Category Archives: Rave

Review: Pelican 1550 Case

I’ve long wanted a hard case for my Vivitar strobes. I’ve been using a padded soft bag with everything piled in loose and tumbled and I thought it high time to get everything organized and a little better protected. In my previous employ, I’d used cases made by Pelican for both microphones and radio transmitters as well as one of Pelican’s big cases for a Steadicam rig. Both cases worked very well and were very tough. So time came to get off my duff and get a case.

I chose the Pelican 1550 with the “Pick N Pluck” foam and purchased it through Amazon. If you’re not familiar with Pelican’s pluck foam, It’s a pre-cut square pattern that you can “pluck” to fit the pattern of the item you want to protect. This case also comes in a version with a padded set of inserts instead of pluck foam. More about that later.


When it arrived, I set about customizing the case for my needs. The instructions included with the case suggest you lay everything out on top the foam as you’d like to have it in the case and mark the cubes to be removed. I laid out all of my items, making sure to leave the suggested space between each item, then with a Sharpie I marked which plucks I needed to remove to fit. I checked my work as I went, making small changes and opting for a tight fit for each of my strobes, umbrellas, Radiopoppers and a small compartment for accessories and spare batteries.

Everything in it's place.

It’s good to note that if you make a mistake or want to change something, the instructions mention how to reattach the foam plucks with rubber cement, though I’m uncertain as to how well this works having never tried it. Everything fits snuggly and the depth of the case is just right for my strobes. A nice feature is the “o” ring seal around the lip of the case, making for a  tight dust and water seal. The latches snap tightly and make a satisfyingly loud “snap” when closed. There’s even a place for a lock and a name plate which you can order from the company.

Robust latch and lock loop.So far the case has worked as expected and held up well. The foam protects everything nicely from shock. The snap locks are a little stubborn to close when new and take a little effort, but I know from my previous experience with Pelican cases that the action will get smoother with use and yet retain that “snap”.

Final words… I’d order this case (or others from Pelican) in a heartbeat. But if I was going to do it all over again I would probably order the case but with the internal movable padded dividers and see how that works. In fact, I might still do that as the dividers are available as a separate item.

Polaroid By Ilford?

I’ve only recently reconnected with Polaroid cameras and film. I purchased a couple vintage cameras on ebay in the last year or two and I’ve been playing around with the 600 series instant film. I was unhappy to learn that Polaroid was shutting down their production of instant film. Now there’s an article at Christian Science Monitor‘s website about the demise of Polaroid‘s instant film lines with a twinkle of potential good news. Seems Ilford is considering taking up the manufacture of the instant films. There’s a site up dedicated to saving the film, too. I’m crossing my fingers…


I’ve thought about it a lot over the years but never done anything about it. The opportunity and I never crossed paths until this week. I got a tattoo. Someone I know is doing an apprenticeship at a shop downtown. Aaron offered, I accepted. It took about an hour and a half once he got down to work. It smarted quite a bit but it was well worth it. It turned out nice. I was so amped up afterward that I sat in the truck for a little bit listening to the iPod before driving home. I’ve heard about people who get to liking that feeling and get hooked on being inked. I don’t think I have to worry about that.

Although, I am thinking of another piece…