Thanks to a tip from Jack, Amazon's got a deal going on some select DSLR Case Logic backpacks (qualified for Prime shipping too). Check it out (click here).
Thanks to a tip from Conrad about Amazon offering an additional 20% off select Kata Camera Bags for a limited time. Aside from the discount, some qualify for additional Mail-in-Rebates. Double the discount. Definitely not as cheap as the LowePro stuff i'm using (which i'm happy with), or the Pelican Carry On Roller, but Kata's known for making some of the lightest and very durable Photo / Video equipment bags. For those who care to opt for the higher value, there are many different styles from slings, to backpacks, to rollers and more.
To take advantage of this offer, simply add the qualifying Kata bag from the list below to your Shopping Cart, enter promotional code KATADISC, and Amazon will automatically apply the discount off the current Amazon.com price at checkout.
There's a few rules like 'one per customer' you can read more about, and the ones that are available for discount can be found following the link below.
When it's time to pack for a shoot, i'm a roller bag kinda guy. Easier on the back, and a good way to transport heavy gear. Instead of using one very large roller, I use several FAA approved Airline Carry On sized roller cases. It keeps me from making one case too heavy, easier to fit into smaller cars, and still serves a purpose for airplane travel. Now my current rollers I purchased a while back. I'm definitely due to purchase at least two more rollers, and when I do, here's my direction.
First, I'm sure people will point out the Think Tank Security Carry On Rolling Hard Case. Nice case, but upwards of about $400 dollars for a single Roller (not easy on the wallet).
Head on over to eBay and do a search for 'Camera Roller'. Yeah you're not going to find any good deals doing it that way either. You'll most likely run into the LowePro x100 Carry On Roller that runs just over $200. Again nice roller, but still not the best deal IMHO. Even the smaller LowePro rollers run quite a bit.
Here's what you should be looking for - The Pelican 1510 Carry On.
In fact this is the case that's bundled with the Red EPIC camera which starts at $58,000 dollars (shown above). It's a hard case roller that you can grab (empty) for just over $110 dolllars. Waterproof, Dust Proof, and Crush Proof - Can't get that in the LowePro or Think Tank. The Pelican cases have a reputation to be rough and rugged. What's great is that you can build a case to suit your needs, and even replace or repair parts should you ever find a way to do some real damage. New O'Rings? New Locks? New Waterproof Liners? Find a used Pelican and you can bring her back to life. The 1510 is basically future proof.
Choose the one with the Pluck Foam inserts and your looking at about $30 dollars more from the empty case. You can also go with the optional Padded Dividers and tack on that lid organizer for small parts. Not looking to use it for your camera gear? Switch out the inserts and change the carry on roller into your Overnight luggage. There's also Laptop dividers you can add to the lid areas. The Pelican 1510 is a modular hard case roller with features other cases twice it's price can't begin to compare to. Albeit not cheap, the Pelican 1510 Carry On sized Rolling Hard Case is a solid roller I think gives the best bang for the buck.
Here's a couple of small packs I recommended. When I just want to carry the bare minimum, my lightweight bag is a Lowepro Fastpack 100. I chose this one, because I hate the single sling setups. With the sling, there's just too much weight on one shoulder. Using the double straps evens out the weight. The really simple design also doesn't scream 'Look I have a camera in here'. I'm able to fit a Canon DSLR with a 24-70mm in the bottom area and another lens in the top part. Plenty of space for media cards, lens cleaners, and filters. If you're shooting with smaller cameras, there's more than enough room in the 100, but of course there's larger versions available too.
The Fastpack 100 is a great small pack (I actually have two), but the Flipside versions from LowePro are just a bit larger and the next step up to being able to hold a Tripod and a long lens. It's called the Flipside because of the way you gain access to the gear which is both functional for keeping things out of the dirt, and safer from pick pocketing sticky fingered thieves. If you need to hold a Tripod, carry longer lenses, or external Flashes, the Flipside 200 would be a good start. There's also larger versions of the Flipside available too.
