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urgent: traveling thru US vs carry-on ?
Hi all,.

I'm going to New-Zealand and Australia in 10 days. I live in Canada and have to fly thru San Francisco airport. I have to carry my laptop and I want to bring my camera gears..

At first, I thought I could bring my Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW plus my typical Targus computer bag (usually not considered a carryon by Air Canada and Air New-Zealand). However, instructions about carryons when traveling thru the US indicate US airports accept only one carryon (and give no instructions about personnal small belongings such as my laptop bag). I could replace my typical Targus with a thin laptop sleeve, but still remain with two baggages in the cabin..

Am I looking for trouble if I keep the two items with me in the cabin ? Should I buy a new camera bag such as the new Lowepro Vertex 200 ? Would I be better of with the Vertex 300 ou can US airports refuse it?.

N.B. I already own a Tamrac Expedition 8 for times when I have lot of geard to carry..

Thanks for a quick reply if possible (since I'll have to order my new bag)...

Comments (25)

I just traveled on United Airlines. They did not have a problem with me having a backpack AND a small carry-on bag. I know that this is airline dependent, but I don't think that you will have a problem with a camera bag and laptop case..

Have fun in Oz!bobapunk..

Comment #1

Thanks,.

This corresponds to what I believe is the situation, but airlines web sites keep saying we can carry only one item in the US (without saying if this includes or not a personal item or small computer bag). I checked on the US TSA web site, but no detail about smaller personal items in addition to carry-on..

Yvan..

Comment #2

Hi again,.

After looking at the web site of San Francisco Airport and of some US airlines, it seems that a standard computer case can be brought in addition to one carry-on..

Regulation changes slightly from airline to airline company (dimensions, weight, number of carry-ons) and airplane to airplane, but the info is almos consistent. So, I'll carry my laptop in it's Targus briefcase AND my photographic gears in my Lowepro camera bag..

Confirmation or negation of this decision is welcome !.

Regards,..

Comment #3

That is what I would do. I have had a backpack AND and laptop case on many continental and international flights and no one has ever bothered me about it.bobapunk..

Comment #4

From LAX to Sydney, Melbourne and up the coast to Cairnes, over to Christchurch and down to Queenstown, over to Fiji then back to California..

I always carried one large camera backpack (larger than the AW200) and one small personal item. I traveled United, Ted, Qantas and Air NZ and all carry on policies are the same - one carry on item plus one "personal" item. The personal item is defined as a laptop, purse, small bag, etc..

Be aware that if you have a DSLR with lots of lenses you'll very likely be inspected at most if not all airports - separate from the normal crowd of people. Lenses and camera bodies looks like big chunks of "something" on the airline scanners. They will want to take you aside and look at the bag to make sure it is what you say it is. They did this to me, but every time in a very professional manner. I was never asked to turn on the camera or take the lenses out, they just wanted the bag opened to see that they were in fact camera lenses and camera gear..

Have fun in OZ and NZ. Make sure you go to Sydney, Melbourne, Byron Bay, and Cairns on the east coast of OZ, and make sure you go to Queenstown and Milford Sound in NZ. What does your current travel itinerary look like so far? How long? You're gonna love it, I had a blast..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #5

Thanks, this is highly informative!.

I'll be in Melbourne for 6 days and then fly to Auckland for another 6 days. Although I'll be working most of the time, I can manage to have 2 days for photography at every place. I have rented a car. I may also find one or two half-days free..

Any suggestions for landscaping ? for things that we don't have in Eastern Canada or Eastern USA (ex. volcanoes, deserts).

Cheers,.

Yvan..

Comment #6

DPCan wrote:.

Thanks, this is highly informative!.

I'll be in Melbourne for 6 days and then fly to Auckland for another6 days. Although I'll be working most of the time, I can manage tohave 2 days for photography at every place. I have rented a car. Imay also find one or two half-days free..

Any suggestions for landscaping ? for things that we don't have inEastern Canada or Eastern USA (ex. volcanoes, deserts).

Well, you certainly won't find any volcanoes in Melbourne, as you similarly wouldn't find any in New York.  .

Melbourne is fantastic. Probably my most favorite city in Australia. It's a clash of old art and modern architecture, British customs bundled into a developed western style city. Simply amazing. You'll certainly want to just walk around Melbourne and take it in. Start at the city center and venture around, be sure to go down Degraves Street, one of my absolute favorites.

