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I have 12 Canon camera bodies (e.g. film bodies like the AE-1, A1, T90, EOS 1N, and digital bodies like the 20D, 5D, and 7D), about 4 'irregular' camera bodies like a Rolleiflex and a Brownie box camera, and a couple of bridge cameras. Along with those cameras I have about 17 lenses (smaller FD lenses (50mm, 28mm) and larger EOS lenses (24-70, 70-200)). In addition to that, a number of accessories such as flashes (typical 1960s/1970s sizes, plus two Speedlites (430EX, 580EX)), about 50 filters (42mm up to 77mm; median is 58mm), two tripods and two tripod heads, and about 1.5 cubic feet of other assorted accessories.

My question is fairly simple, but is taking me a long time to answer: What is the best way to store this equipment? Is there a storage system that works well for photographic equipment?

The storage method will be semi-stationary - it will occasionally be moved around the house, and it may be taken on trips. That said, is there an argument for having a storage method for home (e.g. large metal cabinet) and a separate one for travel (e.g. large camera backpack)

Will Pelican Air cases work for this? (Does Pelican sell additional foam dividers?) Are there other methods (or brands) that I've overlooked? My budget is less than $1000 USD. It would be good if the cases were airtight and watertight.

Thank you for any suggestions.

Edit: I saw the answers to the other question (What are good schemes for storing photo equipment at home?), but the answers lack specific recommendations (e.g. "buy Pelican Air cases with foam dividers for xyz reasons"). A number of answers make recommendations that are applicable across higher level recommendations (and using different case types would not invalidate the advice). Basically, I'm looking for a fairly specific plan, up to and including a particular model of case (which is why I was fairly specific about the equipment I had). Thank you again.

  • I'm not sure whether this qualifies as an answer, so it's a comment unless it proves popular - I'd try ringing one of the big movie rental companies, Arri, Take2films etc [for the UK] & ask who builds their flight cases. They will have more experience than just about anyone else in the business. – Tetsujin Jan 24 '17 at 8:04
  • How do you intend to store it? Would you be willing to break gear down, e.g. store EOS together, FD together etc etc. – Crazy Dino Jan 24 '17 at 11:39
  • Possible duplicate of What are good schemes for storing photo equipment at home? – Crazy Dino Jan 24 '17 at 11:46
  • "Basically, I'm looking for a fairly specific plan, up to and including a particular model of case (which is why I was fairly specific about the equipment I had)." This isn't a good fit for a question on Stack Exchange - we're interested in questions which have ongoing value for lots of users, not ones which have value only for one user at one point in time. For more details, see Q&A is Hard, Let's Go Shopping! – Philip Kendall Jan 24 '17 at 16:06
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    You should store all of that equipment at my house. It's watertight and your gear will be periodically be used to keep it all in good working order. – Knob Scratcher Jan 24 '17 at 23:25
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What is the best way to store this equipment? Is there a storage system that works well for photographic equipment?

The best method for long term storage of photographic equipment is to place it in a temperature stable, low dust, low humidity environment with plenty of fresh air circulation. Lenses even benefit from occasional exposure to UV light through the optical path to discourage the growth of fungus on the lenses' elements.

No case provides those last two requirements, so any solution that involves enclosed cases is not an ideal one. If enclosed cases are used for other considerations then some form of desiccant should be used to absorb the moisture that was in the air at the time the case was closed.

Most large rental houses store their lenses unboxed on open shelving in a room with the same type of temperature/humidity/dust control that one typically sees at a data center where server racks are located. If one doesn't have the capability for such exotic environmental control, then a storage cabinet is usually the best solution. Again, the use of desiccants or other humidity control measures should be used (unless one is located in a very arid climate) and the cabinets should remain closed when there is the possibility of a lot of dust in the air (such as when one sweeps the floor or vacuums the carpets).

That said, is there an argument for having a storage method for home (e.g. large metal cabinet) and a separate one for travel (e.g. large camera backpack)

Yes, please see above.

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