Unsolicited editorials on cameras, lenses, film, developer, and black and white photography in general.

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Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Monday, July 31, 2006

Domke Protective Wraps

With the post-9/11 heightened need for security at airports, I had all but given up on taking a camera with me on trips. Immediately post-9/11, I attempted to board a plane in Seattle with a Leica CL loaded with exposed slide film. I asked a paramilitary-looking lady to hand-inspect it (along with all of my exposed film) rather than x-raying it. Bad idea. Not only did they run the camera and film back and forth through the X-ray machine half a dozen times, I had to remove all of my clothes short of my slacks and dress shirt. Have you had your tie X-rayed? In short, what I endured was a “Let this be a lesson to you for asking us to compromise our security.” One roll of slides that was in my carry-on bag was X-rayed only once and was usable. All of the others were fogged and greenish. I rarely carry a film camera with me on a plane since then.

Tomorrow, I leave for San Diego and then to San Francisco to visit family. I do want to take a camera to get some pictures of the family. Instead of the easy answer, a digital camera, I’m taking an old Rolleiflex. With no metal cassettes covering the film, I can stash it in my pockets without setting off any metal detectors. I’m hoping to be able to carry it in my pockets on four legs of this trip. However, I am a bit concerned about my Rolleiflex being mauled by baggage guys. I don’t protect my Rolleis with a genuine leather Rolleiflex case. At $350 and by special order only, I’m not sure if anyone uses a genuine Rolleiflex leather case. But I do want to protect my 50-year-old 2.8F Planar.
I have found Domke protective wraps to be an effective way to protect cameras, lenses, meters, and anything else you want to give a bit of padding and resistance to scuffs. They remind me a little of very small versions of the pads used by movers to protect furniture. They are square with soft fabric outside and nylon inside. Each inside corner has Velcro™ on it, which sticks tenaciously to the soft fabric outside. Covering a camera or lens is a bit like diapering a baby (or making one of many different food items with a flour tortilla at Taco Bell™). One Domke Wrap didn’t seem like quite enough padding to me, so I double-wrapped the Rolleiflex with two.

Domke Protective Wraps come in 3 sizes (11”, 15”, or 19”, all square) and four colors. If you use collectible cameras and lenses that cannot easily be replaced, these lightweight wraps come in handy when taking treks, protecting your precious cargo from road dust, spilled soft drinks, cigarette smoke, and blinding sun.