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Archive 2013 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage
  
 
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #1 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


I'm going to Iceland in July and a fair bit of the trip will involve shooting sea birds, so I'll be taking the 500 f/4L as my main birding lens.

I was thinking of getting the ThinkTank Airport Commuter
http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/airport-commuter.aspx

and was looking for feedback on whether I'll have any hassles on international flights.. ThinkTank says it complies with regulations for size, but it's always best to get real world feedback.

I'm open to other suggestions, but it must be able to also take a 15.6" laptop and 1D IV and a few other lenses. I will be splitting the gear across two bags and my wife will carry the smaller bag. So far the ThinkTank has stood out for me and it's about the lightest solution too and a good price.



Feb 06, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Gyroscope
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p.1 #2 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


I use the Gura Gear Kiboko. It is not the size of it that is the problem but the weight. Having your wife to carry some gear as well is a huge help because if you try and keep to carry on weight you will end up with pretty much only the 500mm and a few bits and pieces in your bag.

Just check the actual wieght of the think tank bag itself. The Kiboko is unusually light which helps keep the weight down. Also get a Domke photo vest or similar so you can stuff that full of gear if you need to. The kiboko won't take laptop but Gura Gear do a similar bag that does.

Most people run the gauntlet and don't get weighed. I've been weighed once - fortunately when I was travelling with my family so i could put a camera and lens in my 6 years olds backpack My solo trips to africa I was way over max carryon weight of 8kg but didn't get weighed. Carrying a body and lens on a strap over your shoulder is an option as well. Have fun sounds like a great trip!



Feb 06, 2013 at 10:56 AM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #3 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Thanks for the input Gyroscope. Yes I was most worried about weight and II think I'll be fine splitting across two bags and if I need I'll slip a lens or two in my jacket.

I looked at Gura Gear ad really liked thei stuff, but they don't really cater for laptops except in the too small (for 500) Kikobo 22L. The new Bataflae 26L would have been perfect, but no laptop compartment and is 2x the price of the ThinkTank.



Feb 06, 2013 at 12:37 PM
howatthunter
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p.1 #4 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


I used my Think Tank airport international on Iceland Air without a problem in 2010. I flew form JFK and they didn't weigh it. Coming back, they inspected every lens and pouch at the second security checkpoint. So be prepared for delays .

As always, your experiences may vary.
Howard



Feb 06, 2013 at 01:26 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Hi Whayne,

Here's a photo of my TT Airport Commuter with 500L. The pack's not configured for it right now, and so the lens isn't all of the way in, but you can see it's a fine fit.

I don't think you'll have any problems with international flights, although it's quite possible that you'll be asked to check it for short-haul commuter flights (nono of which are probably on this itinerary). I stopped using roller bags (even small ones) a few years ago, and switched to a backpack. Like you, I take two carry on, one is the backpack and the other is my 'personal' or computer bag. It's a shoulder bag much like the one in the link, below. I haven't yet used the TT, but it's no larger than the ordinary day pack that I've used extensively. Even on commuter flights, I've always been able to bring both the backpack and shoulder bag with me, including Canada to UK, GE, US, and AU. I switched from the daypack to TT bag because it was getting too irritating to try to retrieve big gear from the top-loading daypack. Problem solved.

I often have the backpack overweight, but with sufficient margin in the shoulder bag to split the weights. I've never been asked to weigh the gear.

The only time I've travelled with photo gerar under tighter carry on restrictions was a vacation charter flight which had very strict (and well publicized) rules about carry on, max. 5kg. All of the 'main stream' flights seem to be OK with 2x 10kg. OTOH, I've been in Heathrow when there was a security alert, and passengers were limited to one small carry on. Most passengers in the pre-boarding line had at least two carry on bags with them...

Have a great time in Iceland!

