What’s A Good Way For Real Estate Photographers To Carry Tripods And Light Stands?

September 28th, 2015

TripodsLightstandsDean says:

Do you have any ideas about carrying all the tripods I have? Including my main camera tripod I have three or four others (maybe more?) I use for speed lights. I thought about looking at one of the Pelican solutions, maybe a rifle case I could remove the foam from. Do you have any ideas?

Yes, I have a canvas bag that that a lighting kit came in that I use. There are several canvas bags made by Cowboy Studios that are very similar:

  1. A zippered bag that would carry a few tripods and
  2. A larger one with a shoulder strap and
  3. A deluxe one with wheels.

The one I have is similar to #2 and it works well I carry a big tripod and 2 or three light stands in it.

What do others use?

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16 Responses to “What’s A Good Way For Real Estate Photographers To Carry Tripods And Light Stands?”

  • I carry my main tripod and two smaller ones for speedlights in a padded baseball bat bag I picked up used at a Play It Again Sports for $20. Works great.

  • I had several padded cases from Orion telescope that I used for telescopes and mounts in years past and repurposed to photography. These are very heavy duty canvas and zippers and are great for protecting equipment. Not cheap, many are in the $100 range but when you want the padding these do very well.

  • Fortunately, the tripods I have came with zippered bags. My lights stands I have in a case similar to the one pictured above without the side pocket. I think I purchased it on eBay some years ago. My large stands are in zippered bags made for skis.

    If you are flying or shipping your equipment, a hard case such as a Pelican or a rifle case would be a good idea. If you transport your own equipment and tend to care of it, a cloth zippered bag could be the most economical choice. You don’t have to buy cases that are specifically marketed as “photo” cases. Mike’s suggestion of Play It Again Sports is a great one.

  • I use a golf bag for some of my lighting equipment. It holds 5 speedlights, my wireless remote, 2 light stands, 3 umbrellas and 2 smaller camera tripods.

  • Spend a few dollars and get real light stand or tripod cases/bags. Remember, the idea is to look professional to your clients.

  • I carry my tripod bare in my hand, primarily due to leaving the case behind somewhere a couple years ago. Get a laugh out of the owners as I show up for a 10:00 appointment, two bags draped over my shoulders holding a bare tripod and introduce myself as the photographer – as if I would be confused with a plumber or something. Then ask where their laundry room is and the look of horror as they think I am going to take a picture…rather than store my stuff out of the way. On one shoulder is the canvas Domke bag with camera, 3 lens, and 2 flashes – but will be rearranging it shortly. The other shoulder has the canvas bag similar to the one pictured at the top, the ‘cheap line’ similar to Cowboy but purchased at the local camera store. It holds two stands and umbrellas, and two additional flashes in their cases with some room to spare since I removed the slider, also in it’s case. Typically use the little footer that comes with flash for supplemental placement, but have room for an additional stand. I use to have the additional flashes draped outside on the shoulder strap but when switched to Yongnuo, they don’t have belt loops on their flash cases, requiring them to be inside. Now remaining in the car are the tripod with video head, slider in case, stabilizer in case, and pole/platform. Bag lightened with switch from Nikon to Sony as no longer carry triggers (internal to flash) or Camranger (direct wifi to phone).
    Thought about putting everything in a guitar case. While it would be conversational, figured wouldn’t look too professional. Besides, some of those laundry rooms are so cramped that have a hard time finding room even with flexible canvas cases.

  • I use a fold-up cart like this one: It might not be necessary if you do a lot of single family homes, but I am mostly in and out of large hi-rise bldgs and this thing is wonderful for transporting everything in one trip over long, flat, surfaces.

  • I had to laugh when I saw the accompanying picture since it’s what I use. The bag is actually surprisingly decent quality (much more than I can say for the kit it contained, but I digress). I got into the habit of putting my tripods on top of the bag between the carrying handles and it has been working well for me but I suppose it isn’t ideal. I started doing it that way because I was afraid my tripods would wreak havoc on the plastic-fantastic light kit inside and just kept doing it that way. To be fair to the bag, even though no one will confuse it for some mil-spec tacti-cool carrying case, it has held up very well. It easily has the capacity for two tripods and several light stands and umbrellas. I just wish it wasnt branded…hopefully most clients don’t know the Cowboy Studios “brand”…and all it’s off shore plasticky glory;)
    Because it’s not a critical piece of equipment and is so incredibly inexpensive, I would almost be tempted to say that it makes good economic sense. You can wear out a few before your costs add up to something more substantial. To put it another way, the cost of this cheap case is a much smaller fraction of the next step up than it’s life expectancy.

  • I had this issue about two weeks ago, I searched everywhere for the best price padded bag I could find. Finally I came up with this…
    I carry 3 light stands, two tripods and four umbrellas. I really love this bag, for less than $40 I don’t think there is a better bag.

  • Walmart duffel bag. $2. For just the tripods and a charger. Its worked adequately for a couple years. Though, I’m getting ready for something just a tad rigid. I’m tired of ruffling through a floppy bag at times.

    When I buy another tripod and head, probably another month or so, I’ll probably address the issue then.

  • I don’t generally use stands for lighting, but I use a Manfrotto 80cm unpadded bag (MBAG80N) for my tripod and head, and I can also fit in a light stand, a modified light stand that serves as a light-on-a-stick, plus a couple of umbrellas.

  • I use a Hensel lighstand bag, it seems to be well made. It is so much easier and faster to have them all in one bag.

  • I have a bag similar to the one shown for light stands and light modifiers but carry flash units in a photo backpack with home made (2×4 blocks painted black) flash shoes and connections for remote flash! I can carry three units and shoes in my backpack. I can set these blocks pretty much anywhere I need more light. Since I do HDR almost exclusively, I don’t carry much more than my camera bag, panorama head, and tripod into a location. If I need the extra light, I simply go back to the car for them.

  • I actually do use a Pelican rifle case sans foam for my stands and umbrellas. It holds 5 compact stands and 5 umbrellas, and could probably hold more if I wanted to squish everything in. The pros are that it’s sturdy and has wheels, and the only real con is that the case itself weighs about 16 lbs empty.

  • I have used a black Nike lacrosse gear bag for 3 years and it works perfectly. It holds my 5 cheapo tripods (light stands) 3 large umbrellas and has pockets for spare batteries and nicknacks. Best part is I got it at Marshalls for $10.00.

  • Used to carry a bag for light stands. Carrying all that equipment was killing me, not to mention time at the shoot.

    Just bring a single light. Much faster.

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