How Big of a Camera Can You Bring to the Big Game?

37Share

Is your team playing in the final professional American football game of the current season? Or, are you traveling to Atlanta to see the Big Game? Are you a photographer wanting to capture the action of this or other professional gridiron games?

Here is what you need to know!

The American professional football league has stipulated requirements for what you can and cannot bring into a stadium, but individual venues have their own sets of rules.

The league Stadium Bag Policy basically states that you cannot bring any type of bag to the game. This includes camera bags. The only bags allowed are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags that do not exceed 12 x 6 x 12". As an alternative, you can bring your needed items in a clear one-gallon freezer bag and you can also bring a small clutch with a maximum size of 4.5 x 6.5" along with a clear bag.

You can carry a camera and/or binoculars into the stadium—they just cannot be in their own cases.

What kind of camera can you bring to a game? The current stadium rules for the pro football stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, state the following:

Guests may bring hand-held still-photo or video cameras to capture the special moments from their visit to [the] Stadium. Feel free to ask any stadium staff member to snap a picture of your group. The following items are not permitted inside the stadium:

  • Mono/tripods
  • Professional cameras with zoom lenses greater than 200mm or larger than six inches in length
  • Selfie Sticks

So, you can bring any type of camera or lens if it’s not a zoom lens with greater than 200mm or longer than 6" long. Bummer that most prime 500mm lenses are too long!

Assuming you aren't going to show up with a non-tripod-supported large format camera, here are some ideas to get you as close to the action as you can:

SLR Cameras

Nikon SLR shooter? Lucky you! The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR lens uses Phase Fresnel technology to create a compact design that gives you a really nice telephoto reach while staying under the 6" requirement but the focal length is too long. Of course, it doesn’t look like a 300mm lens, so that gives me ideas. The Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM and the older Nikon version both clock in near 9". And, you can certainly forget about the f/2.8 variants!

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens

Are you a fan of the 24-70mm f/2.8 workhorse lenses? Good news: the Canon, Sony, Tamron, Tokina, and Sigma lenses all fit. The older Nikon works, but the new Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens is a hair over the limit. Sorry folks!

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

Want to get really close with your DSLR or SLR camera? How about a mirror or reflex lens? You can easily find a 500mm lens in this category that measures less than 6" long, but, again, the focal length breaks the rules.

Rokinon Reflex 300mm f/6.3 UMC CS Lens for Canon EF

Obviously, most wide-angle lenses are going to pass the 6" test, and while they won't get you close to the action, mixing up your shots with some panoramic stadium images will make for cool half-time fun.

Superzooms

You might be tempted to think of the "superzoom" point-and-shoot camera as your secret weapon. The Sony RX10 Mark IV, Canon SX60, Nikon P900, Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80, and others all measure less than 6" in their resting state. The crazy 125x optical zoom Nikon P1000 is just over 7" when the lens is retracted. I am not going to recommend taking the chance of having your camera confiscated, or you not being allowed into the game because you were going to secretly zoom in to a 2000mm or 3000mm equivalent to take photos of the laces on the pigskin from 200 yards away, but I am sure someone will try to get their superzoom into the gates.

Not Too Many Options

So, aside from a standard, small point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR/mirrorless with a wide angle or super compact telephoto or reflex lens, your options for photographing the game on your own are pretty limited.

Luckily, the press and the league have an army of talented photographers with top-flight gear down on the sidelines to capture the action while you sit back and enjoy the game.

Oh, and please, please don't be one of those fans who pops a flash from the nosebleeds. I promise you that the light of your flash is not going to illuminate the field.

What ideas or questions do you have about taking photos at the big game?

Camera Rules for Professional American Football Stadiums

Every stadium has specific rules about prohibited and permitted items. This list is only accurate for the time the research was completed. Please check with your local team and venue to see if the requirements have changed.

It is curious to me that no professional football stadiums specifically mention lens focal length—they only mention physical length. Are they implying focal length? Ask your personal attorney! For instance, the Seattle stadium prohibits "professional style cameras with detachable lenses larger than 200mm." Some specifically mention the physical length of the lens or lens/camera combination. There are no mentions of teleconverters.

Here are the January 2019 the rules and regulations for pro pigskin stadiums.