Cheers, Jim

MEC bag, http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Packs/LaptopCompatibleBags/PRD~5026-310/mec-carry-all-shoulder-bag.jsp







Feb 06, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #6 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


I don't have an opinion on thinktank or similar size bags except that they will likely not fit in the overhead bins of a CRJ-200 or equivalent. Thus I travel with my 500 in a kata 3n1-20 (it barely fits with the guts out) and it fits under the seat really easy and in the overhead of a really small jet.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1168435/0#11154411 is a link to a similar bag I have for my 600 that just fits.

I travel this way because once I did not check and my 4 leg was a regional jet and it cost me $500 to get another flight and much angst.

Scott




Feb 06, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Guari
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p.1 #7 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


While I have not travelled to iceland, I do travel quite a bit within Europe. so my add would apply if you are making changes within the EU to get to Iceland (or are you flying directly from the states?)

Most internal EU flights (including those to Iceland) tend to fly on small planes, and while they do try to honour the 1 handbag + 1 personal item (say 1 carry on and 1 fanny pack), a lot of times the plane will be small enough so that it won't fit. So do be prepared and have a backup plan for it. Most airlines will understand that lenses are fragile equipment, though..

If you are flying US-Iceland-Us then I guess you should have no problems, as that should be a bigger plane.

Hope that helps..



Feb 06, 2013 at 02:11 PM
matt4626
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p.1 #8 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


I've been carrying on my 500mm in a Kinesis long lens bag. No problems..big jets , small jets....float planes...


Feb 06, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Tim Adams
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p.1 #9 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Gyroscope wrote:
I use the Gura Gear Kiboko. It is not the size of it that is the problem but the weight. Having your wife to carry some gear as well is a huge help because if you try and keep to carry on weight you will end up with pretty much only the 500mm and a few bits and pieces in your bag.

Just check the actual wieght of the think tank bag itself. The Kiboko is unusually light which helps keep the weight down. Also get a Domke photo vest or similar so you can stuff that full of gear if
...Show more

I use the Kiboko also. Empty it weighs next to nothing. I carry the 300 2.8 and 500 in it, along with 2 bodies and other junk. I just pretend it weighs nothing as I carry it on. Never been weighed so far. Even with both big lenes in it I can get it under the seat. I avoid any RJ's though, only fly on the big jets.



Feb 06, 2013 at 04:11 PM
martines34
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p.1 #10 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Have you considered the cost of renting the lens in Ireland versus the hastle of buying a bag and wrestling with the airlines?

It is just a consideration worth some thought.



Feb 06, 2013 at 04:18 PM
 

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martines34
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p.1 #11 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Have you considered the cost of renting the lens in Ireland versus the hastle of buying a bag and wrestling with the airlines?

It is just a consideration worth some thought.



Feb 06, 2013 at 04:19 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


martines34 wrote:
Have you considered the cost of renting the lens in Ireland versus the hastle of buying a bag and wrestling with the airlines?


Do you figure he's going to stop in Ireland on his way to Iceland?



Feb 06, 2013 at 06:04 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #13 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


jcolwell wrote:
Do you figure he's going to stop in Ireland on his way to Iceland?


Isn't Iceland in Ireland ?



Feb 06, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Will Patterson
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p.1 #14 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


That 500 will get heavy with your other gear.

I highly suggest the Airport TakeOff. http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/airport-takeoff-roller-camera-bag.aspx


A friend of mine has one, and I've seen her use it in an airport, it's fantastic. She hauls a 500 in it along with a bunch of other gear. I will be getting one soon.



Feb 06, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Gyroscope
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p.1 #15 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


The Gura Gear weighs 4 lb's (1.8kg) and can be made lighter by removing the waist band. The airport takeoff weighs 8.6lbs min (3.9kg). 3.9kg is half the allowable carry on weight of all the airlines that I've researched (air canada, qantas, SAA, botswana air, emirates) of 7kg or 8kg. I'd rather use the Kiboko and carry an extra 2.1 kg of gear - the equivalent of a 70-200 lens and camera body.


