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How worried should I be about theft in Italy?

How worried should I be about theft in Italy?

Feb 26th, 2007, 08:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 111
How worried should I be about theft in Italy?

My husband and I are leaving in just over a week (I can hardly wait). We're visiting Rome, Florence and Venice and plan to walk most of the time. We most likely won't take the buses at all, but an occasional cab when something is too far to walk.

I am a photographer by heart and profession and look forward to getting some amazing photographs while I am there.

I'm just trying to decide what camera/lenses I should bring. I plan to go light: one camera and one, maybe two lenses tops. But I'm deciding between cheap lenses that aren't as good or nice lenses that are a little more expensive to replace if stolen.

I suppose I'm wondering how concerned I should be walking around with a camera around my neck... should I worry about theft or calling attention to us tourists with the camera? Or is it not so bad....
ltilley is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Keep cameras, purses etc.on your neck, never on your shoulder. Best way to avoid theft. Also leave all valuble things you donot need in your hotel.
Ida101 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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I think I'll look into getting a waste belt too... I guess I'm just nervous about having the camera stolen...
ltilley is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 11:15 AM
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Eveyone will know you're a tourist - if you have cameras or not - from your clothes, shoes and hair - even if they don;t hear you speaking english.

I wouldn't be worried about theft - but about lugging all that camera stuff around if you're walking all day.

Don't use any sort of waist belt - this is the almost as easy to pick/steal from as a backpack.

Keep the camera on your neck if you're using it. If not using for a while put it - and I hesitate to add lenses - can;t you just get one zoom that will do? - in a shoulder bag. If you're nervous you can wear it bandolier style across you chest - but I just wear it on my shoulder - and haven't had any problems in almost 70 trips - many at least partly in Italy.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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agreed, keep your camera around your neck and a bag with your stuff around your shoulders. We saw HUNDREDS of camreas last week many of them fancier cameras being worn around the neck. We opted not to bring our nice camera becaus ewe didn't want to carry it all day.

BTW, the entire week we were there we saw maybe 2 gypsy people and no one even came close to us. Rome is like NYC, exercise big city caution and smarts and you will be okay.
demmler67 is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Use one of thsoe metal chain straps for your camera & wear it across your chest. My DH carried nothing in his pockets. Everything was in a moneybelt. Never had a problem. Always be aware of your surroundings. Especially when there are a lot of people around you. If you carry any type of bag, carry it in front of you.
sparks is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:19 PM
Join Date: May 2006
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Hi Itilley,
As a fellow photography devotee, I never go anywhere without my digital SLR, but I am very careful about how I carry it. If I'm actively using it and there are lots of other tourists around, I keep it around my neck and a firm grip on it at all times. If I'm not actively using it I put it in my handbag, which I wear across my shoulder, and keep a firm grip on the bag at all times!

You would be disappointed if you came away with less-than-perfect pictures, so bring one good general-purpose lens, like an 18-55 mm. Anything bigger is just going to be too heavy to drag around.
hausfrau is offline  
Feb 26th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I just got back from a week in Rome, Bologna and Ravenna. Most days I carried around my Canon EOS DSLR. As far as I can tell, no one looked at it. I carried it over my shoulder in a Lowepro bag.

I would take your good lenses -- especially a fast wide angle. This time of year the light is dim in the frequently overcast conditions, and the sun sets early. I often had to shoot at ISO 1600, but my fastest wide angle is a f3.5. A couple of times I wanted my flash but still think it's not worth the weight and bulk.

I don't wear money belts. The only extra precaution I take is to leave everything in my wallet I won't need overseas at home. Less to replace. Overseas, I leave extra credit cards, my passport, house keys, and driver's license in the hotel room safe. Also the camera when I'm not carrying it. So far, I have never needed to have taken these precautions.

Just stay alert as you would in any strange city and you'll probably be fine.

