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View Full Version : Going to Paris next month. Is it worth to bring my Super Speed Graphic?



pepeguitarra
12-Mar-2018, 14:46
Is it worth to bring my Super Speed Graphic to Paris next month? Will I be robbed? Can I stand in front of monuments and shoot, or will I be robbed? What about Lisbon in Portugal?

Peter Collins
12-Mar-2018, 15:29
You will be using a camera that most people will think of as antique, or quaint. Like those used to make photographs of FDR and Truman. Definitely not a Leica digital. Worth nearly nothing at a pawn shop. So-- I think you will be safe. In 1974 I took an expensive Hasselblad to France, Greece, Spain, Italy, and Austria and was--and felt--quite safe. Even in Rome. Carried it in an unimpressive army 'surplus' shoulder bag. No brand names on it.

Have fun.

Bob Salomon
12-Mar-2018, 15:53
I would worry more about being robbed then being robed!
But in 85 I was robbed of 2 Rollei 6000 mf camera’s plus lenses, 2 Rollei 3000 35mm camera’s plus lenses and a Linhof Technorama in France. If the opportunity presents itself anything can be stolen!

faberryman
12-Mar-2018, 15:57
I would worry more about being robbed then being robed!
But in 85 I was robbed of 2 Rollei 6000 mf camera’s plus lenses, 2 Rollei 3000 35mm camera’s plus lenses and a Linhof Technorama in France. If the opportunity presents itself anything can be stolen!
That's a lot of stuff to be carrying around. You must have had a big camera bag.

Bob Salomon
12-Mar-2018, 15:59
That's a lot of stuff to be carrying around. You must have had a big camera bag.

No, they broke into the trunk of our car parked underneath the city hall in Strasbourg.

Randy Moe
12-Mar-2018, 17:10
I like to keep both hands free when in busy places, especially foreign cities, and some are here in USA.

Always have $50 US in small bills as mugger money. Drop it and run.

I see lot's of pickpockets in EU and London was the worst.

Try not to be a target. Buy postcards, a Pro shot those...

Good luck!

jnantz
12-Mar-2018, 18:01
i wouldn't worry about it. will you have a friend nearby sometimes that is helpful

LabRat
12-Mar-2018, 19:58
The bigger headache is traveling with a sheet film camera, as the holders are heavy, you need to carry a changing bag, some empty film boxes, some full film boxes, tripod helps a lot etc, and trying to explain to customs not to open those boxes in roomlight (to name a few things)...

My thinking is if you don't have much time (a day or two) in cities, you don't really have time time to explore the place much, but if you have a week somewhere, you can spend a morning/day/afternoon out scouting locations with a roll or digital camera, then go back and spend quality time with LF...

Happy Trip!!!

Steve K

Michael E
13-Mar-2018, 06:23
You mean, you would go to Paris and leave your camera at home? Why? Or bring a digital Nikon DSLR because you are afraid somebody might want to steal your old accordion camera? That could backfire.

I have used my 4x5 in weird parts of Paris, Rome, Phnom Penh, Quito and a lot of other places. I always felt safer with the big camera, because people see me as a curiosity rather than an european tourist with an expensive camera. They laugh and take snaps with their cell phones.

You can carry a light 4x5 with 15 holders and a light tripod all day if necessary. Don't leave your camera gear in a car, don't put your camera bag next to your chair in a restaurant, always keep it close and on watch.

Pere Casals
13-Mar-2018, 06:49
I fully agree with this information: https://www.tripsavvy.com/paris-safety-tips-1618784

You will feel very safe in the EU because nobody brings firearms in the street. There were some terrorist attacks in Paris so there is plenty of police in any tuoristic place.

Of course in any aglomeration of tourists around the world there is pickpocketing, but nobody will place a gun in your head to take you super speed. You just need to keep an eye on your things, as everywhere.

Violent crime rates are fairly low here, homicides with firearms are x15 higher (population ponderated) in the USA than in France. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate

If you are used to LA then you will feel very relaxed in Paris knowing that nobody brings a gun. It is true that they had that wave of terrorism until last year...

Lisbon is also safe, just following general common sense, and being aware to avoid pickpocketing as in any large city.

Everywhere tourists have more pickpocketing risk than locals, they are easily detected and exploited because usually they have travelling money in the wallet.

Willie
13-Mar-2018, 08:30
A colorful water pistol filled with Ammonia shot at the face of a mugger works well. Just make sure you have one that does not leak.
In the camera bag the pressurized can of wasp/hornet insecticide can be used against a mugger. Grab, trip it and nail them. The stuff shoots 20-30 feet and will mark them with the smell even as they are trying to see with the stuff in the face and/or eyes. Keep it where you can reach into the camera bag easily to get it for use.

