Polimom and Adorable Child went to watch the Aeros play this afternoon at the Toyota Center in Houston.
You’ll just have to take my word for it, though. I can’t show you any fun shots, cuz they wouldn’t let my camera in the door.
This is what their site says:
Professional cameras are prohibited at all events in Toyota Center unless accompanied by an appropriate media credential. Cameras containing lenses ( not to exceed 4 inches in length ) with no flashes may be allowed for some events.
And that’s also what the nice guy said when he sold me the tickets: 4 inches.
Since I don’t know how one defines “professional camera”, I decided to just bring my usual D50 and two lenses: one about 1/2 inch over the 4″ mark, and another about 1/2 inch under.
Nope and nope.
It seems the security guy had his own interpretation of the policy, and for him, 4″ includes “extended length”. Folks, I’ve re-read that policy a bunch of times now, and I still don’t see that caveat there. Do you?
So tomorrow, I’ll be on the phone with the Toyota Center, reading somebody the riot act (like they’ll care…) — but there’s really a larger question here.
Aside from mincing definitions about extended lengths on telephoto lenses… What is the purpose of such a prohibition on cameras? And why is it that some facilities allow lenses up to 12″, and some don’t care at all as long as you don’t bring a tripod/monopod… but others are worried about a DSL in any configuration?
Anybody know? Cuz it’s really annoying…
Years ago, I got caught by this “rule” at a pro wrestling event at Compaq center, where the rule was that the lens had to have a focal length of less that 100mm. Fortunately, I had a car I could store the 75-300 zoom in for the duration.
In the case of sporting events (or “sports ENTERTAINMENT” in the case of pro wrestling), I think part of the issue is that the leagues hold copyright to the performances, and any images of same. Banning long-eyes is one way to keep folks from photographing the players, then selling the images on the outside. I happen to prefer the attitude of MLB (or at least this used to be their attitude) that you could bring any camera/lens you wanted – but you couldn’t use a tripod (ostensibly for safety reasons.)
I happen to find the irony of “no professional cameras” and “no flashes” quite rich. Of course, there are some cameras that don’t have built-in flash units. I happen to own one myself. However, lack of an built-in flash is a characteristic of professional-grade cameras.
I also think the whole “no flashes” thing is a hoot, given the sight at pretty much any evening major league game (esp. football) where the beginning of play is denoted by a sea of popping underpowered flashes, which must produce some of the most horrendous “Kodak moments” imaginable.
Hi Ed —
Yes, MLB still has that rule about no tripods/monopods. Interesting that you say that about leagues and copyrights, though. When I later talked to someone who represents the Aeros, they said that the building (Toyota Center) made that rule — and this team rep was not happy at how things went down.
That “the building made me do it” is pure BS cop-out. If that were the case, I couldn’t have gotten my camera in to my son’s high school graduation. My guess is that it is the primary leasee of the building (which would be Les Alexander and the Houston Rockets, IIRC.)
Unless this is some sort of anti-terrorist BS propogated by DHS (which wouldn’t surprise me a whole heckuva lot.)
Yes indeed. Worry that the 4 inch long camera lens is actually a gun, or a home-made grenade (Which all those folks with cameras might have caught on film… but they had to leave them at home).
Total side note:
Has the DHS’s security since Sept 11, 2001 lessened the violence in America, or do we have more violence now?
Hi Pan — that’s what I should tell them — I, with my interchangeable telephoto lenses, should be considered citizen security! I like that!
That’ll be my back-up argument when I talk to the officials…. :>
Too bad about the inane camera policy; hope that you received an explanation that wasn’t more of the same.
OTOH, glad to learn that you are a hockey fan. I must confess to being a little surprized, though, given the monchromatic demographics (both on the ice and off), blue-collar work ethic and violence inherent to the game. ; )
I was just invited to the Hornets’ Playoff game tonight. The NO Arena policy says “Professional Camera with 6 inch lens”. When I called, the person read me the information on the brochure and would not (or could not) elaborate. Since I’m going in someone else’s car, I haven’t decided whether to chance it. Did they measure your 4″ based on the camera + lens, or just the extended lens length?
Hi Glenn —
They measured the lens itself (i.e., from the camera body out).
Good luck with it!!!
I did get stopped in the New Orleans Arena, but I came prepared. I had a copy of the policy, and a portable ruler in my bag. I voluntarily measured the one on my camera, and the one in my bag. After I showed them that they were less than 6 inches, they let me thru. Fortunately they didn’t ask me to extend the one in my bag, as it was a bit over 6 inches.
Ha! Good for you for being prepared! And yes, you were fortunate that they were not quite so anal as the security here.
Did you get some good shots?