Atlanta Trained Hawks

Guests may bring hand-held still-photo or video cameras to capture the special moments from their visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Feel free to ask any stadium staff member to snap a picture of your group. The following items are not permitted inside the stadium:

  • Mono/tripods
  • Professional cameras with zoom lenses greater than 200mm or larger than six inches in length
  • Selfie Sticks

Arizona Ecclesiastical Officials

Fans may bring personal still-photo cameras to capture the special moments from their visit to [Stadium]. Feel free to ask any stadium staff member to snap a picture of your group. The following items are not permitted inside the stadium: Video cameras (single purpose), mono/tripods and professional cameras with zoom lenses larger than eight inches in length. Please note video recording by any device is prohibited within the stadium and [Outside-Stadium] Park, without prior written consent of the [team].

Baltimore Crow-Like Birds

Small still photography cameras are permitted in the stadium during [Football Team] games. Small pocket-sized digital cameras with a zoom lens 6 inches or shorter are permitted. Larger 35mm cameras cannot exceed 3 inches in length. Please refrain from using flash photography. Video cameras are strictly prohibited. [League] policy prohibits the video taping of any [pro football] game unless written authorization has been obtained from the [Pro Team].

Buffalo Buffaloes

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with lenses longer than six (6) inches
  • Video cameras, monopods, and tripods

Permitted:

  • Cameras with lenses shorter than six (6) inches

Carolina Black Leopards

Small still cameras are permitted in the stadium. Video cameras are not permitted per [League] rules. Tripods or any other similar equipment that could be a tripping hazard are also not allowed.

Chicago Ursidaes

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with lenses that exceed 6" when fully extended
  • Video or movie cameras

Cincinnati Tigers

Prohibited:

  • Photo cameras with lens that exceed 6 inches
  • Video cameras

Cleveland Unpopular Crayon Colors

Cameras and video cameras (camcorders) are allowed, but must not interfere with another fan’s enjoyment of the game. The images reproduced may not be used commercially. Video cameras may not be used to reproduce the game.

Dallas Ranch Hands

Compact Cameras (still only) are permitted inside [the] Stadium as long as their use does not interfere with the event or other guests' enjoyment of the event. Video Cameras, tripods, monopods, selfie-sticks and cameras with a lens longer than 3" (detachable or non-detachable) are prohibited inside [the] Stadium.

Denver Wild Horses

Hand-held still-camera photography is welcomed at events for non-commercial personal purposes. Cameras and lenses must be 6" or less, when fully extended. Tripods, camera lenses or any other type of equipment, including tripods or selfie sticks, that may interfere with other fans' enjoyment of the game are not permitted. The use of video cameras is not permitted at any time. The stadium's camera policy may change for other events. Please check in advance to confirm a specific event's policy if there is a question.

Detroit King Cats

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with lenses longer than five inches or any detachable lens
  • Electronic equipment including laptop computers, video recorders, tripods & wearable video cameras including Go Pros [sic].

Green Bay Garbage Trucks

Video cameras and still cameras with lenses over 12" are not allowed into the stadium. You are welcome to use your still photo camera (with lenses under 12") for your personal enjoyment. Commercial use of any audio or video recordings of the game is a violation of guidelines established by the [League].

Houston Residents of the Second Largest State

A camera policy is determined by each show, and therefore varies from event to event. Small, point and shoot cameras are allowed for Houston [Team] and [rodeo] events. No audio or video recorders are allowed for any event.

Indianapolis Male Foals

Use of cameras and video equipment inside [the] Stadium will be determined by the event promoter. Please note that such use may be prohibited during certain events. Video cameras are prohibited for all Indianapolis [pro football] home games.

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with lenses longer than four inches

Jacksonville British Cars

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with detachable lenses or lenses longer than six inches

Kansas City Tribal Leaders

Video cameras or professional cameras are prohibited in [the] Stadium. Small still cameras are permitted in [the] Stadium, as long as they are carried or in a clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bag measuring 12" x 6" x 12" or less. The bag and small still camera are subject to inspection. Small still cameras are considered any camera that is smaller than 6″ in length and width. Tripods, monopods, and camera lens longer than 6" (detachable or non- detachable) are not permitted.

Permitted:

  • Still-photography cameras with a lens that is 6″ or less in length

Los Angeles Lightning Bolts

Unless otherwise specified by the teams and/or event officials/management, guests may not bring professional photographic equipment in to the facility.

Guests are also prohibited from engaging in commercial photography of any kind.

The following is a partial list of the prohibited camera equipment:

  • Flash photography
  • Monopods or tripods
  • Cameras with interchangeable lenses
  • Cameras with lenses greater than 3½ inches in length

Teams and/or event officials/management may have additional rules further restricting or prohibiting photography.

