Quote Originally Posted by Lee L
The whole black tape on camera thing was originally done to cut the reflections from chrome so that the camera wasn't so obvious. My reading says this was a way to minimize any photo-Heisenberg type effect, mostly in street shooting; i.e. an observed event is not changed so much when the subject doesn't know you have a camera (regardless of brand). It would also make sense to me for a war correspondent to have a flat finish, non-reflective camera. This black taping was often done on "professional" gear, like Leicas and Nikons, it got noticed, and led eventually to black bodies being considered "professional" by people who think that the name and color of the gear confers some sort of status.

I know some people now tape over names and red dots to help prevent theft of brands that thieves consider desirable. Maybe that helps. I doubt there are enough observations to prove any effect. I don't worry about this either way, and I don't assume someone with a particular brand of camera is necessarily a pro photographer or a professional consumer of status conferring equipment. Nor do I assume that someone with a "low-status" brand is a bad photographer, or that someone with a taped camera is a presumptuous snob or poseur.

I have had a number people approach me because of the brand (many) or type (SLR, TLR, 4x5 field, MF rangefinder, 35mm rangefinder) of camera I was using, often when I didn't want to be interrupted and the scene or light was changing and I was close to losing my shot. If it happened consistently, I'd probably do what I could to prevent it, including taping a camera name. But I've also met some very nice and interesting people this way, and even gotten things like a free place to stay in Paris for a week.

I don't think there's any point in drawing any conclusions about camera tapers or their motivations. It obviously works for some people, and others don't care. Anyone more obsessed with how hardware looks or what name is on it, taped over or not, than with the output is missing the point anyway.

BTW, does anyone know if Hermes makes a good durable flat black tape?

Here in England about thirty years ago press photographers in London got p****d off that Nikon U.K were using pictures of them in their adverts, and the copy read something like "95 percent of the press pack use Nikon", they started taping over the Nikon logo because they got no payment from the company for this, thereafter a lot of wannabes started the practice