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Unpopular opinion: “stealth” tape on cameras
Old 06-10-2019   #1
Takkun
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Unpopular opinion: “stealth” tape on cameras

I was down in Portland for a gallery reception this weekend, and while I didn’t get a lot of shooting in, I did meet a lot of artists and photographers and had some valuable conversations.

One such gentleman, whom I ran into on the sidelines of a parade, was absolutely floored I didn’t have my cameras wrapped in electrical tape, unlike his...well, whatever was under all those layers.

(He also had a lot of other strange comments I didn’t quite agree with, but that’s for another thread!)

I’ve always found the taping-over-the-logo thing a bit pretentious, as if one is just back from some war-torn country. I don’t know what I find more irksome, the giant new SLR with vertical grip, or the humble beater camera. The former seems comically insignificant, and the latter a bit pointless.

I never really felt like it was an issue anywhere I’ve traveled, at least in the US, to cover up the logo either for security or stealthiness. Either people notice you have a camera or they don’t, and the only people that pay attention to a logo are...other photographers.
Over the years I’ve lived and visited some colorful neighborhoods and feel like I have a good feel of when not to have a camera out, and it seems logical that if you’re going to get pickpocketed or ripped off, your average criminal isn’t looking for brand names on first sight.

But I do see the appeal of the Leica P models with a little more subdued styling, and the affinity for black paint cameras.

How popular is this practice here, and what’s your reasoning?
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Old 06-10-2019   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
I never really felt like it was an issue anywhere I’ve traveled, at least in the US, to cover up the logo either for security or stealthiness. Either people notice you have a camera or they don’t, and the only people that pay attention to a logo are...other photographers.
The same over here.. No-one seems to care
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Old 06-10-2019   #3
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I think it's only done by people on photography forums ... like a lot of dumb stuff!
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Old 06-11-2019   #4
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The logo on my Sony A7 is taped. The logos on my film cameras are exposed.

I like people to leave me alone and exposing the Sony logo gets me all kinds of chitchat from people who wanna discuss their own brand, be it Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon etc.
The film cameras don’t invoke a conversation, people are sufficiently intimidated by them. Every now and then somebody says ‘hey is that a Hasselblad’ when they see my exposed-logo Rolleiflex...
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Old 06-11-2019   #5
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It's like taking the badges off of cars but cheaper I guess...


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Old 06-11-2019   #6
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Im not sure what's more puzzling, the folks who tape over logos on their cameras or the folks who end up in a tizzy because of it?
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Old 06-11-2019   #7
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Quote:
I think it's only done by people on photography forums ... like a lot of dumb stuff!
That is true. I agree with you.

I believe, from working several hundred various events, people like to see the photographs made. Not as much concern about equipment. The few who asked about equipment usually asked about Pocket Wizards than anything else.
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Old 06-11-2019   #8
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Suntan cream. Suntan cream takes the printed lettering off cameras and even takes the black paint out of the engraved lettering on a chrome M6.

Makes you wonder what it does to your face.
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Old 06-11-2019   #9
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...and of course, the diehards of camouflage carry their taped-up camera in a diaper bag...
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Old 06-11-2019   #10
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Branding in general is pointless to me. I have no affiliation with any brand what so ever. I prefer my cameras a bit like I prefer my clothing. Clean and without branding.

I removed the white paint on my Leica M4-P for aesthetic reasons only. The M-A would be a good solution in that regard but the price difference is too extreme.
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Old 06-11-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Takkun View Post
Either people notice you have a camera or they don’t, and the only people that pay attention to a logo are...other photographers.

Yep.


I think taping over the logo makes about as much sense as using black paint bodies for street because 'stealth'...
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Old 06-11-2019   #12
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Talking

Black tape not for Me...

I get stopoed alot with comments
"oh You have a Leica"
"Beautiful camera"
"A Film Camera"
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Old 06-11-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johannielscom View Post
The logo on my Sony A7 is taped.....
...I like people to leave me alone and exposing the Sony logo gets me all kinds of chitchat from people who wanna discuss their own brand, be it Sony, Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon etc...
For similar reason I taped over the logo of my Sony A7, the first camera I ever did that, not on my Sony NEX5n and RX100III which don't cause the same reaction as much.
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Old 06-11-2019   #14
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Old 06-11-2019   #15
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There may be a lot of reasons to "black out" brand names and / or type descriptions from any kind of device.

One may be the commercial interest in showing the brand names a whole life around the world.

