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DSLR discrimination...I'm oppressed!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vernon t, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. I am having trouble getting a straight answer about something.
    Next weekend I'm taking my 13 y/o daughter to Austin City Limits music festival.

    My honest question is about cameras.
    Here's the exact copy/paste from their site:
    "Prohibited Items" include....
    "Professional still camera equipment (no tripods, big zooms, or commercial use rigs)"


    Talk about gray zone!

    I went so far as to go to Zilker Park in Austin yesterday to speak to someone in charge. No help. I got only honest puzzled looks from well meaning individuals,
    In principal I guess the artists performing don't want pros with tripods and 500mm lenses(not sure why that would be).
    What about my daughter leaning on the stage with her Elph SD400? OK?
    What about me with a D2H and measly 24-120mm.

    I'm guessing my D2X and 300f4 is verboten.
    How about the D2H with a 35-70/f2.8...no pro in their right mind would be caught dead with one! Couldn't ever imagine good images coming from that junk.
    Coolpix 8800...OK or not?

    I'm no pro. I'm irritated.

    I plan to likely go in with my D2X 24-120 slung, 85mm and 17-55 in a tiny case. Pretty benign looking I hope.

    I may go by Precision Camera and rent a D70 for the weekend. It's not "pro" like my big'ol' D2X.

    My backup in the car may be my ancient Nikkormat with the 105f2.5 and some Velvia 100. Surely no pro could ever get good shots with such an archaic rig...right???

    Annoyed profoundly.
    I'm not trying to be trouble. I just don't know what the rules are. They don't either.

    BTW...my worst case scenario in take no camera...enjoy 150 bands on eight stages for three days drinking beer deep in the heart of Texas, while sharing a great experience with my lovely daughter and staying for free with my mom in Wimberly...not such a bad existance by any measure.

    My lovely daughter...If I'm realy realy nice I might get to borrow her little Canon Elph that UPS delivered 3 days ago. :biggrin:
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2005
  2. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    It'll probably be up to the particular person you run into on your way in. I dunno, but dragging a couple extra lenses along might just get you labeled as a pro, regardless of the body you use.
  3. Funny writeup, good luck with whatever you use. Remember it is easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission.
  4. I'd love to hear from a musician or a band-shooter to know what the real issues are.

    In reality I:

    1. want to be respectful as a photographer of other's needs and rights.
    2. Hate arbitrary, vague and senseless rules.

    We'll see.
  5. My .02

    A D70 is just as pro looking as a D2X to a rent-a-cop at the front gate who is not going to allow you inside. I have a D70 and when on the streets I am constantly asked what media organzation I represent.

    Any SLR style body is going to set off the alarms. A jet black Nikon body says 'PRO'. Security guards are some of the worst people you can encounter as they are eager to enforce any rule to show their job has meaning. At least the police know the law and will reason with you at times.

    If you don't have written permission I doubt you will get inside. Even if you do, as soon as someone spots your gear in the crowd someone will be tapping you on the shoulder to take you away. You could find yourself in a security office arguing with a bunch of rent-a-cops before at best they escort you off the property.
  6. hans


    Feb 5, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Vernon, I'm not a regular concertshooter but over here one is allowed to shoot during the first three numbers the band plays,that is behind the security. In the adience it's not allowed to bring "big"stuff unless it's a free festival

    It's my experience that when you're with the x or h with a 17-55 on one and a 70-200 on the other you're a pro in everyone 's eyes.well I'm not!!!!!just an amateur with an expensive hobby.
  7. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  8. Thanks all.

    One question still remains.
    Why the ban in the first place?
    I want to be mindful of their concerns and not "get in", only then to do exactly prompted the ban in the first place. That makes us all look bad and is clearly counterproductive.
  9. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    These types of rules really annoy me, they have no basis in logic whatsoever and are probably put in place by some incompetent lawyer trying to CYA. The Houston International Festival last spring had the same type of rules. But to completely forbid all "pro" equipment doesn't make one bit of sense. First of all it is extremely vague - what exactly is "pro" equipment?

    The second issue I have with this is that I think what they're probably trying to prevent is pictures being taken for commercial use. But that's a matter of usage, not equipment. You could easily take pictures with the latest 8mp 12x zoom prosumer digicam and use them for commercial use, and these rules don't seem to recognize that. At the same time these rules do prevent people from shooting with a "pro" SLR even though they're not taking pictures for commercial use.

