cold weather and my gear



Alright, so I see in my manual here that if I'm going outside to shoot in the cold, I'm to put my gear in a sealed plastic bag before re-entering the warm to prevent condensation.

I don't feel like that's specific enough, and maybe I'm over-thinking it, but: should I attempt to get all the air out of the bag while I'm sealing it, or leave some air in the bag?

I want to go outside and get some photos of the dogs in the snow but I just paid $800 for a lens and I don't want to cause any problems.

Thanks for any help you can give.
Most people I know just leave the camera in the camera bag when transferring from one to the other. Either way removing most of the air certainly won't hurt things, and less air means less potential moisture in the air surrounding the bag. A few silica gel packs also helps keep things dry (though remember to dry out the silica in the oven so that it retains its ability to absorb moisture).

In general condensation should be too much of a problem for a DSLR, provided you let it fully clear if it forms.
If you're quick, you can actually get some nice effects if you shoot a few shoots through the condensation on the end of your lens!

I know the photo is crap (it was very dark in this pub!), but the effect of the lights through the condesated lens here gives a nice dreamy look!

Gordon's Wine Bar by Forkie, on Flickr
Unless the air included in the bag is going to be cooled after being sealed in the bag it won't condense - it is already dry enough not to cause condensation at the temperature it starts at. There is also very little water vapour in air that is close to freezing or below, so not only are you talking about a small amount of air, but that small amount of air has a tiny amount of water if it is cold.

If you want your camera to be usable as soon as possible after bringing it indoors then it should be allowed to warm up as quickly as possible - so it is an advantage if the plastic bag is as empty of air as possible for that reason. I just use a thin plastic carrier bag. It doesn't have to be sealed, it's enough to simply fold or twist the open end closed.

As Forkie suggested, a little condensation from a small change in temperature isn't a big issue - just wipe it off the lens if you want, and continue.

Hey, Gordon's! I used to drink there almost every weekday night.
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