Cameras and the Cold

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ths-acid, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. ths-acid

    ths-acid TPF Noob!

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    Well I am very eager to go outside and take a ton of photos. But I am a little curious on how the cold affects cameras? The main thing I am worrying about is the precipiation that could form on the lense after brining in from outside. So basically what I am asking is what are the do's and don'ts of cameras and cold.

    Thanks
     
  2. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    HOW cold are you talking. Around zero ( say to -5 or so ) shouldn't have any issues at all. I've done lots of night photography, film and digitial, in cold conditions without any special precautions.

    In REALLY cold ( that's -5 celcius btw ) temps then it is worth being carefull with acclimatising.

    There are TWO things to be aware of however. 1) batteries last shorter time in the cold. Keep spares inside your clothes so theyre warm. (batteries will re-gain some power when warmed so don't throw them away until your certain they're dead) 2) if your seals are old ( generally a problem on older film cameras ) you might find the mirror sticking to the seal and not dropping down. Easy fix as the seals can be renewed cheaply ( not likely to be an issue on a DSLR and most film cams will be un effected).
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  3. Phelan

    Phelan TPF Noob!

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    Rapid transitions from warm/hot to cold and vice-versa can cause condensation to form inside the lens. Leave the camera in your bag after changing environments to let the temps even out more slowly. I've seen suggestions of putting the camera and lenses in plastic bags as well.
     
  4. TheUndisputed

    TheUndisputed TPF Noob!

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    BLAH! You beat me to it.
     
  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Pfft...-5 is not "really cold". I regularly have my D40 out in -20C.

    As long as it's clean and dry, you can just take it right outside into the cold and use it.

    The only thing you really need to concern yourself with is bringing it back inside: put it in a zippered bag before bringing it indoors, then leave it there for solid 3-5 hours before opening it.
     
  6. Katier

    Katier TPF Noob!

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    I know, my sentance doesn't really read rigth.

    -5degrees C - don't worry about it. (other than perhaps batteries losing power)
    -20degrees C - might need some precautions.

    That's what I was saying :)
     
  7. pez

    pez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I read somewhere that some (all?) dslrs can have CCD or CMOS sensor anomalies if the body (and therefore the sensor) is allowed to drop below 0 F or so. I believe space probes have to constantly regulate their camera CCD temps, for instance.
     
  8. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No, not really. Batteries still
    last a long time in -5C. They start to show deterioration at -10C and colder.

    Well, 0F is -17C. I've never seen any problems in my -20C and colder photos.
     

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