Ray Van Nes
13-Mar-2018, 09:04
Spent a week in Paris a few years ago and had my usual travel rig, a 2 x3 Graphic Century. Had no issues. Remember the main part of Paris is a busy place and if you are planning to use a tripod , you may get grief on that account. I mostly used my camera in the area called La Defense which is where they keep the modern buildings. There is a huge plaza and one can set up wherever with no issue.

pepeguitarra
13-Mar-2018, 10:33
A colorful water pistol filled with Ammonia shot at the face of a mugger works well. Just make sure you have one that does not leak.
In the camera bag the pressurized can of wasp/hornet insecticide can be used against a mugger. Grab, trip it and nail them. The stuff shoots 20-30 feet and will mark them with the smell even as they are trying to see with the stuff in the face and/or eyes. Keep it where you can reach into the camera bag easily to get it for use.

Just do not try that in Los Angeles, police may shoot you before you set up.

jnantz
13-Mar-2018, 11:55
there might be tripod issues in paris. some places won't let you
put a tripod down .. can't remember ...

Bob Salomon
13-Mar-2018, 13:49
Just do not try that in Los Angeles, police may shoot you before you set up.

And you would be subject to arrest in most jurisdictions if you sprayed ammonia into someone’s face. Especially if you got it into their eyes!

Emmanuel BIGLER
13-Mar-2018, 14:16
there might be tripod issues in paris. some places won't let you
put a tripod down .. can't remember ...

Hello from France!

French regulations about image rights are exceedingly complex.
However a recent law passed in October, 2016 now allows to reproduce images of protected art visible from the public domain, for non-commercial use.

Quoting wikipedia, please note that this is a major improvement with respect to the previous situation in France.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_panorama
Since 7 October 2016, article L122-5 of the French Code of Intellectual Property provides for a limited freedom of panorama for works of architecture and sculpture. The code authorizes "reproductions and representations of works of architecture and sculpture, placed permanently in public places (voie publique), and created by natural persons, with the exception of any usage of a commercial character".


In Germany and Switzerland, an old law named Panoramafreiheit in German (freedom of panorama is a really poor word-to-word translation from German, but OK, let's say freedom of panorama ... freedom to take pictures in Paris is more important than proper terminology) grants to everybody the free use, commercial or non-commercial, of any picture showing anything visible from any spot located in the public domain.
In France, recent buildings are protected by artists's rights; so, even for non commercial use, before 2016, you never knew whether you could, or could not, post the image of a recent building on any web site.
Now things are simpler in France: for non-commercial use there is no longer any restrictions regarding artist's right for images that anybody can take from the public domain. For commercial use, a kind of copyright applies to all images of recent buildings. In Europe, artists' rights are granted for 70 years after the death of the artist. For example, this was strictly enforced for le Corbusier buildings in Paris, and fees you had to pay were quite high.
However if you are interested in 100% freely taking commercial pictures of Le Corbusier's buildings, go to Switzerland ;)

Now regarding tripod use in Paris. Tripod use is allowed anywhere on the public domain provided that there is no nuisance to street or pedestrian traffic. I have posted here a few years ago a copy of an official document stating this.
However there are still many restricted areas, for example the Louvre Palace gardens. It is not considered as a public domain!!
In French for those places we use the expression "Private Government Estate", in French: "domaine privé de l'État".
So private government estate is not public domain, and this covers many national monuments, museums, etc. where no freedom of photography is, at least officially, granted.
So, there are regulations stating that any commercial shooting withing le Louvre gardens is submitted to prior authorization and payment of fees.
Hence tripod use is prohibited in Le Louvre gardens, except if you have a written permission, the excuse being that only professionals selling their work use a tripod.
I do not want to comment on this, but the facts are that zillions or tourists, including professional photographers, freely take pictures from le Louvre gardens without a tripod...

So to make it simple, feel free to use a 4x5" camera anywhere in Paris, feel free to set-up a tripod anywhere but inside Le Louvre gardens, and enjoy your visit.

