What bag is your stuff in?

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A little twist from "What's in your bag", there's no shortage of reviews and writeups on lighting gear. But what bag's your stuff in? There are a myriad of "location" bags out there. Most camera shops don't carry many of them if at all so it's hard to check them out. They aren't cheap though, so it's a large investment to mail order sight unseen.

I'm looking for a bag that can hold 3 medium sized monos, plus the standard reflectors, cords, speedrings, lightstands, and a couple umbrellas or medium softboxes.

Here is one I was looking at. Seems fairly large and affordable. Anyone have experience with it? Photoflex stuff is generally adequate quality for my level of use, just not sure if this is large enough.

http://www.photoflex.com/Pro_Produc...c_sup__reg___sup___single_kit_case/index.html
 
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I was at COMDEX in Las Vegas in 2002, when tablet computers were first announced. After the keynote speech I got invited to the Microsoft reception. As I entered the room, there was Bill Gates. He handed me a shoulder bag for a tablet! I have been using it as a stealth camera bag for street shooting ever since. It must be very well made, since I carry it constantly and it barely shows signs of wear.

I also have a big bag for traveling by car, and several smaller working bags into which I offload what I need at the moment from the big bag. The big bag just fits under an airline seat and easily accommodates the D700 and a slew of lenses. The maker's label has worn down over the decades so I have no idea who made it. All I can make out is "Tough Traveler" which is entirely accurate. It can be used as a working bag, but generally it serves as the "mother-ship".

I took delivery of a Fuji X100 camera for my walkin'-'round, shootin'-stuff camera and resurrected a little leather waist pouch I bought at a nearby drugstore for my early Coolpix cameras. Fits perfectly. It is branded as Optex.
 
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Photoflex must be stupid or something. Why don't they have the specs for the product on their website?

Anyway, B&H does have the specs:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ex_FV_SLBAG1KIT_Transpac_Single_Kit_Case.html

I think it comes down to how long/big your light stands are (this bag won't work with C-stands, but few do), and how big your monolights are.

Exactly, they only seem to list external dimensions. They have pics of it "loaded" but they only show two lights and they don't really do a good job of showing how much room is left over. In their photos there is clearly room for more kit but it's vague how much more. Looking at it a little closer, I think I would need at minimum the "Transpac Dual Kit Case" which is about 10 inches longer. What Photoflex does need to is list inside dimensions. I don't know about anyone else but I usually keep my kit INSIDE the bag :tongue:

I don't so much mind the extra length so long as it fits int the trunk of my car. I guess I'll have to go measure all of my lights then guesstimate how much space I'm going to loose with padding and dividers.

White Lightning X1600 is 12" according to the PCB website. So x3 should be about 36" + whatever I loose in padding. Still not sure if I'll have enough space left over to stash reflectors and speedrings. All my standard lightstands will fit just fine.

Thank you for pointing out that the B&H site lists the inside dimensions. I hadn't even noticed! I think I'm going to hop a train up there on Sunday, it's been a while since I've gone and played there. Guess I'll pack a tape measure :wink:
 
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Think Tank Retrospective 30. I carry two bodies (1 FX, 1 DX) and three lenses. The bag is a soft canvas-type material and green colored; no brand names, no "steal me" giveaways. We just spent two weeks in Bavaria and I took almost 4000 shots. My main shooter, a D700-28-70 was on a Sun Sniper sling all day long and the D90-70-300VR in the bag. This left me lots of room to dump the 28-70 and swap it with my 17-35.

Rich
 
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Thanks for the replies! I'm actually just looking at studio lighting bags, sorry for the confusion. I do like the sound of that bag though, I picked up a Crumpler 7MDH and it's a great bag but the huge flap and the "wings" always seem to get in the way. I'll check that one out too as I'm still kind of looking for the perfect "travel bag" for walking/museum/tourist type duty.
 
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Orlando, FL
I have the Photoflex Transpac and love it. It can hold a lot of gear and it is pretty easy to move around. Having said that. it goes easily into our F-150, but I wouldn't want to transport it in a regular car. BTW, Isamu, I regularly pack a C-stand into it, along with 4 Alien Bee or Einstein lights, one or two other stands, cables, 2 or 3 umbrellas etc.
 
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jfrancis, thank you for your reply. Do you know which model Transpac you have? They have a Single, Dual, and Multi. The Multi looks absolutely huge. I'm kind of wondering the the Single would hold 3 12" lights if I put them all in on a bit of an angle. I think the AB's and Einsteins are kind of short and fat, compared to the longer, skinnier X1600's.

If I make it up to B&H this Sunday I guess I'll check them out for myself. I'll actually have one of my X1600's with me as I'm thinking about returning it for a used X2400 they have so I'll even be able to kind of test-fit it.

Would you happen to have a pic of the bag loaded? All of the "loaded" pics I could find online were crappy stock pics that certainly failed to show real world examples of how photographers actually pack things :biggrin:
 
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jfrancis, thank you for your reply. Do you know which model Transpac you have? They have a Single, Dual, and Multi. The Multi looks absolutely huge. I'm kind of wondering the the Single would hold 3 12" lights if I put them all in on a bit of an angle. I think the AB's and Einsteins are kind of short and fat, compared to the longer, skinnier X1600's.

