m4/3 not allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon photo tour

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
gregbartgis
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Re: m4/3 not allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon photo tour
In reply to Skeeterbytes, 8 months ago

What I'd like to understand is this - does this cat Rockwell OWN the Grand Canyon? I thought it was a national park - ie public property. No one has the right - including government officials - to tell you you can't take photographs - no matter what. It is, strictly speaking, a first amendment right. You are on public property and Mr. Rockwell has no more business telling you you can't take pictures - for any reason - than George Washington does (or Barack Obama or Carl Rove). I'm guessing he runs a popular guide service. It's fine if he prohibits photography under his guidance, but I'd find another guide. I'll never submit to someone like him telling me what to use. I don't know if there are other guides in the canyon, but I'd take a hard look at what his rights are in telling you that you can't take pictures because he doesn't like what you're shooting with. Since he's licensed to run his operation by the US government, his restrictions are probably illegal - even if he puts it in writing. It's a first amendment violation and I'd look into it. Rather, you should as I wouldn't pay for him to waste my trip.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

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Michael Meissner
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Then there is my steampunk approach
In reply to genesys9, 8 months ago

Now, I realize this would probably only make things worse, but hey, what the heck.

Since 2010, I have been on a mission to disguise my cameras. Usually I use a 1930's press photographer's bellows camera as my inspiration. After starting down this path, I discovered the design ethic steampunk (or if you want to be pedantic, dieselpunk, but nobody out here uses that term), but in 2010, I was unaware of steampunk and I just wanted to do something cool

I first tried 4x6 cameras, but the E-P2 is just too large to fit. So I moved up to the harder to find 5x7 large format cameras (at least harder to find in my price range).  When I got it, I found that the 14-42mm is the only lens I own that fits in the Pony Premo without modification. I could not use the normal RM-UC1 to fire the camera without drilling a hole in the Pony Premo, so I adapted a mechanic cable release to use on the camera.  One of the design issues, are these cameras have the lens in the middle, but most digital cameras have the lens on one side.

I moved to creating custom shells to house the E-3/E-5/E-M5 so I could do outdoor events without worrying about rain. The Pony Premo is now starting to show wear, so I only bring it out for limited viewings now.

Here are some pictures:

Front view of E-P2 inside of Kodak Pony Premo

Close up of E-P2 inside of Kodak Pony Premo

Kodak Pony Premo with back closed

Picture of me with my original steampunk camera and my squirrel mascot

Retro camera shoots a renaissance faire

Mechanical shutter release on E-P2

As I said, I have moved away to making/adapting shells for the steampunk camera, here are some pictures:

E-PM2 inside wooden cigar box, front view

E-PM2 inside wooden cigar box, back view

E-PM2 inside wooden cigar box, side view

Olympus TG-2 'suitcase' camera

Olympus TG-2 'suitcase' camera.

Olympus E-5 pumpkin camera

E-P2 in Kodak Pony Premo (left), E-5 steampunk camera (center), VG-120 steampunk camera (right)

Back view o a trio of steampunk cameras

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Glen Barrington
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Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to MatsP, 8 months ago

MatsP wrote:

Wow! I'm glad I live in a country where everybody as the general rule has the right to access all land, private or not. Restrictions about what camera to use sounds just absurd to me. Especially when they obviously don't have a clue of what they are talking about. Anyway, I've never heard of such a thing visiting nature formations. Welcome to my country! Lots of beautiful sights, free access, and nobody gives a damn about your camera!

This has nothing to do with access to a park. It is all about buying tickets for a tour.

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Cecco
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Re: m4/3 not allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon photo tour
In reply to agentul, 8 months ago

The point is, they don't want too many people to stroll around the Canyon. It is very narrow and  guided groups pass through all the time so you have to find a wider space to let them pass by. It  could become a security issue, if too many photographers would be in the Canyon on their own. Thus the artificial request for "professional" gear.

I was in the lower canyon in 2008 with a Sony A700 (APS-C) and a tripod (SLIK) and got a photo pass. Key was carrying a tripod (you don't have to use it though). I'd expect using an OMD E-M1 wouldn't be a problem. Put on your biggest lens when you show it. A GM1 might not work. It looks too much like a Point&Shoot. Starting a discussion about your gear is worthless. Once the guy at the ticket store made up his mind (and it is more a gut decision), he won't change it. At least that was my experience with other visitors, who didn't get a pass that day.

