I keep all the white writing on my Nikon either inked out or taped over with black gaff tape. Other photographers I know generally seemed to be divided into two camps - those that do the same, and those that either oppose it or just don't see the point. I do it because I see no reason to attract extra attention with the "Nikon" or anything else in bold white text. Others may disagree, but I stil think people pay less attention to a camera if it's this unnamed black thing rather than some recognizable whizbang "ooh that's pretty" kind of camera. Granted, an F3 with a motor drive is never inconspicuous, but one can still minimize its visual impact.
How many of you do this? Who among you don't like it or don't see the point? Other thoughts on this practice?
You know, It had never occurred to me. I hate the yellow CANON on my T-70, and might just tape it over it before my trip.
My 6x6s, on the other hand, have always been more duct tape than metal (that's an exageration). My current one, a Pentacon Six, has a homebrew waist level finder shade (made out of black FOAMIES and duck tape). It also sports a nifty yellow masking tape filler on it's lens cap, so it will hold tightly to the metal lens hood.
My old TLR had wires stiches and duck tape on the leather case, and a foamie/duck tape (homebrew) square lens hood.
So I guess I'm with you on the "tapers" team.
I haven't blacked out any of my cameras. My LF cameras aren't branded like 35mm gear, and my 35mm gear is so old, that most people who would be interested in seeing what I am shooting have something 3x as valuable around their neck.
When I was in Poland in the 1980s I tried taping over the "Canon" logo on my F-1, but I found I couldn't avoid attracting attention, since it was so unusual to see a modern Japanese SLR in Eastern Europe at that time. Professional photojournalists often had F-1's, because there was authorized Canon service in Warsaw, so if you carried an F-1, you were either thought to be a journalist or an exotic foreigner.
Then I picked up a big klunky Pentacon 6 used and eventually three lenses, and with this I could easily pass for a native and do street photography without drawing a crowd. I generally shot Agfachrome 100 purchased on the black market (the alternative MF slide film being Orwochrom). Most people probably assumed I was a local student (which I suppose I was).
A chrome body in bright sunlight really does attract attention. In my youth, my Leicaflex SL chrome body was always taped. Sometimes, when people got close, they seemed more interested in the anomaly of a camera covered in tape they they would have if I'd left it chrome.
No doubt in my mind, though, if street photography is your thing, you're better off with a dull black body. The best example of this was the Leica M4 through M6 which came in a flat black chrome finish. Very low key and very durable. When the later M6 models were ruined when Leica put a bright red dot (trademark/logo) on the front of the camera. Visit the Leica forum on photo.net to read discussions of putting black tape over the offending red dot.
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I have no need to black out anything - people always smile when they see me with a Zeiss Ikon folder. Or a 9x12cm plate camera...
These old fashioned cameras seem a lot less "threatening" than a "modern" SLR, in my experience.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
This black out has been going on since the 60's. The one thing I learned
is that black cameras can't hide. Everytime someone walked into class, everyone went- "OOOOH a black camera" :wink: ! Everytime someone taped their camera, everyone was curious about "what's under the tape".
If your really dedicate, you fill with Bondo-sand smooth- repaint. Beside, tape make you camera sticky.
"Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."
If I deprive my digigizmo of oxygen will that make it black out?:P
Papparrazi gear ... one wears a black shirt - very good idea, anyway - less chance of being reflected in glass - and a black camera / strap over one shoulder.
Least likely to be noticed.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Inconspicuousness is over-rated
(Pic of my buddy Johnny at the Toronto Beaches Easter parade, scammed from Luke Tymowski)
Persoanally I think black tape over the logo is decorative, rather than the opposite. I've been thing of putting Subaru STi logos on my blank lens caps (already prefer using Nikon caps on my 52mm canon lenses, which occasionally draws stares... but they're better caps!)