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Cold Weather Problems
Old 05-03-2012   #1
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Cold Weather Problems

I always thought that film cameras were pretty bomb proof so far as cold weather was concerned. No pesky batteries to run down quickly etc. However, in this winter's cold weather I found an issue that I hadn't been expecting. I use an adaptor to adapt batteries rather than have my 35RC exposure meter converted to use current equivalents to the PX625. I was surprised/disappointed to find the exposure meter wouldn't work in the cold temperatures (sub zero Centigrade), but that it fired up no problem inside. The reason seems to be the different coefficient of thermal expansion for the different metals (camera/adaptor/battery). The solution: a exposure meter app on the iPhone. Very cheap and adequately accurate!

Posted in case this is of interest to anybody.

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Old 05-04-2012   #2
PF McFarland
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I usually have more problems getting my fingers to work in the cold, not the camera. Extreme cold can also slow down or stop the reactions needed to make the battery work.

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Old 05-04-2012   #3
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There is a whole paragraph dedicated in my old Yashica Electro 35 owners manual about cold weather, specially noted is the battery deactivation in sub zero temperature and he inability of he lens to change environments due to condensation, etc.

I could only add, move to Costa Rica during the cold winter months!
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Old 05-04-2012   #4
Morry Katz
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Simple solution: go retro. My Seconic incident meter needs no batteries and my Leica M4 has no place to put them. The combination works fine below 0 degrees C.
P.S. I live in Alberta, Canada, where winter can be real.
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Old 05-06-2012   #5
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I travel into Siberia on occasion and found that in cold weather it's best to keep your camera inside your jacket to keep it relatively warm. While that's difficult to do with a larger RFer, try to do what you can to keep it warm. I recently returned from Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, and upon my arrival it was -20 C, still a few degrees above zero on the F scale, but my P & S Minolta Himatic S2 acted up while on a mountain top, and being dependent upon the AA batteries to fire the shutter, it sort of messed up on a couple shots and I'm 99 & 44/100% sure it was because of the very cold weather and a strong wind blowing. I found it's much more practical to carry either a XA or a XA2 inside my jacket in extremely cold weather.
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Old 05-06-2012   #6
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I'm curious as to your results for that iPhone exposure meter. I had very erratic results with the one I tried, so I went a different route -- I got an app that would show me the EXIF data from pics taken with the phone. From the EXIF data of a photo on the scene, I'm able to discern the EV of the scene and then do the math for whatever I'm carrying.
Mick O // @Redfishingboat
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Old 05-06-2012   #7
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My experience with subzero temperatures is that you should try to avoid sudden temperature changes for your gear. Keeping your camera inside your jacket and taking it out for quick shooting you will risk getting condensed water in your camera mechanism. Keep the camera in a bag when outside and back home let the camera slowly thaw in the cold camera bag for an hour or two. Always carry a spare set of batteries in a warm pocket. I'm using a Nikon FM myself when the weather is particularly cold (-25C).
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Old 05-06-2012   #8
E. D. Russell Roberts
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I was out and about quite a lot not this winter, but the last. Temperatures of -10 to -20C not uncommon. Luckily the air is very dry here when this cold, so condensation is not a problem when going out into the cold, more so when going back indoors. However what did happen was that leaf shutters would get stuck if not recently CLA'd. Also had mirrors on SLR's not returning until back indoors. But my Sekonic L-318 and my iphone app worked just fine.

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