Feb 06, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Gunnlaugur S
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p.1 #16 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Allowable carry-on baggage with Icelandair is 10 or 20 kg depending on class as well as one small personal item . I have never had carry-on baggage weighted in Keflavik, but occasionally it has been weighted in the United States. Before the first of April 2012 the carry-on baggage allowance was only 6kg so then it was easy to get into trouble as most bags are at least half that weight. I have never been asked to check in the carry-on baggage even if it have been heavier than allowed when the character of it has been revealed. I once had 13kg when the allowance was 6kg. After some fuss at the airport in Orlando I got through with it. I donīt know if they are enforcing the weight regulations more strictly now after the increase in carry-on baggage allowance.

Here is a link for information about carry-on baggage with Icelandair.

http://www.icelandair.us/information/baggage-information/carry-on-baggage/

Icelandair uses mainly Boeing 757 for flights to the US.

Flights from Europe to Iceland can mean more problems if luggage is overweight.



Feb 06, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #17 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


jcolwell wrote:
Hi Whayne,

Here's a photo of my TT Airport Commuter with 500L. The pack's not configured for it right now, and so the lens isn't all of the way in, but you can see it's a fine fit.

I don't think you'll have any problems with international flights, although it's quite possible that you'll be asked to check it for short-haul commuter flights (nono of which are probably on this itinerary). I stopped using roller bags (even small ones) a few years ago, and switched to a backpack. Like you, I take two carry on, one is the backpack and the
...Show more

Wow Jim, that's a great reply and exactly what I had hoped to hear. AFAIK I won't be on any small charter planes in Iceland and if I am, I'll only be taking a subset of my gear for the day's shooting. It helps having the wife along as I can basically double my gear quota.

Cheers



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #18 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Guari wrote:
While I have not travelled to iceland, I do travel quite a bit within Europe. so my add would apply if you are making changes within the EU to get to Iceland (or are you flying directly from the states?)

Most internal EU flights (including those to Iceland) tend to fly on small planes, and while they do try to honour the 1 handbag + 1 personal item (say 1 carry on and 1 fanny pack), a lot of times the plane will be small enough so that it won't fit. So do be prepared and have a backup plan for
...Show more


Hi I'm flying from Australia on a Singapore Airlines flight to Manchester in the UK and then take an Iceland Airline flight straight to Keflavik. I will double check the Iceland Airline policies, but others say it should be fine.



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:21 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #19 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


PetKal wrote:
Isn't Iceland in Ireland ?


What, I thought it was near Saskatoon




Feb 06, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Pixel Perfect
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p.1 #20 · 500 f/4 and carry-on luggage


Gunnlaugur S wrote:
Allowable carry-on baggage with Icelandair is 10 or 20 kg depending on class as well as one small personal item . I have never had carry-on baggage weighted in Keflavik, but occasionally it has been weighted in the United States. Before the first of April 2012 the carry-on baggage allowance was only 6kg so then it was easy to get into trouble as most bags are at least half that weight. I have never been asked to check in the carry-on baggage even if it have been heavier than allowed when the character of it has been revealed. I
...Show more

Thanks Gunlaugur for the info. According to the rules you can take 10kg carry-on and the dimensions L+W+H must not exceed 115cm, which the TinkTank Commuter easily falls under at ~ 98cm. Also it weighs a maximum of 1.9kg with all dividers, which I probably won't be using with the 500. Between this bag and the one I give my wife I think I'll be fine.

BTW this is my preliminary gear list

5D III ~850g
1D IV ~ 1.3kg
500 f/4L ~ 3.9kg
100-400L ~ 1.4kg
24-70 f/2.8L II ~ 800g
100L IS macro ~ 500g
17-40 f/4L ~ 500g
600 EX ~ 425g, or maybe just 270 EX ~ 155g
1.4x and 2x TC ~ 600g total
laptop ~ 2.8kg

Still torn whether to take the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, but I think that's pushing it and for birding the 100-400L will be a better choice.

Not sure about which tripod. For travel I usually take my lightweight Slik CF tripod which weighs 1.2kg and BH which weighs ~450g. But for the 500 I'd prefer my larger Gitzo 1325 and gimbal head, but that's about 3kg total and takes up a lot more space in my checked suitcase.



Feb 06, 2013 at 09:49 PM
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