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Wednesday, 13 October 2021


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Firstly, that poor man. I hope he recovers from the trauma.

Secondly, I have quite the taste for folders, even have a Certo 6 somewhere. Have to make sure I never take any of them anywhere near the US.

Good thing it wasn't a Meccano set.

I took PetaPixel's headline to suggest that it was the mistake that caused the emergency landing, not actually the camera itself.

[Of course. But that's not how it's written is all. --Mike]

I despair for humanity! Even if that stupid woman thought a camera was a bomb, why would the flight crew panic?


Oh yes, I was a suspect in a similar way, when entering an empty local park on a rainy day during school hours in order to take cliche pictures of flowers with raindrops. I was obviously seeking to commit illegal acts on the children that weren't there, and so almost all the adults in the park stared at me continuously until I gave up and left.

It is well known to anyone who follows the news (and B-movies, and even some A-movies), that the real threat to civil society is posed by mathematicians.

Especially mathematicians carrying cameras.

Republic is still flying? I thought they'd been scarfed up by Northwest in the late '80s, who were in turn scarfed up by Delta.

Mike..I suggest you do a book of sarcasm/satire. Maybe work on Tuesday and Thursday. Your point hits home. I was shooting at a hometown rodeo when a man in the stands gets up and yells, “I have read about people like you. You’re taking pictures of kids…you prey on children.” I was in the stands with my wife, daughter and granddaughters. Yes, I was taking pictures…of the riders, the bulls, the events and the children watching. I am an elderly gent (73) and the world seems to full of so much of this bull. We aren’t that far from the Salem witch trials are we? Your piece gave me a chuckle so man up Mark Twain and get’er done.

We film dawgs all have our stories. About a decade ago was taking pictures of my grandkids at a local park with my Olympus Pen F half frame. Some crazy lady, about 60’ish I’d say, threatened to call the police. Whipped out my flip phone and told her that if she didn’t, I would.
Much nicer when the conversation starts with; ‘really, can you still get film for those?’ Happily I have ran into a few of those folks too, both young and old.

I hope this doesn't do for cameras what the shoe bomber did for footwear.

As amusing and entertaining as your post is, the true absurdity is that some people are so anxious about terrorism that even something as innocuous as a vintage camera can lead to flights being diverted, weapons being drawn, and underwear being soiled -- all in the interests of "safety and security." It's an extreme but predictable result of people being taught to fear anything they cannot or don't want to understand.

Did no one think that he had passed through the TSA line and had his carryon luggage x-rayed and possibly examined by hand? What a bunch of dodos!

If the guy was photobombing another passenger’s iPhone selfie I could understand the flight attendants tackling and restraining him but the emergency landing seems a bit much.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
Was the woman’s name Karen?
I didn’t see the original story, I have to look for it. I can’t imagine that no member of the crew didn’t ask what the man held? A cellphone or laptop could be rigged up to become something dangerous too!
Did the woman apologize to the man, and the crew, did they apologize?
I know we’re in crazy times, but this story is just too much!
I hope you do a follow-up Mike.

Oh dear, ever increasing madness from both sides of the pond. Are air passengers on stupidity alert?

Well dayumm. I’ve been contemplating getting a Moskva 5 folder to satisfy my (portable) 6x9 yearning. (Alas I don’t want to splash out for a vintage Voigtlander Bessa.) … And a folder 6x9 is actually a cheapish way to see if I want to go all the way to a Texas Leica.

I did have visions of fondling the Moskva (or the Texas Leica) the next time I wing my way to Paris. Where would we land in the middle of the Atlantic?

The whole scenario would make more sense if it was a Nikon flight and someone pulled out a Canon!

Thank you, Mike! I have now been cautioned not to take the Leica M7 out of the camera bag while on board a commercial fight.
By the way, a friend of mine had to disembark a commercial jet via the chutes when the cabin filled with smoke. His advice is to follow the instructions and fold your arms across your chest before going down, lest you get a "chute rash".


I can only imagine the kerfuffle that would ensue had it been one of my olive drab speed graphics.

Can someone please explain to me what the hell is going on in this country?

A very Dave Barry-esque post.

[That's a pretty big compliment! --Mike]

Brilliant satire! Thanks for the chuckle!

Notice how all just assume ineffectiveness of the TSA: no one hesitates, thinking, “if it was a bomb, screening would have caught it.”

The incident is such over-the-top idiocy/paranoia that I initially thought you were engaging in too-obvious satire, until I took a look at the Fox clip.

Of course, Fox never bothered to mention, hours afterwards, that it was an old camera, not a bomb, and that the passenger and cabin crew grossly over-reacted.

One can tell that the Fox News clip was done much later because clip on Petapixel shows the passenger spread-eagled on the ground in broad daylight while the Fox report was obviously done many hours later in complete darkness.

The Fox reporter was speaking so urgently and breathlessly on camera that I thought she was going to pass out from hypoxia. It's yellow journalism, not news.

