DSLR & boats... advice please!

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ijd201
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DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ijd201 »

Hi, I've managed to get through a whole year of rivers without taking my camera on the river, which is a total shame. I've been too worried about it getting destroyed should I swim etc. Feeling a little more confident/arrogant (depending on who you talk to) about not swimming these days, so I think its time to break the camera out! I have a Canon 20D with a sigma 15-30mm lens. The dilemma is, do I go for a cheaper & easier to store watershed ocoee bag, or a peli 1300? First question is how reliable is the seal on the watershed bags, any horror stories? Secondly, I paddle a medium Burn, what sort of storage options do I have in it for the peli case (having measured it looks pretty tight)?

Your thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated, cheers, Ian.

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

Hey,

I would thrust my DSLR to a watershead dry bag long long before a Peli case. I have seen and heard way to many Peli case disasters to ever go down that route.


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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Rdscott »

I use a Nikon D50 (old) and carry a nikon 18-55 and a nikon 55-200, in a peli case. however they fit into the 1200, never had a single priblem with it, no horror stories, except i broke a latch when out ice climbing but that was my own fault.

Have been contemplating the watershed bags but i'm not confident enough to trust my using the seal never mind not bashing it about. my peli case has been through hold baggage with ryan air. and still going strong i wouldnt trust any bag to do that, and peli case have a life time garantee on sertain parts.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Poke »

I'd be surprised if you could fit the peli 1300 in the back of your burn. The watershed ocoee will go, but it's a faff. Easier to stick it between your legs! If you do this with either bag, at least you can get out past a watershed in the case of a pin.

When it comes to useability, the Peli wins every-time. To do the ocoee up properly you've got 4 buckles and a velcro strap. Quite time consuming if you're hopping in and out a fair bit to take pics.

Unike Adrian the only horror stories I've heard have been from Peli's competitors (Otter boxes, etc). Peli's themselves are bomber, and much better than watershed bags at protecting your expensive electronics from knocks. Watershed bags seal is bomber in my experience (probably better than Peli's if properly closed - which can be tricky with cold hands). I've sent both on thorough workouts whilst tied into my boat, with no leakage on either count.

Depending on your camera dimensions, it might be worth investigating a Peli 1200, which should fit in your boat, protect from knocks and be quick to access?
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ijd201
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ijd201 »

Cheers guys, I'm interested to hear what adrian has heard in the way of horror stories about peli cases? I think the problem with the 1200 will be the height (only 110mm) as the camera body is 108mm, which is going to be super tight/not provide any impact absorption.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

Hey,

To clarify my sweeping statement a wee bit; Poke was right most of the failures I have seen have been from the generic "Peli cases" and the rest I have seen may probably be put down to user error. Be it from not closing the case correctly or damaging a seal etc. There is no question that a hard Peli case will offer better impact protection over a dry bag with a liner, that said the shear 100% dryness of the Watershed bags is legendary. I've seen a camera in a Watershed bag go for a run pasta solo down a rather high Haute Ardeche only to be recovered 4 days later 15km down the river in perfect condition.

That pretty much won me over right there.


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ol
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ol »

I use a Peli 1200 for my Nikon D40 18-55, works a treat.
Use a peli in combination with another drybag if you are worried but the faff of getting it out may prove too much.

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Chris_Eastabrook
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Chris_Eastabrook »

A Watershed bag or a Peli case would be great, I've used both. With the Watershed bag, I've added my own hard foam liner.

The thing that gives me piece of mind on the river/travelling is good camera insurance and it's worth thinking about if you start buying expensive lens!

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Steve_R »

Personally I use a Peli 1300, which I store between my legs.

This has gone through i season in Austria/Slovenia and seen a swim. There seems to be no problems with it...totally bomb proof so far! It has also fell a short distance onto rock in this case, with no consequences (thankfully!).

I have a Canon 450D, but carry both a 17-55mm lens and a 70-300, hence the need for the 1300, rather than the 1200.

Hope that helps!

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Dave McCraw »

If it's a faff, you'll stop taking your camera so I would err on the side of ease-of-use over ease of storage if all else is equal. You miss all the shots you don't take.

I started out with a Peli (1050 or 1100, I forget) but it was only just big enough for the D70 with lens removed. I then graduated to a bigger body and the Salto wouldn't take the requisite Peli, so I have an old bag of Tim's which he didn't like. The downside is that it's more fussy to use, especially with cold hands.

