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Author Topic: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling  (Read 23434 times)

Dwight

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2013, 09:21:08 PM »
I have fairly strong views about taping.
  • First, the only people who notice, in general, are other photographers and they invariably ask, why are you taping?
  • Second, some of the most valuable cameras in the world are taped, pre release test models are normally taped to alter their look a  little.
  • Third, it is a fashion statement, little more. I have no time for fashion statements.
  • Fourth, unless you are shooting in (a) an incredibly dusty place and the tape helps reduce the problem or (b) your life is genuinely at risk from any reflective surfaces on your equipment (a war zone for instance), taping is not serving a practical purpose.
  • Fifth, anybody that believes a bit of tape will deter a thief is too naive to be shooting where they think they need tape. Do you honestly believe a thief who grosses $10/$20/$100 a month gives a damn if he gets $20 or $50 for the camera and lens they just stole? USA retail prices don't mean anything on the mean streets of anywhere. When I did a story on auto stereo thieves they got $50 for an Alpine, $40 for a Technics or Blaupunkt, $30 for everything else.
  • Sixth, taping your camera is camouflaging the wrong tool, you stand out like a sore thumb and will be a target anyway.
  • Seventh, and take this from somebody who has been threatened with guns, knives and sharpened screwdrivers, confidence is your only salvation, be there because you belong and walk like that too, but know when you are done and just give it up.
  • Eighth, as already stated, insurance is your best protection, even short term travel coverage, just make sure it covers the value of the gear you are taking.


So do I feel there is any justification for taping? Well yes, if you fall into my fourth point it can be a good idea, but further, if taping gives you a little extra confidence then go for it, just don't let that confidence fool you into thinking you belong there.

+1 PBD!  Couldn't have said these any better!

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2013, 09:21:08 PM »

ahsanford

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2013, 10:44:43 PM »

Good gravy.  The hater train finally arrived.  Pull no punches, gang.  ;D

No worries.  I appreciate the open and passionate sharing of beliefs.  Great, great thread.

In hindsight, Kai was pulled from the lens cap, but I'll leave the stamps on for this trip.  Insurance was always in place, anyway.

Who knew tape was to keep a war photog from being sniped?  Neat.   I wonder if they used tinted/matte filters or CPLs to dull the lens elements as well...

- A

privatebydesign

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2013, 11:10:07 PM »

Good gravy.  The hater train finally arrived.  Pull no punches, gang.  ;D

No worries.  I appreciate the open and passionate sharing of beliefs.  Great, great thread.

In hindsight, Kai was pulled from the lens cap, but I'll leave the stamps on for this trip.  Insurance was always in place, anyway.

Who knew tape was to keep a war photog from being sniped?  Neat.  I wonder if they used tinted/matte filters or CPLs to dull the lens elements as well...

- A

No they didn't, and a lot of them died.

Dwight

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2013, 11:24:21 PM »

Good gravy.  The hater train finally arrived.  Pull no punches, gang.  ;D

No worries.  I appreciate the open and passionate sharing of beliefs.  Great, great thread.

In hindsight, Kai was pulled from the lens cap, but I'll leave the stamps on for this trip.  Insurance was always in place, anyway.

Who knew tape was to keep a war photog from being sniped?  Neat.   I wonder if they used tinted/matte filters or CPLs to dull the lens elements as well...

- A

Good gravy indeed!  ::)  I'm not one to be belligerent...you can check my history...no reason to try to be a know-it-all or a tough guy online.  The way I see all this is self-expression...to each his/her own...no right or wrong way of doing most photography-related stuff...a lot of this is subjective.  Self-satisfaction and self-fulfillment are what I derive out of all this.

Having said that, you asked for advise.  People like PBD was spot on.  To avoid long-winded posts, people affirmed what he said.  You don't even care to mention (like members of this great forum is going to hunt you down and steal your adulterated 5D3) where exactly you're going (apart from a vague description of the place...could be anywhere).  Good luck, buddy.  Sincerely.  Chill and enjoy your trip!

Astral

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2013, 01:51:17 AM »
since you are taking only 28mm lens youre probably not ging to do very demanding stuff like sports from your camera except its sensor. maybe you can buy the first mark 5D for the trip and sell it after the trip and count the money difference as insurance. with a cheaper camera you wont risk so much money and wil lbe able to enjoy the trip more relaxed. also maybe a small mirrorless or premium compact would do as well?

