the camera would decelerate three times quicker, meaning it endures a higher shock level. To get the same level of protection, the foam would need to be three times as compliant. An analogy of this effect would be the difference of the ride in a fully laden truck compared with an empty one. The truck's suspension is a compromise.
So the situation is, a camera bag should be designed for a specific weight of camera whose orientation is in a particular attitude, and the setup is only effective up to a certain severity of drop. It can be designed for any camera orientation and the resultant shock would be the same irrespective of that orientation because all parts of the camera would see the same level. The larger the difference between the severity of the drop and the maximum level of shock to be endured by the camera, the more distance the camera needs to move within the foam.

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Old December 25th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #23
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

Aren't we over-thinking this?

For larger, local jobs, use hard cases with lots of foam. They won't get torn or smashed while piled with other equipment. mount the lenses cap up, since that gives any v-shaped lenses more support. When organizing the foam, leave adequate room between items and plan it out so you can quickly scan your inventory to ensure that nothing is lost or misplaced.

For small jobs when traveling, theft is a bigger risk than breakage. I find that a backpack that fits under a seat to be the most secure both when on the move and when shooting. (I know a guy who lost a shoulder bag with laptop when a bicyclist rode by quickly and hooked his strap.) Some backpacks have flaps that cover zippers and can accept locks to foil pickpockets standing behind you. Simply pack the gear into the case as designed. By contrast, with a large, heavy, case, you will have to set the case down to shoot.

Having a belly bag for media and batteries is nice. At work, I have a large case that I lock into a cabinet. After shooting, I used to forget and back the batteries and media away, then get them for charging, downloading, then leave the items at my desk rather than packed for the next job. With a small pouch for batteries and media, it's easy to learn to handle these separate from the gear that doesn't need per-shoot maintenance. If you can fit one spare lens and some filters in the belly pouch, that gives you instant access without sitting.

Anyway, for me, I like having multiple case types that support various applications. No one case does it all. In an accident, you can't plan for how things will be hit, so I place things for usability and functionality. Most importantly, be careful with your equipment and only let those whom you trust handle it.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #24
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

Yep theft on location is becoming worse. At our annual airshow last year, 2 guys displaying fake laminated 'all area' passes were caught trying to make off with one of our large gear cases.

Another guy roped off his own area of our largest car park and for 1/2 an hour was collecting the parking fees. Ya gotta watch 'em ;)

A tip. When you're organising and cutting pick 'n foam for your bigger DV camera, position it at the bottom of the case.

ie: close to the case hinges so when you stand the case up, the weight is at the bottom.

Cheers.
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Old December 25th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #25
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Game View Post
Protection of fragile goods in transit is a highly developed market that uses basic engineering principles to address a fundamental physical issue. The issue to address is the reduction of acceleration force the camera endures to below the maximum it is designed for.

For instance, When travelling, I sometimes take my 550D with a Tamron 18-270 PZD attached and carry it lens down in a Lowepro Nova case. If dropped vertically, the lens cap, approx 62mm dia. takes most of the combination's load. It's surface area is just over 3000sq mm. The rest of the load would be taken by the movable partitions that the front of the camera body rests on.
Steve
Not to drag this on and on...but the load from a fall is distributed around the bag too. It's not just a simple case of point load acting on a one-dimensional line. It is this property that allows padded soft bags to be practical in the first place.

The lens-down designs from the best manufacturers probably have very good load-distribution designs to negate the effects. Of course, no bag is meant to be dropped from a great height.

But like Jon said, we're just over thinking this.
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Old December 26th, 2011, 03:57 AM   #26
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

The local pressures with depend on the size of the area that the force is being applied to the container. If a pointed object (eg a spike), the pressure with be more intense and might penetrate the skin and the padding, whilst a flat or blunt object will apply the same force over a larger area.

The direct force's energy is supposed to be adsorbed by the padding by deformation, but this will be localised, however, momentum causes the object being carried to continue moving and that energy will be transferred to the padding. It applies to both soft and hard skinned containers.

Like anything else, you should select the the protection method that you need for the job you're doing. Often, the soft skinned protection used for shooting gets inserted into a hard skinned, foam lined, container for freighting or air transport.

The quick use system used on DSLRs probably isn't the ultimate protection, but offers protection from day to day knocks and possibly enough for a 3 ft drop, depending on the quality of the design.
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Old December 27th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #27
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Re: How To Carry Camera?

If it will survive a 1 meter drop it's an excellent system. I've watched drop tests on packing for precision mechanisms and surprising things happen. If you aren't willing to trash thousands and thousands of $ of stuff by loading up a case and dropping it in all orientations, you'll never know for sure how any design will hold up with any given camera/lens combination. I doubt many bag makers can actually afford the cost of doing extensive drop testing and shake table testing.
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