Here's a couple of things I highly recommend you should already have with your lenses. The day you purchase your new camera lens, the store will always suggest you buy it with at least a basic UV Filter. I'm not going to argue about the price and quality of the stuff they are pushing, but it's a very important thing to have. A basic UV filter isn't anything special that will dramatically change your images, but it will protect your front element from dirt, oil, dust, and most importantly scratches.
If you get a single scratch or mark on your lens, you're throwing good money out the door. Let the filter take the hit, and just replace the filter. If you walked away from the store without one, you need to at least throw something on there, and you'll find many for under a few dollars.
Next item to care for your lenses is a pouch or a sleeve. Even some high end Canon L lenses don't come with decent lens pouches, just a gray bag and a pull strap. Regardless, you need something, anything. Not only will it protect from scratches, moisture (throw in a silica gel bag into the pouch), but also dust. Dust finds it way into 'everything'. Neoprene pouches (same as surfing wet suit material) can be had for as little as $3 dollars.
Another inexpensive item you can grab for a single dollar or two - The Lens Pen Brush. Most of us don't have room for Compressed Air Cans. Those Liquid Bottles and Cleaning cloths are mainly used to clean up oil, but aren't the best for dusting off your lens. In fact, you should 'Dust before you Wipe'. Dust can sometimes be very abrasive and taking a cloth to it could be damaging.
If you see a few specs of dust on your filter, or in between the filter and your front lens element, don't reach for it with your finger. Don't try to swipe it with your T-Shirts (laundry softners have wax). Simply pull out your lens pen, push out the brush bristles, give it a good shake and then lightly dust away those tiny particles. You can brag about your thousand dollar cameras, lenses, and big budget shoots, but a spec of dust on your lens has the potential of ruining everything.
These lens pen brushes are so cheap, I purchased a dozen. I keep them everywhere. I'll use them to dust my laptop screens, keyboards, camera lenses, filters, and more. Small yet incredibly useful. There's a long list of things you should have as well, but these three very inexpensive items should give you a good start on maintaining your investment in lenses.
Chris writes in and shares this find. Apparently there's travel bags available for the 1200 LED video lights. It definitely makes it easier to get a handle on and keeps the barndoors and switches from snagging, but doesn't look super duper padded. The size of the bag is 19"L x 16"H x 3"W, so if you've got other LED panels in that range, it would be a good fit. Chris also mentions there's a price drop on the 1200 LED video lights. I like either the 600 or 900 only because it can be optionally powered via Battery. But if you want something larger like the 1200, those can be found below. [Thanks Chris]
If you were interested in that review Rod did on Calumet's BP1500 large backpack found here: https://cheesycam.com/rods-calumets-bp1500-backpack-review/, the price had gone up at the time. Checking back today it seems it's dropped back down on sale. Follow the link below and search for the BP1500.
I'm more of a Roller Bag type guy whenever possible, but Vimeo member Rod Guajardo seems to have a thing for backpacks. He's thrown up an entertaining review of Calumet's BP1500 which by the way looks totally awesome. I'm not sure my frame can hold up under a bag that big, is that in a size 'Mule'? Yeah i'm small, old, and fragile - but for you big burly strong fellas this bag seems to solve a lot of equipment issues. It's nice that as much it can carry, it still serves as Airplane Carry On size when traveling. [Thanks Rod]
P.S. Rod - In my next video, I may have to battle you with my own superb dance skills....LOL.
Someone emailed me about a way to use a Camera strap without the Tripod mounting hole, but something that can be taken off easily. Here's something I used to do back when I was flying the Steadicam Merlin stabilizer. I used the strap to carry the camera, but then needed a way to quickly take it off when flying. The shifting weight of a Camera strap can totally throw a stabilizer off balance.
Here's a simple DIY way to add a very comfortable strap to your camera. Just add a few small keyrings (don't look at my example, it's all I had right now) to the OEM strap holders. After that you'll be able to add laptop bag straps or luggage straps with swiveling ends. On quick, and off quick. One cool looking comfortable strap I found would be the Air Cell one via Amazon.
Quad Air Cell Padded Briefcase Bag Shoulder Strap