I saw this news item and boggled. What was wrong with that woman?? Why couldn't the flight attendants have just spoken nicely to the camera owner and asked him to show them his love object, which I'm certain he would have done. What was the captain thinking?

I have the feeling this was a blown-up exaggerated news report by a reporter who wanted to impress his boss for once.

As for the poor camera owner, I would be shouting lawsuit! from the control tower. He has multiple reasons to take legal action against the airline and the female passenger. Hmm, female, yeah.

How can such a pretty camera cause such an uproar? Sigh!

Will have to be more careful when I use the (older than me) Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta IV folder, with its similar appearance, to the unknowing. Though in my experience, it's tended to attract curiosity and amusement to others that think it's quaint and not likely to work. Ha! Little do they know.

It’s a folding camera, but could it have been folded into a thermonuclear weapon? We don’t know what kind of folding technology “they” have.

Thankfully the thin blue line of the TSA was there to protect our free-dumbs


So this poor guy was sitting next to a Karen, minding his own business and ended up cuffed and detained for hours before the authorities determined he had "committed no crime." What "crime" could he have committed by lawfully bringing on board a harmless object? How long would it have taken to decide that an old camera wasn't a bomb? It took hours for the TSA and the feds who were detaining him to come up with some story that didn't make everyone look like a fool.

If I was the poor guy, I would haul the Karen, the flight attendants, the airline, and the TSA/feds into court for the harm to his reputation and seek punitives. He needs a good lawyer.

Peta Pixel is a rag for running that story the way it did.

The most offensive part of the story is how they keep referring to an "antique" camera.

What if it was just a Minolta Maxxum 7000? It's scary, yes, but is it antique yet?

Lest we forget, Certo 6 is one of the really fine folders! It weren't no Seagull 203!

Wow, quite the story. I guess the over excited passenger really took it to heart “if you see something say something”. I’m not picking on her but seriously I could have been that camera guy in fact I own a folding medium format camera, the AGFA ISOLETTE a true gem. Here’s something to keep in mind it’s entirely possible to move satellites in orbit with your smartphone or iPad. I would have also been reading the camera instructions to pass the time on a flight, just sayin.

Thank you Mike for this extra-witty post. It will stand through the centuries.
On the substance of the story, one must weep after the initial laugh...
What have we gotten to?
I guess my Tri-X photo of a toddler taken between two plane seat backs some twenty-five years ago on a NY-LA flight would today seriously land me in jail?

But if, on the other hand, he pulled out a D6 with a behemoth f2.8 zoom…

Thanks for the link to the FOX "report". Seriously, how do they keep their broadcast license?

Part of me wonders if he was using a Folmer and Schwing No. 0 Graphic. That thing looks like a camera that started life as a detonator...

I am guessing playing around in public with my dad's Minox B would be a no-no.

I had the TSA pull aside my 150-600mm lens for an inspection. However, it was because the officer was a camera guy and wanted to take a look at the lens!

The woman was definitely a flake, but what excuses *all* the flight crew?

@Christopher Kleihege: Amtrak? I assume that's more satire:


Yesterday I was showing some old scanned shots from 1972, of the Canada-Russia hockey series. I had taken those shots, from fairly high in the stands, with a Leica M4, Visoflex III and 400/6.8 lens.

I can just imagine what might happen if I would be able to somehow smuggle such a camera/lens into a sports arena now and start swinging it around. I still have that lens, and also the 560. I'll be very careful now how I deploy them.

As a side note, one of my friends informed me that the camera on the plane had been a Canon F1. Maybe he had a motor drive on it and had tried it out :-).

About the paparazzi and Diana: it's always bugged me that the death was always portrayed as some guys on motorbikes behaving so badly that a large Mercedes crashed. No mention that the driver had been drinking (see https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/politics97/diana/driver.html for one reference, finding him three times over the legal limit in France), and no sanity check on the relative threat posed by a Mercedes to a motorcycle versus the threat of a motorcycle to a Mercedes. I agree that the paparazzi are offensive. They should never have taken the amount of blame they got.

Beware of lurking photographers.

Hi John Krumm. We all work differenty. Most of my work is shot in a studio, but sometimes I shoot in the street. I'm surrounded by thousands of dollars of Profoto lighting. If Miz BussyBody wants a cop, I usually hired a Motorcycle Officer, so that I can have a tripod and lights in the curb lane. Also as part of the permit process, I can request that the area be posted as No Parking. Permits are worth the time money, in saved aggravation.

If she show up in my studio, I'll use the no trespassing laws to have her removed.

Well, I just now realized the true cluelessness described by David Lee. It slid right past me on first reading. The TSA guy looked through the viewfinder of David's Leica M3 after taking off the lens cap, and was satisfied when he saw an image. It's probably a good thing that he didn't try the same test with the lens cap on.....

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