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Travelling with Lenses


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#1 Evan Prosofsky

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:43 AM

My apologies as I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere, but could anybody please let me know if there are any specifics for flying with prime lenses? Specifically Hawk C Series. I will be travelling a lot with these and want to make sure they are maintained during travel. Thankyou!!

 

 


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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 06:59 AM

Take them as carry on?

 

Freya


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#3 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:13 AM


Assuming you already have a proper lens case, I always "strap" the lenses and wrap them in bubble wrap before placing them in the case. "Strapping" the lens means sticking a strip of tape across the lens barrel to insure the lens travels with the focus set at infinity and the iris is wide open. That's very important to maintain the health of the lens when considering all of the forces it will be subject to such as vibration. If you follow this procedure, you should not have any issues with shipping your lenses however you choose.

G
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

What greg said. I also personally carry on my lenses when I travel.


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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 11:27 AM

...good tip. I knew about the iris thing, but just out of interest, why is it less stressful to be focussed at infinity?

P
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#6 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:32 PM

...good tip. I knew about the iris thing, but just out of interest, why is it less stressful to be focussed at infinity?P


Because the lens elements are compressed together relieving any stress on the glass and/or the transport mechanism.
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#7 Evan Andrew John Prosofsky

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:21 PM

Assuming you already have a proper lens case, I always "strap" the lenses and wrap them in bubble wrap before placing them in the case. "Strapping" the lens means sticking a strip of tape across the lens barrel to insure the lens travels with the focus set at infinity and the iris is wide open. That's very important to maintain the health of the lens when considering all of the forces it will be subject to such as vibration. If you follow this procedure, you should not have any issues with shipping your lenses however you choose.

G

That is exactly what I needed to hear, thanks Greg! And PS for what its worth I just watched American Hustle again and the focus issues weren't apparent to me at all, although you've done a good job of scaring me off k35s :)

 

Best,


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#8 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:45 PM

That is exactly what I needed to hear, thanks Greg! And PS for what its worth I just watched American Hustle again and the focus issues weren't apparent to me at all, although you've done a good job of scaring me off k35s :)
 
Best,


Ha ha! I didn't mean to scare anyone from using them. I'm sure that they have a place somewhere... Like locked off shots!

G
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#9 Chris Millar

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 07:53 PM

Because the lens elements are compressed together relieving any stress on the glass and/or the transport mechanism.

Hi Gregory, 

 

'compressed' ?  Why ?

 

And in general I would have said compression usually equates to stress/strain - you'd rather looking to minimise forces - or perhaps you mean a little pre-load to stop the potential for movement with vibration? (in which case why infinity over close?)

 

I've only opened up so many lenses, and managed to put back together less ;) and it seems like you're in the real (actual!) movie making business so I'm keen to learn but I don't understand the reasoning as it's been put - probably a terminology/communication issue rather than lack of real world understanding ... 


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#10 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 08:52 PM

Assuming you already have a proper lens case, I always "strap" the lenses and wrap them in bubble wrap before placing them in the case. "Strapping" the lens means sticking a strip of tape across the lens barrel to insure the lens travels with the focus set at infinity and the iris is wide open. That's very important to maintain the health of the lens when considering all of the forces it will be subject to such as vibration. If you follow this procedure, you should not have any issues with shipping your lenses however you choose.

G

 

 

 

The most important thing I would suggest is to have professionally fitted travel cases, with snug cut-outs in impact resistant foam made for each individual lens. That way they're protected all the time - while travelling, on set, carried out of trucks, in storage etc. I'm not sure about bubble wrap, it's hard to bubble wrap a lens every time it goes in its case and the cut-outs should be a close fit, but I guess if the case isn't custom cut it makes sense. 

 

Setting lenses to infinity and wide open is good advice. With helical thread focus systems (like you find in the Hawk C series and most older lenses) the threads are fully engaged at infinity, the lens is at its most compact (if it telescopes) and there's less chance of an impact causing bending stresses. With cam driven focussing systems like in S4s or Master Primes there's less chance of impact damage to the cam causing a bump or focus drop within the focus throw if they're set at the infinity end. 

 

When lenses are assembled and serviced most of the lock rings and screws are lacquered in place (especially small set screws), but even so the vibration from a lot of transport can sometimes work them loose, and cause a focus ring or keyway or occasionally even a glass element to come a bit loose. Good travel cases can help, but there's not much else you can do about this sort of thing, it's just something to be aware of. 


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#11 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 10:53 PM

Hi Gregory, 
 
'compressed' ?  Why ?
 
And in general I would have said compression usually equates to stress/strain - you'd rather looking to minimise forces - or perhaps you mean a little pre-load to stop the potential for movement with vibration? (in which case why infinity over close?)

I've only opened up so many lenses, and managed to put back together less ;) and it seems like you're in the real (actual!) movie making business so I'm keen to learn but I don't understand the reasoning as it's been put - probably a terminology/communication issue rather than lack of real world understanding ...


Ok, let's keep this simple. What happens with regards to the lens elements and groups of elements when you focus a lens towards close focus?

Answer: the elements expand away from each other to where sometimes the lens itself grows physically longer. Thus there is more space between the elements. They are suspended away from each other thus becoming less stable, structurally. They are less protected.

Conversely, what happens with the elements when you focus the lens to infinity? It's the exact opposite. The elements retract toward one another compacting less space between them thus more protection and less suspension against damaging forces such as vibration. The lens becomes mechanically shorter.

And just to clarify, I only bubble wrap and strap the lenses for shipping purposes. I honestly don't worry about hand carrying them on board the plane. I'm usually shipping several tons of camera gear at a time and it all goes into a pile. On a day to day routine however, I always store the lenses at infinity and wide open in the lens case.

I hope I didn't create confusion.

G
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#12 Chris Millar

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 01:36 AM

I'm an engineer (well, kind of half qualified, but working on that) and INTP personality type. Lethal combo when it comes to pedantry ;)

I hear what you're saying but upon reflection I think I need to open up a lens or two (different mechanisms as Dom mentions) and get a real feel for the interconnection of elements.

Just so happens my lenses are stored at infinity also, the main reason being the size consideration which has been pointed out ;)
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 05:49 AM

I think it makes reasonable sense to minimise the spacing between parts.

I suspect that the real detail of this would need to be assessed on a per-lens basis, though. Possibly we're already overthinking this.

Visited Cooke's factory in Leicester recently, should've asked!

P
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#14 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 10:48 AM

I think it makes reasonable sense to minimise the spacing between parts.

I suspect that the real detail of this would need to be assessed on a per-lens basis, though. Possibly we're already overthinking this.

Visited Cooke's factory in Leicester recently, should've asked!

P

 

It really applies to all lenses. And we are definately overthinking this.  Infinity/wide open is simply a good habit to get into when storing lenses.

 


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