Advice on camera in Rome

May 17th, 2005, 07:14 PM
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Advice on camera in Rome

I'm travelling to Rome the 1st week of July for the first time, and I'm planning to take a largish camera with me.
This is an SLR (big lens) that hangs around my neck in front of me at all times. Should i worry too much about theft and leave it home?


ayoldguy1 is offline  
May 17th, 2005, 07:20 PM
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I shouldn't think so, unless you are planning on infiltrating some Roman den of iniquity and photographing it.

Seriously though, Alan, if you keep your wits about you in regard to your valuables, as you would any major city in the world, you will encounter no problems in Rome. You will be happy you've taken your camera, in fact, because Rome is very beautiful. Enjoy!
mermaid_ is offline  
May 17th, 2005, 10:03 PM
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Just thought I'd quickly respond to this message. I travelled with a SLR with a very large lens and was infact targetted by thieves. But it wasn't my camera they were after it was my money. I should be more worried about where your credit card and money is than worrying about someone stealing your camera when in the street.
Daneille is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 04:23 AM
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I think you'll be fine. One thing to note. Most churches do not permit flashes or tripods. (Some don't even allow pictures, period.) I found a cable release invaluable. There was usually something I could find to sit the camera on to take a long exposure. The floor was particularly handy for shooting the domes. Have fun!

dcd is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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I have schelped all kinds of camera gear all over Europe, and never had a problem. Pick pockets are the thing to be aware of. What do you shoot with? What is the lens you are taking?
Rosalie is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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As others are getting at, I'd worry more about your cash or wallet while you're distracted taking photos!

If it is in fact around your neck at all times I imagine it will be safe enough. My guess is theft would be more likely if yout is set down somewhere, left in a hotel room, on a train seat, etc. etc.
suze is online now  
May 18th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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I was in Rome a couple of years ago, and didn't really have any problem. The only time I was concerned very much was on trains / city busses.

I would suggest getting a quality backpack style camera bag to keep all of your photo gear in.

Like the others said, your money will be a more likely target of pickpockets. The money pouches that go around your waist -under your clothes would be your best bet. Especially for keeping your passport safe. That way your hands can be free to keep on your camera gear.
kenbob6571 is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 04:32 PM
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I to carried an SLR on my trip. I had no trouble. Just keep it close to your body with a hand on it. This will also keep from swinging and from hitting things as you walk around. When not using it, keep it in a belt type holster case, never lay it down. Take an extra battery. Do not put your film in the check in luggage. Only carry it on.

I developed my negatives only and left in rolls, and printed them myself when I got back. If you have a local 1 hour processor that you use, see if he will procces your prints for the same price if you have you film developed into negatives and left is rolls. If he will, the cost of processing is higher, but you can then put the negatives in the luggage with no worry, save space, and weight on the return trip.

You state that it is a very large lens. A goor lens for this trip would be a 24-135mm. It is smaller, and will shoot in close quarters, aas well as 2.5X closer to you. If you decide on a lens like this, be aware that the 24 will produce some curvature on the sides of the photo. a 28 will not do this, but not near wide enough.
JSLee is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Don't let a distraction by some stranger asking about your camera cause you to let your guard down. The first rule of pickpocketing is to first distract and reorient attention, then grab the wallet.

A common ploy is to lurk in the door of a subway car and wait for a pigeon to fly in.
Then while under the pretense of doing something else, bump the pigeon while exiting the closing door.

It takes perfect timing and a very light touch, but those guys and girls are professionals at that sort of thing and have practiced many long hours. They would not still be doing it if they were clumsy.

Another ploy I have heard of but not witnessed is to use girls as the distraction. "Hey, Mister. Photo me."
Shall we say that some indecency is often involved? It is a good distraction.

One friend of mine strung a light weight chain along her camera strap to make it harder to cut it off and run with it.

She did the same thing with her shoulder bag.

A light metal chain can be cut, but it is harder to do and takes more effort and a little more time, particularly when the would-be taker is not expecting more resistance than leather.

It is not fireproof, but it does cause a delay. About the best you can do is to make yourself a difficult target so that easier pickings are a few yards away.

Just beware subway map readers who bump you.
bob_brown is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Pac-safe makes a luggage strap with a wire through it and twist-lock clamps.

It seems like no one has them available right now.

A friend of mine uses a neoprene wrist strap for his camera so that no one can grab it out of his hand.

I love backpacks but I started using shoulder bags so that I could get at my gear, change lenses, do everything without putting anything down.
sunny16 is offline  
May 18th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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Thanks, everyone.
Rosalie- A Canon Digital Rebel with 18-55 and 28-135 IS lenses

ayoldguy1 is offline  
May 19th, 2005, 04:24 AM
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We were having lunch in a Trastevere restaurant and noticed a woman at a nearby table whose arms were covered with bandages and whose face was covered with bruises. We overheard her talking and knew she was American.

We asked her what had happened and she told us that she was wearing a shoulder bag. A couple young men on a motorscooter whizzed past her, one looped his arm through the lady's shoulder bag strap, and they sped off. Only she didn't let go of the bag. They dragged her half a block, she said, before letting go of the bag. She was left in the gutter, banged up and bleeding. The police shrugged.

So if you are going to wear something valuable (like a camera or a purse or whatever) around your neck, just know that you have been warned.
USNR is offline  
May 19th, 2005, 04:47 AM
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We were in rome several years ago with another couple.

Near the coliseum one gypsy started blatantly pulling at his camera. As he was reaching out to protect his camera.....another gypsy was about to reach into his pocket for his wallet.

While he thought they were trying to steal his camera, they were really after the wallet.

I yelled at her and pushed her away.
Dick is offline  
May 19th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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In relation to really big lenses, your 28-135 ( I actually have that myself) is relatively small! I walk around with lenses as big as 70-300IS, and have no problem!
Have a great time!
Rosalie is offline  
May 19th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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I would take both of these lenses. The mm of the lens varies according to the kind of camera you have. The 18-55 for wide shots and the other for further.

The Digital Rebel uses a 3/4 size imaging chip (APS size) which makes the 18-55 more like a 28-80 on a film camera. the 28-135 will convert to 45-216. Even though a 28 wide is fine for a film camera, your needs a smaller number to get the same effect.

The perfect lens for your trip is 15-85, but its way expensive.
JSLee is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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Does anyone have a suggestion for a good camera bag that will accomodate more than camera gear? I want a multipurpose bag that I can also thow a camera in (SLR, two lenses) without damage. Yet also carry guidebooks, water, sweater, etc. Thanks.
sdtravels is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 10:53 PM
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Pros use Domke bags -- canvas, in various sizes, and you can customize the interior for your gear with foam dividers. Spendy, but the stand up to day-to-day abuse by the five news photographers I work with.

One of them, my DH, recommends this dealer:
Worktowander is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 02:49 AM
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Have travelled round lots of europe and elsewhere [and worked in London for 10 years] and I've never come across the degree of concern I'm reading on this thread about crime in Rome! As we are going at Easter I'm beginning to get worried. Is it really worse than other places?
annhig is offline  
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