A Guide to Gaffer and Specialty Tape
Gaffer and specialty tapes have a wide range of applications. In photography, you can use gaffer tape, sometimes referred to as camera tape, to attach anything onto your gear or lighting without damaging anything. In the entertainment industry, this tape is perfect for securing instruments and heavy accessories, marking floors, and even setting up fog and haze machines. At home, specialty tape is ideal for work projects and securing loose wires.
Why Use Gaffer Tape?
Traditional duct tape uses adhesives that can remove paint and scenic treatments from your equipment, but gaffer tape comes off without damaging or marring your studio, stage, or camera gear. Gaffer tape is also easy to tear. Rip it into smaller strips to secure your equipment with less tape. Surprisingly, despite all of its advantages, gaffer tape is more affordable than traditional duct tape.
Choosing the Right Tape
There is a range of factors to consider when shopping for specialty and gaffer tape. When choosing specialty tape, make sure the tensile strength can handle the task at hand. The tensile strength is the load that the specialty tape can withstand. Tape with high-tensile strength is conformable to a range of surfaces, and suitable for securing heavy gear like lighting equipment and special effects machines.
Most tapes are also waterproof and resistant to cold, heat, and ultraviolet light, making them optimal for outdoor use. You'll also want to consider the duration of your project. Long-term use requires wider tape with thick, aggressive adhesive. Even with different specialty tape types, there are varying adhesion levels to accommodate the needs of a range of tasks.