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12-28-2013, 08:10 PM   #1
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What is considered 'extreme low temperature' for a lens

I received a Sigma 150 -500 mm for Christmas and the instructions say to avoid extreme high or low temperatures. What is considered extreme?

12-28-2013, 08:15 PM   #2
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Does the instructions offer an operating temperature range for this lens?
12-28-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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The K-5/II/s and K-3 are spec'ed to be operated from -10 to 40C, or 14 to 104F. "Extreme" is likely anything outside that range. Of course, that's the camera's temperature, so if it's really hot, give it some shade. Just don't shoot in Antarctica for extended periods and cold won't be a problem.
12-28-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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It doesn't list an operating temperature range. I am not sure I would be shooting at 100 or more but I have gone out when it is colder than 14, I will have to be more aware of the lower temps.
Thanks for the help.

12-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #5
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You could try to go on Sigma's website and see if it lists the operating temperatures for this lens. I don't know if it would or not.
12-28-2013, 10:02 PM   #6
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The sad thing is ... I personally don't consider that range extreme
Having lived in Northwestern Ontario File:The Coldest Spot in Canada 72 below Zero.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and now living in SoCal near the high desert, I have been through those 'extremes' many times per year.

-10C to me isn't really all that cold, but I guess for optics and electronics its not a good combo (i.e. lens sticking vs. sliding, HSM motor burnout, etc.) - I used to hit that temperature daily for +4 months / year easily during the daytime.
+40C is something I see for at least 2 months a year during the day here in SoCal, and I'm sure in AZ/NM/TX/NV they also hit this. The sad thing is... that temperature is in the 'shade', and in the sun, I'm sure metal/plastic/composite material expands, and you'll see all sorts of problems.
Crazy thing is... I prefer the -10C to -40C over the +40C weather. I can dress warm and go into the snow, but no matter what, at +40C, I can't cool down.

I took my old Pentax K-x out to Big Bear mountain, skiing at 8,000' a couple of years back with my Sigma 18-200mm DC. They were both fine, and it was probably around -15C in the morning, warming up to near freezing (direct sun makes it feel warmer than it was). As soon as the sun hid behind the mountain at ~4pm, the slopes turn into an ice slide.
12-28-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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The warning is so that you cannot sue them if it freezes up. I've used lenses and cameras in ridiculously cold weather (and hot for that matter) and lost images only once, in a Piper Cub when ground temp was about -30 C -- air temp at altitude was probably closer to -40. Nothing turned out. I think the cloth shutters on my original Pentax froze together. I used the camera for another 13 years.
12-29-2013, 12:58 AM   #8
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I also live in Canada and i've been shooting in winter for the last 26 years and i encountered a problem only once. It was -42C and i was shooting with an Pentax MX and Tamron 90mm/2.5 Macro, the curtain of the MX was not closing fast enough and was making uneven exposure and the blades of my Tamron frozed and were sticked after 2 hours. With modern DSLR i never encountered any problem especially at -10C which is not that cold.

12-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
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I have used my Kr in -30C weather with various lenses, for hours on end (batteries in my pockets) without issue. I have never seen the upper limit for weather though.

A friend of mine keeps his decade old Olympus in his vehicle, year round. So imagine -40c to 60c... Always works.

I think those temperature warnings are strictly for astronauts.
12-29-2013, 08:44 AM   #10
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I check the Sigma website and couldn't find anything about temp ranges. It is probably some warranty issue where they can claim the product was misused based on high or low temps.
12-29-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kosmoejtg Quote
I check the Sigma website and couldn't find anything about temp ranges. It is probably some warranty issue where they can claim the product was misused based on high or low temps.
The only problem you will have if you take equipment out and let it got to cold is that it will stop working until you warm it up. I forgot my K7 in the back of my truck for a week one winter, with temperatures averaging -35C at night, daytime highs never getting over -25C during the day, and the truck not running often enough to warm the camera significantly. There were no issues at all with the camera not working after that ordeal, in fact it was working at -35.
One day when it was about -40 I took my LX and K1000 for a walk around the neighborhood. The LX quit working on low shutter speeds after about an hour when the batteries froze, though I was still able to use the mechanical speeds above sync, the K1000 shutter actually froze halfway open at some point, and IIRC, the 50/1.2 stopped stopping down as well after an hour and a half or so. None of the equipment suffered damage, they just had to warm back up.
Using equipment when it is too hot is more of a problem since heat can soften lubricants and cause them to go places you don't want them to go.
12-29-2013, 09:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kosmoejtg Quote
...the instructions say to avoid extreme high or low temperatures. What is considered extreme?

I think extreme is what some of the others have listed....somewhere around -40 to 105 -110. I could be wrong, but I think the problems lie in the lubricants. If it's too cold, they thicken up and make the moving parts sluggish. Likewise, get it too hot and it can thin out and start working its way into places you may not want it. I seem to remember reading about photographers who had their lubricants changed to graphite when they were going to be shooting in, say Antarctica, for any extended period.
12-29-2013, 09:55 AM   #13
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My sigma 17-70 refused to work in Norway a couple of years ago - probably -8 to -10, refused to AF at all and I'm not too sure that the aperture was working correctly either. OTOH, my pentax 18-55WR worked like a dream with no problems at all. All shot on a K10D. I've not really used the Sigma when it's been really cold as I don't now trust that it would work (and also have a Pentax 18-135 instead).
12-29-2013, 04:22 PM   #14
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I have used my very cheap Sigma 70-300 in temps below 0F with no problems. That isn't to say a different lens won't have problems. You have the lens. Go out and shoot. In my experience, my gear tolerates the cold better than I do.
12-29-2013, 04:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kosmoejtg Quote
I check the Sigma website and couldn't find anything about temp ranges. It is probably some warranty issue where they can claim the product was misused based on high or low temps.
Well, so much for that idea. I do not know what else to suggest.
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