How do you carry your lighting gear?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Dikaiosune01, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Dikaiosune01

    Dikaiosune01 Member

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    The equipment

    3 speedlights
    3 light stands (200cm, folds to 40-50cm 'est')
    triggers
    umbrellas.
    Misc, grid spots, snoots, backup batteries

    These are some options I'm considering,
    but I'm very interested to know what you use to get your gear on location.
    Keep in mind that I need to take public transport to get on location.

    Army surplus duffle bags
    http://www.armysurplusworld.com/product.asp?ProductID=48324 (sample)

    old lady grocery trolley
    http://www.lifestylecart.com/mountain_grocery_cart/default.htm
    (This will look great with my lowepro backpack)
    I would try to find one with four wheels for easier transport.
     
  2. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I would go with a modular approach to bags, and yes, the 'old lady groocery trolly' is very vialbe. As light as you think you will pack, the gear gets heavy fast when you are carrying it on one arm, even with a shoulder strap.

    I use a steel skinned over light wood panels case, that my Mamiya C-330f originally shipped in. It holds my heads, battery packs, triggers, flash meter, cords, fash head backets, speed rings, gaf tape, etc, and is semi-often accessed while the shoot is progressing. The inside lid has a semi-permanent list tacked in to aid in reminding you what to pack, and what to check, like batteys for trigger, for heads, etc.

    My stands and reflectors/softboxes/flags and blackout cloth live in a big nylon over rigid closed cell foam long flight/road case. A hockey bag/army surplus duffel bag would work well here also. My bag is sized to also hold a fold up stool, and tripod. Once the gear from this bag is up, it gets bungee corded off of a stand with rocks, etc added to wiegh a stand with a large modifier on it.

    I use a hand trolley, with the grocery cart would work well for a less rigid bag.
     
  3. Matthew Wagg

    Matthew Wagg Member

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    I have a similar set up to you and I use a guitar/bass softcase. The lighting stands/umbrella's go where the bass would sit and the speedlights and accessories fit into the various pockets on the rest of the softcase.
    I got the idea from a chap on Flickr. I have to say its the best setup I've used so far and way more portable than my full lighting case.
     
  4. Dan Quan

    Dan Quan Member

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    if the stands are the manfrotto nano or 001b and the umbrellas are the wescott collapsible shaft models then all that should easily fit inside a north face off site bag. i have carried that gear plus fun foam snoots and modifiers and filters and more in the bag very easily.
     
  5. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Pack the Flash / Strobes Separate From the Grip Equip.

    I NEVER carry the Light Stands, Booms, Umbrellas, or Softboxes,
    in the same case I have my flashes / strobes.
    I consider the stands, etc. Dead Weight !

    Also, since I have ended up with multiple stands, soft boxes, etc.,
    as well as 3 - 4 Different Lighting Kits, it becomes all to easy, to
    have the stands, etc. packed with the WRONG Case.

    So, basically to answer your question, all of my flash / strobe kits
    are packed in well cushioned Pro wheeled cases; ( think Tamrac & Lowepro ),
    Wheels are an absolute necessary due to the large weight of these cases,
    when loaded, this is another reason, why I pack the stands, etc, separately.
    [ I like the Tamrac 660 Rolling Studios & the Pelican PCS 104's.]

    The stands, etc. can be thrown into tripod or grip cases.
    If necessary the tripod or grip case can be bungeed to the roller case
    for transport, but separated when being loaded into the car or van.

    Also handle any background stands & accessories in a similar manner.

    Finally, if you were able to pack everything into 1 case, the case would
    be too big, ( think Tamrac 662 Rolling Studio ) & would be too heavy
    to put into your car, or van.
     
  6. JonJacob

    JonJacob Member

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    Have a really great porshe design traveling mini suitcase I converted for all my gear it works great, also have a seperate case for lenses and just carry usually one tripod in hand. for more complex shoots i bring an assistant
     
  7. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    A bag. Usually. Sometimes in a car.
     
  8. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I tried many different strategies. Usually my location set up is a lot more than what you mentioned, but sometimes I go with a body, one speedlite, pocketwizards, umbrella and a stand. Sometimes I go with Elinchrom Ranger Quadra system with multiple camera bodies and lots of lenses. So, I have one large and one small Lowepro Pro Roller case. Basically, I put everything other than stands and umbrella in one case. Then the stands and umbrella go into a Hakuba case. This way, I can carry everything without an assistant, although I usually carry reflectors, diffusers and sometimes backdrop anyway, so I need extra hands. For low budget shoots I ask my clients to help, but either way, it is best to use a big case and put everything in it. Good location cases do not double duty as a universal storage case.

    I also like taxi a LOT better than driving myself or taking subway when shooting in Boston. Buses are okay but it really depends. If I were given absolutely no option other than subway, I'd consider downsizing everything and use a backpack rather than rolling case.

    Another thing. If you are shooting outdoor in daylight, you probably find very little use to carry grids and snoot, especially with Speedlite. It's more useful to have an efficient metal narrow angle reflector.
     
  9. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    By the way, Pelican cases are good if you are driving and your studio has a freight elevator and loading dock. Pelican cases are MUCH heavier than Lowepro Pro Roller of equivalent size, and they also have lousy wheels. They make a nice bench when you need a break, though.