Instrumental Protection – Storing my Camera Rig

Having aquired a rig for my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for the past few months, both for tripod and shoulder, the need has arosen for a second hard plastic “pelican style” instrument case to store and transport my rig in a safe manner. Yesterday I turned to Clas Ohlson for an affordable purchase. In this case my needs were to safely store my Petroff MatteBox and Follow Focus, the POOLi™ S-BASE-2 and D-BASE-2 base plates, with the twin 30 mm aluminum Ø 15 x 60 mm Rods, the SmallRig 1638 Top Handle Cold Shoe Base and Threaded Top Handle, 1622 Rubber Non-slip Handle Grip with 1795 1/4″ D-Ring Fixing Screw, and Long Lens Support with 15mm Rod Clamp, as well as the Krasnogorsk-3 Pistol Grip with telescopic Shoulder Brace and Hand Strap. The fact that these items are quite bulky, in particular the matte box, made it necessary for me to aquire the larger version of the Safe Case with the article number 40-8470, having the dimensions of 51 x 41 x 20 cm. As with the previous case, this instrument case is water, dust and shock resistant, made of heavy duty black plastic, sporting a automatic pressure valve system. Like its smaller cousin, the handle is rubberized for better comfort (actually, the handles seem to be identical, which is a sign that they are made in the same Chinese factory). Its lid has snap locks (that are much more resistant when locking), prepared for padlocking, and has a rubber packing. The case has a total of 4-layers of shock-absoret foam rubber lining inserts, of which two have a precut diced pattern for picking and plucking. Whereas the bottom and top packing, cut in a conical pattern, has a thicker lining compared to my previous mid-sized instrument case, the two precut lining inserts have the same thickness, giving a couple of centimetres headroom to the edge of the bottom part of the case, although their size is larger to accomodate the volume of the case.

Large sized Instrument Case compared to the mid-sized case (top left and middle) and pick’n’plucking (the other)

Picking and plucking was easy and didn’t take much time, although I hade to repair some parts that either loosened unintentionally or when I changed my mind or had to modify the shape of the padding, using super glue. I haven’t glued the two foam linings together yet, as with my previous instrument case (even if I will join them together with super glue to stabilise certain parts of the padding which has narrow walls), but in a similar manner I have often plucked layers with different amounts and sizes, to accomodate the forms of the items, such as with the matte box and the follow focus, as well as the top handle and shoulder brace. In certain cases I have cut parts at the bottom layer to hide an object under the main item that has been fitted to the top layer, such as with the two handles where the SmallRig rubber grip is packed underneeth the metal threaded top handle, and the Krasnogorsk-3 hand strap being hidden beneath the telescopic shoulder brace. I feel that I have made the foam padding more optimal compared to the smaller instrument case (with the camera, half-cage, light meter, zoom lens, prime lens, filters, lens shade, flash memory cards, charger, power supply, and batteries); the ‘camera case’ grew and delevoped as more items where added, whereas I had the ability to prepare the forming of the padding of the ‘rig case’, having had all items available beforehand. I might have to reorganise the ‘camera case’ when I prepare a separate case for all of my current and future lenses of the LOMO 16 OKS prime line (the 16 OKS 3-10-1 is currently in my mid-sized instrument case), and the OPF zoom lens line; I would like to have my future set of Krasnogorsk-2 prime lenses (Mir-11, Vega-7 and Vega-9) with my camera and Krasogorsk-3 Meteor 5-1 zoom lens, and migrate my Sekonic film meter and slides in the process. I migth have to buy another one or two of the large sized instrument cases for that, and also to accomodate a future monitor and viewfinder.

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