Pelican case sizing

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Thoreau
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Pelican case sizing

Post by Thoreau » Jul 06 2010 8:41 am

After a fun weekend that involved a few river crossings in a jeep, I'm looking to get a pelican case or two. My camera bag got filthy from dust, and then splashed with water on top of that, so at the very least I need something that can hold that gear. (Canon 40D, 24-70 f/2.8 lens, 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens, perhaps the 580 exII flash, plus accessories.)

I'm also kinda torn on wether I should get one pelican oversized a bit to hold the camera gear plus any other items that may need protection, or perhaps a second case for the misc. stuff. Trying to plan ahead so that whatever I end up with would be at least somewhat compatible with some future water sports (kayaking specifically.)

Having not bought any Pelican cases before, and only having seen the few smaller models that REI carries, I'm not even sure where to start on sizing for these things and was hoping that some folks out there might have already taken the plunge and have some ideas or experience to draw from =) So far just based on some random web browsing, the 1550 looks like a possible candidate, but I definitely don't wanna buy something online only to find it's a bad fit... =(

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joebartels
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by joebartels » Jul 06 2010 12:45 pm

Fry's Electronics has some of the larger ones in stock, some you have to order online. The prices are pretty good.
http://www.frys.com/search?search_type= ... .y=0&cat=0

When I used to carry all that gear I came close a couple times to trying one out. Never could force myself to do it. Just knowing how even putting it in a dry bag to protect it cramped my style made me hesitate.

Nevertheless I hope you get one. Lug it around, take some awesome photos then let us enjoy 'em :D
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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Thoreau
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Thoreau » Jul 06 2010 12:54 pm

Hmm, I would've never thought to check Fry's, thanks for the heads up. I'm definitely gonna have to molest a Pelican or two in person (yeah, that sounds so wrong) before buying any.

I wouldn't even consider them for hiking or backpacking so at least I won't have to actually lug the weight myself. This is more to protect gear when it's inside a no-door Jeep going through water it really has no business being in (and for dealing with the INSANE levels of dust/sand that get kicked up too,) and then possibly strapped to the deck of a kayak.

Heck, I guess based on that I could just to with a rather large size fot the vehicle, yank the foam out, and just throw a bag of camera gear right on in, along with anything else, and then just scale that down for kayak setups as well. So much to consider, so little funding!

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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 06 2010 1:00 pm

I used a Pelican case rafting the Colorado with my Pentax K10D dSLR. I'll check when I get home and let you know what size worked. I did remove most of the internal foam padding and kept the gear in a drybag inside the Pelican. Mostly to reduce dust & grit. It worked.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 06 2010 9:59 pm

I used a Pelican 1300. It was as small as I could go. I pulled out the middle foam and only had the 1/2 inch on the top & bottom. I had my dSLR, filters and accessories and extra batteries in a Tamron Holster case in a drybag. I had only my Pentax 18-250 lens which stayed attached to the camera. I had to backpack it down Bright Angel Trail to meet the rafts at Pipe Creek beach, so fitting it in my backpack and keeping it as light as possible was important. The River guides had agreed to find a place to lash it on the rafts so I didn't want to go any bigger than absolutely necessary. I also have a Pelican 1400 which carries the Pentax K10d with the Pentax 18-250 lens, a flash, and a Pentax 70-300 lens. I picked out the foam to fit. Hope this helps. I was originally going to use the 1400 for the River trip, but it was bigger and heavier than I wanted to backpack. I got it in orange so that I could keep track of it with the rafts. It wasn't always in the raft that I was in.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
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gringoantonio
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by gringoantonio » Jul 07 2010 9:52 am

You can use tin cans to cut perfect holes for your lenses (depending on the depth of the case + length of the lens).

Find a can that matches the diameter of the lens.
Cut off the bottom of the can with a hack-saw.
Twist the rough, cut edge of the can back and forth into the foam to cut a perfect hole for your lens.

