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Author Topic: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues  (Read 7351 times)

WibblyPig

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Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« on: August 06, 2012, 06:19:47 AM »
I've found lots of conflicting information online about what gear can be taken into Olympic venues. There seems to be a general consensus on nothing over 30cm long but some sites say that certain venues (e.g. Wembley) prohibit anything "pro" including anything with interchangeable lenses. Bags must be able to fit under seats, but that shouldn't be a problem with any of my lenses.

Anything confiscated won't be returned, and I'm keen neither to miss my sessions nor to lose my camera. Has anyone actually been into the aquatics centre or the Olympic stadium with something like a 5D body + any of 135 f/2, 35mm f/1.4 (or even a 70-200 f2.8 )? I'd like some record of the day better than iPhone pics...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:21:56 AM by WibblyPig »

Roman

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 11:59:47 AM »
I've just returned from the Olympics venues a few days ago.
I was at the Aquatic Center and at the Gymnastics (North Greenwich).

At the gymnastics stadium they search your bags (after the security search a-la pre-flight searches), and if you have a camera with an interchangeable lens that looks too big they don't allow it in.
They don't confiscate it, though, you can leave it in a locker and get it back after you leave.
They showed me the rules that state that you cannot enter a camera with an interchangeable lens that is greater than 35mm.
But they told me that up to 100mm is ok.
So my 70-200 F/2.8 IS had to be left there, but they allowed my 24-105 F4 (twice).

At the Aquatics center nobody checked my bags, but I didn't want to chance getting my 70-200 taken, so I brought the 24-105 and no one said anything.
If you're in one of the higher seats, I don't think anyone will notice you even if you have a 400 F4...
Downstairs, closer to the pool, they might, but your 135mm should be fine, as nobody said anything about my 24-105 even when I was at the AA seats very close to the pool.

WibblyPig

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 12:28:02 PM »
Many thanks, Roman! It's a shame there doesn't seem to be an (easy to find) official site that lays it out clearly, but your experiences are a great guideline. I'm four rows back from the track so the 135mm should be a useful lens. I won't bother with the 70-200 as it's heavy to lug around and sounds like it won't make it through the gate. Will take the 40mm pancake and the 135mm in as small a bag as possible for an innocuous looking combination.

cayenne

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 01:18:35 PM »
I've just returned from the Olympics venues a few days ago.
I was at the Aquatic Center and at the Gymnastics (North Greenwich).

At the gymnastics stadium they search your bags (after the security search a-la pre-flight searches), and if you have a camera with an interchangeable lens that looks too big they don't allow it in.
They don't confiscate it, though, you can leave it in a locker and get it back after you leave.
They showed me the rules that state that you cannot enter a camera with an interchangeable lens that is greater than 35mm.
But they told me that up to 100mm is ok.
So my 70-200 F/2.8 IS had to be left there, but they allowed my 24-105 F4 (twice).

At the Aquatics center nobody checked my bags, but I didn't want to chance getting my 70-200 taken, so I brought the 24-105 and no one said anything.
If you're in one of the higher seats, I don't think anyone will notice you even if you have a 400 F4...
Downstairs, closer to the pool, they might, but your 135mm should be fine, as nobody said anything about my 24-105 even when I was at the AA seats very close to the pool.

Can someone explain to me, why they would have any of these rules in the first place?!? Why won't they let you bring in a nice camera and lens combination?

syder

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 02:10:33 PM »
The only venue AFAIK that has said no interchangable lens cameras is Wembley for the football. Which typically is the only place I managed to get tickets for.  >:(

My girlfriend went to see some of the Handball in the Copper Box and I lent her a 550d with a sigma 50-150 f2.8 which was deemed fine (and as a 240mm equivalent lens on aps-c in a fairly small venue took some decent pics).

As I understand it, the logic is based partially on the corporate overlords being concerned that video footage can be shot and put up onto Youtube, meaning that people wouldn't have to use the channel who've paid for exclusive Olympic rights and watch their advertising.

