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Bessa R2 dies in temperature below 0C
Old 01-18-2020   #1
zenza
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Bessa R2 dies in temperature below 0C

My lovely Bessa R2 doesn't seem to enjoy cold weather. Usually after heading out in temperatures below 0C the meter readings flicker in the viewfinder and eventually die altogether. Is this camera in particular known for not enjoying cold weather? I understand ways to get around this issue (keep the camera warm, keep a spare battery warm, etc) but those don't really work with my method of shooting. I'm just curious if others have had similar issues with their R2.

For comparison, my R4A using the exact same battery has been happily shooting this week in -15C without issue.
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Old 01-18-2020   #2
Ko.Fe.
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My R2M is about the same as yours R2. My R was quitting on batteries in cold within hour or go.
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Old 01-18-2020   #3
charjohncarter
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Maybe not the same thing but my R flickrs off and on in the winter. And it doesn't really get that cold here in my area of California. I'm shooting usually in the morning in the low 40 degrees F. It has never completely quit.
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Old 01-18-2020   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
My R2M is about the same as yours R2. My R was quitting on batteries in cold within hour or go.
Interesting, and a huge bummer for us Canadians... Really glad it doesn't seem to affect my R4A.

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Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
Maybe not the same thing but my R flickrs off and on in the winter. And it doesn't really get that cold here in my area of California. I'm shooting usually in the morning in the low 40 degrees F. It has never completely quit.
Ya, it flickers on off but eventually dies if I'm out for an hour or more. Obviously the camera still works, but losing the meter for the rest of the outing sucks.
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Old 01-18-2020   #5
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Yes, I would hold to this particular R4A dearly.



My Nikkormat meter is fine in the cold as well.
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Old 01-18-2020   #6
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Cold weather has always been a problem for cameras powered by button-cell batteries, and it's not just Bessas... although they may seem more affected because their LED meters shut off if the battery doesn't have enough power for accurate readings. Cameras with moving-needle meters may seem better because the needle still moves, but you may not be getting accurate exposure. (Meters with old-style CdS cells give overexposure as battery power falls off, so in mild cases you might not see any effect except whiter snow.) I know that some people who really like outdoor winter photography carry a selenium-cell meter specifically to avoid the problem of battery drop-off at cold temperatures.
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Old 01-18-2020   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Yes, I would hold to this particular R4A dearly.

My Nikkormat meter is fine in the cold as well.
Definitely enjoying the R4A way to much to think of getting rid of it!

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Cold weather has always been a problem for cameras powered by button-cell batteries, and it's not just Bessas... although they may seem more affected because their LED meters shut off if the battery doesn't have enough power for accurate readings. Cameras with moving-needle meters may seem better because the needle still moves, but you may not be getting accurate exposure. (Meters with old-style CdS cells give overexposure as battery power falls off, so in mild cases you might not see any effect except whiter snow.) I know that some people who really like outdoor winter photography carry a selenium-cell meter specifically to avoid the problem of battery drop-off at cold temperatures.
Great info, cheers! I may buy a brand new set of lithium button batteries to completely rule out batteries being an issue. Just wanted to hear others' experiences.
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Old 01-18-2020   #8
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I know my problem is small potatoes, but my meter does seem to be accurate on my R (even with the flicker).
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Old 01-18-2020   #9
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Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I know my problem is small potatoes, but my meter does seem to be accurate on my R (even with the flicker).
Ya, the accuracy seems to be fine even with the flicker on my R2!
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Old 01-18-2020   #10
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Bessa R4M, Ultron-M 35/1.7.
No problem with batteries in -5C

https://flic.kr/p/2cNmewW



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Old 01-19-2020   #11
zenza
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Originally Posted by maigo View Post
Bessa R4M, Ultron-M 35/1.7.
No problem with batteries in -5C

https://flic.kr/p/2cNmewW

Ah, maybe they did something to fix the issue in the later cameras?

PS, thanks for making me miss living in BC.
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