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Subscribe To Our NewsletterJoin our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. While this could be the case, there are actually quite a few good reasons why some photographers might want to cover their gear in black tape.
The first, and most common reason, is simply that a plain black camera is more discreet than a camera with white or shiny gold markings on it. Of course, with a large camera lens, blacking out the logos isn't going to make much difference to how discreet the camera is. Similarly, with wildlife photography, some photographers like to have the camera and lens blacked out (or with larger lenses, covered in a camouflage coat).
Some photographers use black tape on their cameras to reduce the camera's appeal to thieves. Probably not, but depending on the way you tape up the camera, it can be made to look quite scruffy, as if it is being held together by the tape. A few photographers may tape up their camera simply because they don't like giving free advertising to the company that makes their equipment. The idea behind covering up the camera logos is that if the manufacturer wants you to advertise them, then they should sponsor you. This reason might seem anti-social, but it can be a valid reason for a busy or professional photographer to cover up the logos on their cameras.


You might think that a taped up camera would invite more questions about why it was taped up.
In some cases, photographers have found that having their camera covered in matte black tape helps eliminate reflections from the bright logos on the camera. Sports and news photographers may sometimes tape the lens hood to the lens, to avoid it getting knocked off by accident, or when working in a media scrum. Tape can't protect a camera from much damage, however it can be used to prevent scratching.
In order to adjust how wide the lens of the camera opens and the picture brightness, you need to adjust the camera’s aperture. However, you may sometimes see a photographer (typically a professional) with the logos on their camera covered by black tape. Whether this works or not is up for debate a€“ does a thief really look for a Nikon or Canon branded camera and decide they won't bother with a camera that appears to be unbranded?
But if you're photographing in a tourist area, thieves are more likely to go after those cameras that are in a good easily re-saleable condition than those that look quite scruffy covered in tape. This usually goes further than just adding black tape to the camera, these photographers will generally switch out the branded camera strap for an unbranded one. Some professionals get quite annoyed by amateur photographers who use the same brand coming up to them and asking them about why they are using model X camera when model Y camera has been released. Time spent answering questions is time lost engaging with the subject and capturing photos, so you can understand why a professional photographer might want to avoid being questioned by other photographers.


But in practice many photographers find they receive less questions with their camera's logos taped over then with the logos showing. This could be useful when photographing through water or glass, for example photographing fish in an aquarium.
So long as a removable tape is used, the tape can be peeled off when the time comes to sell the camera, leaving a scratch-free camera that looks pretty much like new. Most of these reasons are for pretty niche uses though, so it's not surprising that the majority of people don't tape up their cameras. I’m from the UK, though you might notice I try to use American English in my articles as most of my audience comes from the US. A camera that draws less attention makes it easier to capture candid photos where the subject doesn't realise they are being photographed.
However, when working in particularly extreme conditions, such as a desert, some photographers prefer to tape up their cameras just to be sure there are no gaps that any dirt can get inside. The product will still cost you the same as if you went direct, and the commission helps pay for running this site. Most professional photographers use digital SLR cameras as they have more features and more customizing options.



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