Master Guide to Rigging a Nikon D800 or D800E (Part 11)

In this part I’ll cover Bags, Cases and Straps for the Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E.

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Let’s divide our travel into quick and light, backpack, single person airline and full cargo. This is a highly generalized guideline – you can always make things easier or harder for yourself.


Quick and light is usually a trip that lasts for just a few hours. You arrive quickly, shoot for a couple of hours, and get back home for tea (substitute your favorite drink here).

My favorite for one camera and a couple of lenses is:

Think Tank Retrospective 10, Pinestone


Of course the previous example will hardly do for video. Video always needs more cubic inches. I recommend:

Lowepro 350 AW DSLR Video Fastpack


Backpack travel might include many days worth of trekking. It is cool for photographers to do on weekends, but hell for videographers. Forcing yourself to trek alone carrying the entire load by yourself means compromise, even if you are an Olympic athlete.

But if you insist:

Lowepro Pro Trekker 600 AW Camera Backpack

Trekker bags have to be soft and comfortable to carry, yet be strong enough to bear the load without sagging or having your gear mixed into electronic cocktail.


This is for a one-man crew who travels alone with gear, but luckily doesn’t have to carry it on his/her back. We can go two ways:

Carry-on baggage

Think Tank Airport International V 2.0

Think Tank Airport Security V 2.0

Use the former link for international travel, and the latter link for travel within the US. An airline bag must hopefully fit into cabin baggage racks, so please check with your airline before you pack any gear.

Check-in baggage
These bags better be sturdy – they might get dropped from uncomfortable heights. And they are bigger:

Tamrac 694 Camera Rolling Case

Yet, they have to be rolled in airports for comfort. At this point, it might be a good idea to go sturdier with a different design:

Portabrace CAR-2B Cargo Case

It’s the classic box vs bag conundrum. You’ll have to figure out for yourself which style suits your body, gear and workflow. There is no such thing as a perfect bag for all scenarios.


Full cargo cases tend to be packed and forgotten while they travel through many hands. I would rule out soft covers entirely – I just don’t want people feeling up my bag! For long distance travel, and absolute protection, I fully recommend:

Pelican 1650 Case w/Foam

Pelican 1659 Lid Organizer

Pelican makes them in various standard sizes, and can also be custom built. Having your gear in these little ‘tanks’ takes a load off your mind while you focus on more creative things. Why compromise?

To ship racks, mounts and other gear, it might be a good idea to use a specialized service like Fedex or DHL, with specially made rack server cases like these:

12 Space (12) ATA Rack Amp Road Case (20″ Deep) with Casters

Usually rack cases are custom-built based on each project’s requirements. We can go on and on all day about this, so the options given above should be a great place to start hunting for your perfect travel companion.


Even though a strap comes free with your camera, there are more comfortable opions:

Neck strap

OP/TECH Pro Strap

Wrist strap

OP/TECH SLR Wrist Strap

That’s about it! We have designed, built and wrapped your Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E rig and it’s ready for action. Go forth and record something worthwhile!

In Part 12, the final part, I’ll give you a full PDF file checklist.

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