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Housings and air travel

Dive Reports, Destinations Questions, and Travel Issues

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Postby Aussie_dave » Sat May 22, 2010 4:28 pm

Here's a question I've never gotten a consistent answer to - Is it OK to fly with your housing closed up tight? Some claim that since it is engineered to withstand positive pressure, placing it in negative pressure exerts "wrong" forces on it, and can damage/dislodge things, button o-rings in particular. I've also heard that it depends on whether you are talking about cabin pressure, or cargo hold pressure. It would be nice to pack the camera in the housing, all protected, and taking up less valuable space. What I've been doing until now is closing it up without the main o-ring, so it doesn't hold pressure. Probably OK, unless the mating surfaces damage each other? What do you all do?
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Postby CaryDeanPhoto » Sun May 23, 2010 4:59 pm

My housing manufacturer (Subal) says don'y fly with the oring in.
You can still have the body in (which they also don't recommend).
If packed reasonably well the two halves won't damage one another.
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Postby Trace » Sun May 23, 2010 6:38 pm

I leave the housing body (with camera body) o-ring in, but leave the port off and the dust cover for the camera body and housing on. Since it's not air tight no problem. I manage to pack a complete SLR housing with macro setup and strobes in a roller hard case carry on.
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Postby Critternut » Mon May 24, 2010 12:13 am

i travel often with my gear and this is what i do
remove o rings and place into a lubed ziplock bag. Remove port and close the housing back up. I drop the baggy into the empty housing and cover it with a dust cap. I also place TTl converter inide. I fit two housings, 2 sets of strobes, arms, cords all chargers and ball joints into my stormcase at 49lbs. If im traveling within SE asia the i use 1 housing.
I never travel with camera bodies and housing in one place for fear if they are lost.
Also i am sure to photograph all gear laid out before i pack for insurance reasons. Then i take a photo of mt passport and e-mail it all to my account.

If you lose your gear you must make an accurate police report before leaving the airport.
Damage report as well,

Hope this helps,
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Postby scottg » Mon May 24, 2010 7:55 pm

I've traveled with my housing closed, camera and o-ring both inside, and I've been ok. but recently I switched to taking out the main o-ring, checking in the housing, strobes, etc. but carrying on my camera and lenses.

Regardless, after flying you want to remove and re-lube all of your o-rings (strobes, ttl-converter, cables, etc.) since the pressure can affect them.

There's general info on our camera maintenance page, let me know if there is info missing and I'll add it.

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo

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