Gaffer’s Tape for the Real World
Gaffer’s tape is a strong, tough, cotton cloth pressure sensitive tape that sticks to what it’s fastened but can be easily and most importantly cleanly removed when you’re finished the shoot. It is easily torn by hand so no cutting tools are necessary. The adhesive is a high quality synthetic rubber that leaves little or no residue when removed. Duct tape maybe useful for many thing—not ducts—but it’s no substitute for real gaffer’s tape. But the downside of gaffer’s tape is that it comes in rolls so big and heavy that they’re a nuisance to carry around and you’re always trying to remember where you put down your roll.
Enter microGAFFER an ingenious solution to that problem. Available from Visual Departures Ltd., it’s the same sticky stuff photographers know and love but each roll is just an inch wide (as opposed to the two-inch width of a standard roll of gaffer’s tape) and starts out at a diameter of less than 2.5 inches (as opposed to a standard roll’s 6.5 inches).
Those dimensions make a roll of microGAFFER small enough to slip into your pocket with barely a bulge—and it’s there whenever you need it as you’re setting up your gear. Just like its big, cumbersome cousin, it holds lighting equipment in place, secures background materials, and anchors cables, among countless other tasks. Stashed in your camera bag, it doesn’t take up an SLR’s worth of space the way a standard roll of gaffer’s tape does. And at 2.2 ounces a roll, it weighs less way than a standard roll’s two pounds.
Visual Departures Ltd.’s microGAFFER is available in multi-packs of four eight-yard rolls, priced at $21.50 per pack. For zone-minded photographers, the Classic Multi-Pack includes two rolls of black microGAFFER, one of gray, and one of white. For photographers who need to see the tape, the Fluorescent Multi-Pack includes one roll each of brilliant orange, magenta, green, and yellow. I Use it to mark a “T” (for “toes” to show models where to stand in my studio.