Travel - how to protect a valued camera

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by carlb, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    769
    May 1, 2013
    I see superb travel photos from folks here, something I hope to do in the next year or so. With these wonderful but expensive cameras and lenses, what are some of your strategies for protecting them -

    - On the airliner - checked, carry-on, or around the neck?
    - In the hotel - never leave it, take it with everywhere? (I suppose that's much of the point of the trip, heh!)
    - Walking around - keep it from a swipe and grab?

    I'm saving for a full-frame Leica and two lenses, which makes me wonder about the above ...

    Thanks!
     
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  2. tmldds

    tmldds Leica Place Regular

    183
    Nov 20, 2013
    Texas
    Get insurance, always carry them with you in a bag that does not shout "camera" or "expensive." Never check in your camera or computer. Carry the bag cross shoulder and in front of you with the flap against your body. Relax and enjoy your camera! In Texas, I also carry a concealed handgun as well:D!
     
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  3. Duane Pandorf

    Duane Pandorf Leica Place Regular

    195
    Mar 30, 2013
    I travel for a living and always have my Leica M-E with me. I work a 7 on 7 off schedule and when I'm at work I can be anywhere in the world. Right now I'm in Buenos Aires for a couple days.

    This is how I travel with my camera. It may not work for you but this is how I've been doing it for some time now.

    I travel with a 22" TravelPro Crew 7 roller board suitcase, STM Computer Messenger bag and the Bare Bones Camera Bag (BBB).

    When I leave from home I'm on a regional jet and can gate check my 22" TravelPro suitcase. In the suitcase along with my clothes I pack the BBB without the camera but with the accessories I keep in the bag (charger, extra SD cards, journal, WhiBal etc.) (BTW, I usually only travel with one lens, my 35mm Lux attached to the camera.)

    I have room in my STM Messenger bag to carry my camera while traveling via the airlines. In my STM bag I also have my 15" MacBook Pro, Bose Headphones, company iPad, cords and cables, Seagate thunderbolt drive with my master LR catalog (full backup at home), pens and pencil, passport, company ID, etc.

    When I get to my destination I carry my camera in the BBB.

    I have carried my two other lenses in the BBB while its packed in TravelPro and have had no issues. The BBB is very non discreet. While here in Buenos Aires I wrap my camera strap around my right arm or use a wrist strap. Haven't had any issues on the crowded streets.
     
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  4. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Get a personal articles insurance on the expensive equipment.
    I use a small backpack and/or a small bag that does not look like a camera bag.
    Always keep an eye on the camera equipment,
    I hide the cmera when not in use.
    I do not walk around with a camera showing.

    Enjoy your travel.

    Raid
     
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  5. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    769
    May 1, 2013
    Thanks for the responses, great ideas. I'll definitely look into insurance, and a frumpy but secure bag. I seem to remember someone using a baby diaper bag, the thought being thieves not being interested in smelly nappies. :)
     
  6. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Diaper bag works great when you have kids, with no kids it tells a smart thief that you are hiding something got real value.

    I don't like bags at all in rougher areas. I sling my camera across my body UNDER a jacket, and just keep my lenses in closed pockets. The jacket is the most important travel accessory. Mine has zippered AND snapped pockets that are felt lined; perfect for small M lenses. The 90 Summarit barely fits, but usually I'll have th 35 on the body and the 24 and 50 in the pockets for a three-lens kit, or just leave everything at home and carry only the 35 or 50. For really long walks I leave it all home and just bring the very small Sony RX100 m2, which has incredible image quality for something that tiny. It replaced my Leica X2.

    The other option when I want very high image quality and versatility is to bring just a DSLR. I know, not the Leica, but since EVERYONE is carrying a Canon or Nikon, its just not such a target. Its also a whole lot less expensive and easier to replace. For my upcoming trip to Europe I plan to bring my Canon 6D and 24-105/4 zoom with the little Sony as a hand-off camera for when I want to be in the shot. The Canon is bigger than the Leica, but not much heavier, and with a Black Rapid strap it still hangs under the jacket out of casual view, but easily available.
     
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  7. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    I had such thoughts too last summer, but then I went with the idea that I have a Leica so that I use it.
    Insure it and take your Leica with you for some awesome Leica photography.
     
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  8. tmldds

    tmldds Leica Place Regular

    183
    Nov 20, 2013
    Texas
    I remember when I had a sports sedan, one of those amg's, it was a rough ride, ate tires for breakfast, but I enjoyed its power, handling and spirit so much. Shoot with what you enjoy unless you are making money from photography.
     
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  9. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    I REALLY would rather shoot the Monochrom on the trip, but wife REALLY wants color and for me to not be messing with a bag full of lenses.
     
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  10. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    What is your other camera? If it is an M9 or similar, set the camera to DNG+jpg with the "color" to B&W for quick B&W viewing. The DNG files can be used as color or converted (discretely) by you to B&W.
     
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  11. carlb

    carlb Leica Place Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    769
    May 1, 2013
    I suppose the diaper bag without kids would be big hint. :)

    The idea of a jacket covering the camera, and the camera being on a sling seems a decent approach. That and insurance. :)
     
  12. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    My color cameras are a Sony RX100 m2 and a Canon 6D. 6D with 24-105/4 does a surprisingly good job for a budget DSLR with a 4X zoom. Trust me, I will have great black and white photos from the trip, just not from the Monochrom. I may also sneak the Monochrom with the 35 Summarit into my bag. That lens is super-tiny, light weight and is so flare-resistant I can go hoodless.

    Of course that is the slippery slope. Then why not put a 50 in one pocket and the 24 Elmar in another. Next thing you know my wife is angry that I changed our 20th anniversary into a photography trip.
     
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  13. raid

    raid Leica Place All-Pro

    Apr 12, 2013
    USA
    Raid
    Listen to your wife. It is after all your 20th anniversary. Congratulations in advance.
     
  14. asiafish

    asiafish Leica Place All-Pro

    Aug 9, 2013
    Bakersfield, CA
    Andrew
    Thanks, and I was planning to. 6D with zoom and the little sony in a pocket remains the plan.
     
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  15. xdayv

    xdayv Leica Place Veteran

    404
    Mar 31, 2013
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    I usually use a sling bag carried diagonally, bandolier-style. Currently been using a Crumpler Sebang Outpost bag everyday.

    I never leave it (RF) at the hotel.
    I never check it in.
     
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