Who takes adavantage from a big brand sign? The manufacturer. Does he pay for this marketing method? Normally not.


What is the advantage for a camera owner to show everybody that he uses a xxyx-device?
Something between vanity and "me too"?


For me there is no sense in wearing around brandnames for free.
So from time to time it comes to a small piece of black tape or a nice painting on my devices over the places where
manufacturers left their scent mark.
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Old 06-11-2019   #16
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If you carry your camera in a diaper bag it makes sense to camouflage the gear with a couple of dirty diapers at the top.
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Old 06-11-2019   #17
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When I had an M6 I taped over the "Leica M6" script on the front because, well, I didn't like the look of it! Now I have an M4 and it looks amazing just how it is.

But the main thing is - who cares? Do whatever makes you happy.
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Old 06-11-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siluro View Post
But the main thing is - who cares?
The tape police. You rarely see a post mocking people who don't tape over their logos.
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Old 06-11-2019   #19
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I never gave a thought to logos or brand names on stuff I buy. My car has a Chevy emblem on the front of it, but who cares? Cars (and cameras) have had logos on them for pretty much forever.

Speaking of cars.... I'm waiting for someone to totally wrap their camera in about fifty layers of tape, transforming its shape into something completely unrecognizeable. Like what the auto manufacturers do when they want to road-test the new, upcoming (and still secret) new models. Is that a Leica? A Sony? A Fuji? Can't tell when its shaped like a pumpkin because of all the tape.
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Old 06-11-2019   #20
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I don't do it, I don't care if others do it.
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Old 06-11-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
...and of course, the diehards of camouflage carry their taped-up camera in a diaper bag...
I don't have patience for this type of chit chat, so I carry my diapers in a Billingham Hadley Pro to make sure I don't get too much attention from young moms.
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Old 06-11-2019   #22
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While on single income we purchased amateur model Canon 500D. I covered Canon and T1i (red) logos.
To feel good among those with large DSLRs.

While out of job, I taped top of M4-2 with white masking tape to avoid overheating due to long walk under Ontario Sun.

What was this east block dude who was crawling into the beach and taking ladies pictures with camera made from tins? He became known.
Yet, modern hornies are hiding cameras in stuffed toys, but getting caught by police.
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Old 06-11-2019   #23
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Black cameras are ok, but being from the 50's I like chrome. I like a few "nice camera!" comments, it reminds me one of the reason I have loved photography for so long is the beauty of the mechanical.
I have taped my camera before, to stop leaks.
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Old 06-11-2019   #24
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I've carried a film camera (rangefinders by Nicca, Canon, and Leica) or digital XE-1 or m4/3 almost everywhere I go for a decade. I've set up and shot a ton of large format and wetplate too. I've never had anyone want to steal one, regardless of what was engraved on it. I've only had a handful of people want to strike up a conversation about equipment, which was always enjoyable. None of my camera labels is obscured, I don't want to ugly up a beautiful tool.

My hunch is it's the type of people or the locations/events they shoot that are worried about taping labels. And it's mostly a fashion statement.
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Old 06-11-2019   #25
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If you're worried about theft, just paint your camera dayglo psychedelic colors. It's not stealthy but it sure lowers the value of the camera for a thief trying to sell it. 'Course it lowers your resale value as well. Can't have everything.
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Old 06-11-2019   #26
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I’d agree with Ian/Takkun, but that’s just me. It’s an odd topic, the reasons given for taping and the reasons given for not taping seem to me dictated more by how people view themselves and how they view other people in the world, than anything which is actually photography related. It’s a form of Rohrschach test. The “reasons”, for either choice, have underlying reasons, and those are the interesting ones.

In other words, why do some people assume that other people will react to a certain camera in a certain way, and other people assume nothing of the sort, both having had exactly the same basic life experiences. I’d love to see a psychologist or psychiatrist weigh in on this, as I don’t think this is, at its heart, a photography related question.
I know that sounds a bit “out there”, but maybe a few people will get what I am saying.
I don’t tape logos no matter what type of situational shooting I am doing, as it seems weird to me, but maybe I am doing it wrong. Is this a matter of naive vs. paranoid, or careful vs. careless? Some have an aversion to advertising bordering on an obsession, and some couldn’t care less. Why? Again, it’s not a photography question, its a psychological mindset issue.

Not saying right or wrong on any particular way of living and going about ones business, just looking at this from another angle.

