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D200 and Extreme Cold/Altitude


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Yeti69 Registered since 20th Dec 2005
Mon 31-Jul-06 08:17 PM

Hello again to D200 users and mountain climbers. Sorry for not getting back earlier after my successful summit of Aconcagua (22,829ft/6,962m) with my D200. I promised to get back to you, so here I am. I have not had a chance to review if there have been other postings related to this, but an extra opinion can't hurt.

First of all - I'm very happy with the results and performance.

12-24DX Nikkor
50mm F1.8 Nikkor
3 x Sandisk Extreme III 2GB cards
3 rechargeable batteries
Brunton Solar Roll 9 (www.brunton.com) - solar charger
www.invisibledust.com (the compact sensor cleaning system, forget the details, good web-site)

Fairly cold (estimate -20C on summit morning) and windy/dusty. Lens changes were made judiciously (ie. out of wind/dust and not too frequently to minimize dust to CCD). Solar battery charger allows lots of playing around and editing. You really don't need a lot of Memory Cards or rechargeable batteries this way.

Sensor - wasn't even cleaned once - just inspected and no visible dust was seen. I have a tiny dust spot on my latter week's shots which is easy to remove.

Keep your batteries warm on the inside of your clothing (ie. within a ziploc bag) to maximize power, but didn't run into any battery problems on summit day. The first one seemed to run down quicly because of early (cold) morning flash work, but a battery change after the sun came up gave me plenty of juice for the rest of summit day. I would have loved to test this on Denali when I was there in 2005.

Anybody have experience on more snowy/damp mountains with the D200?

Hope this has helped a bit...