I'll be travelling down to the Ross Ice shelf in Antartica next month and the latest temp' forecast is -20 to -25 C. Last time I went batteries were kept warm inside my clothing, but the major problem was misting of the optics when taking camera out, Nikon D90, worked ok though but battery life was well reduced. Do any of you guys have any tips to share with me? Is there a battery pack that I can keep inside my clothing with a trailing lead to plug into the camera? At Vostok Station previously if I remember correctly, they're using Nikon D3 and Quantum battery packs which are kept inside their "wooly bears" (mid layer clothing)then connected by electrical harness. Looking for something similar, but it doesn't seem to exist anywhere.
#1. "RE: D800e and cold temperatures" In response to Reply # 0
You'll have roughly the same problems with a D800 as you did with the D90. You should consider some of the chemical hand/foot warmers for the batteries. As far as I know, the Quantum battery packs don't work with the D800/e.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Attaching heat packs to the body with gaffer tape is a low cost alternative.
At cold temperatures, my biggest issue was frost forming on exposed surfaces. You have to avoid breathing near your gear. A protective filter has some value in that it can be removed if it gets frosted. Breath and cleaners don't work well with the frozen stuff.
#6. "RE: D800e and cold temperatures" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 08-May-13 05:19 PM by PeterBeckett
San Jose, US
Hi Paul, (BTW, I'm an ex-Pat Brit who has called San Jose, CA, home since 1982. Our last home location was Wheatley, a few miles east of Oxford.)
Although I haven't researched a commercial solution to use an external battery with the D800/E, it is very simple (and totally safe) to achieve. Later today, I will take some shots of what I made in order to measure the effects of different power options on the AF speed with my D800 and D800E. A side effect of that project is the ability to use an external battery. I used an 8V(i.e. 4-cell) SLAC (Sealed Lead-Acid) battery and, if I recall correctly, the lead-acid technology is pretty good at low temperatures (I'm thinking of vehicle batteries that operate satisfactorily at very low temperatures) so might be a good match for your application.
Do you have the capability of building special cables? If not, then I'd be happy to help you out.
Please give me, maybe 24 hours, to post a follow-up message with images that illustrate my comments.
#8. "RE: D800e and cold temperatures" In response to Reply # 6
San Jose, US
Hi again Paul, and others who may be interested in my solution...
First, you'll need either a Nikon EP-5B or equivalent. I have both the genuine Nikon adapter and a knock-off which was bought from Amazon as a combined EN-EL15 adapter WITH an AC power unit, for under the price of the Nikon adapter alone.
First, a word about the connectors that I use: The "Deans Ultra" 2-pin connectors are primarily targeted at use in models, notably radio-controlled, battery powered, airplanes, cars and buggies etc. These particular connectors are exceedingly easy to solder and have SUPERB electrical characteristics. They handle 100A current surges easily and (due to their design) connections have extremely low resistance. These connectors are available at almost any model shop.
Here's the approach: Cut the DC cables which go from the AC power unit to the EP-5B or equivalent. Install Deans Ultra connectors at the PSU (Power Supply Unit) end and at the EP-5B. Use a Deans female at the PSU end and a Deans male at the EP-5B end. Note that this allows a homemade "extension cable" having a Deans Male at one end and a Deans female at the other end, to be used.
OK, so the PSU can still be used to power the camera via the EP-5B, but we now have the option to replace the PSU with a battery that provides 7-9V at up to 5.5A (which is the approximate surge current drawn when the mirror and shutter re-tensioning motors restore the camera after a shot is taken.
A 2-cell Lithium battery could be used, but for the particular problem the OP wishes to solve, I submit that it might be best to use an 8V SLAC battery such as the one shown in the accompanying pictures.
Note that, due to the reasonably high surge currents, the "extension cable" should probably not be less than 14 gauge and it would be best to keep it under 4ft in length.
#10. "RE: D800e and cold temperatures" In response to Reply # 9
San Jose, US
Hi Dan, I can assure you that I have used the above setup for exactly that same purpose. Sometimes I use the 8V SLAC battery and sometimes an alternate (bigger) one.
***DO NOT*** connect a 12V battery directly to the camera. 12V is higher than a Nikon camera can handle safely. However, a 12V battery WITH A GOOD, RELIABLE, 8-9V REGULATOR interposed between battery and camera would be a very good solution. Remember that the regulator would need to provide 5-6A surges without its voltage sagging significantly.
FWIW, I have also used the regular Nikon EH-5a, powered by a Paul C Buff "Vagabond Mini", which is a battery-powered, portable, AC generator. I have two of these devices and use them primarily to power studio strobes "in the field". They are great - and not just for strobes...