PetaPixel

DSLRs Banned from UK Tube Station

Photographer Tim Allen spotted this sign outside the Aldwych tube station, an abandoned London Underground station that recently opened up for tours. While photography bans are pretty common, the station has decided to only ban DSLRs due to “their combination of high quality sensor and high resolution”. Other cameras are allowed in, as long as they don’t look “big” enough to shoot amazing photos.

(via Amateur Photographer via Megapixel)


Update: Apparently the ban was because DSLR users take longer to shoot photos, and they didn’t want the tours to be delayed. That makes sense. Wait…


Image credit: Photograph by Tim Allen and used with permission


 
 
  • Tubist

    Photography bans are sick. This is worse.

  • Guest

    I took my Pentax ME Super with some fast B&W film. On the way in they (politely) asked if it was an SLR and I explained it was film, so shouldn’t be hit by the letter of the rules. They said it was fine and I shot a roll.

    When I came out I had a chat with some friends who were waiting for the next queue and they said that they’d been told ‘No film SLRs either’…

    If you’re going check before taking a film camera.

    The reason is simply one of commerce – they sell prints at the LTM shop and also have a print-on-demand poster service on their website.

    I took a bunch of piccies of the posters with my iPhone. They came out rather well…

  • Guest

    I took my Pentax ME Super with some fast B&W film. On the way in they (politely) asked if it was an SLR and I explained it was film, so shouldn’t be hit by the letter of the rules. They said it was fine and I shot a roll.

    When I came out I had a chat with some friends who were waiting for the next queue and they said that they’d been told ‘No film SLRs either’…

    If you’re going check before taking a film camera.

    The reason is simply one of commerce – they sell prints at the LTM shop and also have a print-on-demand poster service on their website.

    I took a bunch of piccies of the posters with my iPhone. They came out rather well…

  • Kevin Lyda

    The reason people find the sign offensive is because it’s an abuse of power.

    Someone who works there doesn’t like big cameras.  They think people who use them are wankers (which to be fair…) or they begrudge people being able to spend that much money on their hobby or whatever – they just don’t like them.  And now they’re in a position of power and they’ve decided to exercise it.

    A public amenity like this needs to have someone in charge.  Someone to look after repairs, organise cleaning, advertise the site, make sure the bills are paid and to look after visitors.  That’s all good – and by and large people like that do a good job.

    But apparently at this site someone has taken their own personal issue (which we all have some form of) and inflicted it on the public.  We’re all allowed our own personal foibles but it should not bleed into our professional lives.  The sign and the policy are a gross violation of that and the person who put it up should acknowledge that and either fix it or be removed.

  • Anonymous

    I found your site via yahoo thanks for the post. I will bookmark it for future reference. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/patrickahles Patrick Ahles

    I have a Canon 350d, you know, with a low sensitive, low resolution sensor. Even the iPhone 4s will have better sensitivity…

    Simply bollocks!

  • Croytog

    can i go with a pinhole film camera?
    sdkbphotography

  • 8fps

    Viral advertising.

  • 8fps

    What’s a D-SLR?

  • Visiontvgeral

    And what abaout red cameras? Is it ok?

  • Not a photographer thankfully.

    Once more – this is not an active tube station. As some others have said, this is likely a temporary sign during the shooting of yet another film there for copyright reasons or something like that (many if not most film scenes on the London Underground are shot at this disused station).

    For a group of mainly photographers, an astonishingly large proportion of you have no idea of context.

    Nothing to see here, take your camera away from your face, take in the world outside the lens and move along…

  • http://twitter.com/patrickahles Patrick Ahles

    This has nothing to do with context. Blaming DSLRs for having high resolution, high quality sensors is nonsense. If they don’t want photography inside, simply say so. 

  • Not a photographer thankfully.

    So you’ve asked them why they specify those reasons have you? You don’t think that perhaps film shoots might have legitimate reasons for preventing that sort of technology?

