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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2002-01-23

Equipment News & Notes
Wheel Of Fortune? New Case from Versa-Flex lets you leave that cart at home

By Rod Mar, The Seattle Times

It's the year 2002. Should we really have to travel with a folding cart (i.e. "wheelies") everywhere we go just to lug our travel cases?

Versa-Flex, the company started by Larry Nolan in Cleveland, Ohio, doesn't think so.

His latest design, the Versa-Flex Camera Case, might be the answer for many sports shooters who carry lots of long glass, magic arms, super clamps, etc.

This ingenious case is one of the first around to sport a handle-and-wheel system in a case larger than the standard carry-on size.

The case starts with the usual top-quality materials that have made Versa-Flex's double-long lenses cases de riguer for traveling sports photographers all over.

Photo by
But Nolan has added a retracting handle on one end, and a clever removable wheel system on the other. The wheels are attached by an axel that screws together in the middle.

When using the wheels, the photographer removes the two oversized wheels and two-piece axel assembly from a convenient side pocket, and fits them together through a thin sleeve at the end of the case just large enough to hold the axel snugly. Grab each end of the axel, and screw them together and voila, you've got wheels. The whole maneuver takes about 20 seconds.

Is it necessary to have a case with removable wheels? I'm not sure, but I've found the system to be quite handy when checking the case at the airport. When checking in, I remove the wheels and store them in the pocket, and when retrieving the case at my destination I just screw them back on.

Without the wheels, the case seems to travel a little better because it lies flat instead of tilted at the angle of the wheels.

Nolan makes the case in three sizes. The medium case will accept a 400/2.8 on one side with Versa-Flex's long-lens support system (costs extra), and I can store my 300/2.8 (w/o suspension but wrapped on the other, along with small lenses and a body.

It's not "perfect" in that the case is not big enough to carry a 400/2.8, 300/2.8, 2 bodies, assorted short lenses and flashes all in one swoop, but it does nicely solve the problem of shipping long lenses safely, and with "built-in" wheels as well.

My long lenses are safe, and I don't have to carry around my wheeled cart anymore. And as we all know in these days of increased travel restrictions, fewer pieces is better pieces.

Nolan runs a family-business, is keen to the concerns of photographers, and is willing to customize cases upon request.

You can check out these cases at Versa-Flex's newly designed web site : www.versa-flex.com.

(Rod Mar is a sports photographer with the Seattle Times. He will be covering his first Olympic Games next month in Salt Lake City. You can contact Rod at rod@mardesign.com.)


Related Email Addresses: 
Rod Mar: rod@mardesign.com

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