Guests may not bring any types of audio/video recording devices into the facility. These devices include but are not limited to, video camcorders, audio recording devices, etc.

Los Angeles Male Sheep

Guests are allowed to bring still cameras provided they do not have detachable lenses and do not interfere with other guests’ view of the event. Camera lenses are limited to 3-inches. Tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, lights and camera bags are not permitted. Guests may not reproduce or rebroadcast any films, photographs, digital images or video filmed at the stadium without the express written permission of the Los Angeles [team] and the [pro football] League.

Prohibited

  • Professional Cameras (lenses longer than 3") and Camera Equipment, Selfie-Sticks, Tripods and Video or Audio Recording Equipment

Miami Marine Mammals

Prohibited:

  • GoPro cameras, and selfie sticks
  • Camera lens should extend no longer than 6"

Minnesota Northern European Mariners

Guest are welcome to use still cameras for personal use at [the] Stadium. Tripods, monopods, “selfie sticks” and cameras with a lens longer than 6" (detachable or non-detachable) will NOT be permitted into the stadium. Video cameras and video recording of events with other devices at [the] Stadium are prohibited.

Permitted:

  • Still-photography cameras with a lens that is 6" or less in length

Prohibited:

  • Video cameras or mono/tripods (no spectator cameras with lenses over six inches long will be permitted)

New England Revolutionaries

Permitted:

  • Cameras: Still cameras are allowed (without case). All video cameras are prohibited. Detachable lenses on still cameras may be detached during inspection.

Prohibited:

  • GoPro Cameras and Video Cameras
  • Selfie Sticks
  • Tripods or Monopods

New Orleans Fleur-de-lis

No video cameras or cameras with professional lenses exceeding 6". No GoPros.

New York Large People and New York Turbofan Powered Aircraft [Same stadium.]

Handheld digital or film cameras, including Go Pro [sic] cameras, are permitted inside [the] Stadium as long as their use does not interfere with other guests' enjoyment of the event. Tripods, monopods, "selfie sticks" and cameras with a lens longer than 6" (detachable or non-detachable) will NOT be permitted into stadium. Video cameras and video recording of events with other devices at [the] Stadium are prohibited.

Oakland Pirates

Hand-held binoculars and small still cameras with lenses less than 6" in length are permitted in the [county] Coliseum. Video and movie cameras are not permitted in the [county] Coliseum without proper media credentials. Photos cannot be used for any commercial purpose. Camera bags and binocular cases are not permitted inside of [the county] Coliseum.

Permitted:

  • Still cameras with lenses shorter than 6"

Prohibited:

  • Video cameras
  • Still cameras with lenses longer than 6" and camera cases

Philadelphia National Birds

Cameras (still only) are permitted inside [the] Field as long as their lens does not exceed 6 inches in length and does not interfere with the game or other fans’ enjoyment of the game. Feel free to ask Event Staff to snap a picture of you and your group to capture your special moment at [the] Field! Video recording of events at [the] Field is prohibited.

Prohibited:

  • Video cameras and the use of video capable cell phones for video recording

Pittsburgh Steel Workers

Cameras (still only) are permitted inside [the] Field as long as their use does not interfere with the game or other guests’ enjoyment of the game. Professional Cameras/Lenses (longer than 6 in.) are not permitted. Camera bags are not permitted. Video cameras, video equipment and video recording of events at [the] Field is not permitted.

San Francisco Prospectors

Please be courteous to those around you when taking photos to avoid sightline obstruction of other guests. The following represents our camera and video equipment guidelines:

Cameras with 3-inch lenses or shorter are permitted.

Camera bags are prohibited inside [the] Stadium.

Lights may not be used with video recording equipment.

Tripods and monopods are prohibited (including selfie sticks).

Guests may not reproduce or rebroadcast any films or photographs shot at the stadium without the expressed written consent of [the] Stadium Management.

Seattle Maritime Raptors

Cameras with video recording, capabilities including Go-Pros [sic], or professional style cameras with detachable lenses larger than 200mm or tri-pods [sic]. Selfie sticks are also not permitted inside [the] Field.

Tampa Bay Privateersp

Cameras longer than 12 inches (includes body, lens and filter) are not permitted; camera bags and cases are not permitted. Video recorders and GoPros are prohibited. Policies may vary per event without notice.