Now I have a bigger boat, I'm wondering whether a 1300 is a possibility again.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by David Martin »

I'm sure there has been chat on here before about size "X" peli case in burn, nomad, etc. Search might pop something up.

Anyway, I had a medium burn (syncro 6) and a 1300 peli. Cut a slot out of the foam pillar behind the seat and the case will slide in place with the handle pointing to the bow. You can still get pin kit and drybag down each side and the case is quite handy for getting out.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by theforce »

Chris_Eastabrook wrote:A Watershed bag or a Peli case would be great, I've used both. With the Watershed bag, I've added my own hard foam liner.

The thing that gives me piece of mind on the river/travelling is good camera insurance and it's worth thinking about if you start buying expensive lens!
Chris I've been thinking about this, what company do you go with? and what type of insurance?

In terms of carrying the camera i use a peli 1300, with no problems, although i do feel that sometimes it's be nice to know that i could get out past it rather than throwing an expensive suiside box on a bungy...

And so i've got myself a watershed for chirstmas, quite excited to see what it's like having used watershed stuff before i know they are totally bommer.

Personally i would say if you can fit your stuff into a peli 1200, then do that cause that way you've got the added bonus of some protection from rocks too. if not then go for a watershed bag, which you can get in the back and can be used for many more things than just a camera. Although i suppose alot of it comes down to personal preference, but dont be tempted by cheeper knockoffs.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Mark R »

Peli 1300 will not fit in the back of a Large Burn without modification (i.e. hacking away the central pillar).
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Jim »

Nice reversal Adrian!

I would trust anything in a genuine pelicase anywhere. I have carried various cameras and lenses in a 1200 between my legs in playboats for years, not many (1?) swims with it but I have often given the camera to other people to take photos of waterfalls, and then pack it and throw it off the fall into the pool for me to pick up. Yes you need to keep the purge valve closed and check that the O-ring is clean and that nothing is hanging out (camera straps will often try to do this) but as long as the operator is comptent a pelicase is reliable.

Most decent SLRs won't fit the 1200 assembled, I have to take my D80 apart or risk having no padding above/below it. As others have said taking the camera apart does make the whole operation more of a faff and you won't risk taking it out in the rain as much so whilst completely feasible and an often used solution you might find it too annoying.

I also have an Ortileb aqua zoom bag, which they may have stopped making now? but anyway they changed the design of the zipper and there were occasional rumours of people not closing the newer type properly but thinking they had. I'm sure the watershed bag will be just as good. The camera gets used more from the bag than from the pelicase and I really like the flexibility I have now (one bag and 2 peli 1200's) because although I can only take 1 option in my playboat, when I go sea kayaking I can strap the bag to the front deck for easy access to the camera and put the 2 pelicases behind the seat so I have a full array of lenses and/or spare bodies so can use a different lens for different legs, and have everything available for exploring from camp (the idea is: land, setup camp, climb nearest hill, photograph stunning sunset or anything else of interest, go back to camp and eat, light fire, drink, get forecast, sleep). Sometimes I want a wideangle in the boat for impressive coastlines, sometimes I'll try a telephoto to try and pick off wildlife. I used a similar strategy in the grand canyon where I strapped the 2 pelis to a raft where I could reach them from my boat, then if I wanted a different lens, or helmet cam, or batteries, or cards, I could just paddle up to the raft (either catch up with it or wait for it first usually), unclip my pelicase, pull the bag from the cockpit sort myself out and then clip the peli back on the raft. I also like to have my cameras in pelicases in transit, particularly when travelling by van, because no matter what people shove in and out of the car/van they are not going to damage the case or camera, even if they drop a boat on it.

So plenty of ideas, if you only have money for one type of protection for your camera and normally paddle short unsupported river trips, the advice would be to go for a bag for now because you will use it and the camera more often. Also it's easier to string a sling onto a bag and carry it over your shoulder than it is with a pelicase, well it's just as easy to string the sling, but the bag is nicer to carry that way. Anyone who has seen me jogging down a river bank with a pelicase on a sling battering my legs (often with the bag on the other side and probably my monopod bag too) will no doubt agree!

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ijd201 »

Hmmm, plenty of food for thought, thank you! I think the best option has to be to head to my nearest shop and try both. Having heard no watershed horror stories, I think I'm swaying towards this initially, possibly combined with a padded exped drybag for the camera inside the watershed?