Feb 26th, 2007, 01:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 111
thanks folks for all the advice. I am going to go ahead and bring my nice lens... it's a 17-55 2.8 IS lens, so wide and fast. I'll miss having my zoom, but my cheap zoom isn't worth bringing and my nice zoom is WAY too heavy.. so one lens it is... and stay on alert.

I know a good pick pocket can catch anyone off guard, but we'll do what we can and limit what we carry.

ltilley is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 10:49 AM
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How do you like your 17-55 2.8?

I'm planning to get a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM for my 30D but that one you mention was also in consideration. If I recall it was a little heavy though?

Have a great time next week!
flygirl is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 02:37 PM
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Hi L,

> how concerned I should be walking around with a camera around my neck..<

If it's one of them there huge 12 mpx DSLRs with a big zoom... Very.

Your neck is going to get very tired.

As for stealing your camera, as long as it is on your person - very low odds.

If you set it down, even for a second, you have a high probability of losing it.

This is true in all major tourist areas around the world.

ira is online now  
Feb 27th, 2007, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Just as worried as -- but not more than -- you would be in NYC, SF, Chicago, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kalamazoo or Toronto.
LucieV is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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Don't worry. Bring your best camera and lenses. It's no different than the U.S. regarding safety. Just do the same things you would do visiting any city in the U.S.
Paulo59 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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I carried a Canon 10-22 and a 17-85 for my last two trips (China and Italy) to go with my XTi/400D. But I recently sold the 17-85 to get the 17-55/2.8. It's very nice, very sharp, not THAT much bigger or heavier than the 17-85.

But it's not a weather or dust sealed. I already have specks of dusts inside after a few use. Doesn't affect image quality.

Also, invest in the hood. It will cut down on flares in some situations.

I also got an OP/TECH strap, which is much more comfortable than the Canon one. Also bought a hand-strap.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 27th, 2007, 09:52 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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We spent 10 days in Rome over Christmas. Walked everywhere, rode buses, trains, subways. Night, day, early, late, it didn't matter...never felt threatened at all.

Yes, I kept a tight grip on the miniDV Sony, as the Regina with her Olympus, but that's just common sense.

As the others have said, act like you would in any city. When the beggars or scammers come by either ignore them or give them the "squinty eye" and shake your head no. They'll leave quick.

I kept my wallet in my front jeans pocket, heck I couldn't even get it out. We both wore backpacks.


daveesl is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Flygirl.... the 17-55 2.8 is a WONDERFUL lens... and I know I'll be glad to have it. It's perfect for low light church photographs... I can bump up my ISO and shoot wide open without a flash.

I don't think it's that much heavier than the kit lens. Nothing like most of the IS lenses... worth every penny.
ltilley is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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The 17-55/2.8 IS is a fairly large and heavy lens, with large and many glass elements.

77mm filter, 645g, which is heavier than my XTi body.

In contrast, the 17-85 uses 67mm filters and weighs 475g.

The 18-55 kit lens uses 58mm filters and weigh 190g.

Yes, the 2.8 weighs more than 3 times the kit lens, and of course, costs like 10 times more.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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Of course, it's a little heavier than the kit...but I think relative to other IS lenses... it's not so bad. But then again, if I'm used to carrying the 70-200mm 2.8 IS lens.... then maybe I'm just used to heavy lenses....
ltilley is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:32 AM
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thanks ltilley! I really like the idea of a zoom and am afraid I may miss it if I get the fixed length 35mm one - but, it's 1.4 (even faster!) and it's a whole lot lighter. Do you leave yours on the whole time or do you change out?

Maybe I'll see how it goes with the fixed length this time and keep yours in mind too. I'm getting a new SD800 to take as well (my SD500 is getting the E18 error nearly constantly now - it corrects itself but one day, it won't...)
flygirl is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:33 AM
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The 70-200/2.8 is a huge lens for travel.

Before my next trip, I will need to buy a telezoom to go with the 10-22 and 17-55. Right now, I think I'll go with the 70-300 IS. Not a "L" lens, but it has nice optics and is very light and quite affordable.
rkkwan is offline  

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