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gregbartgis
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Re: Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to Glen Barrington, 8 months ago

It's definitely worth "getting your panties in a bunch". Ken Rockwell has to apply for a Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service. This is not a license to deprive someone of their first amendment rights, any more than he could obtain a license to deprive anyone of any of our other constitutional rights. He took your money and has an obligation to deliver. It's too bad that people don't want to press issues such as this - one reason so many of our rights seem to be slipping away from us. We're too lazy to fight- even if it means getting screwed by people like Ken. Use and exercise your rights - or lose them. You can go online to the US Forest service website and read up on Commercial Use authorization. Ken is taking your money and is responsible for seeing to it that you are completely satisfied. If you complain to the Park Service, they may be able to persuade him to drop his restriction. He may be a private commercial operator, but he's making use of public property to further his personal interests and must obey the law to maintain his license. Complaints will be considered and if enough people complain - or one is vocal enough - he can lose his license. You should file a complaint.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

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agentul
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Re: m4/3 not allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon photo tour
In reply to XPro10, 8 months ago

XPro10 wrote:

There are many slot canyons in southern Utah that have not been photographed to death. And require no permit or guide. Google; Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons. Peek-A-Boo, Spooky and Brimstone Gulches.

Antelope Canyon and nearby "the Wave" have become cliche if you ask me. How many more millions of shots does the world need of these?

it's the first time i've heard of these places. if i were to ever go there, i'd like to take some pictures. so, i guess "the world" still needs about 20 or so pictures.

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Eamon Hickey
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it's a Navajo park; access is controlled as in many other parks
In reply to gregbartgis, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

What I'd like to understand is this - does this cat Rockwell OWN the Grand Canyon? I thought it was a national park - ie public property.

A quick look indicates that it is not a National Park -- it's on Navajo Reservation land and access rules are set by Navajo tribal authorities.

This is about access control. The Navajo authorities put controls on access because the canyons are small and subject to overcrowding and/or environmental damage. You must be on a guided tour in order to go into the canyons. There are about 8 or 10 officially sanctioned tour companies. Evidently, Kens Tours -- the subject of this email -- is using the SLR/Tripod requirement as a crude mechanism for separating serious photographers into their own group for special tours that allow the photographers more freedom and more time (2 hrs instead of 1 hr.) to photograph the canyons.

Note that many U.S. National Parks also enforce various kinds of access control for safety, crowding, and environmental reasons. So just because we are taxpayers does not mean we have unrestricted access to all public park lands.

There is a second tour company that also provides Lower Antelope Canyon tours and doesn't appear to use camera type to try to identify serious photographers vs. happy snappers.

Here's a list of tour companies on the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation site:

http://www.navajonationparks.org/htm/antelopetours.htm

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Glen Barrington
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Re: Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to gregbartgis, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

It's definitely worth "getting your panties in a bunch". Ken Rockwell has to apply for a Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service. This is not a license to deprive someone of their first amendment rights, any more than he could obtain a license to deprive anyone of any of our other constitutional rights. He took your money and has an obligation to deliver. It's too bad that people don't want to press issues such as this - one reason so many of our rights seem to be slipping away from us. We're too lazy to fight- even if it means getting screwed by people like Ken. Use and exercise your rights - or lose them. You can go online to the US Forest service website and read up on Commercial Use authorization. Ken is taking your money and is responsible for seeing to it that you are completely satisfied. If you complain to the Park Service, they may be able to persuade him to drop his restriction. He may be a private commercial operator, but he's making use of public property to further his personal interests and must obey the law to maintain his license. Complaints will be considered and if enough people complain - or one is vocal enough - he can lose his license. You should file a complaint.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53430777

https://plus.google.com/+GordonLaing/posts/GqyBRd8DPSA

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Lab D
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More people should take this approach to get it changed
In reply to ahrensjt, 8 months ago

I think if enough people e-mail them, they will change their policy.  Linking to articles where professionals named the E-M1 "camera of the year" over "larger" DSLRs might help explain.

I wonder if a GH3 or GH4 would have been accepted and if an A7R would have been rejected.  Do they make you take off the lense to then they measure the sensor?

ahrensjt wrote:

Hi all,

I read genesys' original post, and really felt sorry for him and his experience there.  I would have been incredibly frustrated.  Since my wife and I have an E-M5 and a G5, I also was a bit bothered - that seems like a tour we would like to join!

So I found "Ken's" tours on the Web, and sent them an email, wanting to get a formal response as to "why?".  I pasted the exchange below.

