Over the last few months I've been contemplating on buying a new case for my lighting gear. Why do I need to replace it. You'll see soon enough.. I have been using a "janky" rolling case to carry my lighting equipment in. Its not the best but it did the job.. until the handle broke. That case has taken a bit of abuse. I was packing my Elinchrom ELB400, Quadra Ranger,modifiers and other stuff. I would do everything I could to play Tetris with my gear to take what was necessary.
How does one know what is necessary on a shoot? How do you pack for a shoot that you have an idea of where it's going to be and changes last minute? You can only pre-plan for what you know is going to happen. The shoot you already have pre-planned. Sometimes we have to take some very few extra things with us. Since I was running out of room in my "lighting bag" I had to figure out a way to take it with me. Some of the over flow would go into my gym bag with my clothes in it. I don't really have a problem doing that, but going to a shoot and not having the proper gear because you couldn't put it in there. There's no excuse for that.
There are so many companies that have travel cases. Pelican, Lowerpro, HPRC, Porta Brace are all great companies that have very durable cases. I chose to go with Thinktank. I chose this company because I had already purchased the Thinktank Airport International V2 (pictured above) last year and have been extremely satisfied with the durability of this piece. I am able to pack that guy up hard and heavy. Regardless of how heavy it is, I'm still able to put it in the overhead compartment. I'm glad that TSA doesn't check the weight on my bag either...lol
So back to the new roller bag. The case I chose to purchase was the new Thinktank Production Manager 40. This is an animal of a case. The dimensions are 15.7"x40"x12.6" WxHxD aka a whole lotta room. Those are the outside dimensions. Inside its 13.7"x38"x10" WxHxD. You can place a couple of small/medium light stands in there. Mono blocks, flatheads, umbrellas and more. Myself I'm putting all my lights in there, reflector batteries, anything else I can do to make my carry on bag easier. The previous bag is a normal clothing roller bag for clothes. Sometimes you just have to create make shift cases for what you need.
Why this case? Did you see the price on that thing? Seriously?? That's a lot of money for a case guy... come on. I could bought.... Look, when you have a crappy clothing roller bag with out real protection for thousands of dollars of gear. Do you really want to trust a clothing bag for your stuff? I think not. I think if you want protection you will go out and invest in what has been proven to be good equipment. Pictures are included to show the layout of the old and new.
I spent a good amount of time thinking of how to arrange everything in this case. Think tank provided many different dividers for this case so you can really customize it to your needs and likings. I was able to really tweak this badboy to my specific needs. I placed my light modifiers light stands easily in the case. That was really where I started arranging everything. I was concerned that I was not going to be able to find a way to adjust to what I had to place in it.
I feel a lot more comfortable that I can pack everything a lot better with all my gear much easier. I placed all the details of how I placed all my stuff in my case. I could maybe place another light stand but I have a small carry on nightstand that goes on my Thinktank Security International case. I happen to weight this after all this gear went in here. It came out to be about 55 pounds. So, if I have to I can cheat by placing one or two things into the gym bag with my clothes. Since I usually fly with Southwest Airlines, they have a 50 lbs. limit on the check in. I don't know yet I may play the system... we'll see..lol
Thank you again for coming by to check out the latest blog. I hope this mini review helps out a bit. I may do a video about this to really see more details about the case. Next week, I will be attending a business locally in Clarksville Tn. This company is locally own and has been in business for over 40 years but looking at this place, you could never tell.