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Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-02-2007, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was recently at a charity event and was watching the photographers who were covering it. I noticed that it didn't look like they took very good care of their equipment. They were using stuff I wish I could get my hands on (1Ds's and D2x's and so on...) but their bodies and flashes were all covered in tape and rubberbands. Most of the photographers i know including myself all baby our equipment....so when do you reach the level where your gear no longer matters?
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Whoa dude... there may be a reason!!!
Old 01-02-2007, 11:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey, if the guy was using his Nikon to drive 10 penny nails I'd say you might have an issue. But tape and rubber bands... nope, sorry. It's part of the game.

I use a good gaffer tape on my S2 rotary controls when shooting studio type stuff. The controls are right under my rather large fingers and it's DAMNED easy to accidently rotate them. That means a lot of screwed up shots if I don't catch the fact that the control got moved. Put the tape over the control... no problemo.

So give the guy a break. He may be saving his as... er, behind with a few strategic rubber bands and pieces of tape.
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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-02-2007, 11:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i didn't mean to come out and critisize the guy...my question should have been why do all these pros have their cameras covered in tape and rubber bands
if they weren't their own cameras and they belonged to the publication or whoever else is there a reason why the equipment would be covered in rubberbands and tape?
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I'll say it again... it's part of the game.
Old 01-03-2007, 12:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I mentioned why I use gaffer tape over the rotary controls of my expensive toy.

I can't be sure why the guy you observed was using tape or rubber bands, but I have done the same type of stuff and I suspect most of the pros who depend on 'getting the shots' for their paycheck have no problem with a little tape or a few rubber bands.

Tape can keep your fingers off critical controls, hold a lenscap or other accessory near but out of the way until needed. Tape can be written on, and ain't going to get lost.

Rubber bands can be used to hold tissue over a flash to diffuse the light a bit, or hold a loose zoom lens at the right magnification.

When it comes down to it, having a neat shiny camera is not quite as important to a pro as coming home with the goods. And if it's a publication's gear... I'm pretty sure the editor doesn't care if the camera is pristine if the shooter comes back with no image!

Sorry, but this is just not an issue for me.

P.S. A good gaffer tape will lift off and leave NO sticky residue. I've never heard of a rubber band leaving marks on metal or plastic if only left on for a day or two.
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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-03-2007, 12:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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what al said.

just cuz you see tape and other stuff on cameras and other equipment doesnt' mean it's being abused. besides, gaffer's tape can be your best friend! whether you're putting it on a camera or wherever.
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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-03-2007, 01:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To a working pro a camera is simply a tool to be used and replaced when it goes too bad to be repaired. Most who make a living from real world commercial photography don't really care if a camera is as shinny as when new. I shot for at least five with a Mamiya 645 and duct tape to hold the prism onto the top and more tape to secure the shutter speed dial at the right setting. For many years with a Canon F1 (the original F1, the one with the all metal body) I used rubber bands to keep the pc cord securely attached and duct tape to keep the battery cover tight and something else, I forget what. I also used rubber bands to hold various square filters on the lens. I always had a roll of duct tape and a box of heavy rubber bands in my camera bag.

If it works it works and duct tape is far cheaper than a repair bill!
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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-03-2007, 02:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Another rubber band use is to keep the pc cord from coming unconnected. This is a very frequent occurrence. Use a rubber band to band it in such a way that it can't come out accidentally.
I don't usually like to use any kind of tape on the camera or lens because it leaves a residue, but I do use it for light stands, gels, etc.
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Old 01-03-2007, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missinglink786 View Post
........but their bodies and flashes were all covered in tape and rubberbands.
I don't know if they still do it, but most PJ's used to cover their cameras with gaffer tape so they could use them without marking the cameras (brassing on the corners). When they were done with the camera and the internal workings were wore completely out, they would remove the tape, use some solvent to remove the tape residue and sell the camera to some unsuspecting rube for high dollar.

An ancillary benefit of this would be sealing any gaps (such as the one where the motor drives bolted to the camera body) so that water vapor and dust didn't get into the internal workings and electrical contacts. PJ work tends to be non environmental friendly and they do look at their cameras as tools rather than something to put on display for friends and associates.

Since most pro cameras like the Canon EOS 1D series (and I assume Nikons) make it so difficult to change settings (and include lock out switches for the roll wheels), I doubt the tape is meant to freeze them. (Changing the ISO on an EOS 1Ds requires holding down two buttons down, rolling a wheel, then patting your head while you rub your tummy. Not recommended for the faint of heart.) However, I do remember putting a motor drive on my first camera precisely because my thumb would advance the shutter speed when I attempted to quickly wind and cock the camera manually.

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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-03-2007, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missinglink786 View Post
...my question should have been why do all these pros have their cameras covered in rubber bands?

So the cameras will bounce when they drop em!
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Re: Levels of Professionalism
Old 01-04-2007, 01:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I've used tape & rubberbands for a variety of things. As mentioned, many dials & switches can be accidently changed. I put gaffers tape over the off/on switch on my Metz flash battery pack to hold it in position. I don't want it to accidently turn off when I'm shooting a wedding for example because I might not notice it didn't fire. A rubberband holds the sync cord in place. Some others keep various cords & cables organized and out of the way. I don't personally tape the edges of cameras, but it's a good idea I hadn't thought of.

I have also used bits of color tape to color code things. My Hasselblad backs are all color coded as to the kind of film they contain for example.

Another consideration: a camera that looks shiny & new is much more likely to be stolen than one that looks battered up.

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