Many thanks, Ian.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ol »

Regarding the Watershed bags, Mark R, your finger-pull straps you use to break the seal have started to come off haven't they?
Not sure how long you've had it for....

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Mark R »

ol wrote:Regarding the Watershed bags, Mark R, your finger-pull straps you use to break the seal have started to come off haven't they?
Not sure how long you've had it for....
I've just got my third bag - trashed the tags on the previous two.

Another downside of Watershed bags for cameras, is that the camera is not protected from pressure/knocks. As a result, I currently have a £600 lens with a filter firmly jammed into the lens thread - having tried everything else, I'm actually going to have to stick it in a vice and use pliers to wrench it free.
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by The Drowned Fish »

Mark R wrote: Another downside of Watershed bags for cameras, is that the camera is not protected from pressure/knocks. As a result, I currently have a £600 lens with a filter firmly jammed into the lens thread - having tried everything else, I'm actually going to have to stick it in a vice and use pliers to wrench it free.
Before you do that, have you tried one of these?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keyw ... 7usdlka2_e

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Mark R »

I've tried two of them at once, with two people gripping, and the filter chilled by ice.
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Jim »

Mark R wrote:I've tried two of them at once, with two people gripping, and the filter chilled by ice.
Sounds like a vice and blowtorch are your next option then :-)

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Performance Kayaks »

Mark R wrote:I've tried two of them at once, with two people gripping, and the filter chilled by ice.
As the filter is probably knackered anyway, is it worth breaking the filter glass. this might relieve some internal pressure from the threads.

I think the Watershed Ocoee rules, but I don't think that I go as 'Hard' a Mark R.
Mark R wrote:Another downside of Watershed bags for cameras, is that the camera is not protected from pressure/knocks.
Watershed Ocoee Padded Liner and an extra layer of Yoga Mat for luck.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Dave McCraw »

Mark, you've probably considered this, but you could just send the lens off to a repair shop and have them do it for you?

I had a rear element cluster and an AFS motor replaced a couple of years ago by a workshop down south. I can't for the life of me remember their name, but you could call Ffordes on 01463 783850 and ask them for a recommendation - I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Poke »

Mark R wrote:
ol wrote:Regarding the Watershed bags, Mark R, your finger-pull straps you use to break the seal have started to come off haven't they?
Not sure how long you've had it for....
I've just got my third bag - trashed the tags on the previous two.
Tempted to say that this may be more down to user error than bag quality. Mine were fine, till i asked someone who didn't know the technique for opening the bag properly and they grabbed the tabs and pulled. You can also avoid this by making sure that the seal is well lubricated so that it opens (and closes) more smoothly.

Agree about the knocks though. You can get foam liners to go in the bag (for a price) and Ive made a rudimentary lens protector using some old karrimat rolled into a cylinder held together by duct tape. Not ideal, but it stops impacts with other things inside the bag.
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by ol »

Poke wrote:
Tempted to say that this may be more down to user error than bag quality. Mine were fine.
How should they be opened you reckon? I tend to grip each one and pull them towards and past each other with hands close together, not pulling directly apart, the seal then sort of zig-zags and then opens, not that easily mind.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by SwamP »

1300 between your legs...and a group who are happy stopping at every bit of tasty white water for some nice action shots and to also take photos of you too....

In short I've given up taking my camera on the river as I just do not use it, a real shame!....for me photos for money sport for fun ;o)
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Rdscott »

Be warned once you have a camera and kit to keep it dry, yo will have a selection of a million and 1 photos amd not one of them will have you in it.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Mark R »

Poke wrote:Tempted to say that this may be more down to user error than bag quality.
Yes, this is fair - the first just ripped away anyway, but I wore the second out with bad technique - unfortunately you can't always open it with the perfect technique or keep it lubed whilst using it on a long trip/ out on the water.
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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by JackG »

How do you secure a Peli between the legs?

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Performance Kayaks »

ol wrote:How should they be opened you reckon? I tend to grip each one and pull them towards and past each other with hands close together, not pulling directly apart, the seal then sort of zig-zags and then opens, not that easily mind.
Pulled this from the Watershed Website. Either 303 Protectant or Armour-All to lube the seal.

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Re: DSLR & boats... advice please!

Post by Mark R »

JackG wrote:How do you secure a Peli between the legs?
I did this myself, as recently as a few weeks ago.

However, all things considered, I'd advise you not to. Really.
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