Summary:  I received a very rapid response (well done Emily), but it was clear that Emily did NOT understand the issue regarding the equipment restriction as currently defined.  It is possible that one could print out Emily's second email to show the tour gestapo -- an "official" statement that m43 cameras are in fact allowed with a tripod.  But this was inconsistent with her first email, so I'm not sure I would bet travel expenses on it.  All in all, a disappointing result.

The email exchange:

Apr 3, 2014, at 12:13 AM

Hello Ken’s Tour,
 I am planning a holiday, and want to make sure of something before I make tour reservations.

I read (link below) that someone with a professional-level mirrorless camera was denied access to the Photography tour.
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3649770
 Is this still your policy?  I have a similar pro-level mirrorless camera, and want to make sure (i.e., in writing) whether I would be able to join that tour.
 Thanks,
Jeffrey

-- hide signature --

Von: Emily Young [mailto:keny@aztrail.com]
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 3. April 2014 09:32
An: Jeffrey
Betreff: Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - Photography question
 Hi Jeffrey
 You need a Tripod and DSLR or film SLR, middle format or large format for the 2hrs pass and the fees is $50 per person. You can still take your take your Professional-level mirrorless camera with the
1hrs Tour group if you don't have a tripod and the fees is $26 per person. You'll still take Photo along the way with the group Tour. You don't need a reservation for the Tour, just show anytime when you come and sign in at the Booth.
 Thanks Again
Ken's Tour

----------

Apr 3, 2014, at 12:40 AM

Hi Emily,
 I appreciate the fast response!
 The photography forum at DPreview.com was wondering why a modern mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera with tripod (such as my Olympus E-M5) would be rejected, even though entry-level DSLRs and older film SLRs would be acceptable – even though models like the Olympus have equivalent or better dynamic range and image quality.
 Can you shed some light on this?
 If I had to guess, I’d bet you had customers in the past that complained “why didn’t my photos turn out?!?”, when they were using a camera (or techniques) that simply could not cope with the challenging conditions.  Therefore you implemented the restrictions.  Is that a good guess?
 If so, might I recommend that you update the “approved cameras” restriction, to include some of the modern professional mirrorless cameras (Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, Sony).

As of today, I unfortunately would not be able to take the tour.
 Thank you for considering the policy change.
 Regards,
Jeffrey

----------

Von: Emily Young [mailto:keny@aztrail.com]
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 3. April 2014 09:53
An: Jeffrey
Betreff: Re: Lower Antelope Canyon - Photography question

Hi Jeffrey

As long as you've a Tripod for your Camera you can ask for the 2hrs Photo Pass, that all we said.

Thanks Again
Ken's Tour

----------

Thanks Emily.

It looks like a great tour, and I just wanted you to be aware of the negative publicity being generated by the camera restriction.

My forum friend had a tripod, but was still rejected, so it appears that there is some inconsistency between what you wrote and what is being enforced.

Another photography pro mentioned it here, and he has close to 1 million followers.
https://plus.google.com/+GordonLaing/posts/GqyBRd8DPSA#+GordonLaing/posts/GqyBRd8DPSA

Anyway, I won’t bother you with emails any more.

Cheers,
Jeffrey

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Klarno
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Re: Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to gregbartgis, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

It's definitely worth "getting your panties in a bunch". Ken Rockwell has to apply for a Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service. This is not a license to deprive someone of their first amendment rights, any more than he could obtain a license to deprive anyone of any of our other constitutional rights. He took your money and has an obligation to deliver. It's too bad that people don't want to press issues such as this - one reason so many of our rights seem to be slipping away from us. We're too lazy to fight- even if it means getting screwed by people like Ken. Use and exercise your rights - or lose them. You can go online to the US Forest service website and read up on Commercial Use authorization. Ken is taking your money and is responsible for seeing to it that you are completely satisfied. If you complain to the Park Service, they may be able to persuade him to drop his restriction. He may be a private commercial operator, but he's making use of public property to further his personal interests and must obey the law to maintain his license. Complaints will be considered and if enough people complain - or one is vocal enough - he can lose his license. You should file a complaint.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

Antelope Canyon is not administered by the Department of the Interior, but by the Navajo Nation. Granted, the BIA does fall under DoI jurisdiction, but we really do give the Indian reservations mostly a free hand in the governance of their tribal land.

It looks like Navajo Parks and Recreation has been given control over areas such as Antelope Canyon and the floor of Canyon de Chelly, and Navajo Parks and Recreation has sole ability to license tour operators in these areas.

From Navajo Parks and Rec website:

All areas on the Navajo Nation are closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid camping, hiking or backcountry permit issued by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other duly delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered Trespassing on a Federal Indian Reservation.