Tennessee Offspring of Uranus and Gaea

Prohibited:

  • Cameras with lenses over 3". Additional lenses are not permitted.
  • Video cameras

Still cameras are permitted in [the] Stadium for football games; however, a camera cannot be carried into the stadium in its own bag. [The] Stadium security personnel also reserve the right to confiscate professional size zoom lenses at their discretion. Video cameras are not permitted at any time (except for working media with credentials at the designated Media Gate).

Washington

Still cameras, digital cameras and handheld video cameras are permitted at sporting events, as long as they do not interfere with a fan's gameday experience. Guests may not reproduce any shots for any commercial use without the written permission of the [team].

Prohibited:

  • Selfie Sticks and tripods / camera stands

Again, this list is only accurate for the time the research was completed, in January 2019. Please check with your local team and venue to see if the requirements have changed.

37 Comments

So I haven’t owned a digital camera in close to 6 or 7 years (not since I was 15 and had a hot pink Walmart special) and I just bought the Nikon Coolpix b500 that does have a housed lens that sticks out at about 2.5in. I’ll be going to Soldier Field in Chicago for a concert and their website states lenses less than 3in for all events and less than 6in for Bears games. Long story short, what is considered “official” lens length? Is it what is attached to the camera when it is turned off or is it when it’s turned on and zoomed in on something? I don’t mean to be camera illiterate, but I don’t want to bring something there that they’re going to tell me to walk a mile back to my car. If anyone can help I’d really appreciate it. 

Hi Dayton,

You are hardly camera illiterate! Honestly, it is the folks that draft these regulations who could use some camera education to tighten the loopholes they have left for us to exploit! They often confuse the term "zoom" with "telephoto" and some mention length, but not focal length (which is the important spec if you want to restrict telephoto lenses).

If I were their copywriter, my restrictions would be as close to airtight as I could make them and this article would be boring!

I cannot speak for security at Solider Field, but you might want to call the stadium beforehand. Give them the specs and get the person's name if they give you verbal permission to bring the camera in. You'll likely get hassled at the gate, so be armed with a virtual permission slip from whomever you talk to on the phone. Or, you can roll the dice, or you can just bring your smartphone camera in and enjoy the show sans photos!

Please check back in, if you can, to let us know how it all went. Good luck!

The official policy varies from stadium to stadium; to my knowledge, there is no standard measurement stating where to begin measuring the lens, so I would recommend contacting the stadium directly for assistance with your inquiry, as they would have more information concerning their policy.  I would recommend contacting them directly either by calling 312-235-7000 or by e-mailing them using the form on their website at https://soldierfield.net/contact.  I would explain to them that you own a point-and-shoot camera with a built-in lens, and you are trying to inquire how you should measure your lens.

The 300mm f/4 is not a zoom lens so it's ok.  The rule states "zoom lenses greater than 200mm or larger than six inches".

...as long as it is not larger than six inches...in length.

Via email from Denny:

You're thinking like a photographer but the rules at stadiums come more from security folks than photographers.
The lens length is short so you can't hide a long gun barrel in the lens.
Denny

My reply:

Hey Denny,
 
Thanks for your email.
 
While your thought that one could hide a long gun barrel in a lens might be true, I believe the real reason for the restrictions on camera lenses are the following:
 
1.  The professional football league is very protective about images and video of their games being used for purposes outside of their domain. This is the same league that prevents anyone else from using the nickname of their championship game and has even tried to claim that “The Big Game” fell under their copyright as well (a judge disagreed). This is why, in every professional league television broadcast, you hear the following: "Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the [league's] consent is prohibited.” By limiting the size of the cameras in the stands, they can try to ensure that there is no unauthorized recording of the game. I was even told that the league was considering banning sideline photography by media all together when they switch to 8K recording cameras as the league would be able to use each and every 8K frame as an image for their purposes. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find an article on this, nor remember who told me the information.
 
2. How much would it stink to be in the stands with someone firing a Nikon D5 through a 600mm lens? The limitation on camera sizes also helps to keep fans from blocking the view of other fans…or panning a giant lens and spilling someone’s nachos and beer!
 
In researching the possibility of hiding a long barrel in a lens, I haven’t found much. I checked with my friends in the FBI, DEA, and Secret Service and none have not heard of a specific incident.
 
Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for reading!

I have more than once taken a 400/2.8 lens to an outdoor concert (Billy Ray Cyrus, R.E.M., etc). I got away with it because it is not a zoom lens according to their rules. Most security guards don't know the terms. If they balk at 6" lenses I'd opt for a 500mm mirror.

