Thinking about rolling camera bags like ThinkTank's Airport series, but wonder if the vibration from rolling can damage camera bodies and lenses? I know my regular rolling luggage is regularly subjected to jarring jolts and vibrations from pavement cracks, floor tiles, door jams, etc. no matter how cautious I may be. Way back in the film days my college prof always cautioned us about vibration damage to SLRS.
I've been using an Airport International for six years and I think it is safer than when I use a backpack — I sometimes drop the backpack on the ground rather than lowering it gently all the way, a circumstance that does not happen with my roller. I frequently carry my laptop in the outer pocket and again I've never had an issue.
The roller is my bag of choice anytime I need to carry a lot of toys. It holds more than any of my other bags.
I my experience — that's fifty years with SLRs — I just cannot see vibration being a source of potential damage. Drops onto a hard surface are about the only way I know of to damage a lens or body.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
I suspect, that if you put the proper instrumentations on it, you would find that your camera get more intense shocks when you are carrying it or when you have it hanging from your shoulder or neck from a strap.
I think you are worrying excessively about the delicacy of you camera equipment.
Sat 06-Jul-13 03:43 PM | edited Sat 06-Jul-13 09:42 PM by Cavy2
I've had the Think Tank Airport AirStream for about five years now. It's traveled to China, Argentina, and around the US. Very well made, and when packed using the included dividers quite safe. If it wasn't for the value inside, I might even consider checking it.
I would be more concerned by higher frequency vibrations, such as one might encounter on boats, ships, planes, etc. causing screws to come loose. I recall that happened to one of my cameras once or twice, many many years ago.
I've not heard of problems with cameras, but if mechanical items are held too tightly with no give between them and the source of vibration it 'can' cause problems. High frequency vibrations can cause lubricant to migrate away from bearing surfaces. I doubt that a roll along case will ever cause that sort of issue as the vibrations will likely be of a lower frequency. Almost anything including the padding on the inside of the case should be enough to kill any hint of a problem. As long as the sensitive device does not have direct contact with e.g. a metal frame element of a case I cannot see any issue
My gear has been traveling in a ThinkTank Airport International for about seven years. Don't forget that the ThinkTank stuff is designed essentially exclusively for pros. I doubt they'd stay in business if the rolling stuff caused lots of failures. A considerable proportion of the sports pros I see at race tracks and baseball stadiums are using rolling bags. Those folks are traveling a lot more than I do, too.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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