Will my equipment be safe?

thebeginning

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[FONT=Geneva, Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I'm going to be taking a trip to southern Russia (Krasnodar) with a church group and I have been assigned to be the group photographer. I'm kind of hesitant about bringing my equipment (my 20d, a tamron 17-35 and 70-200L IS) because I've heard some stories about people getting their stuff stolen. I dont want to have to superglue all my equipment to my body and then wear 4 layers of clothes over it when I sleep just to keep people from stealing it. It took me a while to get this far financially with my equipment, and it would be a tremendous loss if something happened to them.


Would it be stupid to spend a little bit of money on a fairly cheap system (say a used 300d and a 18-125 or some other superzoom) and use that for the trip?
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Joel

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not sure about russia, but i know that it can be very dangerous taking camera overseas. when i was in Vietman, we were told to be super careful. dont even get the camera out in public. and if we needed to take a photo, do it from under a jumper laying in your lap or something. luckily we never had anything stolen. aAlthough, friend of mine had her camera stolen in africa. so be careful :)

maybe look into insurance? it could be worth getting it and taking your gear...

note, i really know nothing about this i just thought id give u me 2 cents...
 

Rob

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#1 Specialist insurance is vital for any trip abroad. Damage is more likely to be the primary concern. If you can't afford to lose it - insure it.

#2 From my experiences, Russia has been a very safe country. The penalties for stealing from a person are pretty drastic, and all my Russian friends have assured me that it's very rare. However, in any country leaving it lying around, or carrying valuable equipment openly late at night, probably isn't terribly clever.

Spend the money on insurance, use your favourite kit and just use common sense - if an area's dodgy - get outta there.

Rob
 
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thebeginning

thebeginning

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i have insurance for my equipment...i'm not sure if you need different insurance for it to apply insurance. you mentioned specialist insurance, do you think that might be something separate?
 

Arch

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yea i agree you should be ok here..... the city your visiting, is well established and in the south/west area of russia...... i would only be concearned if you were going to the more remote eastern areas of russia......that can be dangerous territory...... as for insurance, just make sure it covers everything like damage, theft etc.. it would be worth spending a little extra on a full insurance policy just while your away.
 

mentos_007

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Russia is nothing different from any other country... your gear might be stolen in US as well... I'd go with insurance...
 

benhasajeep

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I travel around quite a bit (work for charter airline). I have been to several old Russian republics. The one thing I do do is cover Nikon or Canon on my camera. Black piece of tape. Light cleaning gets the sticky off later. I have never had anything stolen except for one time in Israel, but that was from my hotel room and not camera related (was actually just a gift from a local company doing work for us there).

The best security is stay with others, and do not let any of your personal items leave your reach! When in crowded markets keep your items in front of you. Behind you, they can unzip and remove from bag. But if you will be in a group of people I would not worry too much. I would not leave any equipment behind at a hotel. Ever, even in the US! If I bring it on a trip it is always with me! I probably should have equipment insurance of some type, do not have it at the moment, nor in the past have I had any. I have been traveling internationally consistantaly for the last 7 years.
 
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thebeginning

thebeginning

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benhasajeep said:
The one thing I do do is cover Nikon or Canon on my camera. Black piece of tape. Light cleaning gets the sticky off later.


that's a good idea. do you think it matters alot?
 

benhasajeep

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With my airline I fly into airbases quite a bit. One trip we went into a Latvian airbase. It was suggested to me to cover my Nikon on my camera by the captain. I asked why. He said for two reasons. One they may want to trade with you seeing the brand of camera you have. Trade meaning they will give me their camera and I have to give them mine! And the other is just so you dont look so touristy for the locals. In the land of Kiev cameras, a person sporting a big nikon billboard is a dead giveaway.

Like I said before. A group you should have no problem at all. The bigger the better. It when people get to be alone that the crooks get enough courage to snatch and grab. Also just like other big cities around the world. The big tourist areas get the better patrolling. They know where the money comes from. I think you will have a good time. I have never been there, but I always enjoy a new cultural area.
 