Note the extensive "graffiti" everywhere. It's perfectly legal and desired in many of the alleys in Melbourne, as people view it as modern art. Some of the stuff is simply amazing..

If you get a chance check out a footy game (Australian Football) on a Sunday. American football just doesn't compare..

There is a city walk tour that takes you throughout Melbourne and is probably the best photo opportunity you can get, and includes an awesome tour guide at a ridiculously low price. If you go on a Monday, Greenhouse Backpackers provides a walking tour early in the morning to early afternoon for free. Highly, highly recommended..

Make sure you buy a package of "Tim Tam" cookies - essentially a chocolate covered Oreo. Mmmmmm......

Richmond (north east Melbourne) has some of the best Vietnamese food outside of Vietnam, don't miss out. The museum and aquarium aren't really worth going to, unless you've never been to an aquarium before..

Walk everywhere, don't take the trolley or bus or taxi, unless you have limitations that require you to. The people are amazing and street photography is at it's climax in Melbourne. Don't forget to convert to black and white when you get back too..

I didn't make it to Auckland other than the flight into NZ, so I don't have any details on that. Hmm, the bathrooms in the airport were nice though, and free internet while waiting to board your flight via internet kiosks..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #7

Thanks a lot Tim ! It is highly appreciated ! I printed your message and will bring it with me !.

Yvan..

Comment #8

DPCan wrote:.

Thanks, this is highly informative!.

I'll be in Melbourne for 6 days and then fly to Auckland for another6 days. Although I'll be working most of the time, I can manage tohave 2 days for photography at every place. I have rented a car. Imay also find one or two half-days free..

For a day trips I would suggest you following places: Philip Island, Mornington Peninsula, Wilsons Promontory. Great Ocean Road is very nice, but it's a little bit out of day-trip range..

Contrary to Timskis I wasn't excited about city itself. Yarra river banks and Botanic gardens are nice, however all the surrounding suburbs looked terribly messy, eclectic and tasteless for me. Consider however that I am European and it is very likely that Americans look at cities from the different perspective .

Edvinas..

Comment #9

Be aware that if you have a DSLR with lots of lenses you'll verylikely be inspected at most if not all airports - separate from thenormal crowd of people. Lenses and camera bodies looks like bigchunks of "something" on the airline scanners. They will want totake you aside and look at the bag to make sure it is what you say.

Anyone have recent experience travelling with a thoriated lens?..

Comment #10

At first I couldn't believe that you didn't enjoy the city innards of Melbourne. But the comment of European vs. American definitely makes sense. I live in San Diego, CA and our "downtown city center" is absolutely nothing like any big city..

I haven't been to Europe, but I've been through perhaps 20 other countries ranging from Canada to Japan to Cambodia, most with "big city centers." I felt Melbourne was nothing like anything I had ever been to, and I absolutely loved the "clash" and theme of "old vs. new" art and architecture..

I can imagine a European in Melbourne feeling that the "old" architecture isn't really old at all - Australia is a british colony and therefore must be newer than anything in europe as a whole..

But regardless, we all have our own opinions that are certainly affected by our own rose-tinted glasses..

What time of the year were you in Melbourne? I was there in the beginning of their winter, which may affect the city crowd if compared to the middle of summer (more tourists in the latter)..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #11

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #12

I think kpschoedel is referring to thorium dioxide in lens glass. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium..

Comment #13

From the 1940s through 1970s, some lenses (from makers including Canon, Kodak, Leica, Nikon, and Pentax, in alphabetical order) had elements of high-index glass containing thorium. Google for 'thorium lens' if you are interested. I have one of the more common ones, the SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4, but I've never travelled with it...

Comment #14

I'm assuming you're worried then about the radioactive nature of your lense? In reality the radioactive decay is an alpha decay - completely safe to handle. Alpha particles cannot penetrate even a thin sheet of paper, let alone your skin or camera bag. The only problem you'd have is if you actually ate the alpha decaying matter, and the alpha particles directly damaged a tissue. You'd have more problems digesting the glass than you'd have problems with alpha decay..

The alpha decay would not be detectable outside your camera bag, so unless you have decaying matter on the outside of your camera bag it would be undetectable. Or, if they opened up the camera bag it may be detectable if the meter was held directly above the lense..

I don't have any experience with these lenses, but I have experience with radioactive matter (used to use it daily)..

Of course this is theory, and traveling in the air with "radioactive matter" is certainly serious to those who don't know about it. My response is true for the actual seriousness of the matter, but doesn't necessarily correlate with what TSA might have to say..

