Svalbard Photo Equipment List

Posted Jul. 19th, 2011 by Daniel J. Cox

July 18, 2011

Pro Roller X200 Inside can be removed and hard shell sent to the baggage compartment

Yesterday I received a note on Facebook from a friend of mine in South Africa. He saw the picture I posted of Tanya with all our bags and asked if there was any camera gear inside.  We’ve traveled together so his comment was just a friendly poke. This business of taking pictures creates a lot of baggage. His comment made me think that I should give some details on all that I’ve brought for our shoot in Svalbard, Norway.

First of all when Tanya and I travel together and particularly when we leave North America I almost always use the Lowepro Roller bags. Since there are two of us we can often take more on board the aircraft than I can when traveling alone. If I am traveling solo I will often use a Lowerpro backpack of some sort placed within a large, Pelican, hard sided case and checked as luggage. I like the Pro Roller option the best since obviously I can keep my eye on my gear.




A minimal backpack harness good for short hauls onto a plane or a few hundred yards to a blind.

The Pro roller I currently us is the Pro Roller X200. Not the largest they make in the Pro Roller series but not the smallest either. What’s particularly interesting about this case is it’s semi-transformer personality. It’s a bit large for smaller planes overhead bins but with a quick zip of the inner case, you can reduce it’s size substantially. By zipping out the inside protective enclosure you remove the hard sided outer shell. On the back side of the inner case are backpack straps that make it easy to sling over your shoulders. More than once I’ve had the folks at the gate suggest my rolling strong box was too large for aircraft carryon. Quickly I can zip out the inside and hand them the outer shell, eliminating the concern. The inside fits nicely in virtually all aircraft bins I’ve ever needed access to.

Enclosed in the Pro Roller X200 is a varied collection of camera equipment that includes:

2-Nikon D7000 bodies

1-Nikon D700 body

1-600mm Nikkor Lens (This lens Tanya carries in her on board luggage)

1-200-400mm Nikkor Zoom

1-70-200mm Nikkor Zoom

1-24-70mm Nikkor Zoom

1-24mm Nikkor Tilt Shift

1-10-20mm Sigma Zoom

1-105mm Nikkor Macro

1-Nikon Remote camera release cord

1-1.4 Nikon Tele Converter

1-1.7 Nikon Tele Converter

1-Nikon Polarizing filter

4-Sandisk 8gig SD cards

4-Lexar 8gig CF Cards

Extra Misc. camera and communications gear in a separate small camera bag inside a rolling Eddie Bauer duffel includes:

1-Panasonic/Lumix GH2

1-45-200mm Panasonic/Lumix lens

1-Panasonic External Mic

1-Audio-Technica Wireless Mic system

2-Nikon SB 900 Strobes
1-D700 charger

1-D7000 charger

1-Eneloop AA Batteries and charger

1-Nikon Binoculars

3-Pocket Wizard Remote control radios

1-Iridium 9555 Satellite phone


Additional electronics contained in my Lowepro briefcase.

1-15 inch MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.66ghz Intel Processor with 4 gigs of Ram

2-Other World Computing ON The Go Pro 750gig Firewire hard drives

1-IPad 1

2-CF card readers

2-SD card readers

1-MacBook power cord

1-IPhone 3GS

1-Panasonic/Lumix GF2 with 28mm lens

1-ContourHD GPS Video camera

1-Underwater housing for ContourHD Video camera.


Additional Camera accessories packed in Eddie Bauer duffel bags.

1-Gitzo GT3541LS Carbon Fiber tripod

1-Manfrotto 504HD Fluid video head

1-Really Right Stuff quick release base plate for Manfrotto Fluid Head

1-Gitzo GT2540T carbon fiber Mountainer tripod with Gizo ball head

1-Gitzo Carbon fiber monopod

The Eddie Bauer duffels are almost perfect for traveling with camera gear and loads of heavy outdoor related equipment. I say almost perfect due to their size. The large version is actually bigger than we typically need and the medium is a bit too small. Would be nice if they did something in between. The lower part of the duffel has a separate compartment that zips open independent from the main chamber above. This hard plastic shell is perfect for protecting semi-delicate tripods and tripod heads that are stowed at the bottom of the bag. These duffel bags have been great tools for carrying lots of gear though I’m not sure they were built for the tough travel we put them through. We’re starting to see zippers getting warn and the axles for the wheels have become bent ever so slightly, effecting the drag while rolling them through airports. All in all they’ve been more than worth their cost. Roaming with a duffel bag is highly desirable when  you’re traveling for adventure. Their soft sides have many benefits including the ability to stuff easily into small cargo holds of planes, boats and other forms of adventure transportation. Equally beneficial is the ability to stuff them under bunks when you settle in to you quarters at a remote lodge or small boat. You can get an idea of what I mean by watching our Kenya video that has a part showing the benefits of stuffing a duffel bag in to the cargo bay of a small plane. There is nothing worse than trying to shove a hard sided suitcase under the bed in a small cabin.


That’s about it for equipment related to taking pictures for our Svalbard Adventure. Feel free to write with any questions. I’ll do my best to answer them though it may take a few days since our contact with our blog will be via Satellite phone. Not sure exactly how often we’ll be able to hook up but stay tuned to see for your self.


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There are 2 comments on this post…
  1. Fred KurtzOn Aug. 3rd, 2011


    Your blogs are so helpful. Kathy and I just returned from London and the travel was horrendous – the worst ever. We had cancelled flights both coming and going resulting in over a dozen hours in various lines trying to get things straightened out. Needless to say I had a very heavy camera backpack either strapped to my back or holding in my hand or scooting on the ground. When I got back home I remembered your blog about equipment and I re-read it and watched the video on the X200 roller. I just ordered one. Seeing how you packed it was also very helpful. Keep up the great work.


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      danieljcoxOn Aug. 6th, 2011

      Thanks Fred, I’m hoping to add even more input regarding photo techniques, equipment reviews, etc. I appreciate you following our Blog.

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