JTHphoto

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I don't know anything about other countries, but i would just say... don't let it out of your sight. I had a camera stolen on my honeymoon in Hawaii. I guess you could say it was my own fault, i left it unattended in the rental car for about 5 minutes and then it vanished without a trace... (although the rental car lot attendant sure had some big pockets :hertz: ) lucky for me it was just a cheap advantix with some panoramics on it... I had a deathgrip on my good cameras. I don't really miss that camera, but i wish i had those pics...
 

bigfatbadger

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Check with your current insurer, specify the exact details of your trip and ask them if you'll be covered.

If they say yes, write them a letter / email detailing this, and say they can reply to you if it's incorrect, but if not you will assume it's correct or summat like that.

Can never be too careful with these insuracne people!
 

DocFrankenstein

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thebeginning said:
that's a good idea. do you think it matters alot?
Not if you stick the 70-200 on! :lmao:

I've lived there. I'd only take a flashy camera in moscow or petersburg. For anything else, I'd take a film camera with 2-3 small primes. Maybe a zenit, but I only have one screwmount lens for it. Much less attention and it's cheaper.

If you really want digital, I'd take the kit lens, 50/1.8 and 28/2.8 or something.
 

manfromh

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benhasajeep said:
With my airline I fly into airbases quite a bit. One trip we went into a Latvian airbase. It was suggested to me to cover my Nikon on my camera by the captain. I asked why. He said for two reasons. One they may want to trade with you seeing the brand of camera you have. Trade meaning they will give me their camera and I have to give them mine! And the other is just so you dont look so touristy for the locals. In the land of Kiev cameras, a person sporting a big nikon billboard is a dead giveaway.

This is off topic, but when was it? 15 years ago? I think the captain was a bit too paranoid.



Now for the person who started ths thread. If you are going to walk around in poor parts of Russia then you might want to get a Zenit (or some other cheap camera). You can get a Zenit and some lenses for about 100 dollars (here a 550mm lens is about 60 dollars. Used of course). Another thing, if you want to buy a Zenit then you might not find them at camera stores. Atleast in my country you cant. But you might get them at markets.
 

benhasajeep

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manfromh said:
This is off topic, but when was it? 15 years ago? I think the captain was a bit too paranoid.

Actually it was 5 years ago. And just to give you an expample of what does go on. We were flying thier soldiers home from a UN mission. They had the Military band out, an officer was there to greet every soldier that came off the plane. All their pictures were taken as they got off.

I am not sure who set up the flight as our contract was with the US DOD. But we had to scramble becasue we had to pay $8,000 in cash for ramp fees! They would not let us leave without paying it! We were told it MAY happen if we go. It just so happens that there was a money machine in the terminal that gave out US currency. Then had to exchange the US for local currency at the rate they had posted! More of a scheme than a scam. But still, funny business still goes on even with international military operations (we are a civilian airline, but half our business is military).

Now I will point out the old Russian republics are not the only ones to do this. We have problems at times in Mexico, and a few other Latin American countries. For the most part most play by the rules. We flew the entire summer last year out of Kazakhstan as a sub service for Air Astana and never had a problem. That happened to be my most recent trip that way. Stayed 2 weeks in Almaty. Other than the traffic was enjoyable. Stayed at the Hilton / Hyatt ?? which was way overpriced but thats another story.

I think the point is you can probably tell a tourist by their dress or actions. But branded items that are not normal local items is a dead giveaway. Maybe Canon and Nikon are more local now but I have no idea. I am not so sure a big lens is a dead giveaway unless its grey or white maybe. But again I am not local to the area or region. More and more areas are realizing the importance of tourist money and are trying to control crime better. Rio for example is trying to clean up the petty thieves as they know it is affecting their tourism.
 

manfromh

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Canon and Nikon are quite common here. And they were common 5 years ago too. I live in Estonia, which is just north of Latvia, but im pretty sure it's the same there. "The old Russian republics" dont live in stone age.
Im not sure what ramp fees are. But ive never heard of them.
 

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