Hopefully someone else can chime in if they have actually travelled with the lense..

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #15

I'm assuming you're worried then about the radioactive nature of yourlense? In reality the radioactive decay is an alpha decay -completely safe to handle. Alpha particles cannot penetrate even athin sheet of paper, let alone your skin or camera bag. The onlyproblem you'd have is if you actually ate the alpha decaying matter,and the alpha particles directly damaged a tissue. You'd have moreproblems digesting the glass than you'd have problems with alphadecay..

Yes, if it were new, but the decay products are short-lived so after 30 years they're all present, and IIRC there are some 2+ MeV gamma near the end of the series..

I realize there is negligible health risk from normal use ("No, I'm just happy to see you"); I'm just curious whether it would draw attention if someone were sent to secondary screening for a bag of lenses...

Comment #16

Timskis6 wrote:.

What time of the year were you in Melbourne? I was there in thebeginning of their winter, which may affect the city crowd ifcompared to the middle of summer (more tourists in the latter)..

I stayed there whole year .

Edvinas..

Comment #17

Timskis6 wrote:....

I can imagine a European in Melbourne feeling that the "old"architecture isn't really old at all - Australia is a british colonyand therefore must be newer than anything in europe as a whole..

....

Australia WAS a British colony...

Comment #18

I did flight to Brazil through JFK with 11 lenses and 2 digital bodies, one huge backpack for everything, no problems at all with Delta nor the scanner dude which looked at me and said: "photographer? lots of lenses" and I said smiling: "Yes". Didn't even stop to open it. Also I always bring a smaller thing to carry passports and other documents needed and pen to fill the forms..

I think that there is a lot of talking about flying in the US but it is just talk, the people in the security in Sao Paulo/BRA are much more annoying with searching you and your carry-on items than they are here in JFK. The whole US vs terrorism thing created this atmosphere that seems to be only until you get to the airport, because inside of it everything runs smoothly without any kind of BS to get in or out the plane.Have a great trip,.

Tiago_________The Stute Sports Photographer..

Comment #19

Thanks for the info, living in Quebec City (the most european city in North America), I tend to look at cities like an European...

Comment #20

I've been to Auckland and it's awesome. Taking the ferry to Waiheke Island is DEFINETLY worth it for the day. You'll need to book the tour, which can be done at the Ferry Terminal. Pay the price, the bus tour around and stoppages for photographic oppourtunities will yield photos beyond your imagination. The photo on my homepage of my website is the view of the main bay at WaihekeI can't feel my facehttp://www.conorhedley.com..

Comment #21

DPCan wrote:.

At first, I thought I could bring my Lowepro Slingshot 200 AW plus mytypical Targus computer bag (usually not considered a carryon by AirCanada and Air New-Zealand). However, instructions about carryonswhen traveling thru the US indicate US airports accept only onecarryon (and give no instructions about personnal small belongingssuch as my laptop bag). I could replace my typical Targus with a thinlaptop sleeve, but still remain with two baggages in the cabin..

I've never had a problem with a full size carryon plus the Slingshot 200 AW, when flying around the US. There's also specifically an allowance for "camera bags" that I would use if anyone even asked about it..

> Kendallhttp://InsideAperture.comhttp://www.pbase.com/kgelnerhttp://www.pbase.com/sigmadslr/user_home..

Comment #22

Your photographs of Australia and New-Zealand are very nice ! Congrats!.

I also use zenfolio and like it very much. You may visit my galleries about some areas here in Eastern Canada:.

Http://photo4fun.zenfolio.com.

You are promised to a nice photography carreer !.

Cheers,..

Comment #23

Woah thanks for the words of kindness! I hope your trip is amazing! You also have a nice collection of photographs, many of your birding shots are quite refreshing. I see you use the sigma 120-300. How do you like that lens?I can't feel my facehttp://www.conorhedley.com..

Comment #24

I like very much the Sigma 120-300. It is sharp and flexible. Most of the time, I use it with the Sigma 1.4X TC, giving me a 170-420mm F/4. Since it is a heavy lens, I always use it with a monopod (Manfrotte 685B)..

It is great to use it at F/2.8 for indoor sports or low light situations, but it is sharper stopped down to F/3.2 or F/4..

If you like bird photographs, you can look at my other gallery where I mostly have birds:.

Http://www.nikonians-images.org/...php/photo/82558/size/big/cat//ppuser/92719.

Cheers,.

Yvan..

Comment #25

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