Joellll

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 03:03:53 PM »
As I understand it, the logic is based partially on the corporate overlords being concerned that video footage can be shot and put up onto Youtube, meaning that people wouldn't have to use the channel who've paid for exclusive Olympic rights and watch their advertising.
That, and the fact that there are paid professionals who are doing their job. Letting everyone with a huge lens in will not only be a bother to spectators near you (potentially blocking their view if you have something that's long enough), but also risk taking away the official photographers' jobs.

themoralkiosk

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 03:11:22 PM »
I've been into the Olympic Park, Excel, Earl's Court and Wimbledon with a 5D3 and 135mm f2 with no problems at all.  I'm leaving it at home for Wembley though.

themoralkiosk

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 03:13:22 PM »
PS. Once you are in the Olympic Park, there are no further checks going into individual venues.

Brymills

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2012, 03:29:04 PM »
As I understand it, the logic is based partially on the corporate overlords being concerned that video footage can be shot and put up onto Youtube, meaning that people wouldn't have to use the channel who've paid for exclusive Olympic rights and watch their advertising.
That, and the fact that there are paid professionals who are doing their job. Letting everyone with a huge lens in will not only be a bother to spectators near you (potentially blocking their view if you have something that's long enough), but also risk taking away the official photographers' jobs.

...and also being smacked in the back of the head constantly by idiots with long lenses.  >:(

WibblyPig

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2012, 03:59:17 PM »
Just found this:

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news/534207/olympic-2012-organisers-tighten-rules-on-prohibited-camera-gear.html

which suggests they are getting stricter. Might take the 85mm 1.8 as it really doesn't look "pro". Or put a bit of black tape over the "1" of the 135.  ;)

Brymills

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2012, 04:36:08 PM »
Just found this:

http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news/534207/olympic-2012-organisers-tighten-rules-on-prohibited-camera-gear.html

which suggests they are getting stricter. Might take the 85mm 1.8 as it really doesn't look "pro". Or put a bit of black tape over the "1" of the 135.  ;)

Ignore it.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/photo-news/539002/olympic-photography-rules-were-a-typo

Kernuak

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2012, 04:52:33 PM »
Many thanks, Roman! It's a shame there doesn't seem to be an (easy to find) official site that lays it out clearly, but your experiences are a great guideline. I'm four rows back from the track so the 135mm should be a useful lens. I won't bother with the 70-200 as it's heavy to lug around and sounds like it won't make it through the gate. Will take the 40mm pancake and the 135mm in as small a bag as possible for an innocuous looking combination.
It's not easy to find, but there is a restricted items list.

http://www.london2012.com/mm/Document/Documents/General/01/25/44/06/Prohibitedandrestricteditemslists_Neutral.pdf

It states on there that there is a limit of 30cm, but for some venues (especially football grounds), there may be more stringent restrictions. Also, any photos or videos cannot be used commercially, without media accreditation.
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WibblyPig

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2012, 05:15:58 PM »
Thanks all. Will go considerably reassured.

Halfrack

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2012, 05:27:51 PM »
Can someone explain to me, why they would have any of these rules in the first place?!? Why won't they let you bring in a nice camera and lens combination?

Because those guys with the big white lenses paid (or their employer paid) a ton of money for the rights.
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DavidRiesenberg

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Re: Taking DSLRs into olympic venues
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2012, 05:56:39 PM »
That, and the fact that there are paid professionals who are doing their job. Letting everyone with a huge lens in will not only be a bother to spectators near you (potentially blocking their view if you have something that's long enough), but also risk taking away the official photographers' jobs.

I very much doubt the venue is in any way concerned over the the prospect of a photographer losing his job. Rather they know very well that without these restriction, the "official" paid photographers would probably be sitting in the stands and not paying the organizers for the "rights" to shoot.