Regarding robbery, for me things are simple, in Paris I would carry everything with me, and I would leave all film & equipment that I do not need for a day's walk in my hotel room. This applies to any major city of Western Europe.
Beware of any unattended bag left on ground in a café, those bags can be grabbed very easily, at least secure the bag by putting one of the bag's shoulder straps around the leg of the chair you are sitting on.
I second the idea that a 4x5" camera no longer attracts the interest of thieves, much less than a modern 35mm SLR.
On the contrary, using a 4x5" press camera in Paris will attract friendly people !

pepeguitarra
13-Mar-2018, 15:15
Thank you Emmanuel: I was ready to change my destination to Spain. But, after reading your post, I will still go to Paris, and Germany as previously planned. Last year, I spend one month traveling in Italy. Everyone advised me to watch for pick pockets or thieves, but I never saw or felt one. In fact, I found an Italian photographer in Rome taking photos of the Pantheon. I brought a Leica M9 with me. We talked for half an hour about photography. He actually had built his 4x5 view camera with wood himself. That was my first encounter with LF photography. Since then, started the move to LF. My camera weights 2 pound, the lens less than 200 grams, and a tripod weights 3 pounds. I will add a 6-film holder bag with 12 shots. I can leave my 2 25-slides film boxes at the hotel with the changing bag. I can manage to carry that stuff in a small backpack. Regarding not taking photo and buying a post card, thanks Bob. I admire the work of professionals but I insist that Amateur stand for love to photography.
Emmanuel, I personally do not like to take photos of other people art work. If I travel to go and see it person, I want to enjoy it in person as much as I can. However, there are some buildings or architecture in general that I love to photograph. Usually, most of the stuff I like has been built more than 100 years ago.

Emmanuel BIGLER
13-Mar-2018, 15:29
I was ready to change my destination to Spain.

Well, there are so many magnificent cities in Europe, that nobody can see everything in a single trip.
If you miss France at some point, for any reason, you'll have to come back another time ;)

Regarding freedom of panorama, Spain is coloured in green on wikipedia's map, so the situation is like in Germany and Switzerland.
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libert%C3%A9_de_panorama#/media/File:Freedom_of_Panorama_world_map_fr.svg

There are many readers of this forum who enjoyed LF photography in Paris without trouble.
I've never set up a tripod in Paris, but at least now I know that I'll never attempt to bring a tripod at le Louvre Square to take a picture of Pei's pyramid ;)

Paris is not France, France has many, many nice old villages and cities & monuments all kinds waiting for your tripods, LF photographer friends!

pepeguitarra
13-Mar-2018, 15:42
Well, I think my wife and I have our eyes of the food.

ventdesable
14-Mar-2018, 05:52
Hello,

My eldest son (21 yo) whom I proposed to spend some time in New York City on is own answered me this "It's said to be very risky to walk out this city. One can meet thieves, drug dealers and so on". He spends most of his free time (nights) in Parisian places where I have never been.

The only real risk is the unknown's fear. And, maybe some "take-me-silly-things". If it's written on your forehead "I'am a wealthy american : robb me !" : you may loose your wallet and some change. But, just as my friend Emmanuel said nobody will even see your Super Graphic.

Using a tripod in Paris might sometime be difficult. But... April in Paris (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F45if_7o10Q)... You'll start to find early morning lights : a lot less people in the streets, easier tripod positioning, more permissive people. And, for the balance : Il est cinq heure, Paris s'éveille (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7whXkifG_ms).

If you do your serious work in the early morning, it will leave you the possibility to visit the Musée d'Orsay with it's extraordinary collections. And there is the magic. The last government gave us a "Ministre de la Culture", Fleur Pellerin, who will be remembered for at least one thing : she took an Instagram picture of a Pierre Bonard's paint. (http://www.lefigaro.fr/arts-expositions/2015/03/19/03015-20150319ARTFIG00035-le-musee-d-orsay-interdisait-les-photos-jusqu-a-fleur-pellerin.php). Few days after the museum authorised the possibility of taking pictures. And that is huge ! ;-)

Welcome in Paris it is a wonderful city.

Jérôme - Born and raised in Paris !

BrianShaw
14-Mar-2018, 06:15
I have no experience in France or Spain, but traveled quite a bit with SuperGraphic (and TLRs) in UK and Europe... always found it better to bring a monopod than a tripod. But shooting with it was not that hard. I was not robbed.

Greg Y
22-Mar-2018, 12:49
Pepe, I'd rather hang out in Paris than LA, or many other American Cities. It's a safe cosmopolitan place. I also would choose a monopod over a tripod. If you're thinking architecture & monuments a wide angle would be a must. Of course you can choose to photograph with any camera you like. I've used a Rolleiflex in Paris. Next time, it'll be the Leica....Paris is a place that has lots to offer as far as urban street shooting. Enjoy the voyage. Paris is a great place.