Can anyone tell me what is a good procedure for cold weather? It hasn't managed to get out of the 20s and 30s here for the last week or so and has been very damp (it will only get colder now). Is it bad to go from cold/damp to heated car? I try to cover with plastic bag to go into house but not sure what else I should do.
You don't need a plastic bag, just keep all equipment in the bag in which you carry it - I beleive everybody here have decent weatherproof photobags.
If you're curious to see photos, remove the CF card before entering the warm area, and leave cold equipment inside bag for how long it is needed. I ski sometimes with DSLR, when it gets really really cold. I just kept it in bag for several hours before opening it in warm room.
Never had any issues with DSLR on the mountains, although it was Canon.
20s and 30s doesn't really count as cold. You may have some condensation issues at those temps, but that'd be about it, and they would be minor.
At 0F and lower, you may start running into battery issues. It would be appropriate to have at least a second battery available all the time, and to have it warm in your pocket. Personally I haven't done anything below -10F as I am not prepared for that and I haven't really any idea if my cameras are.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Unfortunately it routinely gets below zero here during the winter. We once had -40 for about a week (not wind chill). If I have LowePro bags, will they do - or is there better bag for cold? It normally isn't this damp.
>Can anyone tell me what is a good procedure for cold weather? >It hasn't managed to get out of the 20s and 30s here for the >last week or so and has been very damp (it will only get >colder now). Is it bad to go from cold/damp to heated car? I >try to cover with plastic bag to go into house but not sure >what else I should do.
I've done a load of shooting over the years during January and February from Winnipeg MB down to Steinbach MB, Pembina ND, Hallock MN, Fargo ND, Minot ND, Bismark ND and of course Keystone SD & Mt. Rushmore. Shooting at -20F is a real trip.
Condensation is the enemy. But since condensation occurs on outer surfaces rather than much slower warming/cooling inner surfaces, it's always best to sling your camera under an outer layer. Unzip the outer layer, shoot, re-sling and zip up again. Mounting the camera on a tripod and shouldering the thing (like we do during temperate weather) is not a good idea in sub-zero weather because the shutter mechanism will get too cold and gum up.
When you're done shooting for the day, place the cold camera & lens back into the cold shoulder bag or backpack, then stow everything in the trunk or the rear cargo area of the vehicle. Forget about it until you reach your next destination (home, hotel or wherever). Bring the camera bag/backpack indoors and let it sit for an hour. S'about it.
Do not carry your camera exposed to freezing wind (or exposed to anything worse than a five degree wind chill factor). Always carry it inside an outer layer.
Buy good, warm, thinly insulated finger gloves. I recommend the Hatch cut resistant police/operator gloves which provide excellent fingertip sensitivity and control. Wear them inside slightly larger insulated mittens. Ensure your mittens are attached to your outer sleeves, enabling quick removal without having to think about stuffing them into pockets.
Use a soft, wide natural fiber neck strap such as the Domke which, unlike UpStraps and straps made of synthetic webbing, won't stiffen in deep cold. The frozen-stiff edge of a nylon web which slips accidentally against exposed skin will cut or scrape you at the most inopportune moment. Try the neck strap when wearing bulky outwear to ensure the strap has enough length to accommodate you.
I wanted to make sure I protected the investment in the D700 and lenses. Most of what I was watching this summer and fall have pretty much disappeared. But, I am hoping there will be some wildlife that wants to brave the cold.
I have horrible luck carrying my camera inside my clothing. The camera does a lot better staying in the cold. Inside any layer of my clothing has higher humidity and warmer temps. Placing the camera under wraps guarantees it will fog and start to drip. It is worse than bringing it into the house.
If it isn't raining more than 2mm per hour the camera stays out in the weather. If it is raining harder than that I keep it in the side of my hood where it is fully vented or use some other type of umbrella-type system.
I've had good luck with Nikon equipment at all temperatures. Temps below 0 suck batteries fast.
I use a similar/same method of gloves inside mittens with dummy cords. I dropped a mitten after climbing half a pitch up a frozen waterfall. Dummy cords took on a new meaning.
Batteries have no power life in REAL cold weather. The warmer you keep them, the better. Keep one near your skin and swap them out regularly.
Make sure your bag gets up to temperature before shooting. Otherwise you might get condensation which can be bad...
Bring a towel and a brush so you can wipe away any snow or debris before putting the camera away. Nothing is worse then having a snow chunk on a lens when you put it away so it can warm up and seep into your camera or lens optics.
Get a waterproof bag as well. Lowepro as nice ones with covers for the elements.
Mike, I agree. REAL cold weather kills the batteries. I was climbing in -1 F weather last weekend and they died. Placing the battery next to my skin warmed it up enough to get it back to half charge on the meter. The camera stayed out unprotected for about two hours before it died.
I'll change my advice to echo your first paragraph. "Keep one near your skin and swap them out regularly."