Even for my work as a photographer for the Brazil World Cup, the roller bag was really useful for storing my entire set of equipment with the wheels at the bottom.
Most cameramen put their camera main bodies and lenses between the dividers of the bag uncovered, however I always put the camera and body in a protective case. As for the lenses, I wrap them in a sleeve made of scuba-diving wetsuit material, and I put the camera itself in a cotton lined sleeve produced by the maker. Then I put all of the above in the ”Professional Roller Bag 70”.
About 15 years ago, I had a bitter experience. This was when roller bags still weren’t so common. I was driving around European countries in a rented car with a 35mm camera and lens in a roller bag intended for middle sized and large sized cameras.
The roads I was traveling were not at all like the flat roads of Japan, but were narrow and bumpy. Along with 400mm/F2.8, 80－200mm/F2.8、28－70mm/F2.8, I had two or three cameras. Though I had a total weight in equipment of 20 kilos, by putting it all in a roller bag, it lightened my load significantly and made traveling a lot more fun.
However, during one game in the 2000 championships, I tried taking a photo of the far goal from behind the closer net and I couldn’t get it in focus. Something had gone very wrong. I ended up going to the Nikon service center to get it checked.
“How did you transport this equipment?” I was asked by a staff member and I told them that I was doing a lot of walking around with a roller bag.
“Is that so?” he said. “Roller bags are useful but rolling cameras around Europe, taking it in the car, etc., you are exposing it to a lot of constant minute vibrations. In a 400mm lens like yours, this type of shaking loosens small screws inside.”
“I recommend that from now on you do a check every few months and that you switch to a back-pack type of bag.”
Indeed, walking around on the cobblestones etc., of European cities exposes the bag to a lot of up down and left right shaking, and the same applies to moving by car.
And the accumulation of many trivial things can finally lead to a big problem.
At about the time when the world’s photographers started using roller bags, I was going against the stream of the tendency to use backpack type bags. And next it wasn’t the bag but me that would encounter the misfortune.
Along with autofocus precision increasing significantly, the photographers’ retirement age got older and older and a different problem emerged. Because I was carrying 20 kilograms on photography trips, my knees started having problems.
That is when I finally joined the ranks of roller bag users…
So, based on my experience , I naturally started wondering if there was a roller bag with a softer roller portion. Of course equipment is not packed uncovered, but is to wrapped in buffering material.
After trying out various bags, I found the roller part of the ”Professional Roller Bag 70” was really soft, and when rolling over hard ground , it works as a cushion with minute vibrations hardly affecting it.
With the ”Professional Roller Bag 70” , the usual clacking sound of the hard type roller bag disappears when moving the bag around and you hear only a swish swish sound.
Now, even when I use the bag for several months, the tiny screws in the camera don’t loosen up as they used to, and there is no need for check ups.
Having no extra stress for these kinds of issues allows you to smoothly transition to new work.