Overpacking the Think Tank Photo Airport Security 2.0

When I shot with Irish and Kayo in Tokyo at the end of last year, I ended up taking a lot of gear with me.  Since I am never really sure what lighting equipment will be available at the rental studios we use, I prefer to have enough with me just in case. The lighting kit I carry along with my camera gear allows me lots of flexibility in creating different looks while keeping everything down to one bag.

I mainly use the Think Tank Airport Security v2.0 when I travel. Having owned several camera bags and rolling cases from other manufacturers before, I have found the Airport Security 2.0 to be the sturdiest, most well-built and well-designed rolling camera bag out of all of them. In one bag I am able to bring an entire studio lighting kit to location shoots.


The main points I like about this bag are:

It can hold a TON of gear



It has a built-in TSA lock for the main compartment.


(Sorry that this bag is not in the most presentable condition, but I use this bag A LOT.)

It is deep enough that a 70-200 2.8 lens can fit vertically which saves a lot of space. This one feature alone was one of the main reasons I bought this bag.



In the rear compartment is a cable and TSA lock to help deter your camera bag from "accidentally" walking away with someone else.



User replaceable wheels. The rolling case I had before did not have this feature and this is another major reason why I switched over to Think Tank.



Integrated backpack straps hidden in the back of the case that can be quickly deployed when you need to carry it on your back down a flight of stairs or over rough terrain.




Did I mention it can hold a TON of gear? In the Airport Security v2.0 I can fit ALL of the following:

Canon 5D mkII body with a WFT-E4 Wifi transmitter and a ReallyRightStuff L-bracket
4 - LP-E6 batteries (in cameras)
4 - Nikon SB26 Speedlights
40 - rechargeable AA batteries (in the flashes and battery packs)
4 - Pocket Wizard PC sync cords in an Altoids container.
 (The Altoids container also has strips of gaffer's tape on the lid - you never know when you'll need gaffer's tape.)
1 - RadioPopper PX transmitter
2 - RadioPopper PX receivers
2 - Gary Fong Lightspheres (1/2 Cloud) with 2 white domes and 1 amber dome
1 - Grid - homemade out of black cocktail straws, Frosted Flakes cereal box and lots of gaffer's tape
Manfrotto 190CX Tripod with ReallyRightStuff BH-40 ball head
Gerber Multitool
20ft USB to mini USB (tethering backup in case the wireless fails)
Ballpoint Pen
Sharpie ExtraFine Marker (with a few feet of extra gaffer's tape wrapped around it for good measure)
Lens Wipes
Shiseido Oil Absorbing Sheets  - soaks up oil on skin without messing up the makeup
Ball Bungies
Clothespins
Business Cards
Model Release Forms

The video below shows pretty much everything I took with me to Japan. A few things are missing in the video, like the iPad which I didn't have with me at the time that I shot this.

Also not shown is a Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 60 that I also take to shoots. It slides right onto the extended handle of the Airport Security and holds a Macbook Pro, a couple of Justin Clamps, and any other miscellaneous items I might want to bring on a shoot.

And just to clarify, THIS IS NOT HOW I PACKED IT WHEN I TOOK IT ON THE AIRPLANE.  The Gerber Multitool, tripod, lightstands and softboxes all went into my check-in luggage for the trip.  Everything that was packed inside the Airport Security, (except the Gerber obviously) came with me as my carry-on.

Once I was IN Japan, THEN I packed everything into one bag like this for my photoshoots.




Our friends at Think Tank Photo just announced a special deal on their popular rolling camera bags.  Order their Airport Security V2.0, Airport International V2.0, Airport Airstream, or Airport TakeOff rolling camera bags before May 31, 2012 and you will receive one of their Artificial Intelligence V2.0 laptop sleeves for free!  

If you are looking to buy a roller before you head out this summer, this is a great time to do so!