    Here’s just one I can think of – perhaps the film makers want to ensure they or a business partner have exclusivity on high quality photography of ‘the making of …’?

    This is a tube station – I’ve been inside and its not like a tube station in active use – its fairly dark and dingy as you might expect, with the bare minimum of poor quality lighting. Banning the sorts of cameras that can take high quality shots in those conditions makes perfect sense.

    The simplest answer is probably the right one – is my theory the simplest, or does someone have some crazy vendetta against DSLRs, that is also shared by enough colleagues to be able to have a sign like that arranged and displayed? Or does someone know enough abour DSLRs to know they have such a thing as a sensor, yet isn’t aware other devices can take passable photos? Think about it…Context is king ;-)

  • Jason

    Another excellent reason why I now carry an NEX-5n instead of my traditional DSLR. Same or better quality photos, 1/3 the size and weight.

  • Vega Soul

    They dont want people doing professional work in a public place. The subways are a good place for shooting… I thinks thats it… But its silly

  • http://twitter.com/PhilipOrlandic Philip Orlandic

    hahah :) Nice even bigger native resolution ;)

  • Oz

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Oh, wait, you were serious.

    Yeeeaaah, you’re dumb.

  • Oz

    So what you’re saying is that all those professional photographers using dSLRs aren’t making anything worth selling. Right. 

    Idiot.

  • Not a photographer thankfully.

    Its not a public place, its a closed, disused tube station used as a film set amongst other things.
    This isn’t to do with anti-terrorism.
    None of us here know the exact reason why they banned DSLRs.
    Its a safe bet they had a reason (see above for my realistic and informed guess), and they didn’t just have an irrational fear of DSLRs.
    ‘They’ are not out to get you.
    This post did not contain the instruction “boast about your non-DSLR camera equipment in the comments”. Noone is interested.

    Jeez. I give up. Some of you guys are actually quite amusing, some sensible, but many of these comments are simply moronic…
    Some useful advice:

    Read the article.
    At least scan through the comments.
    THEN submit your comment…

  • Osmosisstudios

    They might be the same resolution, but the photos certainly aren’t the same quality.  Especially in low light.

  • http://www.scrappersworkshop.com Jennifer White

    You might be surprised. I work in a museum, and use my phone for in-exhibit photos because it works so well in low light. And while the optics aren’t as good as the DSLR, if I’m printing 4×6 postcards, with a little post-processing, they’re perfectly acceptable.

  • Sunny16

    Right? I’ll take my $200 RB67 and beat any DSLR….

  • Lk

    Where am I???

  • cjeam

    If the photogs tried that in the States they’d promptly be pepper-sprayed, for ‘causing an obstruction’.  

  • http://twitter.com/HayesThompson Hayes Thompson

    Interesting article highlighting some massive pettiness, not to mention terrible writing skills. Shame about its link bait headline. Come on, let’s leave that to the shameful mainstream media. Why make people think it’s about security at tube stations when it’s about tight-fisted people wanting to sell more of their prints? Oh, link bait… 

  • Araamt

    Who shoots in a tube station anyway… depressing

  • Daf Owen

    Bit random.
    Does sound like a revenue protection step.
    National trust took similar moves and caused a stir not too long ago – they were implementing their own image library at the time I think.

  • Janez

    I would join such flash mob :D

  • Alan Dove

    So they copyrighted a train station? And here I thought it was only the libel laws that were insane in the UK.

  • Guest

    A DSLR can see into your soul. 

  • http://friskypics.com Faisal

    Its most likely a prank or fake.

  • Paul

    Prank/Fake? Maybe. The station is actually on the other side of the road, so why is the sign there?

    But I have to agree with “Not a photographer thankfully.”
    “Jeez. I give up. Some of you guys are actually quite amusing, some sensible, but many of these comments are simply moronic…”
    exactly!

  • Anonymous

    Movie directors for one example.

