What cases to avoid. The first carrying case that most aspiring photographers rush out to buy is a Halliburton. This is not a wise decision.First, they are needlessly expensive. Second, this kind of suitcase cries out "steal me." Third, they are neither dust proof nor water proof. If this is not enough recommendation, the latches in mine fell apart.

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Some Suggestions for Carrying all your new Equipment

Transport cases by Andiamo are great. They last forever, they seem impervious to water and they sure hold out dust. Mine has traveled for years and never got a dent. Andiamo cases are not conspicuous either. The model that has served well all this time is the "Aerospace."

Andiamo Inc., 11520 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, CA 92728, 1-800 423-3561.

Their Aerospace division has a different address, which you can get from the main Andiamo web site.

Once you move up to industrial strength photography you will want, or more likely you will need, a flight and road case. Several good brands exist, I bought two A&S cases almost two decades ago, and they are still serviceable. These are the professional cases that musicians, TV crews, movie crews, and studio photographers use when they move their equipment by airplane. That nice black case to the left of the pile in front of the Copan Museum is an A&S case, vintage 1970 and still sturdy and strong.
Cases and equipment Copan Museum (jpeg)
Nicholas and Andrea at Copan with photographic equipment in their cases

A&S Case Co., 1111 N. Gordon St, Hollywood, CA 90038, tel (213) 466-6181. This is from a brochure over 14 years old.
I was unable to get anyone to answer this old phone number.

I found no A&S Case Co. on the Internet either, so perhaps they are out of business. If so, go with Anvil cases.

SCS Cases sells Anvil Cases, Hardigg, and others. Anvil is a well known and respected brand name. SCS's toll free number is (800) 544-5395.

Hardigg makes "workstation cases," which enable you to transport entire computer workstations with as much ease as you move your cameras. These workstation cases enclose monitor, computer, and keyboard. This means you can have the full power of a desktop system yet the possibility of movement.

Fiberbilt is another major brand but I prefer the heavy-duty latch system A&S or Anvil.

Calzone cases look similar to those of A&S or Anvil. Calzone Case Co. has offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles.
Since I have hands-on experience with A&S and Andiamo, I recommend them above all others until I have an opportunity to try out other kinds of cases. Any case that survives the jungles of Central America, the bullet trains of Japan, and being dragged though half the train stations of Europe deserves a rating as "outstanding." Andiamo is suitcase-style, A&S is a trunk style. I use them both.

How do you carry all your cases?

You can tip all the skycaps in the world and avoid carrying your cases, or you can save a bundle and buy your own private skycap, namely a REMIN Kart-a-bag. I got one many years ago and quickly saved all those $5 tips that bellboys used to claim

If you have too much equipment for a cart?

I have used Land Rovers, Ford F-250 4WD trucks, and a Dodge Power Wagon to haul my equipment all across the Americas and up and down Central America. But the vehicle which has held up the best is a GMC Suburban. My trusty '84 has over 300,000 miles and would keep going for another decade if rust were not claiming almost the entire body. Shortly FLAAR will need a replacement but it would be hard to find anything more rugged (and as large as) a full sized Suburban 4WD. Check out this vehicle on duty at Santa Lucia Cotzumalhuapa (Bilbao) in Guatemala.

 

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Posted early 1998, last edited Oct 6, 1999; links added Mar. 2002, redesigned January 2004
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