Hey Robert,

Nice work, sea lawyer!

See my reply to Michael's comment below.

Thanks for stopping by!

How are any of the 300mm lenses mentioned in this article not restricted by the venue in Atlanta's policy that the following are not permitted:

"Professional cameras with zoom lenses greater than 200mm or larger than six inches in length"

Hi Michael,

The Atlanta venue specifies "zoom lenses"...not prime focal length lenses. A zoom lens is that in which the photographer can change the focal length. A prime lens has a fixed focal length.

My guess is that the people who write these restrictions do not know the difference and they confuse the word "zoom" with "telephoto."

Cheers,

Todd

Show up with a 300mm f/4 and see if they'll let you in with it. Let us know how that goes.

There are two ways to read/interpret that:

1) Zoom lenses that are greater than 200mm or (zoom lenses) larger than six inches in length.

2) Zoom lenses that are greater than 200mm *or* (any lens) larger than six inches in length.

Hi Michael,

If I really didn't want to see the game and I wanted to get into a sea-lawyer discussion with security, I would be tempted to try it!

If their policy was reviewed by a lawyer, or legal team, then it is safe to say that those reviewing the policy are not savvy B&H Explora readers/photographic experts.

Thanks for circling back and thanks for reading Explora!

Very informative article.   and  yes I was sent back out because I had a small pair of binoculars in a soft case at a Jimmy Buffet concert in Charlottesville VA.  I was told the binoculars  were OK  but not the soft case .  So I walked out,  rolled up the case , put it in my pocket and proceeded back  through security 

Strangely, there isn't a lot of common sense when it comes to security measures at venues, and in the world of transportation.

Thanks for stopping by and reading Explora!

Washington Sunburns !!!

Nice one!

See Jeffery C's comment below regarding Washington. :)

These team names are brilliant!

Thanks, Maya!

Some residents of the second largest state were upset and emailed me. But, have you heard that they are going to split Alaska in half into two states? North Alaska and South Alaska. The Texans are upset because they will then be the 3rd largest state!

I am glad you found the names entertaining. :) That was my goal.

Not sure why anyone would try to photograph the field under the difficult circumstances faced by any and every NFL game-day fan. It's just not worth it. 

I did appreciate the team name of the Washington franchise. 

Thanks, Jeffery! Yeah, I honestly think it is better to enjoy the game and not worry about getting some epic shot from the nosebleeds. A nice stadium panoramic is probably a better goal...and more visually interesting from the seats. If you have a sideline pass, then, by all means, get the action shots!

Re: Washington...Glad you noticed that touch.

So, just stay home and let them loose more money. And while at home, watch something else. Boycott the NFL!!!

I don't go to games anymore. My team always looses when I see them live.

THERE IS NO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM CALLED THE LOS ANGELES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Certainly not in the NFL or AFL. The Los Angeles teams are the LA Rams and the LA Chargers.

CORRECTION:  THERE IS NO PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM CALLED THE LOS ANGELES LIGHTNING BOLTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do either of those teams have lightning bolts as part of their branding? On their helmets maybe? Did you read any of the other descriptive-but-not-exactly-what-they-are team names? :P Buddy yelling over here in all caps...

THANKS, SAMUEL! :)

Hi Bart,

You are correct, but the actual name of the team is a registered copyright and I cannot mention it as I write for a blog attached to a commercial retail company. Besides, the last time I saw them play I believe they were in San Diego and called the Superchargers?

Todd,

Congratulations on getting that article about photographing in sports venues published. For the Super Bowl, it ties in B&H's home page banner for the Big Game. Reading the article, I was surprised that the NFL teams even allowed cameras into their stadiums.

The 6 inch limit is the rule for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks sports venues. The gatekeepers have a wooden rod that looks almost like a pencil with six inches marked; if it's past the mark, it measures out. At an NCAA regional baseball tournament, one of the gatekeepers cranked the focus on my 80-205mm f4.5 lens to close focus and it measured out. I said "Dude, I'm not going to be photographing 2 feet in front of me." He said "Change it to where you'll be shooting"; I changed it to infinity and it measured in.

At a NCAA Women's Basketball Regional at USC, I brought my Canon A-1 with my 80-205mm lens for the first night. We were above the ESPN crew, but I found that I rarely shot longer than 100mm. The next night, I brought my 5D III with the 24-105 f4L.

Yea, the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L lens would be more versatile, but it would measure out with the 6 inch rule; whereas the EF 70-300mm f4.5-5.6L would measure in.

