Checking in photography equipment?

I’ve been on what I consider, a blogging break. In reality, I’ve been working, and then having a modicum of a social life, finding less and less time to write blog entries. I have morsels of half-baked ramblings saved, so expect a load of posts to show up soon…

luna:toblog ccharles$ ls |wc -l

For a comeback…

I have been checking in my photographic equipment. I already carry a backpack with 2 laptops and various other tech gear (it probably weighs in at around 10KG, which airlines can frown at). Of late, I’ve also started carrying a briefcase. Where does my camera gear fit? In checked-in luggage of course!

This can be anywhere in the reigns of 3 Canon bodies, a 30/1.4, 50/1.4, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 17-40/4, and a couple of flash units. Not exactly the cheapest of equipment, as I’m into good glass (read: L).

However, the one place I don’t tend to check equipment in, is when I fly to and from the US. The TSA have a silly rule that says your bags must be unlocked, or else they will break the lock for you. This has naturally led the paranoid me, not want to carry any professional camera gear into the US.

And today, my paranoia proves right. I found out that Matt (WordPress fame) lost his camera gear, as did another blogger.

Yes, this is on a certain particular American airline, but I wonder if its just baggage handlers that are dishonest with them, or baggage handlers that are dishonest in general? Also note that insurance tends not to pay (afaik, anyway) if your camera equipment or laptop gear is checked-in.

What are options for the technophiles in us, that fly a lot?


  1. Hub says:

    Fly lighter. Less camera gear, less laptops.

  2. Gen Kanai says:

    Hand-carry. The only way to travel with expensive equipment.

  3. Lotso says:

    I didnt know that canon makes a 30mm f1.4? Shouldn’t that be a sigma since canon is 35mm?

    ALSo the 50mm 1.4 is not an L lens

  4. byte says:

    @Lotso: No, its a Sigma 30/1.4. And I know the 50/1.4 canon isn’t a L lens. I just have a preference to L lenses, if they do exist in the size I’m after. BTW, tried the 50/1.2, cannot justify the extra cost for the extra stop. (and I hate the feeling of going to the store to want to buy it and returning home empty handed).

    Only benefit? Same filter size as the other L lenses.

    Do I really care? Nope, since I have an investment in filters for the 50mm anyway (I use them for colour infrared)

    @Hub, Gen: Yes, it seems like the only way is to hand carry stuff, and fly lighter. Or just not take gear to the US…

  5. Hub says:

    The problem is not specific to the US. I would *NOT* trust *ANY* airline with valuables in the checked-in luggages.

  6. Gen Kanai says:

    Hand-carry. The only way to travel with expensive equipment.