Cantax Part 2

A few months ago I wrapped up my Digital Rebel/300D "Cantax" in black gaffer tape. At first it was just a few pieces of tape on the large curved surfaces, then more, then pretty much everywhere that I could fit it that wouldn't cause operational trouble. Why so much tape? Is it useful, or just some dopey affectation (declared another shooter: "it's so, like, ghetto")?

My first thought in taping it was to knock-down the shine of the camera body. Silver bodies worked — sort of — back in the day when cameras were boxy, but todays rounded blobject cameras have lots of broad, shiny curved surfaces from most any direction. The highlights are big and eye-catching (see?). Canon's designers' choice to color the body silver makes the thing just too doggoned shiny and conspicuous. Good for selling consumer electronics, I suppose, but poor for use in a crowd. The newer black-body version of this camera is still shiny. Tape's not shiny, it's dull and quickly looks worn to bits. Which is good.

I also don't care for large brand names on my gear (or on anything else), so I covered them: on the body, the strobe, the lens caps. Just black.

But the surprise came in actual use. Taped-up, the camera is just a lot nicer to hold, a little bit firmer grip and more gentle to the fingers. Much preferable to the naked plastic. I've since taped-up other tools: computer mice, laptop palm rests, and of course electrical cabling. I may yet tape-up a lot of others. Love it.

Permacel gaffer tape: Nature's perfect food.

Additional note about using a small DSLR with manual lenses: it's easy to knock the eyepiece diopter wheel on this camera. If you don't catch it, it will trash your manual focusing and you might not even notice at first. Let that be a lesson to you. Or to me, at least. Ouch.

March 23, 2005





Comments on "Cantax Part 2"

March 23, 2005 08:00 AM

Hell, yeah - it does look ghetto --- how bizarre. And it is sort of black and white - a breakthrough?

March 24, 2005 11:56 AM

Yes, quite "ghetto"... I am curious to know if the gaffer tape is easy to remove? Will it leave any sticky residue?

Martin Taylor
March 24, 2005 12:47 PM

Whoops - link to "see?" ("") had an unwanted quote mark at the end of the link causing a 404. (NOW FIXED - KB)

March 24, 2005 01:36 PM

FIXED! Thanks Martin.

Yes Pinhole, removability is one of the qualities that distinguishes true gaffer tape from simple duck/duct tape. Gaffers need to be able to put stuff together and take it apart quickly (and without peeling the paint off walls etc when shooting on location). Actually pieces fall off from time to time and I haven't experienced residue problems.

I actually gave a talk to game developers (really), extolling the virtues of gaffer tape a couple of years back:

March 25, 2005 07:21 AM

FWIW I just fondled the new Kiss Digital N. Very small body, I was quite surprised. Too small maybe, my little and ring finger were off I think. Back plate seemed the size of my Powershot G2... small. Browsing the brochure makes me think that this cam is targeted at women!


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