A few years ago, I checked the requirements for the TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha for the NCAA College World Series and they had a requirement of "under 1 inch"; "under" is not precise enough. What is "under"? I think that most 50mm lenses would measure out with that standard. A pancake 40mm lens would probably measure in, but one wouldn't capture the action on the field. This year, their prohibited list has "Professional cameras (4" or greater)"; that is quite nebulous. Where do they measure? From the rear of the camera to the end of the lens? Or is it just the lens?

Hey Ralph!

Yep...almost all stadiums allow cameras, and the sea-lawyer in me really wants to exploit the loopholes of their rules and regulations!

I went to a pro hockey game once where they made me check my wide-angle lens and keep my telephoto. Ha!

Maybe the leagues should hire me as a consultant to write their camera regs. I could make it airtight!

Thanks for reading!

Switching to PGA venues, I think that most golf tournaments allow cameras during the practice round, but they are forbidden during tournament play. Augusta National, for The Masters, does not have any restriction on camera equipment. The RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, SC allows cameras with lenses 6 inches and under.

Interesting. I know that some golfers have complained about cameras clicking in their backswing. With new cameras getting a silent mode, that, and the machine-gun clicks of press conferences, will be a thing of the past.

I don't remember what brand it is, but there's a mirrorless camera, full frame or 4/3'rds, that can shoot 20 FPS using the electronic shutter! That's insanely blazing fast. What I've read, battery life is still a concern with mirrorless cameras.

At the 2015 Masters practice round, I set my 5D III to silent continuous mode (about 3 FPS); but if we get practice round tickets in the future, I'll try high speed continuous (6 FPS). I removed the battery grip to save weight and shot almost 300 photos and I think the battery level was above 50% with the camera on for about 7 hours; but I have image review turned off on my camera. I had two extra batteries just in case. I took a break at the bleachers on the back edge of the course and some bankers from Charlotte were curious I could see with the EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L II lens, so I passed the 5D to them. The clubhouse was visible from where we were. They were impressed.

Hi Ralph, we are going to this years Monday practise round at The Masters. I have an older Nikon without video feature and a new Nikon D7200 with video, will they deny me entry with the D7200? Also what you are saying i can for sure enter with my older Nikon and one or 2 extra lenses? Thanks

Jorg,

I just saw your reply. My Canon 5D III DSLR also does video, but they don't check the camera's capabilities. On The Masters Patron Info page (http://www.masters.com/en_US/patron/index.html), it specifies "** Cameras (still photography/personal use only) are allowed on Practice Round days-Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday." They also have a size limit for bags, backpacks, and purses, so make sure that you don't go over limit. However, just leave your cell phone in the car.

I would say that if it looks like a camera, it is a camera. Just don't go in with a camcorder and ENG camera.

Hi Todd,

I noticed that some stadiums prohibit "professional cameras and lenses". To me, that is a very gray area. Yes, professionals do use the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, but hobbyists also own the camera.

My wife and I were at a breed-specific dog show and there were two official event photographers that were published in the catalog. I struck up a conversation with the guy because he was shooting with a retro-styled camera, the Nikon Df, since I am a sucker for retro-styled cameras owning two of them: the Canon A-1 and New F-1. He said that the Df was his favorite camera; but the styling is not a reason for me to jump ship to Nikon. For the event judging, he was dressed business casual. During the judging, there were two women that were taking photos of the judging, one was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, the other, a dress. Both were rocking Canon's with "L" white lenses. I don't know if Wesminster Kennel Club has any restrictions for their dog show happening next month in NYC.

As I was in line at the food truck, I heard the woman in the dress complaining about being reprimanded for photographing the event. Her friend asked "What about this guy? He has a professional camera." I should've turned around and said "I'm a hobbyist. I'm shooting for myself." Apparently, she was also soliciting photography clients. I would have to say since there are two official show photographers for the event, trying to make money during the event is a big "no-no".

In 2012, I was asked at the National Beagle Club Specialty in Aldie, VA, to photograph the Parade of Champions. I declined and explained that I was shooting B&W film, not digital, and that I didn't have any color film. I didn't think they wanted B&W photos.

Hey Ralph,

It is obvious that those who write the regulations and restrictions for stadium photography are not photographers. Every single camera on the planet is a "professional camera" when it is used by a professional. Any amateur with enough credit can shoot any type of camera. It doesn't make sense.

Oh well! :)

Close

Close

Close