Snow & Cold

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dionysus, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Dionysus

    Dionysus TPF Noob!

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    I plan to do a lot of winter/snow photography this winter....do i need anything special to keep the camera warm, or will it function normally in cold weather?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The camera will probably be fine...as long as we are not talking about extremely cold temps...like -30 ~ -40 etc. Remember that the L in LCD stands for liquid...so you don't want your LCD screen to freeze. Lubrication on moving parts can also get thick.

    The biggest functional issue will be the batteries. They loose power very quickly when it's cold. They get better when they warm up, so you can 're-heat' them to get some power back. It's recommended that you have at least two or three batteries and keep the spares in your pockets, under your jacket. Then you can swap them when the one in the camera dies.

    Lastly, you need to be aware of condensation. When your camera & lens are cold and you take it into a warm & humid...condensation will form all all surfaces, possibly inside the camera as well as outside. To stop this, you should seal up your gear before you go inside. Best option is a sealed plastic 'zip lock' bag...but if you just keep the camera in a zipped up camera bag and let it warm up gradually before you open the bag, that is better than nothing.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    if you are doing the camera bag idea silica gel is your best friend :)
     
  4. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Tel me more. I plan on doing the same things. Zip lock bag for camera with silica gel inside the bag?
     
  5. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You are going to be outside in cold temps with very low moisture level in the air. When you put the camera in the ziploc bag while outside, the air inside the bag is the same low moisture level air from outside. Bring your sealed ziploc bag inside with the camera in and allow the camera to warm up gradually.

    If you just bring your camera inside without the bag, it is the moisture in the warm air inside your house/shelter that will condense on your cold camera surfaces. By putting it in a sealable bag outside, you are essentially also filling the bag with the dry outside air, thus there is very little moisture to condense on your equipment surfaces.

    The silica gel was recommended for inside your normal camera bag because a camera bag does not seal airtight. Thus, the warm humid air from indoors can leach into the bag before your equipment is warmed up enough to prevent possible condensation.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's usually a good idea to keep some desiccant (silica gel) in your camera bag. Especially if your camera bag is usually kept closed. If you do get any moisture in there, it could easily start to be a breeding ground for mold etc. The silica gel absorbs the moisture to keep things dry.
     
  7. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmm.... One thing that I've never known.... How long do you keep silica gel? When should you replace it?

    Just one of those things you never think about.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It depends :er: :lol:

    I've heard a few people say that those little packets that you see in shoe boxes or when you buy a leather bag etc....won't really do much for you, especially if you do actually get any moisture in your camera bag. Still, I always grab them and just toss them into my camera bags anyway.
    I believe that silica gel does get 'saturated' but I've heard that you can dry it out again by heating it up (in the microwave, for example).

    You can even buy reusable packs of silica gel, and just dry it out when needed.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/242571-REG/Pelican_PC1500D_Silica_Gel.html
     

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