Not really expecting to have a definitive answer anytime soon, other than the perennial, “The world is divided into two kinds of people.........”
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Old 06-11-2019   #27
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Tape is for the weak. Use a sharp object to gouge it off instead!

Found at an estate sale. The camera bag had documentation from a trip to Spain in the late 60s.

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Old 06-11-2019   #28
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I always tape over branding, but not for street stealth or anti-marketing... but to help eliminate reflections in closeup photos. I often shoot small tools commercially, and you wouldn’t believe how white lettering will show up in reflective chrome objects.
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Old 06-11-2019   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by css9450 View Post
Speaking of cars.... I'm waiting for someone to totally wrap their camera in about fifty layers of tape, transforming its shape into something completely unrecognizeable...

Just for you...





Regards, David


PS Mostly I think they debadge cars so that you'll think they have the bigger and "better" one...
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Old 06-11-2019   #30
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I've always felt the "tape up the camera" thing was just a silly affectation.

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Old 06-11-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Just for you...

Exactly what I had in mind!
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Old 06-11-2019   #32
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For the past several years, I've taped the logos on my M9, until it went in for service last year and I took the tape off. In a camera shop in Japan in 2010, curious shop assistants and a customer peered at it to figure out what it was. None of them seemed to twig that it was a M9, something of a rarity at that time.

I haven't taped my silver chrome M7; a friend who doesn't know much about cameras looked at it and said, 'I didn't know you had a Leica!' Yeah bro, I've been using my taped M9 in front of you for a year and you've never said anything about it. This showed me that taping up a camera actually works.

Sometimes, it's mildly annoying (not sure why) when someone peers at my Panasonic and says, 'what's that... it's a... Lumix?' Yeah, it is. Makes me want to go over the logo with a black marker.

I'm not a 'visible brand' guy. My preference is for my clothes and gear to be as brand-sterile as possible, with no logos or branding. I tend to eschew brands with distinctive and identifiable designs like LV, Prada, Gucci, etc. I feel that brand-sterility draws less attention, which I prefer. My sleeve is always covering my watch, regardless of what it costs.
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Old 06-11-2019   #33
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I think the taping of logos thing probably started with people seeing logos taped over in TV and movies (to prevent giving out free advertising, eg. Rear Window style) and thought there must be some practical reason for doing so, since all the "pros" were doing it on TV. You don't want to look unprofessional do you?


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Old 06-11-2019   #34
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The flipside to this whole issue are the camera straps emblazoned with "EOS Digital" or "Nikon D850". The pros all use them!
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Old 06-11-2019   #35
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RBSinTo's Law:
"Everybody does what they do.
You do what you do. He does what he does. And I do what I do."
So if it makes you happy, wrap your camera in black tape, tinfoil or red flocked with Fleur de Lys wallpaper. Doesn't make no never mind to me.
My only camera affectation is that I like black bodies rather than chrome, and not because they are less obtrusive or stealthy while I do my street photography, but rather because I just like the way they look.
So whenever possible I bought black cameras. And except for the elusive and expensive black Nikon SP, mine are all black.
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Old 06-11-2019   #36
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I tape all my Fujis so people will think I have a Leica!

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Old 06-11-2019   #37
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Originally Posted by Axel100 View Post
For me there is no sense in wearing around brandnames for free.

+1


But I'll make an exception for defunct brands like Bronica.
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Old 06-11-2019   #38
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Quote:
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RBSinTo's Law:
"Everybody does what they do.
You do what you do. He does what he does. And I do what I do."
So if it makes you happy, wrap your camera in black tape, tinfoil or red flocked with Fleur de Lys wallpaper. Doesn't make no never mind to me.
My only camera affectation is that I like black bodies rather than chrome, and not because they are less obtrusive or stealthy while I do my street photography, but rather because I just like the way they look.
So whenever possible I bought black cameras. And except for the elusive and expensive black Nikon SP, mine are all black.
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Old 06-11-2019   #39
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Think I started putting couple of small pieces of tape over the M9 and Leica label a few months back mostly just for the heck of it. Most of the time the camera is hanging from my hand by the strap so unless I have it up/using it to take a shot most of the time you really can't see what kind of camera it is anyway
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Old 06-11-2019   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I think the taping of logos thing probably started with people seeing logos taped over in TV and movies (to prevent giving out free advertising, eg. Rear Window style) and thought there must be some practical reason for doing so, since all the "pros" were doing it on TV. You don't want to look unprofessional do you?


pretty sure this is to prevent having to pay royalties to those companies featured
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