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gregbartgis
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Re: it's a Navajo park; access is controlled as in many other parks
In reply to Eamon Hickey, 8 months ago

I do understand what you are getting at, though I still feel that the Navajo Nation probably has no right to deprive a US citizen of his/her constitutional rights. I could be wrong and I do understand their outstanding status. I din't know about their dominion over the Grand Canyon and I do understand that access to the park should be limited and that isn't the point of my post. When you're there, and having paid the premium for the tour, unless the US Constitution is suspended there - I doubt it - arbitrary gear restrictions are illegal. This is a subject worthy of scrutiny. I'm not advocating for people to exercise special privilege over all public lands just because they're ours, but, when access is granted we retain our full rights a US citizens. Does the Navajo Nation have its own police force? Courts? Prisons? Or do they rely on the US Government to provide these services? If policing is done by US  citizen/ police, then they are obliged to obey US laws. The courts may be trumped by tribal councils, but still, policing itself becomes an extension of US authority and they must obey the law. I don't care about all of the nitpicking arguments about what kind of equipment should qualify. All cameras must be permitted. They can prevent someone from taking a picture for safety or environmental reasons. They can't tell you not to take a picture because they don't like your gear - unless,of course, you are throwing your discarded polaroid wrappers in the river!

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

 gregbartgis's gear list:gregbartgis's gear list
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MatsP
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Re: Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to Klarno, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

It's definitely worth "getting your panties in a bunch". Ken Rockwell has to apply for a Commercial Use Authorization from the National Park Service. This is not a license to deprive someone of their first amendment rights, any more than he could obtain a license to deprive anyone of any of our other constitutional rights. He took your money and has an obligation to deliver. It's too bad that people don't want to press issues such as this - one reason so many of our rights seem to be slipping away from us. We're too lazy to fight- even if it means getting screwed by people like Ken. Use and exercise your rights - or lose them. You can go online to the US Forest service website and read up on Commercial Use authorization. Ken is taking your money and is responsible for seeing to it that you are completely satisfied. If you complain to the Park Service, they may be able to persuade him to drop his restriction. He may be a private commercial operator, but he's making use of public property to further his personal interests and must obey the law to maintain his license. Complaints will be considered and if enough people complain - or one is vocal enough - he can lose his license. You should file a complaint.

-- hide signature --

The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

Antelope Canyon is not administered by the Department of the Interior, but by the Navajo Nation. Granted, the BIA does fall under DoI jurisdiction, but we really do give the Indian reservations mostly a free hand in the governance of their tribal land.

It looks like Navajo Parks and Recreation has been given control over areas such as Antelope Canyon and the floor of Canyon de Chelly, and Navajo Parks and Recreation has sole ability to license tour operators in these areas.

From Navajo Parks and Rec website:

All areas on the Navajo Nation are closed to non-Navajos unless you have a valid camping, hiking or backcountry permit issued by the Navajo Parks and Recreation Department or other duly delegated tribal authority. Failure to have a permit is considered Trespassing on a Federal Indian Reservation.

-- hide signature --

This issue seems to be even more complicated than I could ever imagine...

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gregbartgis
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Re: Before you get your panties in a bunch. . .
In reply to Klarno, 8 months ago

In which case an appeal to the Tribal Councils would be a good approach. If the constitutional argument can't be made ( I would want to find out what their actual right is to suspend the Constitution) then a reasoned argument should be made using their own protocols. This is a discussion worth opening up.

-- hide signature --

The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

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cainn24
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Re: it's a Navajo park; access is controlled as in many other parks
In reply to gregbartgis, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

They can't tell you not to take a picture because they don't like your gear - unless,of course, you are throwing your discarded polaroid wrappers in the river!

As detailed by Gordon Laing, you can go on a guided tour with any camera you like.  You just can't get a permit to go on a "self-guided" tour without a DSLR.  It's still a wholly absurd restriction and betrays a disturbing lack of knowledge about the caliber of modern mirrorless camera gear, but the point is that they're not actually flatly  denying anyone access.

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agentul
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Re: More people should take this approach to get it changed
In reply to Lab D, 8 months ago

Lab D wrote:

I think if enough people e-mail them, they will change their policy. Linking to articles where professionals named the E-M1 "camera of the year" over "larger" DSLRs might help explain.

for this to be effective, most of those people would have to be actual professional photographers (and this should be made clear in the emails, including employment and affiliations with professional organizations). it will weigh a lot more than a bunch of hobbyists making claims that have to be researched.

