April 19, 2014, 02:00:48 PM

Author Topic: Tips needed for shooting in the cold  (Read 4441 times)

East Wind Photography

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 01:57:34 PM »
-25C is way out of spec for canon gear.  It's possible lenses or barrel contracted so much that something got deformed or out of alignment.  Send the camera and lens back to Canon for adjustment and recalibration.  If it's working otherwise, they should be able to get it back in for you.

Canon only recommends down to 0C for their stock EOS equipment.

Until last week, I'd have said there's no problem with shooting at low temperatures (-25C). Now I'm not so sure. I encountered a problem with my 7D and 500 f4 IS USM (not II) last weekend - they will will NOT take a sharp photo now, even though the combination used to be outstanding.
I'm still looking into the problem so I don't know if its the camera or lens or the source of the problem. I can say that I'm usually careful about putting the camera and lens in a big garbage bag (and cinch it closed) before I get back in the car.

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 01:57:34 PM »

Cards

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 02:03:00 PM »
I have used my carbon fiber ice axes in extreme cold without difficulty.  Also, no problems with my carbon fiber moutain bike which maybe a better comparison given weight, tube dimensions etc.

I believe CF is not constructed the same depending on the purpose.  For tripods it can be thin and tubular for strength and keeping things light.  For aircraft and space I'm sure they are different.

Regarding your Carbon Fiber tripod... that should be good down to about -4 degrees F (Induro specification).  Below that it can become more brittle and easier to damage and likely would not be covered under warranty.

I wonder about this - I've read statements like this posted several places, but CF tubing and plating is commonly used on the exterior of deep space vehicles which function near absolute zero (e.g. Voyager 1's main antenna dish is CF).  Maybe it's down to the resin used to bond the carbon fibers into shape?  Most resins are quite cold resistant, and constitute <30% of the tubing material (the rest being carbon).  So I wonder if the 'carbon fiber shatters when it gets too cold' is just an urban myth?

East Wind Photography

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 02:10:41 PM »
Not sure I would want to ride my bike at -4 degrees so I would say it's probably pretty safe!  ;)

I have used my carbon fiber ice axes in extreme cold without difficulty.  Also, no problems with my carbon fiber moutain bike which maybe a better comparison given weight, tube dimensions etc.

I believe CF is not constructed the same depending on the purpose.  For tripods it can be thin and tubular for strength and keeping things light.  For aircraft and space I'm sure they are different.

Regarding your Carbon Fiber tripod... that should be good down to about -4 degrees F (Induro specification).  Below that it can become more brittle and easier to damage and likely would not be covered under warranty.

I wonder about this - I've read statements like this posted several places, but CF tubing and plating is commonly used on the exterior of deep space vehicles which function near absolute zero (e.g. Voyager 1's main antenna dish is CF).  Maybe it's down to the resin used to bond the carbon fibers into shape?  Most resins are quite cold resistant, and constitute <30% of the tubing material (the rest being carbon).  So I wonder if the 'carbon fiber shatters when it gets too cold' is just an urban myth?

AJ

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 03:11:19 PM »
1)    Should I never change the lens when out in the cold?
2)    Should I never change a filter when I'm out in the cold?  (I often yank the UV in favor of a CPL depending on the sky, what I'm shooting, etc.)
3)    I seem to recall there was a concern bringing in cold and/or externally damp gear into a warm place (like my cabin) -- something associated with condensation inside the lens as it equilibrates to temperature.  Should I ziplock bag my gear before I bring it into a warm indoors location?
4)    My tripod is carbon fiber, and it will most certainly get cold and wet.  Do I need to take any precautions to using it in such conditions?


1) No, go ahead and change lenses all you like.
2) Ditto for filters.  Just be careful not to drop them or they'll disappear in the snow.
3) Yes ziploc-ing your gear is a good idea in such conditions
4) I wouldn't worry about it, it'll be fine.

Have fun, enjoy, go shoot.  Your camera will work just fine.  I have shot a 300D, 400D, 20D and 7D all day in 10F (and MUCH colder) without issues.

Jackson_Bill

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 04:42:42 PM »
...
Canon only recommends down to 0C for their stock EOS equipment.


Unfortunately, that (0C) eliminates about three months of shooting around here!


East Wind Photography

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 05:07:41 PM »
Many photographers assigned to the arctic for extended periods use coolers with battery powered heaters inside and swap out equipment before they start acting up.  The battery powered heaters don't generate moisture like butane or other chemical based systems but you have to keep the snow out of the coolers.

