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|| News Item: Posted 2009-04-02

Photographer's Toy Box: Lens Case Goes Tubular
By Jordan Murph

Photo by
As any photographer knows, having the right bag or case is essential to getting the job done right. Bag discussions are as long winded as Nikon vs. Canon debates, but having the right protection for your equipment is just as important as the equipment itself.

While having noodles last month in Little Tokyo before a Lakers game, The Kahuna handed me a new Lightware case that I had never seen. The Lightware Lens Tube is long and wide, cylinder shaped case made especially for long pro glass such as 400mm f2.8 lenses.

Most are familiar with Lightware's long lens cases, which are a standard with many photographers for flying and storing their long glass. This case has a few key differences.

First, it's shaped like a cylinder instead of the standard rectangular shape. Rather than a soft frame, it has a rigid frame and is strongly reinforced. I've spoken with several working professionals about the case. We came up with a few pros and cons about the case.

First the pros: The case is incredibly strong for being a soft-side. I sat on the case and it easily held up my weight and is the perfect height to use as a shooting stool. "It'd be a great seat for shooting from the second row at the NCAA Tournament…" said Sports Illustrated assistant Shawn Cullen. "It is also probably the best case that I have seen to ship a long piece of glass on its own, hard or soft-sided. Manufacturers' hard cases are not meant to ship lenses. Other methods include soft cases in a larger rigid case. This is a soft case that you can actually ship via Fed-Ex, air cargo, or even check with out worry."

There are some cons: The case's size is pro as well as a con. The size and shape makes it safe and secure for the lens within. The size and shape also make it a nuisance to pack and travel with. It is much larger than any other lens case. The irregular shape makes it difficult to pack with other equipment as well.

In my opinion, this case is great for organizations or companies who need to ship lenses around for repairs, assignments, or consignment. NPS and CPS come to mind as well as large publications that have pool glass that needs to be shipped across the country regularly.

I'm not sure if this case is the right fit for most Sports Shooters, but it sure as heck seems to be the safest and most secure way to ship a long piece of glass on its own. Period.

A very similar case design would be the best ever to ship sport reflectors for arena strobes! Hint, hint…

(Jordan Murph is a graduate of the University of Hawaii and current is Sports Illustrated staffer John McDonough's assistant. He has been a part of all of the Sports Shooter Academy workshops and will be participating in SSA VI next week in So Cal.)

Related Links:
Jordan's member page

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