Valvebounce

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2013, 05:00:13 AM »
Hi guys, we went on holiday to Phoenix, took camera gear along and went walkabout in the city. When we met up with our local friend and told him where we went, he said he won't go to these places unless armed! Ignorance is bliss, if I had known this I would either not have gone to these places or would have been anxious, read obvious target!
To be fair it was day time and well populated with other people looking busy.  ???
Cheers G.

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JPAZ

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2013, 11:26:22 PM »
Hi guys, we went on holiday to Phoenix, took camera gear along and went walkabout in the city. When we met up with our local friend and told him where we went, he said he won't go to these places unless armed! Ignorance is bliss, if I had known this I would either not have gone to these places or would have been anxious, read obvious target!
To be fair it was day time and well populated with other people looking busy.  ???
Cheers G.

Don't know where you were in our alleged city that your friend would feel the need to be armed.  There is nothing much in the "rough" neighborhoods that would compel you to walk through them.  It would not be subtle.  Not that the real world is without danger but huh?
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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2013, 11:26:22 PM »

chilledXpress

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #52 on: November 12, 2013, 01:22:06 AM »
In this day and age, it's unfortunate that doing what you love can sometimes put you at a greater risk. It's never been truer for me when out for street photography. I'd have to completely agree with PBD, gaffing the hell out of your camera draws much attention. Walking with a bit of confidence and others is far more effective. There is only one true protective measure I can take. While I don't carry while traveling abroad, I do here in California... especially at night on the street. I do have a CWP for a few different counties... most notably I always carry in San Francisco and Oakland. I also carry when in the back country while hiking. I also always travel with my brother and a friend or two when in rather sketchy areas, they carry also. We steer clear of trouble by keep situationally aware and that really is the first line of defense. The last is covered by Springfield. I'd put it under the title of have it but hope to never need it.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #53 on: November 12, 2013, 01:22:33 AM »
Hey gang,

I am off on a work trip to a beautiful but not super nice or safe place.  I will have some down time, and I hope to snap some nice shots.

I've read in various places to consider making your camera look like junk to dissuade thieves.  Links like this http://petapixel.com/2013/03/19/5-critical-tips-for-travel-photographers/  (see point #1) speak to what I am talking about.

I'm going to keep the gear simple on this trip, and leave the red-ringed gear behind.  My 28 IS (which is phenomenal, btw) is a sharp as some L primes and is fantastically non-descript (small, lacks that telltale red ring, etc.).  That's all I'm bringing on the glass side of things.

But I am bringing my 5D3, so I will be temporarily dirtying it up as best I can.  I'd like to do so as intelligently and 100% reversibly as possible.  Knowing I may sell this camera someday, I treat it very well and take great pains to have it looking like new.  What tape will stay on well in hot and humid conditions (think Florida in the summer, not like a rainforest or anything) but come off completely cleanly with minimal cleanup required? 

Any suggestions?  I have electrical tape, masking tape, a black duct tape (Gorilla tape if you know it) and possibly some hockey tape.

Thanks,
A

Don't bother, as they said in Jurassic Park, to most people it's goes like this:
"Are they heavy?

 Yes.

Then they're expensive, put them down."

If it is really rife with thieves any camera, P&S and iphone cam even more is ripe for picking.

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #54 on: November 12, 2013, 01:23:58 AM »
Insurance is by far the best.

this and also willingness to quickly let the gear go if need be

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #55 on: November 12, 2013, 01:24:40 AM »
This is the tape you need from 3M Scotch:
http://www.3m.com/product/information/Scotch-Black-Paper-Tape.html
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Adhesives/Tapes/Products/~?Ntt=235&rt=s&x=0&y=0
It's perfect for making your Mk3 more invisible. One roll will be a lifetime supply.

I have a 1 inch roll. It's a similar surface to your camera, is very obedient and leaves no residue. It follows contours and curves remarkably well. It's got a strong adhesive, but removes easily leaving no residue. I even cut thin strips to cover the red line of an L lens. It stayed put for two or three years. Who invents this stuff?

This tape was originally used in film labs where you processed 6-8 rolls of film at a time, taping the film to a plastic leader which fed into the roller drive of the processor. So it's also waterproof and does not release unwanted residues in water, heat or tough chemical environments.

Also, to reduce the new, look-at-me pro-look of your 5D3 in low security environments, de-grip it & then tape it.

-PW

All good stuff.  Ended up getting this from 3M:  http://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-2-in-x-60-yds-Gaffer-s-Tape-6910/100193027#.UaJ78-tAtjY

And then covered anything with Canon, the Mark III emblem, etc.  For added magic, I put a crappy tan masking tape on top of that in a few places.  And then I decided Kai Wong needed to make an appearance.