I wonder if a GH3 or GH4 would have been accepted and if an A7R would have been rejected. Do they make you take off the lense to then they measure the sensor?

they probably make you take the shallowest DOF picture that you can with your current gear, and then get into an equivalency argument for about 10 minutes if they think it's necessary.

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Lab D
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Even more absurd...
In reply to cainn24, 8 months ago

cainn24 wrote:

gregbartgis wrote:

They can't tell you not to take a picture because they don't like your gear - unless,of course, you are throwing your discarded polaroid wrappers in the river!

As detailed by Gordon Laing, you can go on a guided tour with any camera you like.  You just can't get a permit to go on a "self-guided" tour without a DSLR.  It's still a wholly absurd restriction and betrays a disturbing lack of knowledge about the caliber of modern mirrorless camera gear, but the point is that they're not actually flatly  denying anyone access.

As other have said you could pick up a use E-420, broken E-1, or even a film Canon AE-1 on ebay, and bring it along for access.  Simple carry your mirrorless camera in your bag and have the old film SLR hanging from you neck for looks.

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uberzone
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Re: it's a Navajo park; access is controlled as in many other parks
In reply to gregbartgis, 8 months ago

gregbartgis wrote:

I do understand what you are getting at, though I still feel that the Navajo Nation probably has no right to deprive a US citizen of his/her constitutional rights. I could be wrong and I do understand their outstanding status. I din't know about their dominion over the Grand Canyon and I do understand that access to the park should be limited and that isn't the point of my post. When you're there, and having paid the premium for the tour, unless the US Constitution is suspended there - I doubt it - arbitrary gear restrictions are illegal. This is a subject worthy of scrutiny. I'm not advocating for people to exercise special privilege over all public lands just because they're ours, but, when access is granted we retain our full rights a US citizens. Does the Navajo Nation have its own police force? Courts? Prisons? Or do they rely on the US Government to provide these services? If policing is done by US citizen/ police, then they are obliged to obey US laws. The courts may be trumped by tribal councils, but still, policing itself becomes an extension of US authority and they must obey the law. I don't care about all of the nitpicking arguments about what kind of equipment should qualify. All cameras must be permitted. They can prevent someone from taking a picture for safety or environmental reasons. They can't tell you not to take a picture because they don't like your gear - unless,of course, you are throwing your discarded polaroid wrappers in the river!

-- hide signature --

The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

The laws regarding Indian Reservations are somewhat complex, but I do not believe they are public lands. They usually require a permit or payment to be allowed on the property, especially for environmentally sensitive areas. As it is their property, they can set the rules and regulations, within the law of course.

Say you invite a stranger into your home and they insist on bringing in a gun. By your logic, you have no right to deny them carrying a gun into your home because it is "their right as an American", provided they have the proper permit of course.

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cainn24
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Re: Even more absurd...
In reply to Lab D, 8 months ago

Lab D wrote:

cainn24 wrote:

gregbartgis wrote:

They can't tell you not to take a picture because they don't like your gear - unless,of course, you are throwing your discarded polaroid wrappers in the river!

As detailed by Gordon Laing, you can go on a guided tour with any camera you like. You just can't get a permit to go on a "self-guided" tour without a DSLR. It's still a wholly absurd restriction and betrays a disturbing lack of knowledge about the caliber of modern mirrorless camera gear, but the point is that they're not actually flatly denying anyone access.

As other have said you could pick up a use E-420, broken E-1, or even a Canon AE-1 on ebay, and bring it along for access. Simple carry your mirrorless camera in you bag and have the old film SLR hanging from you neck for looks.

How about a 0.85mp fixed-lens Olympus C-1000L?

It really does have a mirror!

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gregbartgis
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Re: it's a Navajo park; access is controlled as in many other parks
In reply to uberzone, 8 months ago

As stated in subsequent threads, I wasn't aware of the status of these lands. If they're considered private property, then none of my constitutional arguments apply. If they are owned by the Navajos then all rules applying to rights to privacy apply. I think there may still be some exceptions in this case, but it's not my concern. My concern is with speech rights in public places. Photography is speech.

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The elimination of the mirror has introduced a new concept into the interchangeable lens digital camera market - compactness (kind of like what happened when Oscar Barnack created the Leica).

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G1Shooter
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Re: m4/3 not allowed on Lower Antelope Canyon photo tour
In reply to genesys9, 8 months ago

Some of the posts in this thread show the highest level of ignorance I have seen yet in this forum. And some go on spouting ignorance even after someone else has pointed out their error. Amazing!

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