    I can understand restrictions on tripods and really big lenses, because somebody using such gear could be disruptive to people around them. But to tell me I can't bring an DSLR and 28-70 lens while the guy behind me is allowed to bring his Coolpix 8800 is just stupid.
  10. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  11. Precisely what I'd expect........ :confused: 
    You can bank on the fact that I'll try. 24-120 and no case.


    Below::: :confused: 
    Cut and paste directly from their email response:



    Thanks for writing in.

    There's no way to tell you over email what will be allowed. It's up to the securty person at the gate. If it's just a personal camera with a small lens you'll be fine. But if they consider it a large, interchangable lens... you might not be allowed.

    To not risk it, we recommend just bringing in a point-and-shoot camera.

    Thanks, as always, for supporting ACL. See you at the show!

    - The ACL Team
  12. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    Just remember that if they won't let you in you'd have to take the camera and lens to the car and leave it. The car will be 'hot as the hinges of hell' in Austin and your gear will suffer.

    We have the same heat problem here in Florida and I always consider it.

    How bout the D70 with a 45P... Then you can tell them you have a camera and no lens :smile:

    Good luck and let us know how it works out...

  13. Good news and bad news.....

    Good news....Austin's not gonna' have oppressive sweltering heat....

    Bad news....


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  14. Bring your gear, it's not like they can arrest you or something? I usually deal with these kind of security restrictions and I have to figure out ways to circumvent them! :tongue: My advice is, you're better off not making a big deal about it, and try going in incognito. That's your best bet. Good luck!
  15. Vernon,
    Here are some rent-a-cop encounters on a forum on another website for some insight into the kind of mentality you might encounter.
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Charming. I'm due to be down right on the Gulf Coast again this weekend for business. I may be getting more work than I proposed to the client there.

    And I see elsewhere that they've commenced the voluntary evacuation of Galveston with the mandatory one to start tomorrow.

    It's going to be interesting, I'm sure, but I doubt I'll be shooting birds in my free time. :mad: 

    John P.
  17. PJohnp, good luck.

    Yeah, we just found somebody to go board up my Rockport condo...right on the bay-front.
    Not close to Galveston but those things are fickle!
    I don't want to wish ill on anyone but I hope it doesn't come our way.
    Best place in TX to hit is down ion the King ranch, but ain't gonna' happen with this one.

    A "must read" non-fiction:
    Isaac's storm
    Isaac Kline was the Galveston US Weather Service official in 1900.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2005
  18. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    Hi Vernon,
    Good luck with the storm. I lived in Houston in 1961 when Carla hit Galveston. We were many miles inland and still got 110 MPH wind. Electricity was off for almost a week and it was a mess,,, so be careful and good luck.

    Rita just passed us in southwest Florida so we lucked out. Sure didn't want it to go your way. Let's hope it calms down by the time it hits Texas..

    Keep us posted and I'll be watching..

  19. JMartin

    JMartin Guest


    I also had concerns when going to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays game recently. I checked their web site for restrictions, here is the link (http://tampabay.devilrays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tb/ballpark/tb_ballpark_security.jsp), check it out for thier rules. Seems like as good a go by to me as I have found.

    The biggest items in the prohibited list are:
    Bags/purses in excess of 16" x 16" x 8"
    Backpacks in excess of 16" x 16" x 8"
    Cameras with 12" or more lenses (I used my 70-200vr which is 8.75", mounted the camera and lens is 11.75")

    Cameras (still and video) are permitted in the stadium provided they are for personal use only and do not result in obstruction of other fans' view. Tripods are prohibited.

    You will most likely get a decent security guard, I have been to several stadiums and not had a problem. Turns out the last game I attended the security guard was also a photographer and when she saw my 70-200, says "wow, that's a nice lens". It didn't hurt that my wife piped in and said, "yes, and the most money he will spend for a hobby"!!! :eek: 

    One thing I did though was used a small cheap camera bag from Walmart, Target or whatever, kept my 24-85 mounted on the camera and laid the 70-200 and 1.4TC on the bottom of the bag with a divider between them and the camera for protection. That keeps the bag size down, not to mention if you use your nice bag it will say "pro" right away to most folks. :wink:

    Good Luck and let us know how things go.
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