The final product is attached.  Fun.

The ugliest 5D3 ever?  You decide.

- A

then again, the above just might work  ;D

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #56 on: November 12, 2013, 01:25:42 AM »
I have fairly strong views about taping.
  • First, the only people who notice, in general, are other photographers and they invariably ask, why are you taping?
  • Second, some of the most valuable cameras in the world are taped, pre release test models are normally taped to alter their look a  little.
  • Third, it is a fashion statement, little more. I have no time for fashion statements.
  • Fourth, unless you are shooting in (a) an incredibly dusty place and the tape helps reduce the problem or (b) your life is genuinely at risk from any reflective surfaces on your equipment (a war zone for instance), taping is not serving a practical purpose.
  • Fifth, anybody that believes a bit of tape will deter a thief is too naive to be shooting where they think they need tape. Do you honestly believe a thief who grosses $10/$20/$100 a month gives a damn if he gets $20 or $50 for the camera and lens they just stole? USA retail prices don't mean anything on the mean streets of anywhere. When I did a story on auto stereo thieves they got $50 for an Alpine, $40 for a Technics or Blaupunkt, $30 for everything else.
  • Sixth, taping your camera is camouflaging the wrong tool, you stand out like a sore thumb and will be a target anyway.
  • Seventh, and take this from somebody who has been threatened with guns, knives and sharpened screwdrivers, confidence is your only salvation, be there because you belong and walk like that too, but know when you are done and just give it up.
  • Eighth, as already stated, insurance is your best protection, even short term travel coverage, just make sure it covers the value of the gear you are taking.


So do I feel there is any justification for taping? Well yes, if you fall into my fourth point it can be a good idea, but further, if taping gives you a little extra confidence then go for it, just don't let that confidence fool you into thinking you belong there.

+1

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2013, 01:30:35 AM »


So most of the press photographers are stupid ? Do ya really think they tape just to act like all the other ones...?

I thought Press photogs often taped so that in situations where lots of photographers are at an event the bright white logos and branding dont catch the flash and create distracting elements within each others photos...?

That's actually the main purpose  ;) .


What a load of crap. When press photographers were using silver coloured cameras it wasn't the done thing and they are much more reflective than today's black cameras with a touch of white paint!

Look, as far as I can recollect, taping was started by war photographers where a shiny reflective surface could, literally, get you killed. Snipers loved to aim just below a shiny spot because it used to be where cap badges were.

Press photographers do not need to tape their cameras for fear of getting shot (or reflections), their primary reason for doing it is looks, just like faded jackets and jeans are worth more to some people than new ones. It is just a "hey look at me I have been around the block so I am cool" pretentious nonsense.

+1

(although a few sports guys do tape ones mounted above baskets at times, just in case a stray strobe bounces off and makes it stick out more, but otherwise it mostly, although not absolutely always, seemed like a hipster-sort of thing for the photo world or someone thinking they were being all experienced pro by doing it)

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #57 on: November 12, 2013, 01:30:35 AM »

LetTheRightLensIn

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #58 on: November 12, 2013, 01:31:33 AM »
All you have to do is bring a counterfeit D800.  When the theives see your 1Dx and D800, they'll quickly steal the D800 due to its higher DR and RAW files, and will be satisfied so much that they'll concede your 1Dx.  Simple.

See I've been telling you all along that more DR is useful at times for some things  ;D.

Valvebounce

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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2013, 04:35:41 AM »
Hi Jpaz.
One place was I believe where there was a camera shop, also after we got home there were three shootings within a couple of blocks of our Motel 6, I think near Black Canyon Highway! To be honest I don't remember exactly where the areas were, and as such perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it. We also went walking at night in Birmingham UK and some local relatives said "you walked where last night?" with some incredulity that we weren't beaten and robbed, I'm not a small person and I know about walking with confidence and trying to not look lost or afraid, like others have said "like you belong".

Cheers Graham.


Don't know where you were in our alleged city that your friend would feel the need to be armed.  There is nothing much in the "rough" neighborhoods that would compel you to walk through them.  It would not be subtle.  Not that the real world is without danger but huh?
7D + Grip, 40D + Grip, 20D, EF-S 17-85 Kit lens, EF 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM, EF 2x III, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 C, 50mm f1.8, 550EX some Filters Remotes Macro tubes Tripod heads etc!
20D, BG-E2N, 17-85mm, 50mm are pre loved. :)
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Re: Making your expensive gear look like crap while traveling
« Reply #59 on: November 12, 2013, 04:35:41 AM »