  • Mick Bland

    Hasselblads allowed?

  • kendon

    since the hasselblad is an slr, how would it not be a dslr when you attach a digital back?

  • neilcairns

    Utterly ridiculous – I was in London recently, and there are all manner of signs and notices prohibiting cameras in various locations – everyone ignores them, and nobody says anything for the most part… sad system which concentrates on entirely the wrong things as usual.

  • Mr.New

    The sign says DSLRs are not “permitted inside the station.” So, technically speaking, anyone carrying a DSLR cannot ride the tube, even if the person does not plan to TAKE ANY PHOTOS. They need to rewrite the sign.

  • http://www.oliverobrien.co.uk/

    TfL have published a statement on this – the real reason apparently was that using DSLR equipment would slow down the tour – see bottom of http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/whats-on/events/events-calendar/367-events-aldwych-underground-station

  • Dom

    They forgot to add a period lol.

  • kendon

    how do you ride the tube to an abandoned station?

  • Anonymous

    Haha, that’s ridiculous, so I am taking an 8×10 view camera  next time I head to the tube

  • http://twitter.com/PhotoOomph Joshua Cunningham

    In it is with a Fuji x100 then or a Sony NEX5 or a Canon S5 or g12/13 or Lumix LX5 ect ect 

  • Hunter W.

    So does this mean a medium format film rangefinder, like the Mamiya 7 is fair game?

  • Rosebud

    The official statement (as indicated by the image above) to not use dslr cameras, and the reason given by London Transport as to why not, totally contradict each other. The warning to not use them makes specific points regarding their features, not the size and time set up in using them, which is alluded to in their official explanation… tools!

    LTM Statement regarding restriction on digital SLR’s at Aldwych – 6 December 2011

    Terms and conditions for the recent sale of tickets to visit Aldwych
    Underground station clearly stated that digital SLR cameras were not
    permitted, as these are classed as professional equipment.

    There was not a ban on taking photos during tours. However, there
    were restrictions on professional cameras and tripods because we were
    concerned that people using them could delay the tours for others, as it
    was a very tight schedule with more than 2,500 visitors going up and
    down a spiral staircase of about 160 steps to get to and from the
    platforms.

    We wanted to make the tours as enjoyable and safe as we could for
    everyone. With the huge public interest in seeing the disused Tube
    station it was better to have the event with this restriction rather
    than no visit at all.

    We apologise to visitors who wanted to use this kind of camera during tours to the stations.

  • Anonymous

    Great, My NEX-7 is touristy enough.

  • https://plus.google.com/104067355242126774300/posts?hl=en Dennis Smith

    I’ve seen video taken by a terrorist as a part of a reconnaissance tour prior to bombing a city center, and I can tell you they don’t care for high res-images. They don’t need them. The information that they want is available from mediocre video images from very old mobile phones. They want to know where inside an area to place a bomb, and how far away to place the second devices so that thay can cause maximum injury and panic. They look for large glass windows and any where that will concentrate the effect of an explosion. Having a DSLR will draw attention to themselves and will be overkill (If you exuse the pun).

  • onemaninafghanistan

    Note to everybody: No one gives a toss what old camera you have, it doesn’t make you ‘retro’ to mention shooting on film and the fact your posting on this indicates you probably don’t work as a photographer anyhow.

    Now go take a picture of a duckpond in black and white.

  • Abe

    Does anyone else notice the poor use of language?

  • Martin Cameron

    You should visit.  It is brilliant; and take your camera.

  • http://twitter.com/GeckoKid GeckoKid

    Being a tube fan this is utterly disappointing :(

    Well I have been down there and used my 7D rather extensively and took shots of walls and structures in the hope of using them as 3D textures, so I am not too miffed about that, but really I can’t see how either delaying and “resolution” justifies banning the use of DSLR, I’m sure I’m not the only rail nut who loves photography. And I don’t think I’m a minority they’re excluding there.