Canon was pretty specific when I talked to them about a year ago that you shouldn't use their equipment below 0C unless you can provide some external heat source for the lens and camera.  I was shooting ice sculptures and we determined that for the time I would be shooting at 10F I would likely be ok (about 1 hour) but also to bag the equipment before bringing it inside.

So you can do it but at your own risk and note that at least one other user here damaged something at -24C.  I like the cooler idea and it's simple.


...
Canon only recommends down to 0C for their stock EOS equipment.


Unfortunately, that (0C) eliminates about three months of shooting around here!

Jackson_Bill

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 07:19:42 PM »
Many photographers assigned to the arctic for extended periods use coolers with battery powered heaters inside and swap out equipment before they start acting up.  The battery powered heaters don't generate moisture like butane or other chemical based systems but you have to keep the snow out of the coolers.

Canon was pretty specific when I talked to them about a year ago that you shouldn't use their equipment below 0C unless you can provide some external heat source for the lens and camera.  I was shooting ice sculptures and we determined that for the time I would be shooting at 10F I would likely be ok (about 1 hour) but also to bag the equipment before bringing it inside.

So you can do it but at your own risk and note that at least one other user here damaged something at -24C.  I like the cooler idea and it's simple.


...
Canon only recommends down to 0C for their stock EOS equipment.


Unfortunately, that (0C) eliminates about three months of shooting around here!

Thanks for the info.

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 07:19:42 PM »

wickidwombat

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2013, 08:40:13 PM »
i was thinking of taking a non genuine battery grip i have (the one that has the AA cartridges) cutting off the camera intruding shaft and building that resistor lens warmer i linked to before wired into my converted grip battery pack (obviously the grip controls would no longer work but it would be a convenient power pack for the warmer. and possibly integrate the resistor warmer to something like a lens coat neoprene cover.

only problem with this is i would have to keep removing the grip to cycle the batteries

an alternative i thought of was a modification to something like this which could easily be strapped to a belt inside  a ski jacket
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/External-Flash-Battery-Pack-for-Canon-EP-N4-580-EXII-EX-New-Hot-/261118245565?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessories&hash=item3ccbdc3abd

I personally wont change lenses or filters in very very cold sub zero C temps
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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2013, 08:42:45 PM »
spare battery... cold kills their performance

Don Haines

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2013, 10:21:51 PM »
You have two temperatures to worry about.... minimum operating temperature and minimum temperature before damage.

Most electronics can operate down to 0C with no problems, some as low as -40C... but that's getting a bit rare now... Things like LCD displays will stop working around 0C, but will not start to suffer permanant damage until -15C ( lots af variation between units here)... Then there is the question of what happens to your lens as the parts contract in the cold.... they can deform if they get too cold and suffer permanant damage.

When your camera goes outside it cools off.... the less insulation around it, the faster it cools. Lens sleves will slow down the process, sticking it into an insulated box REALLY slows down the process.

I use a pelican case when shooting in the cold. When it is time for the shot the camera comes out... CLICK... and back in the case. Before I come inside I take the gear out of the case and put it into individual plastic bags, go in, and let things stabilize for an hour or so before opening the bags up.

If you are in a ski hut, there is a lot of moisture tracked in with snow, and more from cooking. Try to find a bedroom or something far away from the moist rooms to let your gear finish warming up and drying out.

and gloves.... get a light pair of gloves for shooting and a really warm pair of mittens to use afterwards. Holding a camera in the cold is very hard on the fingers.

Hope this helps....


NOTE: Picture shot near Resolute, Cornwallis Island, in the Canadian Artic Islands at -60C
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 10:40:54 PM by Don Haines »
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markojakatri

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 01:58:41 AM »
I live in Finland so I have been photographing quite much in cold environments (-5.8 Fahrenheit at the moment). It's been already said here that going from (cold) outside to inside there are something you need to know.

Hot air can hold more humidity than cold air and in practice it really is about the room temperature vs. outside temperature. The bigger the temperature difference is the more your equipment will get condense water on it.

When you go from inside to outside, there are no problems. Changing lenses outside is not a problems (but in inside it is if your camera/lens is cold). BEFORE you go inside, put lens caps on. You can leave the lens on camera if you like, but you can also take it to it's own case if you like. If it is very cold you can put your equipment to a plastic bag BEFORE you go in, but usually your camera bag is just fine if you close it BEFORE you go in.

Once you go inside, your cold equipment will get condense water on it. If your equipment is inside a plastic bag, condense water will not go inside the bag and your lens/camera.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 02:03:33 AM by markojakatri »

wickidwombat

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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2013, 07:24:33 PM »
heres a few more from harbin
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Re: Tips needed for shooting in the cold
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2013, 07:24:33 PM »