I don't know how compatible a 1550 is with kayaking. It's a pretty big case for a kayak. Any decent scuba store will have a good selection of Pelicans. You can always take your camera gear with you to check out the cases...

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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 07 2010 10:14 am

Here are some size comparisons.
Case Dimensions Cubic Inches Liters Weight of case
1300 10.62 9.68 6.87 706.25 11.57L 3.25lbs
1400 13.37 11.62 6.00 932.16 15.27L 4.25lbs
1550 20.62 16.87 8.12 2824.62 46.29L 11.0lbs

That 1550 is a suitcase. I like my idea of two cases - one handy for critical gear and one stowed for extra lenses, flashes & stuff.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Thoreau
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Thoreau » Jul 07 2010 9:45 pm

Well I just got finished plucking the foam of my first Pelican. I ended up with a 1450 (it was just under $80, and in stock, so it kinda won by those two virtues) and I'm glad I did. With the camera body and both lenses, there really isn't much space left, and even then the lens hoods almost push the depth of the case to the limits. I was able to carve out a slot on the side as well that could hold either the flash, or a chunk of accessories, or even non-camera stuff if need be.

I might have been able to fit more in there, but I didn't wanna push the limits on the amount of padding between the contents and the case wall (three pluck-rows worth of material seperate the camera and lenses from the walls, 1-2 for things like the lens filter and flash.)

I had to ditch the tripod mounting plates and tripod ring for the 70-200 but I figure if I have the tripod, I can get another case as well to hold that kind of misc stuff. I do think I'll end up with another smaller one and possibly some of the REALLY small models (the 1030 for example) for other things (even for backpacking) but that's certainly down the road a little. Overall, this setup pretty much guarantees I have all the basics right at hand so hopefully it'll not be too annoying to deal with and end up preventing me from even bothering with the camera. Regardless, I know that I can toss that in the back of a Jeep and I'm not gonna be the least bit concerned about its well-being, or my financial ruin.

Horrible cell phone pic of the equally horrible pluck-job:
http://xanthotech.com/gallery/v/Other/C ... 4.jpg.html

For comparison, the interior dimensions are (exterior in parenthesis):
1300 9.87" x 7.00" x 6.12" (10.62" x 9.68" x 6.87")
1400 11.81" x 8.87" x 5.18" (13.37" x 11.62" x 6.00")
1450 14.62" x 10.18" x 6.00" (16.00" x 13.00" x 6.87")
1550 18.43" x 14.00" x 7.62" (20.62" x 16.87" x 8.12")

The real kicker with these buggers has to be the warranty, even with the little 'catch' they throw in. The warranty pretty much covers anything except "shark bite, bear attack or damage caused by children under five." Interesting how they list those as the only specific exceptions =)

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Al_HikesAZ
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Al_HikesAZ » Jul 08 2010 10:41 am

Good choice. And with a good bike cable and lock you can secure it in your Jeep. If I wasn't using my cases for backpacking I would have probably gone with this one. Even with that pressure contraption, the latches can be hard to open when you change elevations (Phoenix to Flagstaff). Just takes a little extra effort.
Anybody can make a hike harder. The real skill comes in making the hike easier.
Not if we can help it UNCLE JACK. http://www.sleepingdogtv.com/reel/Uncle-Jack.aspx Not if we can help it.

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Thoreau
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Re: Pelican case sizing

Post by Thoreau » Jul 08 2010 11:18 am

I think for backpacking I will indeed end up with something like the 1300-1400 and just trim down to perhaps the 24-70 lens and maybe my 50mm prime, leave the flash behind, and just take the camera body. Less stuff, less weight, smaller Pelican, etc. When I hike stuff like the Grand Canyon I generally only even take the camera body and that one lens, so trimming down for that type of setup wouldn't be too big an issue. God knows the 1450 is WAY too big and heavy to hike with =)

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