Review: Gaffers Tape/Electrical Tape (A Photographer’s Best Friend)

There’s absolutely no doubting that gaffers tape and electrical tape have been used by photographers for years now. The tape has helped with a multitude of situations: covering up logos to make their camera more low profile, keeping a battery in a camera because the camera’s battery door fell off and you don’t have the money to replace it, adding grip to a lens or camera, building a GoBo for a light, attaching a gel to a flash, securing a flash to an unconventional spot, etc. Just look at most Leica cameras and you’ll see gaffers tape on it. Indeed, it’s true that photographers have used it over and over again for years for almost anything and everything.

Yes, I’m doing a legitimate review on Gaffers Tape.

Gear Used

Gaffers tape has been used by many countless photographers for many years. Years ago, I used to use it on my camera to differentiate in a group of cameras and lenses which were mine. Lots of folks for example will use plain black gaffers tape. But in my case, I put red on my lenses to make it stand out even more.

This is sort of the antithesis of what it’s supposed to be used for, but I was always sure I was safe.

Tech Specs

Uhhhh, it’s tape. Check it out here on Amazon.

Ergonomics

This is a roll of gaffers tape above. It’s nicely textured and has an adhesive that doesn’t leave residue. It’s wrapped around itself on a spool to make it easier for a photographer to use it when needed.

Here you can see some electrical tape. It’s also used by photographers and in the years that have gone by, there have been more and more electrical tapes put out that don’t leave a whole lot of residue. Any residue that is left can be easily wiped off with your finger or even a bit of isopropyl alcohol on a Q-Tip if you’re worried.

In fact, my Leica CL has electrical tape on it. Electrical tape is a bit more sticky but has a smoother texture. The smoother finish adds to the matte look of the camera and blends in even better with the finish.

Build Quality

Both electrical tape and gaffers tape are built pretty tough, but electrical is better and tougher to rip. Years of shooting with cameras in the rain for tests on this website have never made me question the build quality of electrical tape or gaffers tape.

Typically when Zeiss sends me lenses for review, and before they’re announced, electrical tape is put over any sort of markings on the lens to keep it under Non-Disclosure. If it’s good enough for a company like Zeiss, it should be good enough for most of us.

Ease of Use

You put it onto a camera, lens, flash, gobo, etc. The beauty of gaffers tape and electrical tape is how versatile it can be for a number of situations. Like the Green Lantern’s Power ring, you’re only limited by your own imagination.

Conclusions

If you’re a photographer, then you should always have some gaffers tape or electrical tape in your camera bag. They’re great for everything from making a lens hood, fixing something quickly, or even concealment. Photographers who have been shooting for years know this. But the newer breed may scoff at using gaffers tape. Hopefully you won’t.