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Old March 18th, 2016, 02:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Traveling with Kino Flos


I'm about to invest in a Kino Flo Gaffer 4bank 4' kit. It comes with 2 of the fixtures and a nice, large shipping case. The case has wheels, and the package weighs about 70lbs....

Here's a link, if you're so inclined...

Kino Flo Gaffer 4' 4Bank, 2-Light Kit (120U) KIT-2GF-120U B&H

I have 2 questions:

1) Can you fly with this case? I realize it's heavy, but I'd still rather fly and pay an overage fee than ship.... Has anyone done this?

2) When you fly or ship with Kinos, can you leave the bulbs in the fixtures? Or do you need to remove them to stop them breaking?

Thanks! Appreciate your insight....


Ben Freedman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 20th, 2016, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos

Great lights and case. I haven't used that case for these lights but it looks strong enough to leave bulbs in the unit for shipping but you may end up having problems over time with the sockets if the units are bounced around enough. On the other hand nothing worse than a broken fluorescent bulb so I would still think you want to take the bulbs out and carry in the bulb case if you can. The cost of baggage fees might be higher than you think so renting locally may still be a better option if you are flying in for a short shoot. Looks like you would still have to deal with stands and those units need good heavy duty stands.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 10:57 AM   #3
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos

Love this kit. Easy versatility in a big soft source... Tungsten bulbs. Daylight bulbs. Green bulbs, we have them all. 4' really is enough in a soft source.

Easy to deal with in my pickup truck. 70Lbs isn't an absurd weight, until you're not just lifting it or dragging it, you're needing to get it away from the center of your body and extend it out to hit a car trunk, or, tear up the back seat. Not easy to get in and out of cars. You'll need to be renting SUVs or minivans. Dealing with complicated rear-row seating. Leaving somebody with the gear at the baggage claim while you rent the car. Difficult in a taxi.

Every airplane flight will be an expensive adventure! Fun, fun, fun.

Were it me, I'd be seeing if a single 4bank would fit in a hard shell golf case (Skb). I don't know what I'd do about packing a stand that works for air travel, being a believer in heavy stands - the dang thing is 4' wide, even if it isn't super heavy. I guess I'd have to test it on some stands that are lighter than I usually use.

The big advantage of a golf case is that airlines know what it is and can easily quote you on it, and recognize in advance if a particular airplane (Alaska travel) won't accomodate; that takes a lot of worry out of travel planning.

Most of my air travel has been with 24" Lowel Rifas. No daylight balance other than intensity-killing 1/2 CTB, but very light. 2 of them side-by-side make 4', but do draw 500w each. Light stands. And the quality of light is more than fine. But they're not nearly as bright as a 4bank. 2 of them, a backlight, stands, cables, gack, in a standard suitcase weighing less than 50Lbs.

But that's me. Had the back injuries on road trips. Will not repeat! Your needs are probably different.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old March 20th, 2016, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos

Great answer, thanks! :)

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Old March 25th, 2016, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos

Never under-estimate the power of the airlines to totally beat up your stuff. At a minimum, I'd be leery of flying the Kinos with the bulbs installed. I've heard enough anecdotal stories about arriving on location with a fixture full of white dust and shards.

Also, be cognizant that depending on the airline and the mood of the gate agent, you could be looking at hundreds of dollars each way to put that kit on the plane. Given the cost of baggage overages these days and the risk of damage, it almost makes more sense to use that same amount of money and rent at the location.

But they're great lights for truck based shoots.
Bill Ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2016, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos

We've used those Kinoflos, but I think the total weight with the case is a little over 70lbs, which means it can't fly. Double check with your airline. They'll toss and drop those cases, so it's better to take out the bulbs. The heads fit snugly into the case, but I don't think there is enough padding to cushion a fall adequately
Warren Kawamoto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2016, 02:08 PM   #7
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Re: Traveling with Kino Flos


Nice kit, but very poor choice for air travel. There was a time when I was averaging 150,000 air miles a year with Lowell kits. As someone said the damage is amazing. And if gear does get truly damaged you can forget about any kind of compensation, period, it will never happen.

70 pounds is a hard limit for many airlines, don't go one pound over. The days of courtesy wavers are over. I have paid overage for a case coming in at 51 pounds! Media discounts are also petty much gone.

Florescent tubes and baggage handlers is a bad mix. Sooner or later it will end badly for you. I wish you well, good luck.

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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