If I make it up to B&H this Sunday I guess I'll check them out for myself. I'll actually have one of my X1600's with me as I'm thinking about returning it for a used X2400 they have so I'll even be able to kind of test-fit it.

Would you happen to have a pic of the bag loaded? All of the "loaded" pics I could find online were crappy stock pics that certainly failed to show real world examples of how photographers actually pack things :biggrin:

I have the Dual model. I have definitely had 5 AB lights in it, so I am pretty sure that even if you had to put the WL's in lengthwise, it would take 3 no problem. We did a shoot this week and took 2 Einsteins with reflectors, two stands, 2 umbrellas, a 40x30 softbox, couple of extension cords, pouches containing Pocketwizards and cables and a Vagabond Mini-Lithium battery pack.

Unfortunately, I unpacked it yesterday so no pics . . . :(
 
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Thank you again John. I think the Dual model is the one I will be looking at. Now I just have to go measure my car :Smart:
 
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Apr 10, 2009
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I use a bowens case for my lights & I can just about get 3 heads & stands in there:

http://www.bowensdirect.com/index.php/accessories/cases-bags/rolling-kit-case.html

I also have a section of other cases for backdrop stands, light panels and what not.

Photoflex must be stupid or something. Why don't they have the specs for the product on their website?

Anyway, B&H does have the specs:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ex_FV_SLBAG1KIT_Transpac_Single_Kit_Case.html

I think it comes down to how long/big your light stands are (this bag won't work with C-stands, but few do), and how big your monolights are.

My mate has an almost identical bag except for a different badge on it, whilst it can take three heads, stands, umbrellas and load of bit's and bobs, I find it's rather heavy and bulky and is hard work if you have to carry it up stairs, personally I'd rather have two smaller cases and make two trips back and forth carrying stuff.
 
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Thank you Rob. Funny you mention that, I just carried my smallish lightstand/umbrella bag upstairs a few minutes ago and started thinking, "How much more would this suck if I had 3 monolights in here?"

I'm still going to check out the dual but I think I may wind up with something more along the lines of a stand bag that can hold 3 stands, 2 softboxes, and 2 strip lights. That and a lightweight folding dolly may be the best of both worlds at the end of the day in terms of flexibility.
 
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Back from B&H. The Single case is only 34" inside. As it turns out, my stands and Q39 softboxes are both 36" collapsed. The Dual case is 47" outside which just squeezes into my trunk, but the wheels make it 53", so about 6" too long.

After throwing all my stands, boxes, and umbrellas in a pile and picking them up, I'm convinced there is no way I want them in the same bag as my lights. So I think I'm looking at something like 42"x10"x10" now, preferably in a semi soft side case.
 
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That doesn't surprise me. It only just fits across the bed of an F-150. When we are packing a lot of stuff, I put the stands into a Kata light stand bag. It is soft-sided and very strong. It holds at least 5 stands.
 
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That doesn't surprise me. It only just fits across the bed of an F-150. When we are packing a lot of stuff, I put the stands into a Kata light stand bag. It is soft-sided and very strong. It holds at least 5 stands.

The Photoflex Transpac cases were some of the few that they actually had on display. Specs aside, the thing is HUGE when you see it in person! Not surprised you use an F-150 to haul it around.


I think I have found the perfect bag. This is the biggest case that I (think!) will fit in my trunk. I took all the kit I plan on stuffing in there, piled it up, and wrapped the "blob" up with some string. Then I measured the pile. There should be enough room for all my stands and modifiers in this case, as well as a few extension cords, speed rings, etc. And it's on wheels. Perfect!

I'll make sure I post up some reviews and pics when it shows up, hopefully Tuesday. Says out of stock but I think I got the last one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/620622-REG/Norman_815371_NL03CS_Soft_Case.html

This was a close second, but the Norman case had just a few more inches of headroom and more dividers. I wish there were interior shots of each but I could not find any on the web. Both are respectable brands so I think either should be durable enough for my use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/615777-REG/Bowens_BW_1068_B_Large_Trolley_Case.html
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
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Orlando, FL
The Photoflex Transpac cases were some of the few that they actually had on display. Specs aside, the thing is HUGE when you see it in person! Not surprised you use an F-150 to haul it around.


I think I have found the perfect bag. This is the biggest case that I (think!) will fit in my trunk. I took all the kit I plan on stuffing in there, piled it up, and wrapped the "blob" up with some string. Then I measured the pile. There should be enough room for all my stands and modifiers in this case, as well as a few extension cords, speed rings, etc. And it's on wheels. Perfect!

I'll make sure I post up some reviews and pics when it shows up, hopefully Tuesday. Says out of stock but I think I got the last one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/620622-REG/Norman_815371_NL03CS_Soft_Case.html

This was a close second, but the Norman case had just a few more inches of headroom and more dividers. I wish there were interior shots of each but I could not find any on the web. Both are respectable brands so I think either should be durable enough for my use.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/615777-REG/Bowens_BW_1068_B_Large_Trolley_Case.html

Sounds good! The Transpac is pretty big - and it is heavy when fully loaded. GReat case though.
 

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