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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 1998-12-05

The Peregrine View
By Paul Peregrine, Lightware/Peregrine Studios

Carry on for photographers is going to become more difficult in the next few months. We will have to be creative and cunning to get what we absolutely need with us.

I have been jumping through hoops trying to get a product finished that will meet the United Airlines requirements of 9x14x22 inches. Our new product that is in the final tooling stage is 12x20x7. These are the interior dimensions. I have to allow enough room for fabric, padding, zippers and webbing so that we come out close to the finish requirements.

The second piece is a "Day Pack, Rux Pack " etc. This will be big enough for a G3 computer and accessories or a lot of film and a dop kit. (At least for the 35mm and 2 1/4 crowd.)

Photographers are going to learn to put 10lbs in a 5lbs bag. Much more attention as to how gear is packed, like taking things apart rather than leaving them together and only taking the absolute on board. The extra things can be checked - lens hoods, bellows, batteries, filters, accessories and all the other little stuff.

I have already come to face the fact that I need to check as much as I can. Yes that includes my cameras, strobes and the whole production kit. Lately I have been putting case inside of case. I travel with three1629's (I don't use the dividers) and then pack each one with a MF1217, one with 35mm, 2 1/4 in another and a Sinar in the third. I have switched to the carbon fiber tripod and use the Sinar ball heads (both sizes) as they pack out more easily and are easier on the weight.

I do this inside thing because it is easier to handle the smaller cases once we arrive on location.
My equipment has gotten slimmer to for what I shoot. Only the absolute lenses required: 300/4, 80-200, 28-70, 20-35, 60 macro and two bodys. In Hasselblad a 60,120, 180 with two bodies/two backs and Polaroid. In Sinar a 90, 150 and 250 and extension rail. Strobes are Comet and Dyna Lite.

The use of the travel coats from Travel Smith or Cabelas allows you to take alot of the extra stuff that is required. You might look goofy but the airlines hasn't put a restriction on the clothing you wear or how much stuff you have in your pockets. You can jam the coat(s) full of film (out of the boxes and containers).

I have also experimented with shipping ahead on Fed Ex 100wt. or UPS. Depending on the location it has cost about the same as excess baggage at the $50 a bag rate. Here I have used our shipping trunks and have not had any problem, even with the really big glass. This requires more preproduction and planning but really makes for traveling on the plane a breeze.

The new design on our rolling case is coming along but to maximize equipment we need to minimize wheel and handle with out compromising strength. A difficult one to do. Everyone (the other manufacturers) is in the same boat. The selection of handles and wheels that meet this need are difficult to find, if not next to impossible.

Our new Multi Mate addresses the rolling issue by allowing you to "strap" on a tray that includes a handle and wheel assembly. The first size will it our MF1623 and the second will fit the MF1629. This thinking goes back to me traveling with three MF1629's they will all have the option of having wheels without having to do anything to the case itself. This can eliminate having to check a Ruxxac cart to wheel your stuff around.

Less is more at least where the airline is concerned.

(Paul Peregrine is the founder of Lightware, a Denver-based company that designs and manufactures bags and shipping cases used throughout the photographic and computer world. Paul's views on the ever-shrinking baggage allowance is unique because he is also a working photographer.)

Related Links:
www.lightwareinc.com

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